Gingerbread bake, steam trains and record players.

Today’s been one of those slightly surreal days that felt like timey wimey stuff was going on. The dog walk was down at what’s called round here “the tracks” it’s where a disused railway line that use to connect Alnwick to mainlines ran. Except now it’s no longer disused, thanks to the work of volunteers the tracks have been relaid and will eventually connect to Alnmouth station. Throughout the year various events are held steam trains, diesel trains running etc today it was steam. You can check out the events here Aln Valley Railway

There’s a certain beauty to old steam trains and what a place do we live in where one direction we are walking next to a river, another a castle another a wood or a beach another still a stream train!

Then after dog was walked it was home to bake something for daughter. I’m attempting to find a gingerbread style recipe using bananas for sweetness. It was a semi success today but I think I need to spread it thinner to make it more biscuit like. I’ll share if I get it too work. Daughter likes it anyway.

After that she and I played around with a record player her Grandmama had kindly given her. Such a nostalgic weirdness listening to records from when I was a teen with my teen, some of which I haven’t heard since then.

Oh and it appears that the only thing that had been keeping my heart beating was caffeine and sugar as since giving both up my heart rate just keeps getting slower!

Hope your weekend has been a good one thus far!

This cat says his has been amazing, but please put me down.

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CrossFit, weekend treats and family time.

My elder son was in CrossFit contest today which we went down to watch for a couple of hours. My younger son came too to support him which was actually really nice. I haven’t spent time with him in a long while and it was pleasant to remember that actually we do get along and have many things in common, sense of humour included. He’s looking really well too which was lovely to see.

The weather wasn’t kind to those competing and seemed to flip from raining to sun and back again. So it was either too hot or drenched through. You can see how wet it is by the reflections! We weren’t close enough and my phone camera isn’t good enough to get decent photos of my son as he was on the far side, but he’s the blue t-shirt on the way over the fence.

This is a picture of all the competitors from our gym together looking rather damp. My elder son is the slightly taller one with his shirt off.

After that it was back to more mundane weekend stuff, washing dog walk etc. I did take Jasper on one of his favourite long dog walks which involves passing sheep, a wood and a castle. Along the way we also saw a family of ducks and a pair of beautiful dragon flies

Tonight of course is Saturday evening and I must admit I do like something enjoyable with a film. This week it was cherry and banana “ice cream” (basically blended together) and plain popcorn. Honestly it was amazing fake ice cream especially with extra cinamon in.

My total sugars today were the highest they’ve been since I started this challenge. I’ve had such a headache today and just wanted fruit. As the point of this year isn’t to avoid sugar but refined sugar why the heck not. I’ll be doing a weeks total sugars tomorrow same as last week.

Day 9 – Father’s day pie, struggling with life stuff. Charlotte and POTs

Father’s Day, which 2/3 of our children basically forgot. The one with a job hastily threw money at the problem… literally. The one without went for the time old classic “it’s lost in the post” oh his great great great great grandfather would be proud. Apparently the old ones are the good uns including with excuses. He then turned it round to he would be able to prove this but he couldn’t because evil evil mam had confiscated his phone and he only has access to that email from his phone. Not from a computer. For reasons. Of course. The girl had bought father’s Day stuff probably the day after last year’s father’s Day just in case. She’s going to be one of those folk who finish Xmas shopping in April and wrapping by May.

It’s looking likely that Charlotte throwing up, violently, All day was in fact due to Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. A quick read on the webs and it seems this indeed can be a thing with POTs. We need to see someone about this as she was in a real state. Which left me 80% worried about her and 20% feeling guilty as I had social out out plans that I’d wanted to keep and couldn’t. One of the tough things about being a carer is feeling guilty if you ever feel disappointed. Of course the sick person had it worse and that’s where the guilt comes from but it’s tough not being able to make plans and stick to them. People who haven’t been in the situation or one similar simply don’t understand, they think you’re just unreliable, flaky or making excuses. After a while a lot of people just stop inviting you. Which sucks. But it’s part of living with a chronic illness or caring for someone with a chronic illness. I still wouldn’t change my girl for the world.

Food in words and pictures

Breakfast

Berries, goat yoghurt cacao nibs

Lunch

Shepherd pie – homemade with turkey mince, carrot peas, chicken stock, potatoes, sweet potatoes

Dinner

Home made popcorn with salt, cocoa, made with cocoa powder and unsweetened almond milk

Total sugar

Today’s exercise

A dog walk into Alnwick centre around it and back home. Fun fact where we live has a large castle Alnwick castle and the town use to reside within a wall. The street either is named Bondgate Within and Bondgate Without.

This is the old gate

A little thing on the way home made me happy, these lovely yellow flowers.

Then it was a yoga plus CrossFit session

Day 8 – I slept through the night

Last night I slept through the night for the first time I can remember unmedicated (there have been short periods of time across Charlotte’s cancer journey where I’ve used sleeping pills) No shame about it either). Anyway I have in my mid 40s accepted waking usually a couple of times a night as part of middle age. Kind of have v just have been one of those rare blessed nights allowing me to snooze 10.30 to 6 undisturbed, or could even the relatively low level of refined sugar I was enjoying across the week have been causing an issue. I guess I’ll find out over the next few days, weeks and months.

