FitFriday XV, Fat Friday II. Lazy week, hormones, return to weights.

Fit Friday:

Last week my workouts had all but gone. This week they didn’t exist. To be fair on myself, I’ve had some physical activity: light yoga workouts, walking, etc, but that doesn’t take away from the fact I haven’t had a single serious workout. Then again, this week has been a lot of hard work with very little to show for it, so I guess no workouts is in-trend.

I have managed my diet well and through monitoring my carb, wheat, sugar and caffeine intakes have boosted my immune system again, so I should be getting ill less frequently from now on, despite an increased household footfall and the stress.

Next week I plan on trying out Shannon Clark’s advice for female lifters and following my cycle with my lifting. This means giving myself a kick up the butt and forcing myself to gradually increase calories and workout frequency and intensity as my period fades out; go into full high-rep, high-calorie, high-carb, high-endurance work over the follicular phase; go for doubles and singles on low-carb, moderate-calorie meals when I am ovulating, and take a break and restrict calories between ovulation and my next period. Who knows, this may work. 🙂

 

Fat Friday:

Despite being awful in the exercise department, I’ve been pretty good in the diet area. Calories hitting just the right amount, solid sugar control and few treats.

The best thing I ate all week was obviously the chips. I rarely have chips, but I don’t think this affects how amazing they taste. Deep-fried potato is my favourite potato. Though, after a while without it, liver comes a close second.

The naughtiest recipe was chocolate bread and butter pudding. So much sugar and junk. But so yummy.

Next week I will continue restricting sugar, caffeine, carbs and wheat. And workouts will have to return. 😀

WWW. Orange and Ginger Turkey and Chocolate-Cake-Bread-and-Butter-Pudding.

Yes, it’s all divine. Didn’t actually have it today, but today was busy and yesterday was not. Today we’re having a much easier but just as tasty turkey balti curry, the recipe for which I will include below as a way of using leftover turkey and trimmings.

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Recipe 1: Orange, Honey and Ginger Turkey.

First of all, mine turned out a bit dry, but that was largely because I kept opening and closing the oven and had to turn it off due to a scheduled lesson.

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Ingredients:

-1 whole turkey

-1 orange

-1 bitter apple

-5tbsp ginger

-2tsp honey

-100ml lemon juice

Utensils:

-deep baking tray

-tin foil

Recipe:

1: Cut the apple and orange in half. Place one half of each inside the turkey cavity, along with the lemon juice.

2: Slice the remaining orange and apple. Lift the turkey’s skin and insert underneath it.

3: Tie the turkey back up so the fruit juices won’t escape. Rub with ginger and honey. Leave to marinate a bit.

4: Place in the tray. Roast at 180C for 2h for a 4kg turkey. Cover with foil once brown.

Recipe 2: Giblet Gravy.

Ingredients:

-turkey neck, heart and liver

-100g butter

-1 large onion

-salt and pepper

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-frying pan and spatula

-blender

Recipe:

1:  Chop up the offal and onion.

2: Pan-fry in butter.

3: Strip the meat from the neck, discard the bones.

4: Blend everything with a little water, salt and pepper and turkey fat. Thicken with flour if required.

–The following recipes are for using leftovers as best possible.

Recipe 3: Chocolate Cake Bread and Butter Pudding.

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Ingredients:

-stale cake

-butter icing

-milk

Utensils:

-knife

-deep baking tray

Recipe:

1: Slice the cake into even pieces. 1/2 to 2 inches is good.

2: Either layer across the bottom of the tray (driest side down) or overlap in a spiral.

3: Add the butter icing to the very top. Pour milk over all of it. Soak.

4: Bake until the cake is moist and sticky.

Recipe 4: Leftovers Balti Curry.

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Ingredients:

-leftover turkey, potatoes, assorted vegetables (peas, swede, cabbage, carrots, anything) and gravy

-250g chicken livers

-1 large onion

-Balti curry mix, paste or sauce

Utensils:

-chopping board and heavy knife

-frying pan and spatula

Recipe:

1: Chop up the leftovers, onion and liver.

2: Add to the pan with the gravy.

3: Simmer until the liver and onion is cooked-through.

4: Add the curry  and, if needed, some water.

Ours had potatoes, cabbage and peas.

WWW. Deboned Sweet Potato and Bacon Chicken.

So, back to mostly Paleo/Primal foods, even if there is cake here and there.

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A deboned, sweet potato and bacon-steak stuffed chicken with oven-roasted veggies and a soup-come-sauce.

Listed as steps rather than recipes so you can follow it through steadily and minimize prep time for a marvelous meal.

Step 1: Deboning the chicken.

