Barley Free Living

Here's a link to my new blog, where I'm boldly going to seek out foods with barley in, and put them on here so that I can avoid them myself and hopefully help out other people in the same predicament, especially those who don't have problems with other grains.

A "paltrow" moment (one from Sunday)

(This post is from Sunday) As the weather is ghastly, my son is off colour and my husband is travelling back from a stag do, I'm in the house and naturally my thoughts have turned to food.

Thing is, because I'm working on this eating better thing, I have been rummaging about the internet. One particular recipe that keeps jumping out all over the place is the kale chip. Gwyneth raves about this shizzle.

To be honest, I was skeptical. After all, it appears to be the staple diet of actresses who need to take their kit off a lot. (Please see Jennifer Aniston) and some of the strategies that are utilised to maintain a "hot bod" seem, frankly, insane. The idea of the Kale chip is only several steps away from eating hay with seasonings, or at least it was until I tried it....

This really isn't the most demanding recipe I've ever executed.
  1. Set your oven to Gas Mark 3.
  2. Get your kale out of the bag, take out the big stalky bits that are a bit like chewing on the nearest tree branch and give it a wash.
  3. Dry it off by patting it dry with a tea towel, or alternatively, if you're feeling particularly wild and daring, you can bundle it up in your tea towel, and windmill it. (Much in the style of Pete Townesend when the Who were in their pomp)
  4. Once you've picked the kale from the light fittings, your childs' hair and the walls, coat it with a small amount of olive oil (1tbsp-ish), salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Spread it out on lined baking sheets and hoof in the oven keeping an eye on it to ensure it doesn't burn. It should be dried out, not browned.
  5. Eat.

(I'm writing this from perspective of being a massive brasicca-phile)

Now I'd love to say that this is the future of snacking for me.....but it's not. It's good in that you get a hit of flavour, and kale is good stuff. I neglected to mention that you will be lucky to encounter any feelings of fullness at all, though the olive oil/pepper/salt/paprika thing ensures that it's not entirely without merit.

It's just there's nothing that really tickles my pleasure centres, though I am tempted to try this again in a more "crispy seaweed" style, only with less deep frying. It's not bad, but I've got to be honest, it's culinary Calvinism. I think what I'm struggling with is that it appears to be a bowl full of dietary virtue, and my inner bon viveur isn't happy with that at all. So my skepticism has remained completely intact.

But....I'd do it again, I think...or I could walk the long way to the shop and buy a bag of crisps. I think I like the second option more.

3 1 minute planks!!

G the f in!!!

Not so much back with the programme as redefining the programme....

I know it's been a while since I've done a proper post, but I haven't packed in this lifting-heavy-stuff, moving-about-more shizzle, but I have had to modify what I do to ensure that I can keep doing it.

As mentioned before, I have several injuries of the not-really-going-to-get-much-better type. They play up from time to time, and what I do is try to rest up, get better and...generally get squirrelly because I've worked hard for a while, and everything has been working...and then I have to stop. I've worked out that on an average non-pregnant, non-falling-down-a-hole year, I'll still lose up to 3 months to aches and pains of some description which does tend to bugger the schedule somewhat. After all, I have to force myself to be careful, otherwise I start listening to gung-ho me and that's when it really starts to hurt.

I didn't write up while I was doing all this ruminating, basically because "went for a walk and ate a salad" isn't very exciting. In fact I almost went to sleep typing that sentence, however it's all been to the greater good. I have been boring the ears off my other half, but that's a whole other story.

I think I might have found the way forward, especially where the strength training is concerned...

1. Limit myself to two sessions of weights a week, with one "big" session at the weekend and one smaller session in the week. Recovery time and all that.
2. Lots of walks whenever the rain gods decide not to try and wash this bit of Northumberland away. Short but lively. Also an apt description of me on a good day.
3. One full no exercise day per week.
4. Vibroplate/Powerplate once a week to shake out the aches and pains. 10 minutes, Jobs a good 'un.
5. Eat more bloody protein.

5 is proving interesting...I've been tracking with MyFitnessPal and realised I was a bit low. I wasn't even hitting their minimum, never mind the 0.5 - 0.75 per pound of body weight calculation for someone with my activity levels. Let's see how that one I am at least 20% Cottage Cheese and 7-8% broad bean with some beef thrown in for good measure. Though I have discovered that Hazelnut butter on a Digestive biscuit is the dogs' danglies. This low protein carry on could explain the long recoveries and occasional wet spaghetti arm problem....

I also discovered that I was really quite allergic to something I was eating all the time (and with 20/20 hindsight, now realise has been making me poorly for years. Now I feel quite well. Weird, huh?

I know the results will be slow this way, but I actually can't be crazy, all the empirical evidence says "Ouch" and who am I to disagree?

*also I managed to make a 220g Bag of Haribo last a week. I'm practically the Zen Master of Jelly Sweet Refusal.

PB news

I can plank for a minute at a time, and it's my stomach muscles that hurt and not my scar tissue!!