Little by little….

April 19, 2018

Winter is ended and Change is coming… small changes….

I’ve stopped buying bread. If I want bread I have to make it – this is two fold, as one, I’ll eat less bread in general, and the bread I do have won’t have all the crap in it. The only concession to this at the moment is lunchtime if I’ve not made my lunch – as options at work are either sandwich or a very expensive salad.

I’m back to physio next week – hopefully I’m going to get more of an idea on what I can do leg wise – are there any other home exercises I can do?

Swimming is imminent…… the now 5p sized hole is almost scabbing, so once that establishes it’s the last step to the skin beginning to repair, meaning I’ll be able to start swimming again – which in itself will help with things overall.

Less carbs in general, and more protein. This one is a slow work in progress – if for no other reason than I’m conscious it would cause some wastage if I just jump to low carb. My veg bag gives potatoes as a staple, so that’s going to require some thought….

The final thing I’m working on is drinking more water. Lime cordial is proving a godsend here. I don’t need very much but it’s just enough to get rid of the chemically taste that’s in my tap water now… I also have a supply of sparkling, which I can drink on it’s own.

I bought a 1l carafe from Ikea, which I’m trying to ensure I have at least one of per day – and then combined with cups of tea will make the 2l that I’m usually terrible at making sure I drink.


Rise of the Raven

April 2, 2018

Wow, it’s been some time since I’ve said anything on here.

A lot has changed since then – I’ve moved house, been acquired by a lovely cat, who keeps me sane far more than I’d be inclined to let on… I made some new friends, lost those friends, made others, seeing how that’s going… fought my way back to a better state of mobility, then had that somewhat quashed by additional complications which in turn also kept me away from the computer at home for the better part of six months…and there’s been some turbulence in there. But I am still here. For now, at least.

I am now the heaviest I’ve been. Period. And I don’t like it. One bit. It’s not something I feel I can berate myself 100% over either, because I simply can no longer do a lot of the things I used to which kept me relatively fit, if never trim. And then aforementioned complications have meant complete rest when not working for six months, and no swimming (which for the record, as a self confesssed water-bairn is tantamount to torture!) I’m not far off the point now though, where swimming is a possibility. I’m back on for physio, and am about to buy a bike. Not an outdoors go cycling bike, because of my leg, but an indoors recumbent one. So I’m doing what I can to ramp my activity levels up.

That, will make me feel like I’m dying and want to die. Physically at least. To start with. Once I hit a routine and rhythm I’ll be able to push through and get on with it..  but it’s going to be an uphill struggle, even though I most certainly will be mimicking flat ground to start with!

It’s not just the activity that needs an overhaul too, food will be looked at. I eat pretty healthily for the better part of things…. but it’s the other part that needs to be looked at. So to start with I’ll keep it simple. Portion control, and cut out crap.

I don’t want to set myself up to fail by  making lots of changes too quickly. I have an overarching plan, and several targets, but the short story is eat less, move more. Not rocket science. No daft hacks, diets, or wrapping myself in clingfilm (unless it’s medically needed)


I came across this picture some time ago – and it’s a good guideline to aim for, although for obvious reasons the 9k steps is not feasible for me for a while yet… but working the rest into a routine shouldn’t be too bad – I already do a fair few – just not necessarily regularly. My plan, once I’ve established the 1 session of exercise, and incorporated the 3 meals and 5 servings into what I’m doing around eating is to then introduce other changes to be part of my daily routine. The hardest one will be 2 hours of no phone before bed, as especially lately, time has fallen as such that to do that would mean nixing the sleep… but its a guideline not an absolute.

So for now – my main goal is 5 fruits and veggies per day, and trying to have three sensible meals per day! This will take some forethought and a bit of planning, but it’s by no means impossible. Just need to kick myself up the jacksy. So yep, going kinda public with my plans so I stick to them, and for accountability.

Next up will be the debate around food…. and how I’ll tackle that.



