Why I’ll never be a bikini model…

After 20 years of putting up with incredibly itchy patches on my left buttock and, in the last 18 months, my elbows too, I’ve discovered this week what it is all about.

Coeliac disease.

Really? Shouldn’t I be suffering with diarrhoea, losing weight and malnourished? Apparently not.

These most irritating of outbreaks which make me pretty ratty and leave red scars on my bum cheek (hence the modelling career is over!) are an auto-immune response to me eating gluten, and it not agreeing with me. Why it wasn’t discovered some 20 years ago when I first got it is a mystery, but it would appear it’s pretty unusual and easily mistaken for other skin complaints. Oh! and it’s usually men who get it.

It’s called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) and has been coined “one of the itchiest skin conditions you can experience”. Yep, I’ll vouch for that. I’ve made my skin bleed from scratching the damn things and walking around literally scratching your arse cheek or your elbows ain’t pretty or ladylike!

I discovered this revelation by chance. I was reading the very wonderful book called ‘Wheat Belly’ by Dr William Davis. I was already wheat free (generally) and was catching up on the new research into the problems linked with gluten intolerance. The section on skin complaints was right at the back, (you know, when you start to skip bits just so you can finish it?!) And I was stopped in my tracks by the description of my problem. So clear and concise that there was no doubt. But a coeliac? I could understand gluten intolerant I had already suspected I was, but coeliac?

It appears that if you have this condition you will have coeliac disease. However you won’t necessarily get this condition if you have coeliac disease. I could get it tested for confirmation, but I need to be eating a gluten full diet for the skin biopsy to be effective and quite frankly after the horrendous outbreak I’ve had since having just half a bottle of beer and some oats last week I am not doing that. It seems pretty clear to me that I have it.

The more I read about dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), the more I see that I have suffered with this since I was a child. Despite the recognisable symptoms of coeliac disease of diarrhoea and weight loss, I’ve had the opposite problem for as long as I can remember. That’s another clue.

Bloating, abdominal discomfort, extreme tiredness and itchiness when eating wheat or gluten foods. Yep, that’ll be me too.

So what does this mean?

Well it means no sneaky Cornish Pasty Co. pasties anymore :-). It also means much more label reading. For me to get rid of this ruddy awful DH condition I need to go gluten free. Maybe for as long as 4 years before it stops reoccurring. And then of course, keep that up for fear of reigniting the flame again. I’ll definitely need to get my gut healthy again and that is going to take some time too.

I now feel so pleased I KNOW WHAT IT IS! I am on a mission for gluten free food freedom! As you know I love to cook and bake and eat well. So this is a foodies dream really. It also ties in beautifully with the eating plan at Fit Camp and my love of all things health through nutrition. So watch this space.

You are about to witness a slow but sure return to a healthy functioning digestive system. A clearing up of itchy elbows and scratchy buttock cheeks and a range of new recipes to keep me happy in the kitchen.

So today…a vehicle for butter or cheese or toasting…a peanut butter and almond bread. It was divine!

Peanut butter, almond bread

If you are interested in my next and new dietary journey, follow me as I undertake to improve my health beyond anything I’ve experienced before. How exciting!

If you are interested in good health and nutrition please come along to my next talk
“Is your food healing or harming you? - The simple guide to feel-good eating.”
on Wednesday 22 May 14.00 at Wokingham Library.

 

 

Health & Nutrition News, Strickers Blog

100 days in…how is it going for you?

Today marks 100 days into 2013.

What have you done with it? Or did it pass you by in a blur of days like they always do?

If your New Years Resolution seems a long way off and the thought of making more fills you with dread. Change the rules.

Yep. Let’s start a mid-month resolution.

Decide that for 30 days you’ll make that change you’ve been promising to yourself for ages, but keep breaking.

Too long? Too scary? How about 14 days? 7 days? Hell, why not just do one day at a time! Now there’s an idea.

Take each day one at a time to make small steps to improving yourself. Perfect. I reckon that you can do that.

So what are you going to do today?