Ingredients:

-1 whole chicken

Utensils:

-paring knife

-heavy knife

-poultry shears or strong kitchen scissors

Recipe:

1: Turn the chicken onto its back and cut off the tail and neck with the shears.

2: Using the paring knife, make a slit down the spine, to the bone.

3: Use your fingers to pry the flesh from the bone and lift. Insert the paring-knife and slowly carve around the chest, lifting and slicing.

4: When you get to the wings and thighs, dislocate the bones and, using the heavier knife, cut them away from the collarbone and hips.

5: When you reach the chest, gently pull the breastbone out of the flesh and away from the skin. Avoid using the knife so you can’t accidentally pierce the skin. Lift the main bones out of the bird and place to one side.

6: Now you decided how much bone to remove. I decided to debone the thighs, but leave the legs and wings bone-in.

7: To debone thighs, roll back the skin and make a cut down the bone to the knee. Use your big knife to break the knee and then carve around the thigh bone with the paring knife.

8: To debone legs, roll the skin up the leg and cut up to the knee, carve around the bone and be sure to remove all cartilage and the splinter bone.

9: Deboning wings is easier after cooking.

Step 2: Prepping the veg.

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Ingredients:

-1 small sweet potato

-1 small aubergine

-1 small parsnip

-200g swede

-olive oil

-chicken trimmings, raw

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

Recipe:

1: Wash the vegetables.

2: Cut into 1×1″ cubes.

3: Drizzle the aubergine, parsnip and swede with oil. Place in a pan with the chicken trimmings on top.

Step 3: Stuffing the chicken and roasting.

Would you guess there are no bones in the torso or thighs?

Would you guess there are no bones in the torso or thighs?

Ingredients:

-1 deboned chicken

-300g bacon steaks or gammon

-your sweet potato

-celery

-paprika

-salt

Utensils:

-baking tray

-baking twine

Recipe:

1: Fill the body cavity and empty bone areas with sweet potato and/or celery sticks.

1: Place the bacon or gammon where the backbone would have been.

3: Flip the bird over into a tray and tie it tightly shut.

4: Roast with the mixed veg at 160C for 1.5h.

Step 4: Making the sauce.

Ingredients:

-1 cup parboiled rice

-1 cup broccoli and peas

-the grease from the roast chicken

-the meat from the chicken trimmings

Utensils:

-small pot

-blender

Recipe:

1: Blend everything together.

2: Blend in warm water until thick but pourable. Add salt and pepper.

Jon's serving. With the totally non-Paleo beans.

Jon’s serving. With the totally non-Paleo beans.

On a budget: Do you need a car?

I’ve decided that if I don’t have an essay on Monday, it should be due to working on the book. Therefore, I will replace essays with book excerpts whenever there isn’t an essay available.

From the book in progress, “On A Budget: The good housekeeper’s guide to economizing.” I really need a cover for this, by the way, so I’ll be working on something watercolour-ey soon!

The previous excerpts were on supermarket grocery shopping, time management, mending clothing, cooking, vouchers and coupons, staycations and children’s clothes. This one is from the start of the chapter “Transport”.

1.- Cars or alternatives?

Even if you’re hellbent on avoiding owning a motorized vehicle any time in the near future (and I don’t blame you, by the way), it’s worth seriously considering the advantages and expenses of owning a car. So even if you’ll skip ahead to the public transport section after this, at least give this first section a little time and thought. It’s important to bear in mind that when you compare a car to other forms of transport you’re not only considering paying-off the cost of the vehicle, but you’ve also got to factor-in fuel, maintenance and other consumables such as air-fresheners and de-icer, that you would not use if you didn’t have a car. Therefore, the total yearly cost of the car is the car’s price, plus the fuel you used from first owning it until disposing of it, plus all its maintenance, plus insurance, plus MOTS, plus all the accessories, minus the amount you can get when you sell it on (as a vehicle or as scrap) or part-exchange, divided by the number of years you own it. As a formula:

Cost of car = (price you paid for the vehicle + [yearly fuel cost X number of years you ran it for] + total maintenance costs + total accessory cost + [yearly legal paperwork X number of years you paid for] – amount it’s worth at the end) ÷ the number of years you used the car for transportation.

Worked out like this, it’s easy to see how sports cars become more of a lifestyle than an economic mode of transport.

However, when considering running a car we don’t need to think of it in terms of how much we will spend on it as much as how much we need to spend on it.

For example, good tyres that last twelve months and eighteen thousand miles are probably worth £80. However, if you are at either extreme and either burn through tyres or just drive fifty miles a week then you’re better off with something you can cheaply replace. Likewise, a very high end vehicle will always need better tyres than an older or less powerful one. This holds true for most parts: bar antiques, older and less expensive cars will be easier to maintain and find parts for than newer, pricier models. It is, however, worth noting that with very old cars you may however be restricted to pattern parts that may no longer carry a guarantee, so maybe think it over twice before you buy yourself a bargain fix-er-upper.

