I could ask if there’s something magical about soup (my Grandmother would say so!) but I have realized that a pot of nourishing goodies on my stove offers me the chance to keep my sugar levels stabilized with the minimum of difficulty. I have always loved making soup (thanks Granny!) There are endless possibilities and this week I made broccoli, ham pieces and blue cheese – minestrone – butternut squash, sweet potato, chicken and some cream – Thai prawn and coconut with chili and oriental vegetables – Mediterranean vegetables with white beans and herbs from the garden – ham, leek and potato. Also tried fruit soup - apple and orange with cinnamon and toasted almonds and yoghourt was really good and made a great change from savoury soups. I found several fruit soups in the Spark Recipes and plan to try them out.
It all seems to suit me well and I have lost 4lb this week. I know that I won’t live like this forever but for the moment I am happy with the soup. Food has not been the preoccupation that it was and I still have energy to do more in the evening than sit in around with a book or the radio and eat far more than I intended. Eating is often a diversion activity because I’m too tired to do the things I should. In another week I’ll stick with the soup in the daytime and start eating meals in the evening and I’ll just have to see how that goes – if I have found a way to keep my eating habits on an even keel I will be more than delighted.
Yesterday went well - I ate four large bowls of the Soup of the Day - miso soup with tofu, mushrooms, cabbage, chili, soy sauce and shredded coconut plus rice noodles. Later in the day I added fresh prawns which poached deliciously in the stock and were very satisfying. Didn't think about food all day and definitely feel this is a way back to the path I want to be on. Not forever I guess but it's OK nutritionally and gives me focus.
Off to the country today where walking is a joy and I have plenty of stuff to do at the moment clearing the kitchen ready for a new one to be installed so I'll generally be far more active and - that word again - focused!
I'm happy to be able to type that title - I have been so close to giving up that I thought my next blog would be a farewell to those I have come to care about here.
I have been having a bad time with myself. I have been disconnected and had no judgement. Worse - as far as I'm concerned, no-o energy. However, thanks to endless encouragement from some of the great people I have ‘met’ here my head has cleared. I have had all sorts of great comments from many others which are finally bearing fruit in terms of motivation.
I have borrowed some new ideas about eating healthily from one friend – a ‘soup month’ or in my case more likely a ‘soup fortnight’ to put me ‘straight’ and because I love vegetables and then I’ll add salads which I also love - filled with goodies. Extras will be fruit and yoghourt. So - back to basics - allowing myself very few food choices for the moment which always helps to keep me on the straight and narrow.
I have also had great instruction from another friend about exercising properly because I managed to put myself in some considerable pain (could barely move about my flat at one point) due to Swine Flu at Christmas and unrealistic New Year Resolutions which caused muscle damage in my weakened state. Only now subsiding properly. So – good warm-ups – gentle strength and cardio – followed by stretches which I never bothered with because I resent the time given to them. However – lesson learned – I’ll behave myself in future.
Small changes that will grow into bigger ones are my new way forward.
In the past weeks I’ve put back most of the pounds that I lost – poor eating and no proper exercise. There are excuses I could make but they don’t sound acceptable even to me. As it is I have adjusted my weight ticker – not what I wished but there we are.
So Spring is here, my energy has returned and I'm rearing to go. Today I am making a new start. Wish me luck – and more importantly determination and consistency.
Worse places to be stuck than Prague of course but hard to enjoy the extra week with little info and the need to be constantly in touch with/visiting - airline – airport -or agent. So-o many people having such hard times with the urgent need to return home, lack of ready money, small children, lack of medication sorely needed. Huge community effort by everyone trying to help each other out – I babysat a 10 month old several times whilst his parents (self-employed with an urgent need to return to Denmark for business reasons) trawled the internet and local travel agents for a means of travel that would cause their child the least distress and in return they found an itinerary to get me and my colleagues back to the UK (1 bus and 4 trains - Hoorah!) as our ‘lift’ with some other Brits fell through. I’m sure everyone knows how difficult it was to get transport over land and sea in the first few days and the uncertainty as to how long it would all last was deeply distressing for some. Should we take our luggage and see what we could get at the arport? Means checking out – will we get back in somewhere?
A Russian couple and their 9-yr old daughter arrived in the hotel after travelling from Moscow by TAXI!! They weren’t forthcoming about their story and were busy making more plans to move on so I’ll never know what was so urgent.
Fortunately my hotel was paid by the organisation I was working for so I had no real financial worries apart from food. Not only a financial worry I have to say - think need for comfort and all those delicious Czech dumplings to satisfy it!!! Weight gain damage to repair now – hey ho!!
We encountered nothing but help and sympathy from the very kind Czechs eager to advise us on routes home, sightseeing ideas to fill our time and help with their very difficult language. Myself and my colleagues managed to do something pleasant every day at some point – 8 km walk by the beautiful Vlatva River thro damp woods was particularly memorable as was a visit to a castle in Melnik – now a vineyard – about 50 miles outside Prague. It was also a chance to get to know less obvious but very beautiful buildings in a city I have known and loved for some time in greater depth. Can’t be bad!
I am just so happy to be feeling better - have been tested for various things - some on the scary side but so far all results are negative. Phew!
I am lucky to have a friend who is a Feldenkrais practitioner who has been working on my muscles and joints with me and it has made quite some difference so am assuming my body will mend itself with time.
Went for a long walk yesterday by the sea in beautiful sunshine which was healing in every way I can think of.
Today I'm off to the country to my little cottage to do a bit of gentle work inside and some gardening (sorely needed!). The surrounding hills and fields are beautiful and a complete pleasure to walk in so that should be good for some pleasant exercise. There are also great farmers markets and indeed back-door sales from some of the local smallholdings so healthy meals are no problem at all. Have been yo-yoing up and down 3 pounds for the last few weeks which I hope to take care of once and for all.
I've been really grateful for support from friends here that has helped me through a time when I would otherwise have given up in despair.