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100 calorie Cauliflower Soup


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cauliflower, chopped up
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • 1 tspground coriander
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tbspchopped parsley, plus extra to serve
  • 80 ml(⅓ cup) natural yoghurt
  • 50g parmesan cheese

Boil everything except the parsley, yogurt and cheese together for 10 mins.
Mash or blend.
Add cheese and yogurt and stir.
Sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 4 serves of soup at 100 calories each.


Good news and bad news

The results of my glucose tolerance test were good and bad.

The good news is that I am not diabetic.
The bad news is that I have “insulin insufficiency” or am “insulin resistant” which means my body produces insulin but does not use it effectively and glucose builds up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells. So I have a scary pill regime to follow now.
It’s called Metformin and I have to take it daily.
Apparently I have probably been insulin resistant since my 20s!

Hmm?  Not happy.

The good news is that my BP is staying in the 140s over 80s range and that it seems it will go down as I lose more weight and get fitter.

The extraordinary news is that  I have already shed 6kgs!
Just another 35-40kgs to go then – oh dear 🙁

I really didn’t want to start taking the Metformin. I feels like defeat.
But my doctor says we can reassess it when my weight is normal and see if I can come off it then.
Meanwhile, I’ll just treat it like a supplement and try not to worry about it, but I do so hate taking drugs.

The other good news about Metformin is that it helps with weight loss, so that makes me happy.

In fact, the insulin resistance problem may have been a contributing factor in my weight gain over decades. Possibly once it is normalised my entire metabolism will be in better shape.

So I am treating this, not as a drug I need forever, but perhaps a drug I will need until I am within a normal weight range and super-dooper fit.


2hrs of testing

I had my glucose tolerance test today.

The glucose tolerance test is a medical test in which glucose is given and blood samples taken afterwards to determine how quickly it is cleared from the blood.

I got to the surgery at 7.30am and the lovely nurse took some blood.

Then I had to drink a bottle of lime flavoured glucose syrup which would have been okay if mixed half and half with vodka or gin, but which on its own was rather sickly.  I did feel quite nauseous after drinking it all.

Then  I had to sit still in the waiting room for one hour when more blood was taken, then a second hour when the final blood was taken.

So I set myself up in the furtherest corner from the door with a folder of work and my laptop.

Time passed quite swiftly and I got quite a lot of work done in those 2 hours, but I also noticed some things I never would otherwise.

I suppose that most people in the waiting room are there for 10 – 15 minutes at most and we usually pick up a magazine that we’d never actually purchase and look at the latest pics of stars without make-up. until someone calls our name.

But sitting there for 2 hours you notice the other people.
Most are anxious, some are scared.

I saw a young boy with his arm in a very dirty and well decorated cast who was grinning bravely as his older sister teased him about the saw the doctor would use to remove it.  I wished his mum had been reassuring him instead of filling out forms at the reception desk.

I saw a young woman in her twenties, so pale and shaky as she approached the desk to say she was here to discuss her results – and so bubbly and cheerful when she was leaving.  I wished she had had someone with her to hold her hand and absorb her fears.

I saw an elderly man, dressed to the nines for his trip to the doctors, sit upright and expectant and smiling hopefully at everyone who went past. I hoped the doctor’s visit wasn’t his only  social outlet for the week … or month.

I saw an exhausted young mum with dark purple circles around her eyes trying to calm a colicky baby who had an ear-spitting scream which her toddler attempted to destroy the notice board and scattered foot-piercing drawing pins all over the floor.  I hoped she wasn’t all alone, coping with her bundles of joy.

Each person I saw was there because they were worried.; some with good cause, but most with none.

But I realised that although these are just tiny snapshots of the lives of strangers, they are situations and emotions we can all relate to.

These people all had fears.
Do we think of the ministry of healing as helping people in their times of fear?
Is this my lesson for today?

Dear God
Help me to see when others are scared
and to be brave enough myself
to hold out a hand
of comfort and solidarity
for a worry shared
really is a worry halved

It’s not so bad

2.3kms today and it was easy. I didn’t have to pause even once going up any of the hills.

If anyone had told me a month ago I’d be feeling this good I would not have believed them.

I wonder if I am losing weight? I wonder if the no scales idea was sensible of not. Now I am kind of wishing I knew.

I feel slimmer and one or two nice people have mentioned that I look like I have lost weight, but I really don’t know.   I am so fat that I seriously doubt losing 10 kilograms would be that noticeable.
I habitually wear very baggy clothing so I can’t judge that  my waistlines feel looser as I avoid clothing with things called waistlines.

Well, whatever the weight is up to, the exercising is going really well and to my surprise I really enjoyed my walk tonight.

That is real progress.


Sea, Sand and Sun

I had a glorious day at the beach with my daughter-in-law and 3 grandsons today.

I felt so healthy and alive as we splashed in the water, played beach cricket, built sand castles and walked through the sea.

I still look more like a beach tent that a bathing beauty, but I didn’t care.  I wore my new purple dress and it billowed about me.

I realised that for many years now I have avoided going to the beach because of my size and feeling embarrassed; not to mention feeling constantly unwell in the hot sun.  So it is extraordinary to be  able to cavort about in the shallows and thoroughly enjoy it, without a thought for my health all day.

