Category Archives: diet & exercise

Returning to healthy eating.


While on holiday we pigged out. It is part of being on holiday isn’t it?

Getting in and out of the swimming pool every day made me realise I have let my good deeds of last year slide so much they were out of sight. Hubby agreed when I said we needed to get back to healthy eating. I also need to get back to exercising – Hubby cycles 15 miles a day so that’s not a problem for him.

Coming home to the Easter weekend, meant there was a lot of chocolate in the house – even though I didn’t get an egg, when I gave Hubby his, he asked if I had bought one for him to give to me!!!! It wouldn’t be fair for the boys to have these delights in front of them and tell them they were unable to eat them, so instead, we have told them they can have a little each day. My theory being once they are gone they are gone, and I wont be buying sweets for in the house, so if they aren’t there they can’t have them!!!

Yesterday I got on the wii-fit for the first time in months and to say it was hard work would be an understatement! At the same time though it felt good too, and I must try to find half an hour a day to do it. I have checked the times of open sessions at the local swimming pool and they have morning sessions most days, so I intend to try to get there at least once a week. I used to swim every morning before work and found it a really invigorating way to start the day.

I have knocked the dust off the app, as I found it really helpful to track what I was eating last year. It is a great app where you can see exactly what food you are taking and the calories from it. It really makes you think about if you need the snack in the evening!!!

Today Hubby is working from home, and so I have gone for a healthy lunch for us. I have made Pea and Herb soup with oat cakes. Now, anyone that knows me, is well aware I don’t do soup, unless in is comes in a tin and is bright orange. I was therefore making the soup for Hubby and Old person, but when I tasted it to check the seasoning I was amazed how lovely it is, and have decided to give it a go – I must be getting brave in my old age!

Pea and Vegetable Soup
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 clove garlic – crushed
480g Frozen peas
1 tbsp. cornflour
500ml vegetable stock
30 g fresh coriander
15 g fresh mint – I didn’t have fresh so used a teaspoon of dried
salt and pepper

Heat the oil and add the garlic and peas. Stir until the peas have defrosted.
Mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp. of cold water and add to the pan.
Slowly add the stock, stirring well.
Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.
Put into a liquidiser with the herbs and seasoning.
Warm through.

115g oatmeal
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of bicarbonate of soda.
1 tbsp. oil
3 tbsp. hot water

Mix dry ingredients.
Add the oil, and half the water. Mix well.
Add more water to form a soft but crumble dough.
Kneed until smooth.
Cut dough into 2 pieces and roll each into a round.
Cut each circle into quarters.
Put into a dry frying pan over a medium low heat. cook for a couple of minutes on each side.

You piece of education for the day is that the quarters are called FARLS. You probably knew this but I didn’t and so thought it was interesting!!!

I will update you in a few weeks about if I keep I the healthy eating, and defiantly if I get back into he exercise but I feel I need to!

Now to go and eat this soup!!!

Lemon Drizzle Cake saves the day.


About a week ago, a friend of mine shared a recipe from a site she follows on Facebook.    It was for Lemon Brownies, and they looked delicious.      I had never come across a Brownie recipe that wasn’t chocolate before – let’s be honest when you get as far as chocolate you don’t go out of your way to look much beyond it!         The recipe was from an American site, but the measurements look easy enough, and so I decided to give it a go.

What can I say?    They were awful!     I followed the recipe exactly, with the only translation I needed to do being the oven temperature was in fahrenheit and I needed it in celsius, but other than that, I did what they told me.    I used my faithful measuring cups – but I  do think weighing things is far more accurate when baking, and mixed it as they told me.    It was a beautiful looking batter that I put in my brownie tin – everyone should own a brownie tin, as its such a great size when you don’t need a huge baking sheet in the oven – mind was perfect from the day I got it, but that was because it was a freebie with some butter I bought!        I baked it for exactly the time stated at the temperature they said.    The recipe said don’t over cook or they will be dry, so after they had cooked for the specified time I removed them from the oven – I should have switched on common sense at this point and realised they could do with longer, but a new recipe needs following before tweaking.     I poured over the glaze once the cake had cooled and set aside.       When I went to cut them to serve, it was like going through treacle they were so sticky, but brownies are meant to be gooey.     Then I bit into it to try it, and spat it back out as quickly.    It was like eating a soggy bath sponge and what was worse was they weren’t really lemony enough!      I asked everyone to try them and they opinion was the same, they were terrible!        I threw them out for the birds this morning, and they are still sat in the garden, not even the seagulls have cleared them!!!

I wont be trying that recipe again!      It is however a lesson learned – a mistake is only a failure if you don’t learn from it has long been a motto of mine, in that following a recipe exactly is all well and good but it can’t deter from years of experience!

I had promised the kids lemon cakes and they weren’t happy not to get it.    I therefore had to look out my faithful recipe for Lemon Drizzle cake.   This recipe has never failed me.   It is great for a quick cake, as its great served warm or cold, its great as a pudding as works really well with custard, and it also holds up well enough to be a base of a birthday cake as its so moist.    It’s also great for a change to make it with oranges or limes, or a combination of fruit!

175g butter

175g caster sugar – or the alternative in sweetener

2 eggs

3 lemons – juice and zest

175 g self-raising flour

260g icing sugar – well sifted

Prepare your tin by lining it with greaseproof paper – this helps with the soaking after its baked.    I use a 2lb loaf tin, but make it any shape you like!

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs and 2/3 of the lemon zest – I do mine really fine as the kids don’t like the pieces but if you like texture use a larger grating.

