Thursday, 31 January 2013

Give me tap!

Never let it be said that I don’t listen to feedback from my avid reader!  You wanted a photo, so I thought I would take the opportunity to show how serious my wonderful employer is taking its environmental responsibility at the same time as meeting the request of my reader. 

We have water dispensers at work, alongside which are piles of small plastic cups.  This week, our caring employer has given out re-usable bottles to all the employees to cut down on the number of cups we use!  How cool is that!  We didn’t get a pay rise, but we got a shiny little bottle.  Whoop whoop!  I have tried out my bottle, and the rubber top tastes quite unpleasant – in fact, the sensation is rather like drinking through a hosepipe.  Still, I can at least feel satisfied in the knowledge that I am doing my bit to save the planet…

Gosh, I am such a satisfied employee! 

Monday, 28 January 2013

I thought he was dead...

It was all my fault!  I had become rather complacent, having considered myself far too sensible to do anything as daft as drown the little fella!  Sadly, my complacency was mis-placed, and stupidity took over when I managed to put my Fitbit through a wash cycle.  It was Sunday morning and I got up and went downstairs to have a coffee.  Very rarely, for me, I decided to go down in my nightdress, and, for some reason I still can’t fathom, I attached my Fitbit to the pocket on my nightdress.  WHY on earth would I do such a thing?  It’s not as though I was planning to go for a walk dressed as I was!  Anyway, I had my coffee and went back upstairs to dress, totally forgetting about my Fitbit.  I gathered up a pile of washing, and threw my nightdress into the pile.  I took the pile downstairs and shovelled it into the washing machine without another thought.  It was only later when I as hanging the washing up to dry that I noticed the Fitbit looking very sorry for himself at the bottom of the basket.  I picked him up – his casing looked a bit cracked.  I pressed his button, and, where it should have been giving me numbers of steps, flights, etc, it was giving me words.  Not rude words, thankfully, but it just said things like “Steps”, “Miles” without anything else.  I tried again later and got the same thing.  I was convinced that he was dead, especially as this seems to be a common occurrence if you read the FB forums, and no-one’s FB seems to survive.  I did the only thing I could do – I got on to Amazon and ordered a new one straight away, thinking this was my opportunity to get the new, flashier model, with Bluetooth functionality!! 

I left poor old FB on the charging cradle overnight, and checked him this morning.  When I pressed the button, a little ‘0’ came up – looked promising.  I ran around the room and pressed the button again – a number ‘9’ was displayed!  9 steps!  Rumours of FB’s death were greatly exaggerated!  I quickly got on to Amazon and was, luckily, able to cancel my order. 

Counting units

I mentioned in my previous alcohol-related blog Wine my attempts to cut down.  To support my efforts, I decided to start logging my drinks on My Drinkaware, a website on which you log your consumption and it, very helpfully, gives you the number of units and the number of calories in your drinks.  It also makes lots of 'helpful' suggestions, such as "Did you know that you could have eaten a burger and fries for the same number of calories you have consumed in alcohol today?".  Great, except I'd prefer to drink away my calories than eat a MacDonald's anyday! 

Now I know that most of us are unaware of the number of units in a glass of wine – for years we were told that a small glass was 1 unit.  However, these days, we have had considerable wine inflation!  I don’t mean in the price, as there are still many deals to be had at the supermarket; I mean in the number of units!  I know, I know, I know, that the wine we tend to drink these days is stronger than the Liebfraumilch and Blue Nun that we used to drink 25 years ago, and I KNOW that my favourite wine is 13%, but I hadn’t quite realised quite how this equates to units per glass.  At home I always drink from a small glass, which I know to be 125ml, which I imagined was probably around 1.4-1.5 units.  I was rather shocked, then, to discover that just 2 glasses was 3.4 units according to “My Drinkaware”, and this was OVER the line on their chart of recommended intake!  And I thought I was doing really well, having cut my consumption down to ONLY 2 small glasses!  The only saving grace was that I wasn’t drinking on 4 days a week.  That was, of course, until Christmas!  I don’t just mean Christmas day and the couple of days around it, I mean the whole week before (well, I HAD broken up from work…) and the week or so afterwards…  I continued to dutifully log my drinks on the website until the website started to give me warning messages that I was becoming “At Risk” because of my increased consumption!  I found this REALLY scary, so I stopped logging my drinks until after Christmas!  (Risk level is now showing as ‘Low’)  :-)

Monday, 14 January 2013

Fast reading

I mentioned in my previous post that Dr Michael Mosley's book was out soon, and, sure enough, it is now in the Amazon store in Kindle or Paperback versions.