I took Charlotte to The Mighty Dub fest, a VW festival that takes place in Alnwick. We walked there with Jasper the dog. She was so looking forward to it but within 20 mins and a quick whizz round in a waltzer she had a huge chronic fatigue flare up. I had to wrap her around me and haul her to the road where her dad could pick us up. Of course people thought my teenage daughter was drunk, some shock their heads others even tutted. Of course a teenager can’t be ill or disabled, they must be up to no good. When the truth is my daughter has chronic fatigue syndrome, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and is autistic all of which are linked to her Cowden Syndrome.

Poor kid, she wanted to have a good day our and ended up broken. This is why I’m fundraising for research into Cowden Syndrome. I want a future for her and for kids like her. Without Cowden Syndrome she wouldn’t have had cancer and wouldn’t now how chronic fatigue syndrome or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome

Before we left I did buy a bowler hat though. I suspect I will wear it a lot!

I should be out socialising tonight but she is so poorly right now I couldn’t possibly leave her. It’s tough for both of us, I had plans tonight she had plans tomorrow neither will happen. Such is the way with chronic illnesses.

On a different point I had a couple of interesting finds that will allow me to add flavour to food. A vanilla paste and orange oil, both with neither sugar nor alcohol.

Todays food in pictures and words

Breakfast

Crackers with smoked salmon and cream cheese

Lunch

Fries at the festival followed by a quinoa salad with asparagus, boiled eggs and a date thingy.

Dinner

Parsnip and cauliflower soup with crackers and butter.

Snacks

Banana ice cream made with frozen bananas, frozen fruit and the vanilla pods I acquired..

A smidge of dark chocolate

I really, really wanted a gin tonight, I’m not a big drinker but 2 or 3 singles on a sat night especially when stressed (which I always am when she’s poorly) is lush.

Oh my god the ice cream is amazing. So simple too, 1.5 frozen bananas, 100g frozen berries a splash of almond milk and the vanilla paste (a smidge).

Of course it is quite high natural sugars wise so whether this is better for me than normal ice-cream I have yet to be convinced!

Total sugars

Day 7 – 1 week down, 1 finished tattoo, 1 wet run and stock cube stress

Morning

Well it’s safe to say my digestive tract has noticed the extra fibre. I won’t go into too much detail but don’t want to be too far from a toilet at the mo. I’m sure that will settle down.

Today is an exciting one, I’m having the tattoo of the Goddess Isis on my right forearm finished off. First I need to run and get some uni work done. Oh please let it be dry on the beach, I’m sick of rainy walks and runs this week, fairly sure Jasper dog feels the same especially after yesterday’s walk where his belly willy spent a significant amount of time in cold muddy water. He’s really not keen on his silly belly willy being submerged, he does this weird arch back to try and pull it out of water which is hilarious.

Later today

Well it’s safe to we weren’t lucky as far as avoiding the rain goes. In fact dog and I were drenched. My coach Hesus wants me to keep my heart rate down as I extend my run time. I’m rubbish at pacing so at the moment I’m doing 2 mins run 45 sec walk to drop my heart back down. Seems to be working ok. Although wet and windy it was still an enjoyable 5 miles up and down the beach. I tried to get a cute photo of me and dog at the end of the run, you know like other people do. I failed entirely so here’s one of me looking wet and drunk (not actually drunk of course, red eyed from the rain) holding an unhappy dog in the rain.

Suprisingly though my recover and heart rate generally seem to have improved vo2 max wise and according to Garmin my fit age is 26 well as I approach my 46 birthday in a few weeks time I’m happy with that!

Later, later today my Isis tattoo is finished and I absolutely love her

It’s also just such a cool little shop

https://m.facebook.com/elementaltattoopiercing

Today’s food in pictures and words:-

Breakfast

Squished avocado with a bit of chilli and paprika on Nairn’s crackers.

Lunch

Roasted chickpeas, quinoa cooked in various spices, salad with apple, cashew nuts and lemon with olive oil dressing.

Dinner

Stuffed mushrooms (adapted from the Deliciously Ella original cookbook). I add spinach leaves and passatta. (Slightly burned today! Oops)

With grated and slowly stir fried veg, kinda a veggie bubble n squeek or cauliflower rice with other stuff if you’re a hipster.

Snacks

Salted popcorn, cocoa with unsweetened almond milk and chilli powder.

100% dark chocolate

I had a really argghh moment when I wanted to use a stock cube and couldn’t. I just wanted to make stock dammit. I need to find some sugar free stock. Then another when my husband brought home jelly beans from working away, I soooo wanted a jelly bean.

He did bring me back some Mandela tea though which is an interesting concept. Can you imagine a Margaret Thatcher tea? Would have to be a very traditional strong with milk. No sweetness allowed, or untraditional milks

Total sugars etc