This blog is mostly going to be my little place to talk about the novel I am writing. Which is why I stole a quote from one of my favorite tv shows, as this novel I am writing, I plan to finish, and at times.. it feels like an impossible thing. Also this is to journal my move to the UK, and starting my own business as an Indie Yarn Dyer

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This makes me very happy. (And a recipe for homemade almond milk)

 

Yeah… I started this “diet” on Monday, October 1st 2012. (The fact that it was the first of the month was pure happen-stance. I was just waiting for the Monday after the mother in law went home, as I knew I couldn’t escape carbs right then.)

For those who are interested in what I’m doing, I’m doing the Keto Diet. Which is basically High Fat, Low Carb. Don’t worry, I’m not just eating bacon and fried eggs.

I have lost 6lbs since Monday (as I write this, it is Saturday.) That’s nearly half a stone for my UK friends. Or nearly 3 Kilograms for my friends in other countries.

This makes me exceedingly happy. I can see the difference in my face, my collar bones, and just the rest of me in general.

The weekends are the most difficult for me on this diet, because it’s generally when the hubs and I would make pancakes, or would get a pastry while out doing the shopping.

I’ve found many good resources for Keto Friendly baking, unfortunately I don’t as of yet have the supplies to start baking. Eventually I’ll get everything I need.

This is the first time in my life (adult life I should say) that I’ve started having almond milk. I made it myself even. I made it thick on purpose, using the information I gleaned mostly from this website: Almond Milk Recipe – Latte di Mandorla from Sicily and also this one: Raw Almond Milk

Now here is how I actually did it, and my thoughts.

I put the raw almonds (which I thankfully didn’t have to remove from the hard shell like Anita (Italy) did) in a bowl and poured boiling water over them. I let that soak for 30 minutes.

I then peeled the skins off the almonds. I was expecting this to be such a chore, as a previous coworker (from my stint at British Airways) came in one day with a tub of peeled almonds and complaining how her hands were so sore, and her skin so dry from peeling the almonds with her mother. I think it was these comments that truly put me off making my own almond milk for so long. Let me tell you, that was stupid. These almonds were so easy to peel! Just simply pinch your thumb and index finger on the fat end of the almond and they quite literally pop out of the skin! Occasionally they might stick in one spot, but this was not a bother at all.

Here is where I deviated from Anita in Italy, and went to Sweet Freedom. I put the whole almonds in my blender, added 2.5 cups of water and let it rip. Sadly, I am coming to hate my blender. It’s a cheap one we purchased from Asda, to tide me over, but the truth is… I hate it. Every single time I try to blend something in it, no matter how little or much liquid I have, it always comes out the top.  This is unbelievably frustrating, and I cannot wait till I someday get my Vitamix. (Hell, I’d even settle for having my Ninja back.. I never had overflow problems with that! I don’t think I can get a Ninja in the UK though…)

So once I felt that it was ground up enough (not that I could really see), I poured the liquid through a fine mesh metal strainer that I have into a bowl.

I then transferred it into a clean bottle I had, and then popped it in the fridge. Voilà!

Here is what I would do differently: I would stick with Anita in Italy and mostly dry grind the almonds up first. That way I all of the almonds actually got ground up. I discovered after I had set the almond meal to dry that there were still some pretty big chunks of almond left.

I think I would also sweeten it, as I did not.. I am trying to decide how I want to sweeten it whilst staying in the diet. I don’t know if Xylitol would work or not… Though I do have some Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup that I made (xylitol) that I have added to a cup full of the almond milk, and that was quite yummy… so who knows. I’ll try experimenting. (I’ll post the chocolate syrup soon.)

So even if this diet doesn’t last, it is doing very good at making me start making things from scratch again. I love doing that, I love knowing I have complete control over what myself or my family puts in our bodies.

This makes me happy.

To dream of owls, and other things.

 

Last night, or I should say early this morning I dreamt. I dreamt of owls. I remember 3 owls. Blue owls, different shades with perhaps some green, but predominately blue. I know there were other owls around, but there were only the 3 that were important to the dream. They were of the standard sizes when you have 3 owls. Large, medium, and small. The small was the focus. I think I had a broken finger, as it was bandaged with the pet tape style tape (I think). The tape was black, but I don’t think that makes much a difference.

 

I was in a house that until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t been in for nearly 16 years. We were in the High Desert of California, a place owned by people I have known nearly my entire life. A home away from home.

 

My cousin Mimi was making pancakes on a griddle behind the wetbar (why not on the kitchen counter 6 feet away, I’ll never know) and I had this tiny blue owl on my broken finger. It was nuzzling me and preening like any pet bird would do.