Because I am daft for 100 day challenges I am today on my final day of 100 days grain free. It’s been a doddle actually. Way easier than 100 days of 100 burpees!

Here’s what I’ve noticed.

The Costa Coffee shops I have been to don’t serve grain free things. Well, maybe chocolate but that’s never a good thing with coffee, way too addictive.

Starbucks are a bit better, but I like their coffee less.

I don’t miss pasta or pastry (got my own almond based recipe) bread or crackers. But I do miss what I put on them.

You see I love marmalade.  Toast and butter is perfect for that.

I am also rather partial to a cheese and piccalli sandwich, but merely for the vehicle in which to contain it all.

I was the Queen of the flapjack for a long time, but only because they are sweet, not necessarily because they are oats.

I have won the battle of an insatiable appetite and regular picking at food.

I have baked grain free birthday cakes and got through Easter without any glitches.

The niggly health issues which have substantially reduced or gone completely.

  • I don’t get tired mid-afternoon.
  • No wacky mood swings in the month.
  • No face spot break outs.
  • My weight is now stable and constant.
  • Improved, but not yet perfect digestion.
  • Much reduced but not yet completely removed skin inflammation (dermatitis herpetiformis) that I’ve had for 20 years, but only discovered what it was after reading the wonderful book called “Wheat Belly” by William Davis.

Will I keep it up? Almost certainly. You might find me eating some rice somewhere, but the benefits and ease of conforming are so easy that I can’t see why I would go back to eating grains (especially wheat) again.

And finally, for the record. I think I’ll give 100 Day Challenges a miss for the next section of the year, preferring to work just one day at a time, constantly heading in the right direction for me.

What about you?

FastTrack Fit Camp offering fantastic health and fitness advice in and around the Wokingham area.
14 April:  FastTrack Fit Camp and Berkshire Ballroom host a ‘Learn to Jive – Rock & Roll Taster’ session at 1400-1600. £7 per person. All welcome.
15 April: FastTrack Fit Camp Fund Raising Fiesta 1900-2000 Finchampstead. Fund raising for Karen running the London Marathon for Kids Kidney Research.
100 Day Challenge, Strickers Blog

The processed meat debate.

You may have heard the news about processed meat being linked to premature death today?

Lockey Farm Meat Chiller

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21682779

With this is the news I think people always do a quick mental check of their own eating habits to see whether they fit the category referred to by the report.

This research is about processed meats. Foods like bacon, hams, chorizo, salamis, cured meats, some sausages hot dogs and tinned meats.

It isn’t about minced meat, fresh farm made sausages, fresh 100% meat burgers or red meat in general.

It also states that the people who ate more of these processed meats tended  to have other poor lifestyle choices like being smokers, not taking exercise and eating fewer vegetables; and even when this was taken into account it is suggested that there was still some risk for people eating more than two rashers of bacon and a processed sausage each day.

If you are interested in living a longer, healthier life then it makes sense to ask questions about reports like this. For example I am not going to stop eating bacon. However I don’t eat bacon daily but when I do eat it, it will always be from outdoor bred pigs and organic if possible. The same goes for sausages, when I buy them they are from butchers who make them weekly with fresh meat with some herbs, spices and nothing else.

Yes, eating a lot of meat isn’t going to be the best choice for you (eating anything to excess is going to cause a dietary imbalance) however it was also noted in this report that eating some red meat is beneficial to health.

Meat contains the vitamin B12, a vitamin that is only found, in any great quantity, in animal products. A deficiency in B12 can cause nerve problems, so numbness or ‘pins and needles’ feelings. People who complain of a burning in their feet have been shown to be B12 deficient. Given the connection between our nervous system and our brains it is also not surprising that mental problems like depression can be linked to B12 deficiency.

It has been recommended that vegetarians and vegans not eating animal products should consider taking a B12 supplement considering that the vegetarian alternatives for B12 tend to not be as well utilised by our bodies. Vegetarian sources include tempeh, brewer’s yeast and some sea vegetables. This is a subject for another conversation though.

