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.

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

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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.

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