Friday, October 19, 2007

Is It OK?

Ok I have missed blogging for a few days because I am really depressed right now. I feel so flat and not my usual chirpy self. However for me at least, this is not all that unusual. I have a daughter that is not in the best of health at the moment and she has had some serious pain over the last five years following a car accident. We are good friends ans well as mother and daughter and do a lot of things together. She has been really snappy for a while now and I have let it get to me. Now this is unusual as I am able to shake this off nine times out of ten. However all I can think of lately is some rather hurtful remarks.
So instead of nurturing this hurt I have made an appointment to see my local GP. Maybe I need someone to talk to? She will offer me some anti-depressants and I will say thank you and never get the prescription filled. This happens quite a lot as I know that no amount of pills will help and that just talking about my perceived problems will be of more benefit than the drugs. Recently there has been a couple of well known sporting personalities that have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. They were both depressed and on drugs. Sadly one died and the other has his life in tatters. Both were heavily reliant on anti-depressants. So excuse me, but I have no wish to follow them down that slippery slope, ever.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

So What?

I have been thinking about my obsession with food. I have come to the conclusion that I am definitely not orthorexic as I have been eating somewhat off plan now for the last three weeks. It must be the change fron the cooler months because I am eating things I don't often consume and I am unrepentant about this.
Strangely the world has not stopped turning and I am feeling ok. I am looking forward to the wonderful stone fruit season that is just around the corner.

Monday, October 15, 2007


An ETL forum buddy has posted an interesting thread on her blog about the definition of the word orthorexia. Somehow I wondered if I was indeed an orthorexic. Because I am very lazy and have not read the article I am using Bree's quote from veggilicious.

"In the book Health Food Junkies: Overcoming the Obsession With Healthful Eating" by Steven Bratman, MD. He describes orthorexia this way:

"In fact, it is transferring too much of life's meaning onto food that makes orthorexia an eating disorder. If you simply eat healthy food but don't give it more of a place in your life than it's really due, you have a good diet - a laudable goal. But when you use food to drain away the energy from other parts of your life, you are impoverishing your soul. Instead of dealing with your real feelings - your real challenges, interests, desires, and needs - you pretend to find them in food. You transfer anxiety over how your life is going to anxiety over what you are going to eat."

Hope you don't mind Bree? I found Bree's discussion very honest and indeed helpful. It is good to keep our obsessive qualities in check and not let them completely rule our lives.
To see it in full go to'

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Jumping Jehosophat Spring Is Here!

Hey I woke up the other day and I actually smiled. Now that in itself is not unusual, but it is for me first thing in the morning, any morning. Somehow as if by magic the world has turned on the sweet warm Spring sunshine.
Now I am by definition, a hot personality. I actually need to feel warm and if I was any other animal, I would be a reptile. No wonder that I was born in the Chinese year of the snake!
Western Australia is beautiful in Summer. Living on the Indian Ocean side of the country has so many benefits weatherwise. Here the late afternoon winds in the warm months comes off the cool ocean and after a morning of easterlies, it feels wonderful. In Perth this breeze even has its own name. The early settlers called it the Fremantle Doctor, given it refreshing qualities.
Now I have calculated that I can enjoy feeling warm for the next seven months, yippee. Please remind me that I said that when I am complaining about a succession of 40C plus days with no respite in sight.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Market Days

Saturday is the day when Judith and I get up early and head off to the Central Fruit and Vegetable Market. This is the only day that this centre opens to the public to sell off the produce left over from the previous week.
Today we went for the first time for a while due to Jude's ill health and found there was little good quality produce to buy. Now that Australia is taking more refugees fron the Sub-Saharan nations, there have been more people turning up every week. Of course this has had the effect of driving up prices for mediocre produce. Taking this into consideration, we decided to only go bi-weekly until the Summer stone fruit comes into season.
I think the mango season is only a week or two away. Jude thinks its a bit longer. Who knows? I can't wait to get my teeth into some of those golden beauties. The first lot that arrives before Christmas are the best. They come from the Top End and are grown in tropical conditions. Later the Carnarvon crop come in in January and they are somewhat smaller. They are still nice eating, but the first ones are supurb. I wonder what the crop will be like this year as last year was a bumper one. Some producers say that a good crop is followed by a poorer one. I sincerely hope they are wrong.
The one bright note this morning is that we got a box of our favourite bananas from Carnarvon. Most bananas are grown in Queensland, but we favour the smaller local ones. We all think they have more flavour and are great for the kids in their lunchboxes. I often carry a cpuple in my purse when I go out. They make a great instant snack. Fruit, you can't beat it!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Seriously Itchy