As the 5:2 approach has worked so well for me, I am interesting in finding out as much as I can about the research into fasting, and the additional health benefits it can bring.  I am, therefore, reading up as much as I can find, and was tempted to buy the book.  Before going ahead with the purchase, however, I decided to read the introduction, which you can do on Amazon.  I read through the background of Dr Moseley, and how he benefitted from the approach not just in a significant weight loss, but in a reduction in his cholestrol and a lowering of his risk factor for type 2 diabetes.  Fair enough.  I move on to read about Dr Moseley's co-author, Mimi Spencer.  I am immediately suspicious of anyone called "Mimi" - sounds a bit like a poodle or a chihuahua...  Anyway, Mimi has also benefitted from following the 5:2 approach to lose a stone.  Great! Further evidence that the approach works, and very useful to try out the diet you are writing about.  This woman, however,  doesn't live in the same world as normal humans.  She is a journalist, and inhabits a world where anything above a (UK) size 6 is considered obese.  She went from a portly nine and a half stone down to below eight and a half stone, which is great, except that she is five foot seven.  She describes her 'before' BMI of 21.4 as "OK".  OK!!!!  That is at the lower end of the recommended 20-25, and she now has a BMI of 19.4, which is probably still higher than the women who inhabit her planet!


Sunday, 6 January 2013


Hello again, and a Happy New Year to all my loyal readers!  Yes, I have now doubled my followers, and I am confident that I am on track to get a follower who isn’t related to me J. Anyway, I would like to welcome my new follower, who has already given me some positive feedback about my blog (and that’s NOT just because he’s married to me…).

It's OK - I practice intermittent fasting
Well, it’s a brand new year, and the most popular time for starting new diets.  I am planning to continue with the “5:2” plan I was following for the last few months of last year, as it was working really well for me.  I am so “on trend”, as it is, most definitely, THE diet of the moment.  I started following the 2 day fasting after watching the BBC Horizon programme, where Dr Michael Moseley investigated various different fasting options and ended up trying the 5:2 approach with considerable success.  Michael Moseley’s book is due to be released this week, but a number of people have already stolen a march on him and released books based on their own fasting experiences.  There are lots of blogs (including this one!), there are Facebook groups and Twitterers (if that’s the right term).  Interested in other people’s experiences, I read one of the ebooks, plus looked at some of the comments and questions on Facebook and Twitter.  Now the thing is, one of the reasons why this approach has worked so well for me is its simplicity;  I don’t have to weigh or measure anything, or look up the calorie values of every crumb that passes my lips. For five days a week, I just carry on eating as usual (with the only change being no alcohol from Monday to Thursday), and for the two “fast” days, I eat no breakfast or lunch, then have a light meal for dinner.  This is just a slightly smaller version of a meal I would normally eat in the evening.  No weighing, no fuss, no hassle!   Simples!  Not so for many of the others that are following the plan, it would seem.  From what I can gather, everyone seems to be carefully weighing their lettuce leaves and counting every calorie that passes their lips.  Now, if that works for them, who am I to knock it?  OK, so my approach might mean I am consuming more than the 500 calories I “should” be having, but what the heck?  I am losing weight.  In fact, by one week BC (Before Christmas), I had lost a stone in total!  That was as much as I wanted to lose.  A few pounds crept back on over Christmas, but will soon be banished with a couple of fasting days this week ( I managed 1 fasting day in Christmas week and 1 this week).  I might have to move to one day a week soon to STOP LOSING WEIGHT!!! (Never thought I would be saying that!).