April 24, 2014

Potatoes are EVERYWHERE. And, they’re good.
They provide us with lots of things that we need, especially energy. But I’m trying to cut them out a bit… which is harder than you’d think, even for a non-snacky person…

So how do I do this?

Firstly, I look at the meals I like – can I do it simply by cutting out the potato? Sometimes, yes and just increase the veg – for example, the other night I roasted some (leanish) belly pork (fat can be good for you remember!) and instead of having potato, I simply added green beans to the red cabbage I’d braised. End result was I was full, I’d had two portions of Veg instead of one, I’d cut the carbs down, and spread my colours, as well as not having milk and butter in my potatoes.

But when you have a dish where potatoes are essential (for example Pan Haggerty) how do you tackle that?? The answer is substitute (and experiment!)

I suppose that I’m fortunate in that I like most things, and will happily try new things, and experimentation is definitely the way forwards! Foods which I’ve found as being good substitutes so far are sweet potato, celeriac, cauliflower, haricot beans, and plenty other things besides, if you’re willing to get a little creative. I’ll probably post some of my creative subs in. And you don’t have to sub fully- you could mix potato and sweet potato for example – or potato and celeriac- especially for mash!

One thing that’s proving invaluable though is Google. Not for searching for ideas, although that’s definitely a time saver when I’m lacking in inclination or creativity… but to compare what I’m thinking of using instead. I suggest you try it – go to Google.co.uk, and type in “compare potato and celeriac”.

You should see a table, with a picture of both vegetables, and a USEFUL comparison chart. If you search for comparison charts then you usually see 150g of one vs 80g of the other, which can be misleading unless you have your maths brain on and do the calculations. So You should see that Celeriac has half the calories, half the carbs, but most of the fibre that potatoes have… try with some others… and let me know any keepers that you experiment with!


So, what’s the deal now?

April 23, 2014

I’ve had trouble with my digestive system for years. Right back to my early teens in fact. Prior to that, the only things I know of was an allergy to strawberries, which gave me a great case of hives. Oddly enough, that’s no longer an issue. I didn’t really pay any attention to anything underlying though until I ended up referred to the hospital for what turned out to be a bunch of tumours in my intestines, and since then, I’ve noticed the issues – probably mostly because I’ve generally been more aware.

So because of this, I learned that pizza doesn’t like me. Nor does fluffy white bread, or flaky pastry….but other things would be fine. So I know it’s not a full on gluten issue. I have friends who are coeliac and gluten intolerant, lactose intolerant, diabetic, allergic to nuts, and all sorts, so I’m quite used to working around them… but never really bothered with me. I just avoided pizza, and didn’t eat bread except on rare occasions.

It turns out that I am actually probably having issues with the bleach that is used in white flour rather than the actual wheat flour itself, but the crunch came for me last year when I went to Denmark for two weeks. In that time (and when I got back for a week or so) I didn’t have any bread, or anything with bleach in it. By bread, I mean bread as in the UK…. What I did have was Rye bread. Lots of rye bread and I was happy as larry! Things cleared up, and I stopped feeling off. So, I moved to getting bread, when I did get it that was continental in variety, which helped, but I still didn’t feel quite as good, so decided I might need to cut down on the gluten and wheat anyway to see if that made any difference. So, just over a week ago, that happened. The bread I’ve had has been gluten free, I’ve had gluten free meals, and whilst it’s not been a complete and utter zero tolerance thing, it has made a difference already. So I’m sticking with it. I’m also trying to cut the carbs down as well, so potatoes are on the off list.

You know what is actually quite ironic? On Sunday, someone said to me as I started checking a label to see what was in it “I never realised you were so careful with your food!” The truth is, neither had I! I am by no means, a fussy eater, I like lots of things, and there isn’t a whole lot I don’t like, but I *do* like to know what I eat is made of, so I guess it came from there, although I hadn’t seen it as that. But honestly, I don’t mind, and I probably am. I’ve always tried where possible to ensure I eat real food – where I can tell what animal is it, or what vegetables are in it, and when I have the time to make it myself. When I moved into my flat a year ago, the first two and a half months were hellish, as I only had a microwave, and what you can concoct from scratch in a microwave really is quite limited!