 

There was a dog crate at my feet, nothing special. Most likely an exact replica of the current dog crate that little miss Saki uses. At first I thought it was Saki in the crate. (Though in retrospect, she might have been sitting on the couch next to where Mimi was cooking)

 

I looked in the crate, and saw Pink. The tiny Maltese who was our last puppy. I remember she looked at me, but was uninterested. When I say tiny, she was the iptome of a ‘tea cup’, full grown tip to tail no bigger than the span of my adult hand. She thought she was the biggest dog in the world though. Bless her.

 

The focus of the dream after all was the owls.

 

I cannot remember who else was in the dream, but I do know the house owners (the old family friends) were not present.

 

I cannot remember anything that was said.

 

I think I was reading something in the dream, as I woke up thinking it was odd, as why do I remember that you can’t read in your dreams?

 

All I remember was this tiny blue owl was important to me.

Just a contest entry

I know you all are eagerly awaiting new posts from me. This is not one of them. Sorry. Will try to post more soon.

Enter the Lynsay Sands contest!

Happy Valentines Day.

“Happy Valentines day to those who celebrate it, and those who don’t. Today isn’t about men getting murdered in Chicago, or little cherubs shooting arrows at people. It isn’t about girls getting everything and demanding gifts and flowers. It isn’t about only feeling the love today. Remember, every day is a day you should remember to say I love you. Not just to the special someone in your life, but to the people who make your life special, and more importantly to yourself. I love you.”

Perpetual Organic Green Onions. Brilliant!

I love Pinterest. I really do. I have learned so much on there. I know some friends of mine are currently cancelling their accounts, as they feel they spend too much time on there, but I don’t know what I’d do without mine. I think I’d get rid of Facebook before I got rid of Pinterest. The reason for this is the fact that nearly half of the meals the hubby and I have eaten in the past 2 weeks alone have been dishes I’ve gotten from Pintrest.  Actually, last night’s dinner, today’s lunch, AND tonight’s dinner were all found originally on Pinterest.

One pin a few weeks ago that caught my eye was regrowing Green Onions. Perpetually growing green onions.. how fabulous!

 

Here’s the deal. You chop up your green onions, normally you’d throw away the little root at the bottom. Everyone does it, don’t feel bad. You can feel bad from this point forward. So I decided to get some green onions, and I shelled out the big bucks for the organic ones, because I figure anything I’m growing in the house/garden I want to be organic, which means starting with… organic materials!

So, on Monday, which was the Chinese New Year, I made a noodle dish for dinner with green onions. I chopped mine up like normal, and then I grabbed a glass out of the cuboard.. just a juice glass that the hubs and I don’t really use.  I put water in it (filtered from my Brita… but if you want to use non filtered water, I guess that’s your prerogative. ) and dropped the roots in. When I threw the roots in, they were perfectly flat from where I cut.

 

And today.. just a day later, I can already see growth!

 

 

See? See that little bump in the center of my onion root. That is new growth! I kid you not, that root was perfectly flat when I threw it in the water yesterday.

Please ignore the stuff on my nails. I had just made the Kale Pestummus and I hadn’t gotten all the chopped up kale off my hand apparently.

I’m so excited! These are growing so quickly, and I will have perpetually growing green onions!

All you need to do is change out the water every few weeks (I’d probably do it every week, but then I’m OCD… ) I’ll probably also need to transfer them to a taller container later on… I’m thinking a decorative vase would do nicely… Just make sure you keep them in a sunny spot and they should do fine.

 

Think about all the money you’ll save! And now I know that from this point forward the green onions in my house are organic and happy.

 

Now I just need to be better about using green onions. lol. I swear it’s not a dislike of them, it’s just that I never had them in the house. Now I won’t have to worry about that! Woot!

Kale Pestummus!! No, it’s not a new holiday.

Kale Pesto Hummus Fusion.

I realize my last post was all about me and a new diet. And then you heard nothing from me. Yeah… it didn’t go so well. I just am not one of those people who can go without carbs for any long amount of time. I was raised to respect fresh bread, and yes, I am one of those people who could happily live off of just a bit of fresh baked bread, a bit of cheese and nothing else. Honest.

I am not calling my attempt a failure, as I learned a lot about my body and what it can and cannot handle, and also how it will react to various things. I am taking what I learned, and I am still using it to create a modified version that will work for me. Mainly, I’m going to try to keep my carb and starch count down, and eat more and more veg. Yes I know that isn’t a ground shattering revelation, but there you go. I also know that from a genetic standpoint, I need to keep an eye on my sugar levels… but I also know that I cannot deny myself a sweet when I want it. If I deny myself, I will only think about it, and nothing else and the urge will become overwhelming and I will then binge. I do think I am going to follow someone else’s idea of not allowing myself a sweet (in any form) until I eat something healthy, as a way of seeing if the craving will subside.

