Thursday, 30 April 2015

Mindful Eating and food relationships.

Mindful eating???? What? Hi guys, everyone this blog will now have a few posts now and then about eating and exercising and changing some ingrained habits for improved, increased health as well as lots of fun and pure simple joy.
Needing to reshape myself due to overeating and stress during my studies and issues at home in 2013 and 2014 I no longer fit into some of my best and favourite dresses, so something has to be done.

I have a target: a particular size 12 ( SMALLISH 12) navy lace swirly dress that I wish to dance in at Summer school at St Andrews this August ( 2- 9 th August).Such a specific target or goal always helps enormously, but also my plantar fasciitis is back with a lot of pain when walking and dancing and being overweight makes it worse so dispensing with 19 lbs or so should make it a whole lot better. Essential for a week of dancing morning, noon and night! ( St Andrews!)

So having dieted a lot in the past 4 decades I am trying an entirely different approach albeit with similar elements to 2012: I am doing it with Weight Watcher's support systems.
The best bits from that are the weekly public weigh-ins which make you think during the week and sometimes stop what you would otherwise eat without thinking. Secondly there's the support and ideas from the group as I stay for the half hour of chat and sharing.
Thirdly there's the cost of it, I always do better if I can save money by sticking to a plan!
So if I do it properly I will reach goal sooner and save attendance fees...
 From not eating breakfast or 3-4 pieces of toast ( 12 propoints) I have gone to the porridge option, made with water- I have now learned how NOT to let it explode in the microwave- and I add fruit or chocolate drink powder: Options Belgian choc is a favourite.
 I am reading these books:
 LOVING Andy's book and the online meditation option! I have now meditated for 10 minutes 5 times and it's working! Calmer and clearer, decisions made easier.
 BLUEBERRIES! Used to hate them but found if cooked with lemon and 50/50 Canderel and 1 teaspoon sugar they become deliciously fabulous.
 I know it doesn;t look so pretty but it IS delicious, blueberry porridge.
 How about a prawn stir fry? Yummy.
 And I have discovered this:
 Now it's a 5 propoint meal: a little cheddar, herbs and some tomato puree?
 And for my birthday my daughter baked me this WW fig and muscavado cake:
 It was so lovely we ate it before a photo could be taken, oops.
 Porridge with pineapple!
 The making of a mushroom risotto:

 Voila! A mere 20-30 minutes later a lovely 8 propoint meal.
Then on a Sunday I made Brocoli and Stilton soup: a Nigella recipe but can be fitted into WW.

 And on another day: pasta again.

 It's very unappealing before the sauce! Both in seeing it and eating it.
 With a little pesto and vegetables! Crunch, yum.
 An eggy and red pepper lunch!
 Strawberries and crunched up Amaretti biscuits with Strawberry Fruitopolis yoghurt.
Now this is where mindful eating comes in. NO DISTRACTIONS!
Just you and your food, seeing it, smelling it, tasting it, feeling it, chewing slowly and really ENJOYING it. A loving relationship with the food you are eating.
 Green beans steamed to perfection: wow, yummy! I was amazed to discover how fast I always eat. Even when chewing I'm lining up the next mouthful as if it's a race! And I always did it WITH something else. ALWAYS. Usually TV or a book to read or a magazine.Or at the computer at work, clicking way and munching mindlessly. Never just me and the food.
Maybe I hardly even noticed the food! And usually surprised when it's finished . ''Already!
Where did it go? Oh I MUST have some more. I'm still hungry? ''
Always so RUSHED! And distracted. Not focused, not calm , not paying attention. Panicky rush as if the food will be taken away any minute. ( Not that it ever was)
Pasta again, Linguini this time, with paprika flavour-pots and a tad of crumbled stock cube,
Should have been with the beans but this way I had TWO bowls to eat slowly and mindfully.
This was a little peppery on the tongue which I was not sure about, but delightfully chewy.
It's only been 2 .5 weeks thus far but there have been positive reading on the scales at WW ( 2 meetings to date) and there's 4 lbs that's no longer ''on'' me.
Let's continue the journey.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Flower Crochet and other crochet projects

The flowers planted on 6th April are thriving in all the sunny weather we've been having and I have been watering them every evening before I walk the dogs.

They were the inspiration for a flowers crochet class I was invited to teach the other evening.
I was delighted to be asked and planned an evening including small pretty folded petal flowers, some rolled roses and the traditional three layered Irish rose.
Now I know that did not include pansies or anemones but this was an introduction to crocheting flowers and those other types would follow in due course...
Here are some of the wonderful flowers that were crocheted by the lovely ladies I was teaching:

And by the end of a very busy and intensive evening, there were 10 Irish roses to be admired!
 WOW: aren't these amazing? Didn't my lovely ladies do well?!

I also have had a few projects that have been crocheted in spare moments and evenings and they are coming to completion about now:
First a silk yarn bought many years ago at a Knitting and Stitching show in London: I finally found a stitch pattern to do it justice and a 6 mm hook , the one ball purchased had made a lovely cowl.
 It's a hand dyed pure silk in a squiggle zig zag style yarn, which leaves a boucle type effect.
 I just adored the colours but found neither hairpin nor broomstick worked very well as it was a very tricky yarn.
A simple mesh with a very large hook, working the yarn very loosely was the answer.

 It was from Alchemy: the yarns of transformation and I think this one was called Pagoda.
You can find this yarn on Ravelry: here
My single skein was 40 grammes for this cowl, I must have used up about 10 g in trying those other stitch patterns and it's well nigh impossible to unpick. No:I have looked it up now, it comes in 40 g skeins and 167m.

 I have also finished, well almost- my version on Rowan's CETONA but I have made it too wide!
 Got carried away on the colour striping and was loving the stitch pattern, so I went too far.
 It is meant to be worn with the shoulders gathered up by a cord... As mine is so wide it's also too bulky to do this nicely so I will have to unpick a few rows either side.
Why do I always ''guess'' that I'm bigger ( read fatter) than I actually am?
It also looks on the short side, but I did want to wear it with skirts for dancing. So I did not want it too low on the hip, but rest just below a skirt waistband.
My third - idle moments or queue-busting project was started years ago and I thought it was time I finished it! The Ghost cone scarf/cowl from interweave crochet.

 I have now completed 4 out of the 5 rows needed and connected them every 3rd ''gathered up'' section, but feel I may prefer it more connected ? I may do that by sewing at the end.
It's easy and fun and I love the unusual effect it produces. I'm using a 4 mm hook and Rowan Cash soft yarn in cream. I think it will take about 3-4 balls. And will have 5 small cream buttons at the end.
It's like doing broomstick crochet but instead of yarn loops you are using chained loops.
What will the next portable and larger projects be? Not decided yet!

Wait and see?

For a hot summer there may be more crochet T tops or tanks needed or maybe a swirly pineapple skirt? For next winter I'm thinking cables.... But I also would love to make the Rebel cardigan in navy from a Craftsy class?