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


Crackers with smoked salmon and cream cheese


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


Parsnip and cauliflower soup with crackers and butter.


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 6- dog walk, CrossFit and struggling to eat enough

I slept for 11 hours last night. I think I needed it too. I didn’t really sleep the night before I rarely do the night before Charlotte seeing the oncologist and there are other stresses going on that I can’t talk about here. But boy did I sleep last night! Partly helped by it being the time of year I need to take antihistamines which always make me a little sleepy. Poor Jasper dog though, it was a clear 12 hours since the last time he’d been let out for the loo. I’m amazed he didn’t shoot straight out of the door!

I had a little extra time this morning so made museli, I found earlier in the week that toasting half of the oats makes a huge difference texture wise, sweetness came from finely chopped dates and half an apple each. I love food which isn’t going to change across this year so I’m going to have to put a little extra effort into making sure it’s tasty.

Speaking of which I bought a new cookbook to puruse, The How Not to Die Cookbook. I am not sure I am entirely on board with the full on message of the original book but I certainly know with these kind of books in going to find some decent veg based sugar free meals. I’m quite excited to look at it later.

One of the issues I’m having at the moment is getting enough calories in, especially on training days. I suspect I’ll be eating a whole lot of avocados and peanut butter this year!

Costa for a coffee with a friend was so filled with lovely smells and tempting things. I am going to miss hot chocolate very much this year but a cappuccino with cinnamon was still lovely.

Today’s food in pictures and words


Home made museli, oats, dates, apple, blueberries and unsweetened almond milk.


Curried Cauliflower soup

Salmon, salad leaves and a kiwi.


2 boiled eggs, salad, pecans, blackberries.


Avocado mousse made with an avocado, raspberries and coconut milk.

Skinny cappuccino at Costa with cinnamon on the top rather than chocolate

Today’s exercise

First a dog walk with Jasper, a fairly slow amble along the old Alnwick to Alnmouth railway tracks which are gradually being restored. It’s a lovely walk especially on a rainy day when quiet. Jasper wasn’t too impressed by puddles up to his arm pits though! My Star Lord jacket is awesome at keeping me dry though. Not sure how someone managed to go home without their underwear though!!

Later in the afternoon I practiced Ashtanga standing series to warm up for CrossFit then it was as below. Certainly a lot to get through but it felt really, really good today. You know when you have one of those workouts that just feel amazing. Pretty rare at times but this was one of them.

Don’t forget why I’m doing this and sponsor me please

Day 5 – Why am I doing this challenge?

Today was a check up for my daughter, she’s now on 6 monthly oncology appointments and 3 years into remission. You would think that means she’s pretty much out of the woods but after her cancer diagnosis she tested positive for a PTEN gene disorder and along with other markers was diagnosed with Cowden Syndrome. Put in simple terms she has a gene defect in a tumor suppressor gene which means she is at high risk of both benign and cancerous tumors. The risks are quite harrowing:-

Lifetime Risk with PHTS (%)

Average Age at presentation

Breast 85 % – 40s

Thyroid 35 % – 30s-40s

Renal Cell 34 % – 50s

Endometrial 28 % – 40s-50s

Colon 9 %- 40s

Melanoma 6 %- 40s

My daughter was 10 when she developed thyroid cancer.

The check up went well, there is a new lump in her breast they want to look at but aren’t too concerned.

Last year I undertook a fundraising year of 260 CrossFit workouts. It was tremendous and the amount of support I received from friends and family was wonderful. I wanted to do a second one starting on the 3rd anniversary of her radiation treatment. Of course I couldn’t do the same thing again and what does and doesn’t contribute to all of our risks to cancer, so I chose one product that has been proven to have links to cancer (alcohol) and one that is often accused wrongly of being linked (sugar) – don’t get me wrong I know sugar is guilty of many, many things. But feeding cancer has no scientific base. I also figure to get people to sponsor me I have to suffer and of course being my daughters full time carer as cancer left her with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and oostural Orthostatic Tachycardia syndrome I can’t really take on an away from home challenge.

Anyway so that’s us up to date with where I’m at. Back to today. The only difficult point was eating out but thank heavens there is a wonderful whole food vegan cafe in Newcastle (you don’t need to be vegan to eat plant foods)

They were wonderful and I had a delicious but burger after checking ingredients with the guys.

What I ate today in pictures and words- I was better at the photos today!


Soaked oats, coconut milk, almond milk, apple, blueberries.


Nut burger, roast potatoes, coleslaw, green leaves.


Eggs, smoked salmon.


Date bar, 100 % dark chocolate with orange oil

Total sugars and breakdown


So I have been terrible in updating this blog, the challenge I set myself plus work looking after poorly girl, homeschooling etc frankly have left me exhausted. I have however reached over the 200 mark! I can run now, I’m not a brilliant runner but I can do it and even more excitingly I am setting up my own CrossFit interbox throwdown, all in aid of charity and of course having fun!.

Power cleans are fun

Day 17/260

Still feeling rather unwell but you know I went to the gym regardless. I saw the whole thing as a chip away at it workout, just take my time and get through it. Surprisingly even though I feel lousy power cleans felt pretty good. I only went to 50kg with the deadlifts not daft enough to do myself a mischief when I’m not at my best. Tomorrow is a rest day hurrah!. Afterwards I was given the best and I mean the best gluten free carrot in the universe by the lovely gorgeous Kate Chandler there’s still more left in The Pineapple Cafe if you are local. Go get some!
Yoga – Ashtanga standing sequence

5X3 @85%



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