Right now I have an absolute craving for GREEN. Which I figure can’t be a bad thing at all.

Today, I made a not-quite-hummus,not-quite-pesto concoction that is really good.

It was inspired by Oh She Glows’s High Protein Oil Free Pesto

I had been really wanting to make it, but sadly didn’t have all the ingredients.

I did however have Kale. Now my exposure to Kale has always been very limited, even though I’ve always WANTED to be on the Kale bandwagon. Now I do believe I can be.

Eating Kale raw isn’t bad, it’s just not that great. I’m a supertaster and thus the bitter is a bit too much for me. It isn’t enough that I am put off from eating Kale raw, it’s just I don’t know if I could have a whole bowl.

I sautéed the Kale with three cloves of garlic in a tiny bit of olive oil. Okay, I probably used more olive oil than I normally would have, but thats because I kept adding more Kale to the pan and needed a wee bit more to sauté the new leaves. And also, my definition of using a lot of oil is a teaspoon, yes one teaspoon. I really do not use much oil when cooking. My oil use will be even further reduced when my new Pampered Chef Oil Spritzer arrives. (I’ve been wanting one for years and finally decided to take the plunge. I went with a Pampered Chef one as I’ve actually USED one in the past and liked it, and the ones on Amazon didn’t get great reviews. I figure go with what you know, and it’s not that ugly either. And for the record, No I have not received any compensation for my comments about the Pampered Chef Spritzer. – Ugh this new rule of disclaiming is tiresome.)

Enough gabbing. On to the recipe. I was really trying to come up with a clever name for the Kale Pesto Hummus Fusion. Even put the call out on Facebook for naming assistance, sadly most of my friends are all in the US, so they aren’t quite as quick to respond as they used to be. You’ll just have to deal with my only slightly clever naming. I am a writer after all, but today my muse called in sick. Hmm Kale Pestummus does sound like a holiday greeting… or maybe it’s just me.

Some of the other name suggestions were amusing… Humsto? Pestum? Humto? Hummsto? Pummsto? Kalesto? Kaleummus? One friend piped up that Pestummus sounded like a Greek God, so it got her vote. It amuses me, so it’s got my vote as well. Huh, guess my muse didn’t call in sick after all.

Kale Pestummus

1- 500g can Organic Cannelloni beans (Navy Beans)

2-3 good handfuls of Kale (most likely about 1 cup if packed really tightly)

3 cloves garlic

dollop olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

Sauté the kale, and garlic in the olive oil till the kale is wilted and the garlic is brown. (Well you really don’t have to brown the garlic, but I did it to mine)

Put mixture into food processor with beans, lemon juice, and water. Blend till nice and creamy.  (I had to do this in two steps and also use an immersion blender because my food processor is tiny and only allows about a cup of contents. But if your food processor is big enough you should be able to do everything all at once.)

EAT!

I spread some of mine on toast and topped with cottage cheese, and it was… SO good. And look how wonderfully green it is.

Diet Day 1 – And So It Begins

Here is my journey…

Week 1

Goal: 157lbs

Day 1: January 3rd 2012

Weight: 219.2lbs

Phase: Attack

Observations: So I’ve done a bit of research online and think I have the basics of this diet figured out, I acquired (ahem) the book for my ereader and spent the bulk of December reading and rereading (sections) of the book. The website (which I didn’t give my money to either) says I should do a 6 day attack phase.

Breakfast: 1 hardboiled egg

Lunch: Leftover roast, munched on over the course of several hours to stave off hunger. 1 hardboiled egg

Dinner: Pancake – I don’t think I let it cook long enough as it crumbled, but it was decent tasting, even if it was more of a scramble due to my cooking skills lol.

3 pieces of sugarfree gum throughout the day.

Water: 2 liters (1.5 while at work, then a full UK Pint glass after I got home in the evening)

Exercise: 30 minutes walk. (10 minutes +or – walk to the pub from work. 20 minutes + or – when I got home) Rocked out to White Knight by Jim Butcher, read by James Marsters. Walked with the local grey and white cat. He (I have no idea if it’s a he) is very friendly and followed me up and down the greenbelt (for lack of a better descriptor). He didn’t object to skritches at all, and my need to skritch a cat overshadowed my OCD in regards to petting an outdoor cat. The walk was cold, but the night was clear as the storm was earlier in the day. I got to see stars. It was quite nice.

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