17 February 2018

F slept through last night – and so did I! I woke briefly at 2:30am, but otherwise a peaceful night all round. First night in a couple of weeks that she hasn’t screamed, cried, or talked to me in the middle of the night.

Does anyone else suffer from Raynaud’s? I’ve had it for years in my hands and (rarely, if they are ever exposed in the cold), my feet. I finally managed to snap a pic today, as the only place I ever seem to get it is driving the car:

By the time I got to a place I could stop it was wearing off, but you can still see the total failure of blood circulation. It’s like temporary frostbite.

And I think I must be dehydrated – my fingers look like I just got out of the bath.

Teeth and Gums

I went to the dentist today for a hygienist appointment. I have been TOTALLY COMMITTED to an extensive daily oral hygiene since I was told I had gum disease a few weeks back. I have been brushing, interdental brushing, flossing and mouthwashing.

I felt so pleased with myself for sticking to it, and I swanned in expecting them to congratulate me on my super-clean and healthy mouth.

When the hygienist looked in my mouth she said:

Well, I am very surprised by that!

[No response from me: my mouth was open and she had her mirror and fingers in there]

Very surprised. Yes, I really am surprised.

[pause]

I usually have a good idea what to expect when I finally take a look in someone’s mouth.

[pause]

But you really have got a lot of tartar there!

Can you believe that? My happy optimism about how clean my mouth was fell through the dentists chair and crashed onto the floor with a thud. She said she would not be able to tell that it was only four months since I last saw a hygienist. It basically looked as if I wasn’t bothering to brush my teeth on the insides at all.

So I’ve come away determined to cut down on the sugary food and to pay yet more attention to my brushing style.

I also have quite bad receding gums on some of my molars. I’ll try and snap a pic. It’s really horrible.

10 February 2018

A better night – F woke briefly at 03:30 and everyone slept in until 07:10. Lovely ?

I’ve not had any meat for two weeks and all we have left in the house now is three tins of tuna.

I’m working on a set of veggie meals the kids will enjoy before I think about reducing dairy. Today I made (all vegan) tofu chicken nuggets.

The fried coating on these was amazing. The tofu inside was… well, tofu I guess. The kids ate half of what I served (6 large each) and didn’t complain. I’m definitely making them again. I adpated the recipe from the here one at Under A Lemon Tree and I used buckwheat flour instead of oats.

The weather here is appalling and the kids are now on half term so I don’t know what we’re going to fill next week with.

Use It Up Update

I have to start by saying that last night, for the first time in SO long, toddler F slept through the whole night. I sat with her last night for ages while she fell asleep, which is something I always try to avoid doing. However, I’m wondering if that was the key to her having a restful night?

I felt so much happier when I woke up, not so much from the sleep I think, but more from the respite from being startled out of sleep over and over by end-of-the-world screaming. It is so unpleasant and stressful. This morning, in comparison, felt like a sunny dawn on still waters.

I sat with her again this evening. We shall see what happens.

Food

That aside, here’s where we’re at with the groceries. We’re one chicken breast away from being a vegetarian house again, which I am really pleased about (UPDATE: apart from the tuna. I forgot about the three cans of tuna!). That was my first goal and it is something I’ve thought about often in the last few years. I might eat it for dinner tomorrow and then it’s a fresh start, yay! I’m going to get used to cooking veggie again for a while before doing anything else. Although I do have plans to overhaul my own breakfasts this week, which I’ll write about separately.

FRIDGE

Continue buying for now (mainly for the children)
Organic butter
Organic cheddar
Organic yoghurts (kids)
Organic milk

Undecided yet
Pesto
Organic eggs

To finish
Whole, organic chicken
Mini Baby Bels

Plain yoghurt
Dairy-lea dunkers
Mayonnaise

Salad cream (1.5 bottles left)
Salad dressing (1 full bottle left)

FREEZER

2 packs of leftovers from the roast chicken
2 wild caught salmon steaks
Fishfingers
5 hot dogs
1/2 pack organic minced beef

1 organic chicken breast

 

CUPBOARD

Organic instant hot chocolate
Beef gravy instant pot

Wine (usually prosecco)
Nature valley granola bars
Honey
Tuna (3/4 tins left)

VITS & MINS

To be done

HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS

To be done

What On Earth To Cook

I think it was Rachael who pointed me in the direction of the Ella books (or was that Oh She Glows? I have a feverish toddler so am sleeping less than usual and my memory is shot…). I’ve reserved a handful of vegan books from our local library and these three turned up today. The Ella ones are brilliant – there are loads of recipes I want to try.

I also borrowed Vegan On The Go, which has great ratings on Amazon. However, this has a) a lot of gluten/bread based recipes and b) uses a lot of spurious sounding things like vegan margarine and vegan hot dogs. What even is vegan margarine anyway? For me, the whole point of cooking is to get closer to wholefood ingredients and further away from processed food. I’ll go through the book and mark the recipes I want to try with post-its as there are still a few good sounding ones in there that use wholefoods.