Fold in the flour.

Pour into the tin and bake at 180c for 35 minutes, until the cake is springy.

While the cake is cooking heat 2/3 of the lemon juice with 100g of icing sugar in a pan, and simmer for a couple of minutes to make a syrup.   Allow to cool.

When the cake is cooked remove from pan and place on a cooling rack with a tray under it.     Using a skewer or fork make lots of little holes all over the cake – but not too many you damage it,  and carefully spoon the syrup over the cake allowing it to soak in – work carefully to make sure all of the cake gets some of the liquid.       Allow to cool.

Remove the lining paper, and place cake on a serving plate.

Put the remaining icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl.   Add water a tiny drop at a time until you get a runny – but not too runny, icing.     Pour over the cake, allowing it to dribble down the side a little – no reason other than it looks really nice!

Decorate with leftover lemon zest.



While you can substitute the sugar in the cake for sweetener, you really need the sugar for the syrup and the icing, so this isn’t one for the diabetics or those watching their weight.

This is the recipe I will stick to in future as it always works, and it stopped my boys being grumpy creatures after my previous disaster.

Family health update.


With so many lows in our family health recently with a vomiting bug that has wiped out half the town, and not just us, and coughs and colds, I thought it time for a quick update on our real health issues.

D is at last off his crutches.    It is amazing to think it is just 4 short weeks since his op, and he is already getting back to normal!

He walks like a little old man at the moment, and kind of rolls as he goes along with a very pronounced limp, but it is such an improvement.     He though thinks he can do all things he wants to do already and this includes running which have led to some near disastrous outcomes.   Luckily he hasn’t done any further damage to himself in that respect, but I think it is a loosing battle to expect him to slow down and think about what he is doing.    D has always been a two-speed person, dead slow or full pelt.   I don’t think there is any point trying to get him to think about what he is doing, as it just wont happen.    He has an appointment next week at the hospital with the surgeon, to check they are all ok.      Hopefully they will sign him off for a year, as they will have to check the angle of his legs once he has grown if they aren’t they will have to operate again to realign them by moving the plates.     It will be back in two years to have them removed – this D is already worried about, so there is nothing like forward planning your worry diary!

We did have a bit of an upset on one of his wounds this week.     His right knee has healed beautifully and there is already just a thin line where the cut was made, but the left one has been weeping.     The nurse at the surgery told us it was just seepage that isn’t uncommon after surgery.    We left it, but kept dressing it.    Then it started to bleed, so we bypassed the nurse and demanded to see a doctor.     He took one look at it, and prescribed antibiotics and sent us to the nurse – a different one to the one we had seen previously,  to have it dressed again!    She got her magnifying glass and has a good look at the hole in his knee and said it looked like one of the stitches hadn’t dissolved and had become infected!     Within 36 hours of taking the antibiotics, his wound is looking dry, so hopefully they will do the trick.      It just shows that is you can’t just accept what the professionals tell you the first time, and you need to keep asking until you get satisfaction!

So all is going well for D.

I was also back to the doctors last week.

My breathing was no different, and to be honest, I felt no better, despite having taken the tablets for a week.

There was good news though.    My ECG had been sent to the cardiology department, and they had said that it looked ok, as a stand along reading.      They did however think there needed to be investigation as to the changes since my last one.     I think this is positive news!   I will just wait for the letter regarding the heart scan.

The doctor is still very worried about my blood count, and wants to send me for more tests.     Her concern is that with a family history of bowel cancer it needs to be ruled out as a possibility.      I hadn’t even thought of this as being a possibility.    I will have to go and have a camera through my tubes to check nothing is going on down there that shouldn’t be.     Not something to look forward to but now she has put the thought of bowel cancer into my head, I need to get it ruled out!           She did though say that the fact I have polyps in my stomach, there is a possibility they are also further down my system, and it might just be one of them in bleeding.      I just feel happy she is investigating, as I have suffered with anemia for as long as I can remember – I had to give up donating blood because of it, and all that has ever been done in the past is put me on iron pills, my blood count then looks good, and so end of treatment.   Nobody has ever asked before why it keeps happening.       One thing she did comment on was that I don’t eat red meat – with the exception of bacon.     I have just never enjoyed it.       She is therefore wondering if it is just diet related!       This made me have an inward chuckle, as one of the first things you do when you go on a diet is try to reduce your fat in take, and this usually means cutting right down on red meat, and here a doctor is telling me that I don’t eat enough of it!       I actually think I should just go with the thought that chocolate contains irons, and live on that!!!!

I had to go to the dentist, as a tooth that keeping playing up was annoying me again.    He gave me some antibiotics  – I am going to be rattling soon.    I have to go back in a couple of weeks for root canal surgery – don’t I lead an exciting life!   Anyway, there has been a positive outcome of taking these antibiotics.    My breathing problems vanished within 48 hours of taking them, and the gagging feeling in my throat has gone!     Now, I am no doctor, just a logical person who is putting 2 and 2 together here.    Could these antibiotics for my teeth actually done something for my chest and throat?     Could I have been right all the times I have bothered my GP’s surgery since my op saying something isn’t right in my throat?      Would they ever admit that even if it was the case?      Who knows, and to be honest who cares?    My breathing is much improved – it doesn’t hurt anymore, and I don’t feel I’m gagging when I lay down!       I have an appointment with the doctor next week when I will present my evidence and I will be prepared for being told it’s a coincidence and the two things couldn’t possibly be connected!!!!

So, we are all heading in the right direction which is perfect with the holidays just over a week away!