So to remain healthy and carnivorous ensure you keep to good lifestyle choices like not smoking, exercising regularly, having a good healthy work/life balance and eating a lot of varied vegetables. Eating vegetables with all meals but especially your meat meals will create a healthy balance in your body. When you eat animal products the body becomes acidic, too much acidity will lead to disease. When we eat vegetables we become more alkaline. Therefore eating meats and vegetables together provides not only a complete blend of nutrients per meal but the alkalinity of the vegetables will counteract the acidity of the meat.

Makes sense doesn’t it?

So how can you incorporate this into your own home?

  • Make your own burgers from fresh minced meat. Add seasoning, finely chopped onion and maybe an egg to bind together.
  • Choose sausages from a butchers rather than ‘Walls’. I use Lockey Farm in Arborfield and they make them each week in gluten free flavours too. These are the best as they are all meat and some flavouring. Lovely!
  • Rather than buying expensive chicken breasts, buy and cook a whole chicken. Use the cold meat where you may normally use processed ham in salads, sandwiches.
  • Mince cold, roasted meats (beef or lamb) for making into a Shepherd’s pie.
  • If you relish chorizo or salami, use more sparingly with other ingredients, like a risotto or paella.
  • If you really like ham, buy a gammon from the butcher and soak and boil it yourself to remove some of the salting. It’s still processed but you will have prepared it, made yourself a wonderful stock in the process and have the knowledge that it is better for you and your family than ‘Billy Bear’ ham slices.
  • Pile your plate high with vegetables at each meal.
  • Eat less bacon, but when you do, eat the best you can afford.
  • Finally, don’t worry too much about it. Have a sense of perspective too.

:-)

Health & Nutrition News, Strickers Blog

The Beauty of Watercress

I love watercress. The proper buy-in-a-bunch sort of watercress you can get from the market, not that frilly edged leaves all washed and pretty from the supermarkets.

So yesterday I managed to chuck a whole bunch of watercress into an omelette for lunch. It was a damn fine meal and as I sat there I was contemplating all the good stuff it gives me and thought I would share with you too the beauty of watercress.

First of all lets claify something about ‘green stuff’. The darker the ‘green’ the denser the nutrient content. So whilst iceburg lettuce isn’t bad, it certainly isn’t as benficial as something like rocket, or kale or watercress.

Historically watercress has been regarded as a bit of wonder-food. It was used medicinally as early as 79AD and continues to hold favour as being an incredib;y benefical food.

It is:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-biotic
  • A diuretic
  • A stimulant
  • An anti-septic
  • A digestive
  • An expectorant

It contains a lot of amino acids, vitamins (A , several B vitamins C, D, E, K) and minerals (calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, sodium, magnesium and copper)  in one small, peppery package!

It is also a food that is high in sulphur. Sulphur rich foods (like eggs, onions, garlic) are necessary for cell building, blood cleansing and healthy skin and hair.

After the seaweed kelp, watercress has been shown to contain more iodine than any other food. Iodine is very important for good thyroid function. Isn’t that a nicer way to improve your thyroid gland than taking medicine or hunting down seaweed?

Using watercress will benefit you in so many ways that to list them here would be tedious, but suffice to say that if will help with all manner of issues from stomach/ digestive problems, lowering inflammation thereby loweing choelsterol, coughs and colds, improving the menstrual cycle, alkalising the blood, improving indigestion and reliving stress, freshening breath (raw leaves) to name but a few.

So how can you include watercress in your diet more?

  • Chop raw leaves into your normal salad concoction.
  • Chew raw leaves from the garnish (I always eat the garnish!)
  • Chop and add into a casserole or bolognese just as you are about to serve.
  • Chuck into a stir-fry in the last minute of cooking.
  • Make into a soup (see below)
  • Add to smoothies or your juicer for a healthy kick start.
  • Add chopped into an onion omelette.
  • Use as a garnish alongside parsley or coriander.
  • Mash into potatoes with butter.