Use it up

I can’t believe how long it’s taking to use everything up in the fridge/freezer. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to replacement recipes/foods also, as at some point I’m going to have to make things we can all eat.

Here’s where we are:

FRIDGE

Meat/fish

Whole, organic chicken
The children never ate much chicken anyway unless it was junk-food, breaded stuff. Not going to specifically replace this.

Dairy

Continue buying for now (mainly for the children)
Organic butter
Organic cheddar
Organic yoghurts (kids)
Organic milk

Undecided yet
Pesto
Organic eggs

Use up
Mini Baby Bels (3/10 left)
Plain yoghurt (1/4 servings left)
Salad cream (1.5 bottles left)
Salad dressing (1 full bottle left)
Dairy-lea dunkers
Hurrah! I hate these – I only got into the habit of buying them because my very fussy 2 year old loves them in her lunchbox. I’ve been meaning to find an alternative anyway, so this forces the issue. I’m thinking of trying falafels.
Mayonnaise
I buy this once a year and rarely eat it. Tipped away the bottom of the bottle.

FREEZER

Meat/fish

2 packs of leftovers from the roast chicken
1 organic chicken breast
2 wild caught salmon steaks
Fishfingers (3 left)
5 hot dogs (1 left)
The boys love these but I don’t really rate them as decent food. I won’t be directly replacing them and am secretly glad I’m not going to buy any more of them.
1/2 pack organic minced beef
Spag bol is a staple in our house. I’m going to try a vegan recipe out.

Dairy

None

CUPBOARD

Organic instant hot chocolate
Wine (usually prosecco)
Nature valley granola bars
Honey
Tuna (4 tins)
Beef gravy instant pot
Warburtons white bread (contains E920 which is a processing agent chemically extracted from poultry feathers – OMG yuk!). UPDATE: apparently this can be made synthetically also, which it apparently is in Warburtons. Even so. Yuk.

VITS & MINS

To be done

HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS

To be done

Tonight we tried some vegan junk food in the form of quorn chicken nuggets.

Of course, I was so focused on finding something that was useful as a fallback dinner for those days that don’t go to plan, that I totally forgot one important thing. They are covered in breadcrumb and I can’t eat gluten.

DOH.

I hate wasting food, so we all had them for dinner anyway. DS1 loved them, DS2 and DD1 weren’t so keen. I quite enjoyed mine and then felt guilty for eating breadcrumb (and the quorn has wheatflour in it). I think it’s safe to say that vegan convenience food is a glutenous minefield. Yet another reason to be cooking from scratch. Never mind – it’s all about the learning.

Handy Nutrition Pyramid

I borrowed a book from the library called Nourish & Glow: The 10 Day Plan, by Amelia Freer.

It has a 10 day vegan menu which I might follow once we’ve run down some of the stocks here at home. However, in the interim I was reading it last night and I thought I would share something which I found quite useful. She uses a nutrition pyramid with circles to tick off as you eat your meals throughout the day. I like it because it only focuses on the positive things you are eating, rather than telling you what you shouldn’t be having. I printed off several to use at home. You can find them here.

My vegan-not-vegan biscuits went down really well with the boys. My daughter was not keen. In fact, her comment was “too spicy!”

She is only two and the recipe uses a fair amount of salt to match real digestives. I don’t usually add any salt to our food, so even for me they are on the salty side. I think these are something I’ll try again, but I’ll use less salt next time and I may substitute the coconut oil with something else as I think the flavour detracts from what is otherwise a great biscuit.

Today’s fridge/freezer status

Nothing new to report here other than using up the mince, as we’ve been eating leftover roast chicken and the fishfingers are still going strong.

FRIDGE

Meat/fish

Whole, organic chicken

Dairy

Organic butter
Organic cheddar
Mini Baby Bels
Yoghurts (kids)
Plain yoghurt (me)
Dairy-lea dunkers
Pesto
Milk
Mayonnaise
Salad cream
Organic, free range eggs

FREEZER

Meat/fish

2 packs of leftovers from the roast chicken
1 organic chicken breast
2 wild caught salmon steaks
Fishfingers
5 hot dogs
1/2 pack organic minced beef

Dairy

None

Cookies

Today I made some date and pistachio cookies from a book called Get The Glow by Madeliene Shaw. I’ve made these before but the dough was SO hard to mix by hand, and they were far too sweet. This time around I halved the sugar and used less salt. They turned out a total WINNER.

I could eat the entire batch! And with less dried ingredients they were much easier to mix. Not vegan – they require 1 egg. But I can work on that. And I think I could still cut the sugar a little (misprint I wonder?). Yum!