Friday, 30 September 2011

isn't nature abundant - free food and herbal recipe

Been major busy since the last post and doing that busy stuff has meant I have lost 4 lbs of weight.  As I said in my previous post I am not doing the diet thing but it is nice to occasionally get on the scales and find that some weight has disappeared whatever.  My 6 weeks of elimination diet has actually finished but I am not rushing back to wheat and diary any time soon.  I did eat a piece of swiss roll the other day and woke at 3am in the morning with a gurgly tummy and couldn't get back to sleep so not sure if that is a coincidence or the wheat.  Got my appointment with the nutritionalist on Monday so will see what they say about everything.  Definitely going to cut back on wheat though and probably try and eat a lot less dairy as I haven't missed it as much as I thought I would.  How long this idea will last we will see!!!  

Well went to an event on Wednesday and learnt some interesting stuff about herbal medicine and foraging.  Here is a mindmap of the info I learnt.

Here is one of the recipes we learnt when we were there:  onion syrup for coughs or colds.  Here goes ->  sterilise a jam jar and lid; layer chopped onion at the bottom of the jar; then layer sugar (or honey if you want more expensive/posh stuff LOL); then layer onion; then sugar all the way to near the top ending with a layer of sugar; seal the jar and leave for 24 hours.  You can start getting syrup off and using after 12 hours but after 24 hours strain the onions off and start using.  It will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.  You can add other things like ginger, cloves, etc but the basic recipe is just onion and sugar and who doesn't have those ingredients lying around?  The lady doing the workshop managed to cram alot into an hour - I was very impressed.

Today we went out for the day and this is what we came back with for free - result!!  How awesome - you have to love food for free.   So Dave is going to be making pie, cake and crumble all weekend!!

The only sad-ish news recently is that I am not doing my Open University (OU) course starting tomorrow as I feel it is the wrong time to start more stuff.  I am looking to do something more general and more fun maybe in February depending upon what else I am doing at the time.  My choice though and I do have a tendency to overdo stuff and therefore end up getting overwhelmed.  Also I could just get a computing book and learn from that rather than waste money on another OU course.  I am however helping a few people set up websites so that will keep my hand in computer wise so...all is good

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Bored of this diet thing now (but also exciting stuff)

If I don't write this now I know I won't get around to it for another few days.  I am half way through the 2 weeks of no wheat and no dairy and I am thoroughly fed up with it to be honest.  It fell across a week away seeing various family last week which stopped me having food the same as others at cafes; at the pancake house at Center Parcs (they could do gluten free but the pancake mix had milk powder in it :-( ) and no puddings anywhere.    Also I tried to get a salad at Marks and Spencers on the way home and NONE of their salads are dairy or wheat free.  I couldn't believe that!!!  I don't know how allergy sufferers or concerned consumers do it to be honest and I am still eating oats and rye and other gluten containing grains.  I think I need to do a bit more research into the gluten thing though as I don't think that eating as much porridge and rye bread as I am at the moment is doing me any good.  Anyway enough of the whining.
The exciting stuff ->  the forest school taster morning was fab and I want to look more into that as a way of sharing nature with my kids and others as part of my Permaculture adventure.  Collected loads of fir cones and fire-lighting stuff at that forest and at Center Parcs.  I so love that nature provides all these cool things.  Also have been eating blackberries all over the place over the last week.  Also as part of the PD (permaculture diploma - PD is what I will call it from now on) I have made a pact with a fellow PD student to spend less time on facebook per day as an incentive to get more stuff done.  So from today (and yes I have managed it today so far) I am limiting myself to less than an hour on facebook.  It might help my mood as well as I do tend to be a 'grass is greener' on the other side type of person where I see what exciting things other people are doing and wish I was doing those things too - thus not giving myself enough time to do the cool things that others are doing!!!!  Ah - the social-network-vicious-cycle.  My not-washing-my-hair is in its 8th week and it has been quite yucky for the last week and still is so not quite sure how that is going to be honest.  I am going to stick with it though as even though it feels greasy at the moment I still prefer the way it looks and want to see how it goes past 8 weeks.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Putting things off never makes it better!

I know why I haven't written here for a few days.  I try to persuade myself that it is because I am sooooo busy and I am indeed busy.

There are all Zack's parties - I tell you if anyone ever asks me if I am worried about the lack of socialising that my kids have because of being home educated I am just going to laugh hysterically.  At the moment I have concerns for my sanity with how to fit all the socialising that my children want to do into our schedule.  Trying to find a week to go and see my friends in Glasgow resulted in me consulting my diary and between the kids and my social life the first free week we had was November 21st!!!!

Anyway here I am am putting off what I came to this blog to do - my new healthy eating plan.  I want to do the deed and tell you folk what my vital statistics - the full horror of one of the reasons as to why I need to re-evaluate my eating and exercise habits.

Deep breath - here we go - I weigh 13 stone (82.5kg); my waist is 39 inches (99cm); hips 43 inches (109cm); thighs 23 inches (58cm) and breasts 43 inches (109cm.)  I am a size 14/16; 165cm and although I am more healthy now than say 2 years ago I do need to do something about my BMI being 30.3 which means I am technically obese.

