Monday, 15 June 2009


...we're moving to wordpress. Come along, bring beer and I'll provide lame entertainment.

Please UPDATE YOUR BLOGROLLS (readers, bookmarks, etc):

See you there!

Wait! Let Me Explain...

Oy vey, is it just me or are weekends too short?

One of my biggest fears is being misunderstood- or rather, being judged unfairly without having a chance to explain myself properly. I don't know why this is such a big deal for me- one part of me says, "who CARES what people are thinking?" but the other part really does care. A lot. Everything I do, I feel a need to explain in detail, to rationalise, to justify. Part of this is justifying things to myself- I judge myself more harshly than possibly anyone else judges me. I have been finding more and more that I am second-guessing every choice I make, trying to find a reason behind it (why am I picking tuna for lunch? why did I eat an apple and not a banana? why did I buy that brand of toothpaste?) Everything needs to have a valid reason and method to it. It's not enough for me to just say, "I put granola in my yogurt because I wanted to"- I feel like I need to approach it scientifically and explain it further ("I needed some carbs/fat/extra calories to make up for a lighter dinner/blahblah"). When did it get so complicated? Why is it not just enough to go with the flow and do what *I* want without fear that I'll have stones thrown at me?!

I started writing this thinking more about my fear of being judged by other people- though the more I think about it and the more I write, I think that my biggest fear is the criticism I dole out to myself. The guilt, the risk that something might go wrong, the relentless pursuit of my elusive dream of 'perfection'.

"It is easy to protect the body from poisoned arrows, but impossible to shield the body from the poisoned darts that originate within itself"

I need to work on chilling the heck out fostering a more compassionate attitude towards myself. To find a balance between caring what others think of me, but also accepting that their opinions and judgements are based on their own ideas and opinions and not necessarily factual. And most importantly, to ease up on myself. I keep talking about this but it's an ongoing struggle to let go of the idea that I need to be a certain way/do things perfectly for fear of what might happen if I loosen the reigns, and trust that I am 'okay' just as I am...

"Sometimes the only means of transport available is a leap of faith"

In other news:

I am 95% sure that I am going to be moving over to Wordpress. I've set up a blog and am ironing out the kinks and trying to figure it out- it's not as user-friendly as Blogspot, but I think the change will be worth it. Has anyone who has made the transfer found 1) a way to set up my blogroll to either be in order of most recently updated like this blog, or 2) is there any way I can automatically redirect people who go to old site to new one?


For breakfast I made 'Sunshine Cheesecake' again in an attempt to combat the grey sky I woke up to.

Just as good the second time around (that's what she said!) I feel like this tastes too dessert-like to be a 'healthy' breakfast.

There was a Clif bar consumed...

Maple nut- hands down, my all-time favourite flavour. I love anything maple flavoured. When I was growing up, we only ever had real maple syrup if we had pancakes- it wasn't until I was in New York when I was 22 that I was introduced to 'pancake syrup'. What IS that stuff? Is it supposed to taste like maple syrup? I like it (hello, sweet and sog-inducing?) Real maple. All the way.

Aaaaaand, a fiesta salad (soon to be followed by a siesta- I got up at 4am!)

Tuna, kidney beans, rice and a rather generous scoop of salsa on a bed of sprouts and spinach.

Question: what do you like on pancakes/waffles? Maple syrup? Pancake syrup? Jam? Yogurt? Fruit? It's rare that I eat them, but when I do, I'd take real maple if I had the choice. Though when I was in France, the crepes with banana and nutella were amazing!