Ok I have been using soap and now I have broken out in small skin blotches that are seriously itchy. I try to remember not to use any soap, but I love to use the vegetable based ones and I bought a stack of my favourites at the Royal Show the other week.
I shall have to include more nuts and seeds into my diet. These are mandatory on the Eat To Live plan, but I often forget to include them. I really dislike nuts and find them very constipating. However I think that my skin looks much better when I do eat them.
My skin is aging and I am also covered with puple patches that occur when ever I knock my arms or hands. Strangely they mostly occur on my right hand and arm. This makes sense because I am right handed. I wonder if this has anything to do with my low iron status? I try to eat a lot of leafy green vegetables, but I cannot possibly eat the full amount each day. Two pounds of leafy greens is a lot to consume daily. Even if one pound of those is cooked!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Eating Out

Last night I went to a meeting at a local hotel just up the street. I had registered as vegan and I was told this was not going to be a problem. When I arrived the chef came and asked me what I wanted with my tea, salad or vegetables. I told him salad as I though that was pretty safe. Next he asked what type of dressing I wanted. I replied that a vinagrette would do nicely and could I have that on the side.
When everyone else got their meal, which was roast beef and vegetables, a small salad was placed in front of me. This consisted of just iceberg lettuce and a couple of halved cherry tomatoes. I think I spied one piece of cucumber, halved and a big slice of carrot that even Bugs Bunny would have trouble chewing. The biggest laugh was the vinagrette, which I was told was balsamic vinegar, turned out to be worcertershire sauce. I only found this out when I dumped most of it on my salad. This sauce is not vegan, or gluten free and eaten in this quantity can really burn one's mouth. I ended up going hungry and eating a pile of mentos candy, which also as it turns out contains gluten. This is something that I have just found out today. Of course these are my favourite snack 'foods'.
My celiac test kit is yet to arrive, but later I remembered that I had a positive IgA blood test done in 2001. I was told this was meaningless, because my IgG test was negative. This is not the case and a positive IgA test means that I have a 97% probablity of having celiac disease. ..This explains the bloating, burping and the gassy emmissions. Why wasn't I told about this at the time? Yeah! Why wasn't I told?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Searching Other People Writings

This morning, seeing that nothing much has happened in my life for quite some time, I decided to go in search of some online blogs. I was immediately struck by one thing. Most blogs that appear in blog readers are writtn by professionals and that some of them are downright ugly. One cited a book that said, that blogs are the domain of amateurs, as if it was a bad thing.
However the content of the blogs were all very different. Here are just a few that for some reason clicked with me.
Simply Recipes, published by This has a big index of recipes including a good number of vegetable ones that can be easily veganised. However it was the 'About' page that I loved. The reason for having a space to record all the family recipes sat well with me. Here was a real family and they were sharing their ever involving collection of their favourite foods. Now you can keep your professional blogs, this one has a soul.
Next was Wendy Knits, which of course features Wendy's knitting efforts. Now I grew up in a time when everyone knitted. I learnt at an early age, using sharpened meat skewers and an oddment of wool. I sat on a tiny stool at my mother feet and happily dropped stitches to my hearts content.
Wendy however knits socks and is quite a feisy lady when challenged by her readers who are heartily sick of her socks and want her to move on to something else. I agree with her wholeheartedly when she admonishes them. Then I am immediately jealous, because she has readers. Another huge asset to her blog is her wonderful cat Lucy and I am stuck again by how lucky she is. Her Lucy is immensely photograhic, while my Inky just looks like a dark grey blob in any of my attempts to catch her image and publish online. I once started a blog for her, but all she did was lie around and sleep.
There were of course several blogs like Joke of the Day and Treehugger that caught and held my eye. Another She Shops is also a good read for any woman. However there was one that actually broke my heart and made me realise how fortunate I am.
This one was Baghdad Burning which details life in war torn baghdad. If anyone thinks life for it's citizens in improving, please read this blog. Ever considered what you would take with you in just one suitcase? Read about one persons choice of keepsakes. (Warning some entries are anti-American)
All-in-all it was a good mornings read and I am no wiser as to what makes a good weblog. I like the immediacy of these accounts and I think I shall stop trying and just post my daily thoughts and activities. All I know is that I would rather read these amatuer blogs than any of the daily newspapers, that try to play catchup with the online news services. Not to mention the wastefulness of felling trees simply to make paper for outdated news.
I am off now to see if I can get a really good shot of Inky.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Lesson In Life