Feeling very blessed!

A couple of naughties that I am forgiving myself for – a Hungry Jacks Veggie Burger (468 cals) and half a choc ice (150 cals).

Only downside, the backs of my legs are sunburnt.  I don’t know how the sunscreen missed there.

This was just the motivational boost I needed.
I want to be well, healthy and active for my grandsons.
I want to be able to go to special places with them and not be a tiresome old burden who has to sit in the shade and moan.

I will be!!!!

A walking chant to get me up the hill

I can never remember the Breastplate of St Patrick so I hope he will forgive me for inventing my own.

As I walk up (it is usually up) a particularly difficult hill I have begun reciting this chant to get me to the top.

I begin by focusing on God’s love and imagining how much he wants me to succeed in my quest for fitness and in restoring his creation to good working order.

I imagine his love flowing over, around and through me and I use small hand gestures (so as not to alarm any observer) as I recite:

God above me (arms up)
God beneath me (stretch arms down)
God to left of me (arms left)
God to the right of me (arms right)
God behind me (arms back)
God before me (arms forward)
God to comfort (hug myself)
and restore me (arms spread in gesture of release)


D is for diagnosis

Except it isn’t.

My doctor is wondering what to do.  She says my BP is all over the place and quite normal at night when I am asleep.
That makes drugging me tricky apparently.

Yet when it spikes my BP is still very high although not in the alarming region it was 2 weeks earlier.

I ask about the peculiarly low diastolic readings and she says it is probably just machine error.  Well that’s not very reassuring, is it?

I tell her about my extreme lifestyle changes and she wonders if I am already beginning to normalise my own blood pressure.

She says she has read of this happening in people who totally alter every aspect of their life, eating and exercise, but she has never seen it work.  Apparently most people just ask to be prescribed some pills. I am astounded!

Anyway, she says that based on the 24 hour monitor she is happy to let me go for a month or two and see what happens.

My blood tests from 29 Nov are back too and there is good and bad news.  The good news is that my cholesterol is fine, the bad news is that my blood sugar is not and nor is my Vitamin D.

Apparently my blood sugar is 7.1 and anything of 7 is bad.
Oh dear, another thing.

My Vitamin D levels are very low and I need to get a supplement. That bit is easy at least.

So I have to have a blood glucose test that involves fasting for 15 hours overnight then drinking something sugary and having my blood tested at 1 hour and 2 hours to see how I cope with converting it.

That’s booked for 4 January 2016.

So I leave happy but not ecstatic and somewhat confused.

Keep on with all the good stuff, I think, it certainly can’t hurt, and even if I do end up needing medications, I’ll be fit.



Could I?
No, let’s not expect miracles.  I was a crap tennis player as a teen so it’s a bit late to start now.

But I did enjoy seeing my middle grandson play today and I enjoyed that I felt comfortable walking around.

The day of monitoring

It was horrible!

The nurse who fitted me up and explained the equipment was lovely and so patient, but the wretched machine kept giving error readings at first and even after I was home I had to go back again.

Two hours of fiddling and it was finally correctly set.  I could read the result each time the cuff inflated and although she told me not to, I was too curious.

Impossible to work so, despite the heat, we went to the hardware store and got some bits and pieces for the garden, then spent most of the day outside gardening.

The cuff puffed up every twenty minutes and when it did I tired to stay still, but there were a lot of error readings necessitating the cuff to re-inflate to torturous constriction.

The readings were really strange.  Anything from 150ish over 70ish down as low as 112 over 45.
I was reassured that at no point was my diastolic reading in the 90s as it had been at my doctor’s appointment, but it was certainly all over the place.
I recorded many of the readings and my reckoning of an average was 142 over 55.
Now I am a bit freaked out because the diastolic seems too low and Dr Google says this is cause for concern.

Night time was awful.  Although the cuff inflated less often it woke me up every time.

By the next morning when I went back to have it removed my arm was quite bruised.

Now I must wait until Tuesday for results.

To the Top

A walk around my block is 1.3 kms, down to the bottom of the hill, along the river and then back up the next road (uphill) to home.

Should take 18 minutes according to Google Maps.

HA! I did it in 45!

I am immensely proud of myself.

The trouble with living at the top of a hill is that whatever direction you decide to walk in you start off easy, feeling as fit as, well, a fit person, but you always have a point of no return when you have walked too far down the hill to get back up again easily.

I knew this when I started off today, bravely clutching my water bottle and mobile phone,  but I was resolute and bold.

I am not sure the various people who saw me sitting, panting on their and then their neighbour’s grass verges as I made my slow way up the hill saw me in quite the same light, but I hope they didn’t think I was hanging about casing their houses.

At on point I was just wondering it it would be completely beyond the pale to stretch out prone on the grass under a shady ash tree for a few minutes, when a jogger went past (going uphill of course) and called a cheery, non-breathless “hello” to me.

Rolling myself back upright – I’m not joking, I really did have to roll – I struggled to my feet and continued to climb Everest.

Back home I thought to myself that it can surely only get easier.