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Rocking It Out In The School Of Life

Things I Have Learnt This Week

  • houses do not clean themselves
  • if an electrical appliance looks like a safety hazard, it probably should not be used
  • some things are better left unsaid
  • Amy’s Kitchen make delicious meals but they are designed to be ugly enough that nobody would pass them off as their own cooking
  • sometimes the person you expect to kick you when you are down is the one who helps you back up
  • being true to myself is more important to me than compromising who I am to fit in
  • I can’t control what anyone else does or says, just how I respond to them
  • all it takes is one person to say, “I believe in you” to make everything feel okay again
  • crack wraps were the missing piece in my self-devised tailor-made food pyramid
  • I worry too much about what people think
  • I don’t say “I love you” enough to the people I would want to hear it
  • everyone needs a little cheerleading squad in their lives, but it’s also a good idea to have your own pom-poms ready
  • the only way to overcome a fear is to face it head on
  • words have a tendency to get lost in translation and can hurt like hell when they do
  • if I get up at 4;30am and go back to bed after breakfast, it’s very likely that I will be half-asleep all day
  • everyone makes mistakes sometimes
  • living in the ‘real world’ requires a lot of compromising, a lot of patience and a lot of compassion
  • I have a very limited vocabulary when it comes to describing good food. My words of choice are: delicious, great, amazing, fabulous (note to self: bookmark a thesaurus)
  • using a list format for posts is awesome when I am feeling lazy makes it easier to formulate my thoughts


I woke up with a Hugh Jass mug of coffee bowl of purple goodness.

Oats, blueberries, Fage and a twist on Emily's PBU (I used almond butter, which I guess makes it 'ABU'?). Emily- you are a GENIUS! According to an online thesaurus, I can describe this as appealing, delectable, delicious, delish, divine, flavorsome, heavenly, inviting, luscious, mouthwatering, palatable, saporous (eh?!), scrumptious, tantalizing, tasty or yummy. I’m going to go with all of them. Yes, it was that good.

Why do they not make more nut butter flavoured things? There is no shortage of bars/cookies/cereals, but why not yogurt, milk, etc? I know we make our own combinations, but there are so many different flavours of yogurts out there but no nut butter ones. I'd pick that over 'lemon chiffon' anyday. (Stonyfield? Yoplait? You reading this?) Or peanut butter hot chocolate? I might need to order some PB2...

Lunch also included (but was NOT limited to) something which could be described the same way as my breakfast, but I won’t write out the whole list again hit “ctrl + p” again.

As much as I love mushrooms and spinach, I really just wanted the hummus. Think I could make a hummus smoothie? Just blend this all up and call it a Chick(pea) Monsteress?

The rest of my food over the last 24 hours has been rather dull in comparison, so I won’t bore you. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before so don’t lose sleep over it… ;)

Question: Live Writer is still not working for me. I can write/format but then can't transfer my post to Blogspot. Does anyone use Live Writer with a blogspot blog? TiPz needed!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, 13 June 2009


Someone once told me that if somebody annoys you, it’s because you see parts of yourself reflected in them. I definitely agree with this. Lately I’ve been finding it harder and harder to keep in touch with a lot of my friends because I know they are going through a hard time and as selfish as this might sound, it’s not something that I can handle right now ('survival mechanism'?). I’ve stopped talking so much on my blog the last couple of weeks about the day-to-day ups and downs and I’m finding it really useful to write through the eyes I am trying to see through rather than through the dark sunglasses I often wear. I got bored of my own thoughts and bored of writing them down. It wasn’t changing anything. The changes in my own state of being have only taken place when I have shifted the focus from ‘what’s wrong' to ‘how to create the life I want to live’. I think there is a lot to be said for our visions/perceptions creating our worlds- there is definitely times where it is important to address current issues/difficulties, but I’m not willing to do that right now. I want to be around positive people. I am very easily influenced by what goes on around me and I attribute my progress lately to surrounding myself by people I look up to. I don’t want to be surrounded by people who tell me I won’t/can’t cope. We all need cheerleaders at times in our lives, and at this point, I need people around me who believe in me, who will push me that extra mile and who will shine a light when my own candle burns out.