As I am getting older I find that somehow everyone thinks I am either great for keeping up with technology" You mean you have a blog?", or "you actually own a MP3 player". This of course leads to what I have downloaded on it. I tell them something ridiculous. I am not about to tell anyone that I have nutritional podcasts by Joel fuhrman, or my entire collection of Andre Bocelli albums. On the other hand I find a certain mocking/scolding tone creeping into peoples dealings with me. Some of it is directed at my hearing loss. Others it's because I think differently from everyone else. All I know is that I am sick of it and want to run away and hide.
I often wonder how other people deal with situations like this? I want my life back and I want people to see me as a worthwhile individual and offer loving support and not put hindrances in my way. I want to remind them that it is only a few years since I graduated from University and that I have helped form the nation's future when I was a member of the national executive of one of our political parties, that just happened tp hold the balance of power in the Senate. No One it seems cares about any of that. I am older and therefore, I know nothing.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Bloggers Block....

...or too sick to care. Who said you have to blog everyday anyway. Sometimes I can't be bothered and not much happens in my life anyway.
Yesterday I ate two small pieces of garlic bread. Ok so I know that was not a smart choice, but I needed to eat some food containing gluten and that was in my freezer. My sister fills her freezer up with meat and then shovels her breads in mine. I open my freezer and I find all manner of things I have never seen before in there. She never seems to eat the stuff in her freezer either. After a week or so I just toss the lot out. However I have had this garlic bread stuck in there for over two months, so I want it gone, one way or the other.
The result of eating this is that I have no energy at all and I have a headache to boot. I am not too sure if the bread is entirely to blame for the headache though as it is overcast and that often brings on such an event. It is to blame for the bloating and gassy emmissions after just an hour or two. My waist size has increased 2 inches overnight. Please let my test kit come soon.
Maybe I should just contact my doctor and ask for an IgA test to be carried out along with other bloodwork. One thing I have discovered is that doctors love carrying out tests. I wonder if they get a kickback from the labs?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Opening Pandora's Box

I usually only write blog entry each day, but today I wanted to post about this item as well.
From today I need to reintroduce some gluten containing foods, so that when my celiac testing kit arrives, my blood will contain the traces of these proteins. Then I will be able to do the test immediately. However I am afraid that this will indeed open Pandora's box and the old cravings will slip in again.
Just thinking about it is making me uneasy. After all the great progress I have made on a gluten free diet, why go backward? I guess it is because I had a postitive Iga antibody test done once before and my doctor told me to ignore it. Now I want to know the truth. Is it CD or just gluten intolerance, which the test will not show? If the test is negative, then I will continue to avoid grains like wheat, barley and rye, just as I am doing now. As the kit is coming from our Southern Hemisphere neighbour, New Zealand, it should arrive within the next few days. I want to get it over and done as quickly as possible, and with the least amount of pain.
After the gastric distress I suffered last week, I am not looking forward to it at all.