Or knock up a very quick soup.

Watercress Soup

50g butter or coconut oil
3 shallots,peeled and chopped (onion will be fine too)
300g (about 3-4 bunches) washed, roughly chopped watercress
1 litre stock ( I used the water I boiled gammon in, but you can use any flavour)
½ can coconut milk
Ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and gently cook the shallots and watercress for about 10-15 minutes, gently turning them in the butter every few minutes or so.

Add the stock and cook gently (no need to boil) for about 10 – 15 minutes.

Blend with a hand blender or in a food processor.

Add the coconut milk, taste for seasoning.

If you are already thinking, “ugh, I can’t stand the stuff!” — consider that when it is chopped finely and used as garnish or in salad with other leaves, you really won’t taste it. Honest! Just make sure you mix it through the other leaves well.

So, what are you waiting for?! Get out there and get some watercress into your life!

Health & Nutrition News, Recipes, Strickers Blog

National Chip Week ( 18-24 February 2013)

Oh yeah! It’s chip week!!

One thing we Brits can do well is a chip. The problem is we have to endure them fried in vegetable oils that have been heated and cooled over and over and over again and that’s just not any good at all. You can read all about that in my previous Heart Health Blog.

Had soggy chips? These are the ones cooked in vegetable oils. Crispy chips are much more likely to have been cooked in animal fats (think Christmas Day roasties cooked in goose fat!)

So, how should you cook a chip or two in honour of this week? Easy — like your Granny used to. In beef dripping or lard.

Chunky cut potatoes, shallow fried in lard, dripping or for the vegetarians – coconut oil. Alternatively you can roast them in the oven in the same way.

Go ahead and enjoy a chip meal this week!

 

Health & Nutrition News, Recipes, Strickers Blog

Are you still using margarine?

This month, February, is Heart Health month. An awareness campaign to get people to make lifestyle changes to lower their risk of heart disease.

I am all in favour of this, we need to make sure people aren’t ill unneccessarily or dying for the sake of some good information. And that is really where I have a problem with this campaign. The mantra still being touted is to increase wholewheat grains and reduce cholesterol and fats in the diet.

This isn’t really the answer and some refinement of the message and the reason why would be much more useful.

Here are some interesting facts about fat consumption in 1910.

Did you know that the lifetime risk of type II diabetes was 1 in 30? The lifetime risk today is 1 in 3 (according to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta.

Also that butter consumption in the USA was 18lbs per person per year. In the year 2000 butter consumption went below 4lbs. When butter was consumed liberally, mortality from heart disease was below 10%. Now the mortality from heart disease is 40 to 45%.

Whilst butter was being liberally consumed, pork lard (from outdoor reared pigs) was also the number one choice as a cooking fat. It was the best source of vitamin D and an excellent source of palmitoleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fatty acid that kills bacteria and viruses.

Our main consumption of cooking fat today comes from the highly processed soybean oil. It has 70% of the market and no vitamin D. The importance of vitamin D to our health cannot be overstated. There is a rising incidence of children with rickets as their bones are too soft and weak to support their growing bodies. Don’t even get me started on sun exposure…that’s another story for another time! :-)

In 1911 Proctor & Gamble introduced ‘vegetable shortening’ to the American housewives. This trans-fat was declared as the answer to all their problems from cost, taste and health. Crisco adverts were deliberately anti-animal fats. This hydrogenation process was new and had been developed by an English company trying to make candles out of artificially hardened fats. Proctor & Gamble bought the patent and transferred it to the food industry ultimately pushing harmful trans-fats on the unassuming public for many years.

So why is this so bad? Well until this time heart disease didn’t really exist, there was no name for it, obesity was rare and diabetes as I’ve shown was not the common disease it it today. What then has caused this unstoppable increase in girth, blood sugar and heart attacks? The answer? An introduction of vegetable and seed oils and over use and over processing of them. Isn’t is strange how when we were consuming animal fats our weight and blood sugar was manageable and now we are encouraged to eat ‘heart healthy sunflower oil’ cooked foods we are the sickest we have ever been?