It’s only natural to have a bunch of different people in our lives who all bring out different qualities in us- some of my friends and I get together and do the craziest random things and have days filled with laughter and bizarre shenanigans. Other friends and I sit huddled over coffee in Starbucks having serious discussions and debates. I enjoy BOTH, but at the moment I am finding that I am drawn more and more away from the ‘serious’ aspect and just…want to have some fun. Partly because of what’s going on for me right now and just a need to switch off, have a good time and remember the fun side of life. But partly because I want to ignore and deny the struggles I AM having and as long as I am not laughing/joking around, it all seems too real. I’d rather just ignore it.

I think my biggest ‘personal cheerleader’ is my dad. I grew up with him telling me constantly that I could do WHATEVER I put my mind to. It makes such a huge difference to have that knowledge that despite whatever crap is going on, there is someone out there who believes that you’ll make it through somehow.

Who are your personal cheerleaders?

I wasn’t going to post much today but deleted my draft and what do you know? A long rambling babble came out!

Before I forget, I need to mention Janetha for her comment yesterday about the pickle:

“daaang that thing is huge! I wonder how you got your mouth around it?”

I am just playing around this afternoon pretending I know what I am doing with the Live Writer I downloaded yesterday. If this post actually makes it onto my blog, that means I have figured it out *pats self on back* (gotta give yourself some props sometimes! ) So far, am liking it- thanks Alice!


Bran flakes, mashed banana and Fage twin pot- I am going to call this 'Sunshine Cheesecake' from now on.

Since yesterday’s breakfast, I have had crazy cravings for coconut. I LOVE the flavour of coconut but hate having the pieces stuck in my teeth for weeks until I brush them. Though it does make for an easily accessible snack later on...

For anyone in the UK, the Pureprotein bars often raved about on blogs are now available in Holland and Barrett. YEAH! Though I do love the white chocolate coconutty taste of this bar…

I went for a long walk this morning to do a few things (read: stock up on hummus and falafel) and also went to my mom’s house and now have FULL custody of my George Foreman grill. Which could only mean one thing…

Red pepper hummus and cheddar cheese. There are no words. For anyone yet to jump on the ‘crack wrap’ bandwagon, please do…your life will change forever. Unless you don’t like hummus. In which case you are crazy should dip it in ketchup.

Question: are there any foods you love the taste of but avoid because of the texture? For me it would be avocado and coconut. Avocado is mushy in a BAD way (mushy cereal = a good mushy) and coconut just gets stuck in my teeth. Love the taste, but can’t get past the textures.

Okay...the upload from Live Writer didn't work so I had to copy/paste and upload pictures again directly onto Blogspot. It said the server forbid it? Anyone able to help me out with this?

Friday, 12 June 2009

The Day After The Night Before

1 bus fare = £2.00
1 burger = £6.00
1 night with good company and great conversation = priceless

Thank you for the support yesterday- I had SUCH a good time last night! Alice was so sweet and it was great to meet another blogger. We talked about all kinds of stuff- including Windows Live Writer and the "blogspot V wordpress" debate, as well as lots of pictures. I am pretty sure that the people around us though we were complete dorks very interesting people. Haha!

We met as planned at the restaurant and sat down- once Alice told me that she was disappointed they didn't offer her favourite item, we wandered off to Wannaburger. It was so much fun- it was like a New York diner and we sat in a booth drinking soda, chatting and waiting for our food.

I started with a PICKLE! I've never seen these on a menu in the UK and *had* to order one.

(anyone want to throw in a "that's what she said" worthy comment here?)

Next up: BURGER!

Grilled chicken, tomato relish, salad and pineapple on a bun. I LOVE grilled chicken- not because it's "safe", just because it's delicious when cooked properly and this place grilled it to perfection. So good. Messy, but fabulous (and pretty too, right?!)

I was worried we wouldn't have anything to talk about, but the complete opposite happened- I to have a tendency to babble occasionally (no s***, Sherlock!) so I hope I didn't intimidate Alice with my ramblings...hehe.

When the check came, I got my chocolate fix after all.