So I am cutting down on dairy and wheat as I know I have intolerances to them and I am going to try and eat more intuitively.  I have tried this in the past but I am going to blog about this journey so hopefully this might be more successful.  I am not going to go mad about weighing myself and forever measuring my waist, etc because I do not think that is healthy mentally.  I am also not going to go on a diet because I want the changes I make to be sustainable.

I am glad that is out of the way!!!  Hopefully my next blog will be to show you guys pictures of where I have planted my fruit trees in the start of the forest garden makeover!!  Anyway lets end on a high with a picture of me in one of my new purchases from the local charity shops and another picture of the free food I gathered with my husband yesterday (some of the elderberries made it into the crumble we had for tea this evening!!)

Saturday, 3 September 2011

De-cluttering and re-zoning

Typical that on a day I am supposed to be tidying the house for one of Zack's parties tomorrow I am actually coming across too much stuff that either needs to be thrown away, given away or stuff that really needs to be homed somewhere more appropriate to it's use.  Here is the photographic evidence of the non-tidying, de-cluttering:

Re-zoning stuff from under the stairs to the porch

Putting stuff in the porch that we need more regularly for outside

Putting stuff from porch into bike store that we use less often

Stuff that is on freecycle at this very moment!!
As you can see I am making a right mess but hey that is pretty normal.  Hopefully it will be worth it in the long run even if it means that I am up all night actually tidying!!!

Ethical clothes shopping

Got my ethical consumer magazine in front of me and here are the scores for different places to buy clothes (scores out of 20):
New Look (organic) 9.5
New Look 8.5
M&Co 8
GAP 7.5
Monsoon (fairtrade and organic) 7.5
Marks and Spencers (fairtrade or organic) 7
Peacocks 7
H&M (organic) 6.5
Matalan 6.5
Marks and Spencers 6
TK Maxx 4.5
Primark 3.5
Sainsburys (fairtrade) 3
Sainsburys 2
Tesco (fairtrade or organic) 1.5
Tesco 0.5
Asda 0
So obviously none of these places do particularly well ethically but there are some that are much better than others with the big supermarkets way down at the bottom.  I don't think I will find it too difficult to try and buy from charity shops for me but not sure I am going to fare with getting kids clothes.  Many of Indie's clothes come from lovely friends (thanks guys) but Zack doesn't do as well.  Anyway this stuff isn't supposed to be too easy otherwise everyone would do it.

Friday, 2 September 2011

It's the little things in life

Looking into changing my diet so I eat less wheat, dairy and gluten, I have been quizzing people and now have some great ideas and recommendations.  The lovely Louise is going to send me recipes for crepes and biscuits using gluten free flour and the lovely Lyndsey got me to try rye sourdough bread today (loved it!!) and oatcakes (don't like them!!) and recommended some books.  Amazing how all this great knowledge is out there without too much looking.
I also got home today to find lots of post half of which were catalogues which I never read so I have sent an email to them all asking them to take me off their catalogues lists.  Not a big life change I know but hopefully ever little thing can make a difference especially if we all did the same little thing.
My no shampoo hair experiment seems to be going well.  My hair is definitely looking a bit greasy but not as bad as I thought it would after 5 weeks of no washing .  Still loving the fact that my hair has more body and my scalp feels much better.  I am nearly at the start of week 6 and happy to keep going.
The start of my not buying new clothes or non-fairly traded clothes for two years was yesterday as was the start of  no more shopping at Tesco or Asda (not that we ever shopped at Asda anyway) for two years and all is going well LOL  I feel that maybe I should have made more of those two things yesterday but to be honest I haven't been to Tesco for about a week anyway and the last things I bought clothes wise were fair trade.  I want the no new clothes thing to help me make more use of my lovely sewing machine though so I am really going to try and not buy any new clothes at all even fair trade ones so watch this space.

Thursday, 1 September 2011


Well here I am sitting in my pyjamas at 10.45 when I am supposed to be tidying the house in time for my son Zack's 10th birthday party on Sunday.  That in itself is a scary thought - Zack turning 10 but that isn't why I came on here.  I was writing an account of how I ended up on a Permaculture course this August and what major life events had got me to that place and at the end of a very cathartic account of my life I ended up writing this and I just felt like sharing it with you lovely people out there.

Attending that Permaculture course in August was just the perfect addition to a fair few years of self-development and discovery.  I believe I have always been open to learning more about myself however painful and hope I will continue to do so until the day I die.  I want to stretch myself: to go beyond my comfort zone and really challenge my pre-conceptions and battle those non-beneficial patterns and habits that have been handed down to me by my forebears.  I want to find compassion for the planet, my fellow human beings and for myself.  I want to truly live without contributing to the destruction of the earth and I want to honour my friends, my family and myself by being the best person I can without any strings attached.  By the best I mean the greatest with all the blessings of those that went before me.  It doesn’t involve competition or superiority – it is a personal challenge that doesn’t take me away from others but brings me closer to everything and everyone.  That is my goal and my dream.  Life is a journey that is worth truly exploring, experiencing and investing in and I want it all.