So this isn’t really going to be about my adventures with gluten free living, or documenting my allergies. It’s about nutrition generally, and making the most of what you have, even with issues. I’ll probably post charts and things I look up and find out, as well as recipes, substitutes and the like which will help my friends and I,and anyone else who wants to join in! So there I guess is the real introduction and purpose.

Next up will be probably a post on potatoes though. Or lack of them!!


A fresh start

April 23, 2014

I’ve decided to start posting to this blog again.

I stopped because everything got dumped into the one place, which made sense, as it was everything. But Stormvixen has settled into being a bit more stream-of-consciousness, and discussing things which others may shy away from, think are just plain weird, or just not really give a stuff about. All of which are valid reactions.

It does mean however that there is potential for things which might be useful to be missed, especially as I’m in a bit of OCD mode at the moment, which for me generally manifests as cleaning and research. The research is something which could be applied to more than just me though, so I’d rather it be shared.

So why now?

Basically, I’ve taken a couple of steps the last couple of weeks, and I need to monitor and document them. So on here, you’ll find things health and nutrition related. In a way I’m a little loathe to split parts of the whole, but this makes sense. I don’t want to just sit and write though. I want to make this interactive, to discuss ideas and information. That sound OK?


1st proper day…

February 4, 2013

Activity – Well, aside from some general housework etc, and stuff, my main activity today was walking – out with my dad (on his mobility scooter) in total for 3.2 miles, with inclines in both directions, to Dronfield Hill Top – where  there is a big Sainsbury’s which we proceeded to do some shopping at. We also got some more stuff into storage, although in all honesty, I didn’t really do masses of lifting or carrying. However, taking the cooking, and moving stuff and tidying into account, apparently I burned 1283 calories from my activities, which is pretty nifty. 


Foodwise today I started out with an Alpen porridge pot, which was 269kcal, 

Lunch was two slices of white toast (not really what I’d planned, but was in a rush) with Clover spread (158+100 (around 10 grams total) so 258

Snack of pork rinds – 298kcal in afternoon after walk, as was craving salt. ,3x mcvities milk chocolate digestives, (3×86=258)

Tea was more of the salad I made yesterday, this time with Chorizo Picante with it  approx 400 kcal

plus my milk allowance (150)

gives a total of …. 1633 – which is over my 1500 allowance, BUT, if I do this… 

inputs – 1633- MINUS (BMR 2305 + activity 1283), that leaves my aggregate for the day as -1955kcal -which is over half a pound of fat my body has needed to burn to do as needed. which is excellent!

hoping to get some consistency going with this, though, so fingers crossed here. 🙂


Faster, stronger, longer, harder, better (yep, Daft Punk, meets 64million dollar man meets the Andrex puppy….. >.>)

February 3, 2013

So, if you read my normal ‘blog’, you’ll probably be wondering why I called this one Stormvixenmk2…?

Well, basically, it’s twofold. Firstly, it’s to keep all the posts I plan to make on here separate from the main blog, and secondly, Stormvixen MkII is kinda what I’m hoping to become through this.

See, now that I’m in Sheffield, and (mostly) moved in, it’s time to make those changes that I’ve been talking about for a while, and also getting on with some of the stuff in the 101 things….  One of which being to lose some weight. So, yesterday, I signed up for the gym. The gym in question is a new one, opening in March, at the Tesco just outside of town, so within walking distance of work, leaving me not so much on the excuses side of things for not going. ( http://www.puregym.com ) in case anyone is interested as to which one it is. It’s not contracted, so I can cancel when I want, although the only reason I see that happening aside from financially, is if swimming takes over as the sole paid for fitness things I do.