Peanut M & M's which we shared before heading off into the rain and walking home. We actually live really near each other so hopefully will meet again soon!

I woke up this morning in SUCH a good mood. Glorious sunshine streaming through my windows (at 5am- it gets light SO early here and stays light until after 11pm! Love it!)

Breakfast was heavenly...

Oats cooked in water, swirled with frozen blueberries, fromage frais and topped with a chunk of crumbled coconut bar.

I went to the only store in Edinburgh that stocks pumpkin and the guy there asked me why I come so often JUST for pumpkin. I mentioned some of the things I make and he has asked me to write them down to be included in their new cookbook! How cool?! The book is in the process of being compiled and all the recipes are based around canned/jarred products they sell.

Lunch included this amazing wrap.

Red pepper hummus, paprika, alfalfa + radish sprouts, tomato, mushrooms and spinach. Mmmmmm...

Random story- when I was in the store yesterday buying some things (hummus, mushrooms, spinach, soy milk) a guy came up to me and started asking if I actually ate this kind of stuff. I said "yes" and he started rifling through my basket! Then he started asking me if I voted (um, no... I can't vote in this country) before calling me a "damn hippy" and wandering off. Some strange people out there!

Well, I do believe that this is the closest I have ever come to doing a 'proper' food post (ie, without too much of my inane ramblings!)

Question: when was the last time you ate at a restaurant and what did you get?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Rising To The Challenge!

After I left treatment in New York and was living in the city, I ate out several times a week. My schedule was hectic between a day program, work and school and it was just impractical to go home and eat all my meals- I was busy and I loved it. Despite my ups and downs since then (2007) my visits to restaurants got far less frequent, but I still did it. Gradually it dwindled down to a very small handful of restaurants that I felt 'comfortable' eating in. Not because they offered particular foods, but I knew what to expect, what things looked like and could reassure myself by remembering that I had eaten there several times before.

It's been 7 months since I last ate in a restaurant. 7 months since I've eaten a meal that wasn't completely prepared by myself, calculated to the exact calorie. Tonight I am meeting up with another Edinburgh blogger for dinner and I am REALLY excited. Usually I need weeks to plan for this so it's all been a kind of 'last minute' thing (to me!). I haven't spent hours agonising over the menu or worrying- I have surprised myself by quite how calm I am about it. It's hard for me to even eat something different at home, never mind go out and hand over control to a chef I've never met. I am anxious- there are a lot of challenges for me this evening. Going out and breaking out of my routine is one, unknown food is a second, meeting someone new is a third. I haven't even contemplated the idea of cancelling- again, NOT like me (I can be such a flake in situations like this!)

I guess the difference is that I am excited to face something new and something different, rather than focusing on what could go wrong or the fear aspect. Sometimes just tilting your head a little and looking at a situation from a slightly different angle is all it takes to shed a whole new light on something...

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
- Mother Teresa

My meals so far today have been ugly, but delicious!

Breakfast, after boiling water on the hob to make coffee (I feel like I am camping- need a new kettle!)

Pumpkin, fromage frais, honey nut shreddies and peanut butter. Honey and peanut butter are such a perfect pair :)

Snack involved no chocolate!

Fage with muesli. I am so obsessed with yogurt at the moment- it's so versatile and delicious. I don't like it by itself, but mixed with fruit/cereal is such a great snack.

Lunch was inspired by a conversation about pot-lucks and pasta salad with Janetha...

Tuna pasta salad on a mound of spinach- and yes, that would be ketchup hiding under there... I tried to hide it, but my camera was NOT playing along. *sigh*

2 questions for today!

  1. what is your favourite thing to pair with peanut butter?
  2. what is your favourite thing to mix into yoghurt?

Hope everyone's Thursday is going well- will be recapping tonight's shenanigans tomorrow! Wish me luck! (Alice might need some luck too for putting up with me...hehe)

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Do It In Style!