In 1948 for example vegetable fat consumption was 28lbs per person, per year. By 1976 it was 55lbs. As obesity and diabetes became greater public health problems,  consumption of highly processed vegetable fat, including trans-fatty acids were climbing steadily and our intake of animal fats declining.

Despite the declarations from the British Heart Foundation website, eating natural saturated fats and cholesterol rich foods will not raise your cholesterol levels and having a high cholesterol level will not increase your risk of heart attack.

So what are the risk factors?

  • Eating too many processed foods containing vegetable oils.
  • Having too many refined grain and sugar based carbohydrate rich foods (cereal, bread, pasta, bagels, fizzy drinks, chocolate, sweets, crisps, snacks, crackers etc) will make you fat and increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
  • Smoking will increase your risk.
  • Chronic stress will increase your risk.
  • Don’t take drugs. Cocaine has been shown to seriously impact the heart.
  • Feeling out of control of your life (no support, poor career, bullying partner or boss, dissatisfaction with one’s life – all increase stress levels and lead to heart disease)

So how can you avoid it?

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Use high quality animal fats or coconut oil to cook with.
  • Avoid heat treated vegetable and seed oils in processed foods, crisps, fast food, takeaways etc.
  • Don’t fall for the marketing rubbish about ‘heart healthy’ or ‘cholesterol lowering’ margarines, spreads, cooking oils. It’s marketing. That is all.
  • Use cold pressed olive oil on your salads.
  • Reduce your consumption of sugar and processed grain based foods like bread, pasta, pizza, sweets etc.
  • Eat more vegetables.
  • Do exercise that you enjoy.
  • Have a support network of friends or family, church/club or group members that you can be part of.
  • A little alcohol regularly is not a problem. If you are overweight, drink ½ a bottle of wine each night, drink to get drunk or save your drinking for the weekend binge. That is a problem.
  • Choose to be happy despite whatever other other crap is going on.

One final story…

In 1955 President Eisenhower suffered with a heart attack at the age 64. His cholesterol was 165 ml/dl at this time. He was put on a very highly publicised low fat, low cholesterol diet. This poor man was told to lower his cholesterol and eat dry toast and drink decaffeinated instant coffee for breakfast and eat only one egg per week. However, guess what? His cholesterol continued to climb on this regime until it reached 259 ml/dl the day he left office. He had several more heart attacks and eventually died of heart disease.

This is one of many hundreds of stories of people who when told to follow a ‘heart healthy’ diet, end up getting more ill and more at risk of what they are trying to avoid.

I use a lot of eggs, grass fed butter, duck and goose fats, coconut oil, lard in my roasting and cooking. You know what? It tastes good! It doesn’t make you fat and it’s healthy. Enjoy!

Health & Nutrition News, Strickers Blog

100 days to May.

Today is February 7th and it’s 100 days until my birthday. Yes I did count them, but it’s a nice manageable number of days for a challenge. I proved that already with my 100 Days of Fitness last year so I know it works. But to make it different….hmmm?

This 100DC will have several components.

  • A fitness component.
  • A ‘life’ thingamajig
  • A health doo-dah.

Fitness component is 100 reps. The idea is that each day I drop a burpee and gain a press up. Today I did 90 burpees and 10 full press ups. We’ll see how that goes! I knew I could do 100 burpees a day for 100 days. That was a matter of grit and promise. But press ups? We’ll see!

Life thingamajig. This first one is take a photo for 25 days of something that is in the wrong place. Like this…

And also a pic on my walk in the same place each day until May 18.

A health doo-dah…hmm, well I think I’d better start by listening to my own advice and drink more water. I am pretty rubbish at that. Two litres a day it is.

100 Day Challenge, Strickers Blog

Adding a new skill…

You’ve probably gathered by now that I like learning. In fact I get a bit twitchy when I haven’t done a course for a while, so I feel really delighted that I bit the bullet last October at the National Achievers Congress and signed myself up for a Public Speaking course with Andy Harrington.