So, what’s my plan?

Well, it’s two-fold, and very simple. Diet, and Exercise. 😛 Specifically, eat less, and do more. Not rocket science by any means, but how I’m going to do this is something a bit different to previous things I’ve done. Been doing a bit of research over the last month as to the best way to look at stuff, and was also inspired by The Hairy Bikers’ – ‘The Hairy Dieter’s’ series.

The first thing I needed to do was work out my Basal Metabolic Rate – i.e. the amount of calories I burn a day innately – i.e at rest. That works out to be 2305, so, as long my daily intake is less than this, then I should lose fat, as the body will burn it’s fat stores to get to this figure.

However, now for the science part! 1lb of fat, is 3500 calories, so to lose 1lb of fat a week, my deficit over the week, needs to be this, and upwardly multiplied. On a weekly basis, I want to be losing at least 2lb a week, but lb2 is my goal, which means a deficit of 7000 calories a week in order to burn those extra calories. My weekly BMR equates to 16135kcal, which if I was looking at diet alone, would mean that my weekly intake would have to be 9135kcal/weekly, or 1305kcal a day. Which isn’t actually impossible, however I want to also get my general fitness back up, so, instead, by setting a daily limit, and adding in some exercise to this, I still reach my deficit, because exercise burns the calories IN ADDITION to the BMR.

By allowing myself 1500kcal per day, this gives me weekly calories taken in of 10500, which means, if you detract 9135 from that, that I need to be doing enough exercise to burn at least 1365kcal per week (195kcal a day), which is an easy target to start with, bearing in mind, that as I lose weight, my BMR will decrease, so the exercise will need to increase to achieve the same rate of weight loss.

To keep a track of what I’ve done, I plan to use http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc to calculate to make sure I’m doing enough, but for example today, I walked to Morrison’s and back, with my dad, on his scooter, at somewhere between 2-3mph, and was walking for around 45mins in total. That walk, will have burned 318 calories (probably plus a few more as was carrying weights coming back) so that’s my daily amount done. 50 mins of moderate swimming, will burn 772 calories – half the weekly allowance!

So, my basic plan is this: Have an allowance of 1500kcal/day, with at least  200kcal worth of exercise being done as well. http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/lop will help me to work out some examples of things I could do to equate that – this chart gives the number of minutes needed to burn 3500kcal – obviously, I take that number, and divide it by 17.5 to give the amounts needed for 200kcal, for example: walking at 3mph will need 315mins to burn 3500kcal, but only 18mins to burn 200kcal.

The thing I like about these links is also the fact that as my weight goes down, I can just reinput according to the new weights to recalculate, for example, if I lost 30lbs, then I’d need to walk for an extra 2mins, to achieve the same amount of calories burned.

So, that’s the science and exercise done with. On to the diet:

I bought myself the Hairy Bikers cookbook, which is interesting, as they actually add a calorific value to the portions that they cook, which the only other book I’ve seen to do that is an Ainsley Harriott one (which I also have) so am going to use some of the recipes out of there to make sure I’m still eating good food – because I am, unfortunately, one of these annoying types who likes to use all her senses when it comes to food, so if it doesn’t look good, or smell good, then I won’t enjoy it. So basically, mixing and matching things from there, along with other things, to make up my daily allowance MINUS 150 calories. And those calories go towards a half pint of semi skimmed milk- for coffee/tea/cereal. That way, nothing sneaks up on there. The main rule I’ll be looking to adopt as well, is low carb, as this will encourage fat burn to be more effective.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll be keeping a log as to how I’m doing regarding my immediate, short, medium and longer term goals, as well as the meals I’ve made, and what I’ve been doing. Hopefully a little bit more interesting than a straight log!

So as for the goals, my immediate one, is to achieve 2lbs a week weight loss. Short term is to lose 20lb, medium is to lose 50lb and longer term will stay private to me!! 😛