Sometimes it takes me several hours to put a post together. I have a lot of days where nothing I write seems to make sense and I can't put my thoughts into any kind of coherent sentence. Finally, I click the 'publish' button only to come back and edit, time after time after time. I see flaws in my writing- spelling, grammar, punctuation. I worry about who is reading and what they will think of me or how they will interpret what I have written.

I worry about which 'niche' my blog falls into or where it fits into 'blogosphere'. I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't HAVE to fit into any particular niche- if somebody asked me what my blog was about, I wouldn't have an answer. It's about me- sleeping, eating and everything that goes on inbetween. Thoughts, actions, ideas... There isn't a 'right' or 'wrong' way for a blog to take shape- that's what makes them so special and unique. I could spend my whole life trying desperately to fit in to any one particular crowd, or I could step into an empty space and claim it as my own.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how people see me or what they think or me. My mistakes are amplified in my head to be huge disasters, when really...people, for the most part, have their own stuff going on that is far more important than if somebody has used the same word twice in one sentence. Yet still, I panic. Egocentric? Neurotic? Perfectionist? Likely a combination of all three. I don't know what would happen if I stopped caring so much- what thoughts would fill that space. Whether I would go back to fretting over food and calories, or whether the time and energy would be channelled towards something productive. Whenever I drag my thoughts away from the 'obsession of the day', another one seems to creep in which is equally problematic.

I remember when I was much younger and waiting to be called up for my turn in a music competition. I was crying because I was so convinced that I was going to mess up and make a fool of myself. My music teacher kneeled down, looked me in the eye and said, "go out there and give it ALL you've got- go right ahead and make mistakes...but do it with confidence, do it like you mean it and nobody is likely to pick up on it". I did go out there, I did make mistakes, but I kept on playing. Rocking it out (well, as much 'rocking' as you can do playing traditional Scottish music on a harp) and I came home with a gold medal.

Moral of today's ramblings: go out into the world and give it all you've got. Mistakes aren't what make you different from everybody else- they are what make you exactly LIKE everyone else. Nobody is perfect, despite how they may appear on the surface. So screw-up, pick yourself up and start all over again. Just make sure you give it your best shot and if you fall flat on your face, at least pretend that you meant to do it that way. A little self-confidence goes a long way when it comes to "faking it till you make it".

Speaking of 'going out with a bang', my KETTLE EXPLODED last night. I turned it on to make a cup of tea, and there were sparks, weird noises and a huge 'BOOM', before all the power went out in my apartment. What did I do first? What ANY blogger would do- grabbed a camera...haha.

You know you are addicted to blogging when... ;)


Some food highlights from today, after I fixed the power last night. Just call me the 'DIY Diva'.

I woke up at 6am which is LATE for me.

Pumpkin banana oatmeal topped with peanut butter. Eaten cold.

Are there things you eat cold that most people would eat hot (or vice versa)? All of my food is eaten cold- I cook most of my things the day before and leave it in the fridge. I always LOVED eating cold leftovers when I was younger, so now I just skip straight over the 'first time' and go straight for the 'leftover' aspect!

Chocolate fix...

Glenny's brownie spread with white chocolate peanut butter. Yes, it was as good as it looked :) I never ate peanut butter until I started reading blogs (and never considered myself to be a fan of chocolate- but reading back some recent posts would indicate otherwise!) Ha...

What foods have you started eating more of since reading blogs? My main ones would be peanut butter, hummus and oatmeal. None of which I ever disliked or purposely avoided- I just never really thought of them as appealing/interesting. Now I can't imagine life without them!

Post-therapy (real psychotherapy, chocolate therapy is a given these days!) I made a curried chicken salad and spinach wrap. I love the dried apricots and raisins in this...though I love dried fruit in anything!

Still on the lookout for a vegetarian chicken salad recipe- anyone got one they recommend? (Elise?!.)

Thanks for the menu suggestions for tomorrow- I am really looking forward to it! Wish you could all come!

Have a fabulous hump-day everyone!