I have no fear of speaking in public, teaching exercise knocks any fear of that right out of you, but I know my weaknesses and I really wanted to know how to make the whole art of public speaking look … well…easy!

The course was a four day affair in Heathrow and on day one saw about 105 people register and start.  Over the space of the next four days however as the pressure started to mount a little that number dwindled as people found reasons not to come back. All I can say to that is ‘what a shame!’.  It was such a huge opportunity to learn from someone who is an expert in his field. Someone who can help, mould and shape you to be brilliant and you then walk away when it gets a bit tough? That wasn’t going to be me!

Over the 4 days we moved from doing a 1-2 minute presentation on day one to a 25 minute presentation on day 4. What a change we could see in everyone and what support everyone gave each other, it was a very supportive and friendly environment to learn in.

I spent most of the weekend talking to myself and at times I drove myself mad with repeating the same old stuff, but it did get better and I did feel more conversational in my delivery. My only real problem with the weekend was being so deep in my thoughts and speaking one night on the way home that I whizzed past my exit on the M4 making the whole journey a whole lot longer!

I’ve taken the next step to further improve by applying for and being accepted to be part of the Public Speakers Academy. This is more daunting than the course itself, it’s another unknown. But then again what’s the saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”? It aint gonna kill me, so watch me grow in strength as I tackle this next challenge!

Strickers Blog

100 Day Challenge: Grain free for 27 days…

Two weeks on from my last post and I am still on my grain free journey. It’s a lot easier than my 100 day burpee challenge that’s for sure!

In terms of any changes to my health I have noticed that I don’t get tired mid-afternoon. I didn’t suffer from this a lot, but there were times when I was looking at my PC but not really getting anything much achieved. I also have no bloating unless I eat beans or lentils. These are very inflammatory for me and whilst I really like them I have to think twice about adding them to meals.

I am usually a pretty stable, happy kind of person, but pre-menstrually I can get a bit insular, low and have self-doubting chat rattling around in my head for about a day or so. I also get physical symptoms of breast soreness and stomach bloat. This month though all of these things are much less significant, so as not to be really noticeable.

My weight is stable, my digestion and sleep good and I feel in good shape all the time, I don’t seem to have ‘fat days’ anymore. I am sure some ladies know what I mean by that.

I’ve eaten out a few times for various reasons this month. This is how I’ve coped.

1. Rugby Club buffet – most of it was covered in or sat on a wheat based item. Or, was to be served with bread. I had lots of lettuce (no one eats that at buffets anyway), cherry tomatoes, grapes, cheese, ham, celery, nuts.

2. Breakfast Networking meeting: never eat the food here, it’s rubbish! All in pappy white rolls with margarine.

3. Meal out with Dale: Indian buffet, I avoided the rice, naan and batter covered items as no one could be sure as to what they were covered with. I had pretty much everything else! The plate was loaded and yes I included dahl and yes I regretted it! Chose wine over beer and didn’t feel deprived at all.

4. Lunchtime networking meeting: hot buffet — there were no grains served with the hot meal, but cheesecake for dessert, so avoided that and had fruit instead.

My own home meals have been along these lines.

Breakfast:

Anything with eggs
Baked goats cheese on beef tomato and leaves
Greek yoghurt, seeds and dried fruit
Grain free Lorne sausage and tomato and leaves

Lorne Sausage

Lunch:

Almost always a large salad with some protein like home made burgers, chicken, cheese, accompanied by olives.
Soup with a home made grain free cheese scone (lordy they were good!)

Dinner:

Thai curry and carrot bhaji
Roast chicken and sticky carrots with stir fried Brussels
Paprika pork and split peas
Carrot and coriander soup
Cod wrapped in bacon
Braised Texan Beef with roast veg
Honeyed Salmon and sweet potato wedges
Home made Chinese pork burgers and stir fried veg (probably Brussels because I have discovered how much I like them :-D )

Grain free cheese scones

My desire to bake has manifested with creations like:

Grain free pecan pie
Grain free rhubarb crumble
Mincemeat and apple flan
Tahini cookies
Peanut butter cookies
Persimmon cake

Grain Free Pecan Pie

Look! I am still alive and I didn’t eat bread or rice. I also haven’t missed out one bit! I am now a quarter of the way through, see you in a fortnight!