Getting Back On Track

OK Now the week long Royal Show is over for another year, I can finally get back on track. Yesterday I went to the markets and stocked up on mushrooms, greens, beets and sweet potatoes. I still have some leftover pumpkin lentil soup in the fridge and washed lettuce leaves in the salad spinner. Today it's going to be oats for breakfast, a green smoothie for lunch and the green machine and salad for tea. I want to make sure I eat enough to keep me satisfied all day long. I also need to drink plenty of water to flush the salt that I ingested during the week, out of my system.
I am eating my porrige as I am typing this and I laughed as I added two teaspoons of brown sugar. I no longer add salt ot butter, but I am darned if I am giving up my brown sugar!
It's funny but I cannot buy kale here in Perth. it seems we are too sophisticated to eat such a rustic vegetable. The greenest green I can find is tatsoi. I occasionally get lucky and get a bunch at a local gourmet greengrocer in Angelo Street, South Perth. This tiny shop is filled to the brim with Italian deli lines and great fruit and vegetables. They only stock top quality produce at top quality prices.
I have logged on to the Eat To Live forums and the Fat Free Vegan Forum and nobody is posting anything. What is happening in the USA? Maybe it's the change of season that is bringing about this great cyber silence. One thing is for sure, it is easier to follow the ETL guidelines in Summer, than it is in the cooler months. For someone wanting to experience a different taste experience, Nicole (full of veggies) has posted her famous pumpkin smoothie in time for the Fall pumpkin crop. I am going to try this one day as a desert rather than a smoothie. Thanks for the inspiration Nicole.
Now I am off to prewash my greens, so that they are ready to use in a flash. I like these labour saving ideas as they help me to whip up a meal in minutes, rather than hours as used to be the case. When I am hungry I want food almost instantly and that is when I am most vulnerable and likely to reach for the junk instead of food.
Oh, and after a week of eating a small amount of SAD foods, my weight stayed the same, 55 kilos (121 pounds) yippee!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

I Feel Great Today

Today I am feeling great, so I take it that it takes around 48 hours to get rid of the offending foods out of my system. I shall remember that the next time I am tempted by high fat, salty, low nutrient foods. Somehow two days of misery is not worth the five minutes of pleasure*.
Yesterday I stopped the nonsense and cooked a pot of Lark's pumpkin and lentil soup. I posted the recipe on my other blog, Serious Sixty Somethings. I have yet to post a picture of the finished product. I took half a thermos with me to the show and I ate the whole lot. I also took a salad that had fruit and half an avocado that I had rubbed with lemon juice prior to packing. It kept well and tasted great. I did eat far too many of my sisters salty chips though, so I am expecting a blow out on the scales this week. It's amazing how quick the soup was to cook. All-in-all it took just 30 minutes to prepare and cook in my pressure cooker. So why don't I make this type of food more often?
I also tried Nicole's system of preparing the ingredient of smoothies and freezing them in individual containers. You can see it at the link below. Anyway it saved me heaps of time and better yet, I have them ready whenever I need some frozen fruit. Nicole you are a genious

* It is strange how many of us equate food with pleasure. I know that I should be eating good foods and that taste has little to do with quality of nutrients. In fact the reverse is true. Good tasting foods are packed with salt, sugar and fat and the higher nutrient ones often don't taste great. I know which ones my body prefers though. Ahh, such is life!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Celiac Testing Kit?

My dietary misdemeanor on Wednesday is still causing me gastric distress. Only this time it is so painful I have had to take pain relievers. I read about a Bio Card Celiac Testing Kit on the ETL Forum, so I have ordered one from a supplier in NZ. I have had a negative blood test before, but later I was told that for this to show any useful results, one has to have eaten some foods containing gluten prior to the test for the protein to show up in the blood. Of course this makes sense to me when I stop to think about this. As I had abstained from grains for a good two weeks before the bloodwork was done. It seems a good idea to retest. The best course of action would be a to have a biopsy done as this would show CD even while avoiding gluten and is 100% accurate. However I would rather not have this procedure if it's not needed, as it is expensive even with private health insurance. So I think this cheaper option will be useful in my case.
My doctor suggested that I might actually have a gluten intolerance instead. Her advise was to immediately go on a gluten free diet and to carefully monitor my results from gluten avoidance. She also suggested that because so many additives are added to grains, flours and breads today, maybe it is a reaction to any one of these, that is causing me the bloating and other problems.
I shall just have to wait and see. On a brighter note it is good that just by avoiding certain foods I can be and remain symptom free. In reality it is just so hard to buy food outside the home that is completely gluten free.
Once foods was good, clean and pure. Now there is so much tinkering and 'improving' done to the food supply, that simply eating any product can indeed be life threatening.
Most health conscious people spend a great deal of time trying to decipher food labels. These are often misleading and in the some cases, deceptive.
If I am having trouble with compliance at sixty six. Then my heart goes out to all the small children with severe food allergies, that have to face even greater difficulties every day of their lives. For them, the world is truly a hostile environment.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Stern Reminder

