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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It’s actually really difficult to over eat with whole foods. Plus sit down paddle boarding (I’m working on it).

Aside from missing certain foods such as an ice cream when I was at the beach with my son’s (they both had huge ones) one of the big struggles I’m having is getting enough calories especially on training days.

Today for example I burned (according to Garmin) 1000 calories across one dog walk and 2 CrossFits. Now as I’m trying to gain muscle and strength that requires a surplus on weight training days. Even a slight surplus. Which means getting around 2800 calories in my face. Sounds like bliss right? But in your head you probably aren’t thinking eggs, meat and potatoes rather pizza or something else highly caloric.

The great thing and in this current situation the difficult thing is that whole foods contain fibre, protein and fats all of which fill you up.

In fact I’ve found one interesting thing, take all the refined sugar out of your diet and you get full very quickly. Even removing the low amount of sugar in my diet before this fundraising year has had an impact. Some researchers suggest this is due to lowering of insulin levels throughout the body.

It does make me wonder if our modern food is simply too caloric and not satisfying enough. This would make it easy to over eat. I’m not however a nutritionalist just a woman with a blog having a ponder.

I didn’t get the chance to blog yesterday, but it was fabulous day. My son’s and I went stand up paddle boarding, well I mainly went sit down paddle boarding. I did stand a few times but went straight over fairly quickly. I’m blaming the broken toes, or the waves or something else. It was huge fun though and I definitely want to try it again, I’m just trying to find somewhere that I can hire paddleboards for a couple of hours without it costing a fortune each week. The only photo of us is with the small humans also paddleboarding that day.

Meals of note in the past two days

Yesterday was eating out at the beach and the safest option sugar free wise was mackerel and salad. It was actually wonderful.

Today to get a few extra calories in meatballs and spuds with broccoli and a homemade sauce (really easy just passatta, dried oregano, dried garlic and fresh basil at the end of cooking). It was lovely but I did leave two spuds.

Dog walk today was a trip through fields and by the castle, next to river was good and cool for J dog. Kids here are so lucky to be able to grow up playing in the river across the summer. Having grown up in a city I just think it’s wonderful to have all this within walking distance.

I’m off to eat some strawberries and cream now.

If you find anything of interest or use in my blog please consider sponsoring me and help work towards a cure for Cowden Syndrome. Thank you.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sugarfreeyear

Featured image is a floral celebration of the moon landing J dog and I saw on our walk.

Exercise experimentation and sugar free struggle.

I found out at a patient meeting Charlotte and I went to last week (I’ll post about it properly tomorrow when I have time) that her low muscle tone is most likely part of her PTEN disorder (Cowden Syndrome). Now I’ve always struggled to put muscle on too but not to the same degree as Charlotte till perimenopause. Which puts us at a similar place.

My coach Hesus and I are going to experiment with ways to build strength in me (a naturally non muscular) person and then translate that to Charlotte as she gets well enough to start weight bearing exercise.

Weight bearing exercise is extremely important for her, not just because of her hyperflexibility and lack of strength. She had thyroid cancer which meant the removal of her thyroid, it also means she is kept on a higher dose of thyroxine in order to keep her risk of thyroid cells regrowth and subsequent cancer low. This carries with it a big risk of osteoporosis. Exercise will be vital then for her bone health.

She also along with chronic fatigue syndrome has POTs (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) which is greatly helped be exercise.

Today was my first day of this new program. I’m excited to be starting something that might help her.

I did however find it hard. It’s tough to do things we aren’t good at, there’s a certain amount of mental struggle. But I believe it will be worth it.

My younger son was going to come to join in but couldn’t make it. He did come home for dinner though and wow he’s looking so well. His skin is amazing. I can’t wait to see how well he looks a few weeks further down the line.

Speaking of dinner now here’s my struggle. Calories. On training days to gain strength I should eat at least 2000, sounds simple. Sugar free it’s actually not. 2000 calories of whole foods is actually a heck of a lot of food. I’ve hit the calories but not quite enough carbs and honestly I couldn’t eat any more if you paid me!!!

This evening Jasper and I went for a wood walk, it’s a few minutes drive from our house and lovely and cool on a hot day like this. Plus it’s very pretty.

If you find anything of interest or use in my blog please consider sponsoring me and help work towards a cure for Cowden Syndrome. Thank you.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sugarfreeyear

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.

Quick update

Not been brilliant at blogging this week, life has been rather arsey and is continuing to be so.

I’ve kept up with the no sugar no booze thing, regardless even if I haven’t blogged about it. My cunning plan is to screenshot a weeks worth of my fitness Pal data tomorrow once the full 7 days have passed. Clever huh!

The sticky points this week have been resisting the urge to bury my face in cake when feeling rather heartbroken over a few things equally while resisting drowning myself in wine. It wouldn’t make anything any better, but, oh nice things, I don’t think anything will improve either to be honest. I’m in a situation where I can’t see anyway forward. That has made the desire to comfort with food or drink very strong. Food and emotions are very much intertwined.

I’ve started experimenting with making bread as I miss toast and all processed gluten free bread has refined sugar in. This soda bread made with half buckwheat and half gluten-free flour turned out ok but a little crumbly. I’ve tried again today with the addition of xanthan gum, once I get it to work well I’ll share the recipe.

The other tricky time was eating lunch out with my son and a lovely friend. I found a soup I could have but the temptation of the sweet stuff!!! Oh so hard. But if this year is to work I have to cope with the tough stuff without caving and socialise as normal without caving.

Jasper and I have in the middle of this otherwise rubbish week had some lovely dog walks, particularly at Beadnell. I spend more time than I use at Beadnell right now as eldest child has a job there that seems to involve a lot of me driving him there after missed buses.

Exercise has been plentiful and abundant, mostly CrossFit but I also turn on the “cardio” button on my Garmin when gardening. I want those extra calories!!

We had a runaway cat wise who went out then forgot to return for a couple of days. He brought us many dead birds as way of apology. I wish he wouldn’t. Little s**t!

If you find anything of interest or use in my blog please consider sponsoring me and help work towards a cure for Cowden Syndrome. Thank you.

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sugarfreeyear