100 Day Challenge, Strickers Blog

100 Day Challenge: Grain free and 13 days down…

You’ve probably gathered by now that I like to do ‘stuff’ that stimulates or challenges or focuses my mind. The burpees seem a long time ago already and I am now fully ensconced in a grain free existence.

Why? well thank, you for asking!

Even though I consider that I eat well and work on keeping myself healthy I do have niggly health problems that I’ve become used to and really shouldn’t have to. I am a great believer in our bodies working well and being pain or disease free.  I don’t consider that I am anywhere near deterioration age yet, so I need to wheedle out the offending problems and take stock.

I have read lots of nutrition books and also done mini-tests on myself and have seen a big improvement in how I feel and function when I go at least wheat free, so thought it was time for a grain free existence.

I am 2 weeks in and am feeling good, not at all deprived and know that I have eaten well in that time. I haven’t really done any exercise since the last day of the 100 burpees (the odd flurry of burpees on 3 days, but that is all) and my weight has already dropped by a few pounds my and stomach shrunk already.

I am rarely hungry and never knawingly so and am sleeping well, have good concentration and focus and energy.

As I am sure many of you know my passion is food and the making of it. It’s not unusual for me to get twitchy to do some baking and so in the last 2 weeks I have concocted grain free cake, flan, biscuits and fritters. All is good when I am cooking! :-)

It should be of no surprise to you that if I am grain free, then the family tag along behind by default. But it has worked well for them too with weight being dropped by all of us and reduction in bloating, stomach size and less wind (thankfully!)

For those of you wondering what on earth I eat now there is no bread or pasta, here we go with a few of my meals for the last 2 weeks.

Bacon and mushroom omelette

Breakfast

  • Omelettes
  • Grilled goats cheese and spinach
  • Natural yoghurt, nuts and seeds
  • Smoothie
  • Scrambled eggs on sliced tomatoes and ham
  • Nothing

Burgers & Salad

Lunch Choices

  • Avocado salad and seeds
  • Cold meat salad
  • Homemade baked beans
  • Chunky soups
  • Jacket potato
  • Omelette (if not at breakfast)

Sea Bass & Stir-fried veggies

Dinner Choices

  • Shepherds Pie (topped with potato and swede)
  • Roast lamb and roast vegetables
  • Chicken and leek pie (topped with mash)
  • Baked Sea Bass and stir-fried vegetables
  • Chinese pork burgers with stir-fired vegetables
  • Meat loaf and onion sauce with steamed green vegetables
  • Roast gammon with roasted shallots, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes and garlic.
  • Steak & Kidney casserole, pile of cabbage
  • Curried mince and carrot bhajis

Chocolate Flan

Snacks and desserts: I am not really a very big snacker but even more so now that I have gone grain free. My appetite is much reduced and so the need to eat every 2-3 hours has gone. However my need to cook hasn’t, so I  here is what I have made and snacked on since 1 January.

  • Carrot cake (grain free, dairy free and sugar free too)
  • Peanut butter cookies (grain free, sugar free)
  • Chocolate flan (grain free, dairy free, sugar free)
  • Choc chip cookies (grain free)
  • Fruit smoothies
  • Fruit and nuts
  • Cherry tomatoes ( I eat these like grapes)
  • Homemade nak’d bars
  • Fruit salad

So with two weeks I can see it’s going to be more a voyage of health discovery rather than food discovery because I am not concerned by not eating the grains. I have no issue with not eating rice with curry or toast with beans and am really enjoying seeing how much better I feel without the heavy, bloaty-ness feeling after grain meals .

I’ll be back in 2 weeks to keep you posted!

100 Day Challenge, Strickers Blog