No sooner had I got to bed last night when I remembered why I have to be so fussy around food. First I simply could not sleep, so I guess the excitment of the night culminating in a fireworks display and the sugary foods were to blame. Also my heart rhythm problem, atrial fibrillation, reappeared again after an absence of four months and if that was not bad enough,I had vision problems associated with migraines. I spent several hours regretting the misdemeanors and hoping that my heartbeat and tummy would settle down. This morning I have the metalic taste that I notice after a high sugar intake. It's no wonder half the kids have ADHD these days.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Today I Went Off Plan

I ate off plan all day today, not a lot, but I did eat the very worst foods for me, cheese and chips. It just goes to show that one should be prepared. I can manage when I am at home and even when I go out for half a day. But today for some reason I couldn't be bothered making the necessary preparations. I left home earlier than I had planned and my breakfast was the usual oatmeal. Later I felt hungry around 2.30 pm and I could not find anything ETL friendly to eat. There were a lot of foods that were vegan, but most were swimming in oil. I settled for two bananas I bought with me and two very small pieces of chocolate. These settled my hunger and unsettled my digestive system both at the same time. After this I was not a pleasure to be with. I had my first real bout of gassy tummy since I started McDougalling in May this year.Unfortunately this kept up all evening and my tummy bloated so much that I had to keep pulling up my zipper.
It was so silly, because I had taken a salad with me and cloaked it in the members area of the showgrounds. Later there was a members reception with food platters, drinks and icecreams. I was pretty good though, I mainly ate the dried fruit off the cheese platters, some hot chips and I ate half an icecream, so it could have been worse. I also ate some nuts, allowable on the Fuhrman plan, but I ate too many of them and to make matters worse, some were coated in sugar.
I kept telling myself that one cannot be perfect all the time. But my better side was not buying it. Tomorrow I will be prepared and I will eat whatever I take with me. In fact I shall insist that I do.
I only hope I will listen to me tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Eating Yes, ETL Maybe!

After just twelve weeks eating nutrient dense foods I realised that I am not eating according to plan, or even eating enough food. Somehow the 1 pound of raw leafy green salads have been replaced by beans and rice and I am not achieving the 1 pound of cooked greens,nuts and ground flaxseed either.
How can I expect to get excellent results if I am not following the recommendations to the letter? I guess because I am small and because I am already at my ideal weight, I find it difficult to remain focused.
I meant to reform my food intake today, but I was out late and didn't eat any lunch. My biggest problem is that my sister Judith and I share a pot full of oats in the cold weather. I get up at 7 am and she gets up at 9. As she has a gastric problem she has to take a pill half an hour before eating. So I don't get my breakfast before 10 o'clock. This is far to late for me to establish a good routine. I should have a green smoothie or juice at seven. This would help increase my raw green vegetable intake a lot.
I simply must make sure I get enough nutrients every day, or else my weight will suffer along with my health. we hear a lot about how hard it is to lose weight. It is also hard to eat enough to maintain a healthy weight. To those who want to lose a hundred pounds or so, this must seem a trivial problem. However for me it really is.

Monday, October 1, 2007

All The Food At The Fair

Don't you just love the healthy food in the picture BBQ lamb, chips and coke (click to enlarge).

Of all the high fat food available at the show and there is plenty, not much has passed my lips, which I find amazing. I have sampled a few thing that in days gone by I would have eaten my fill. However these days I really don't want to eat the stuff. As Dr John McDougall said " I have feasted enough in my life and now I simply want to eat good, fresh and nutritious foods.
Jacquie bought some hot potato wedges today and I had one, without the sour cream. I was amazed at how much fat it held. Jacquie said that's the way she likes them. The funny thing is, once you start eating them, they just taste delicious no matter how greasy they are.
I spent my money on a beautifully crafted bag from Indonesia instead. I was happy about that.
I also spent a quite hour watching the cattle judging. There is something about cows (and bulls) that I love. They are peaceful creatures. Even as a kid on the farm, we loved spending time with them and having the calves suck our fingers.
I am not sure if I want to go tomorrow. Somehow I think I will give it a miss and look forward to having a great day there on Wednesday instead.