Also, a car is going to cost a certain amount per mile. In terms of fuel this means that many short hops will wind up costing more than a few longer drives. In terms of maintenance this means that travelling largely on B-roads is likely to wear more on the breaks than travelling largely on motorways. And, the other way around, spending a lot of time on motorways will soon leave you with slicks, but shorter drives on well-maintained A-road will usually damage them less. You need to consider how many miles you will be travelling and what sort of speeds and terrain you’re likely to encounter.

If you’re considering getting a car for urban travel you may want to reconsider entirely. Most modern cities are as cramped as termite mounds and far less organized. For starters the traffic is continually stopping and starting. What makes your drive to work take twice as long and feel five times as stressful is also taxing on the engine and very fuel-expensive. Everything from the gearbox and brakes to belts and fans degrades faster in the hot, dirty environment of the city where you are continually in traffic-jams, changing speeds and suddenly stopping. Due to how cramped cities are and how much of a rush everyone is in your chances of almost killing a cyclist or of getting caught in an accident are far higher than anywhere else. Even the motorways aren’t as dangerous as a busy city-centre. This also increases your chances of a breakdown, which means you either accept the added cost of breakdown cover or you take your chances and risk being vehicle-less for a number of days.

Finally, wherever you live, if the longest trip you make is around 5miles, there is little excuse for owning a car. Unless there is no public transport, no taxis and you can’t ride a bicycle, there are often cheaper, more feasible and more reasonable alternatives. The only exception to all of this is if you need to use your car as a sort of glorified shopping trolley: a small vehicle that makes it easier to carry your shopping home. If you’ll largely be using your car to transport groceries, small goods and fragiles, then you need to consider an entirely different sort of car. Look for something no larger than a Beetle or a Renault 5 (often called super-minis). Look for a small bore petrol engine with very low fuel consumption. This is the cheapest way of running a small vehicle for your shopping and other transportation needs. Just don’t abuse it. These cars are not to be used more than once a day and definitely not to be taken cross-country once a month. They won’t carry you for many total miles or at much speed and won’t tackle country roads or motorways very well at all. They work best in cities and within the boundaries of villages for very short distances at a time. Keep them for their intended purpose, use alternative transport when you need to do anything else and these little cars should last you a very long time.

Now that you’ve assessed the cost of a car it’s best to realize that almost every single alternative is cheaper than owning a car. Public transport, bikes, carpooling, everything bar possibly some train services and flights. However, bear in mind that cars are primarily convenience vehicles. You will rarely find the convenience of a car anywhere else than a car itself. When thinking of a car as a practical vehicle, you need to consider two sides: firstly it’s net cost and the amount extra you’re paying, secondly it’s value to you and how much that makes it worth. After all, if it costs you £10/week more than public transport and you feel the time it saves is worth £10 or more, then all’s well and good. To make this assessment a little easier, I will list the conveniences and inconveniences of driving and you can then consider how much value you place on each.

Conveniences:

1: You manage your own schedule compared to public transport or carpools.

2: You save time compared to some public transport, walking or cycling.

3: You can carry more things with you compared to most alternative transport and have your car pre-packed.

4: You have your own space in which to relax and enjoy the journey.

Inconveniences:

1: You need to spend your time focused on driving rather than working on emails or reading, like you could on most public transport.

2: Driving in rush-hour can be a very stressful experience.

3: You are wholly responsible for anything at all going wrong.

So consider the value each point adds or detracts from your life and compare that value to the extra monetary cost of running a car.

As a final point, if you’re largely considering the car for speed and control, wish to use it for things such as going to work or small shops and will generally carry only one or two people, most commuter motorcycles can do the same job and are usually cheaper, faster and easier to keep in a city than any car.

And remember, if you’re trying to cut down on costs, it’s generally inexcusable to buy a large, sporty or otherwise gas-guzzling vehicle unless you run a delivery service or have six children and three dogs.

Fit Friday XIV. Fat Friday I. Fasting and a flat tummy.

Fit Friday:

So my workouts have all but gone. More housework and some yoga, but no weights. I’m starting to feel the catabolism! But, on a serious note, I’ve kept my protein intake up to limit muscle-loss whilst dieting and not lifting.

After two days of eating too much I decided to start fasting again. And I love how perfectly flat and smooth my belly is when there’s absolutely nothing in it. After a few days on largely veg, try fasting and see how trim you look by comparison. It’s a brilliant ego-boost.

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Die Antwoord again. I Fink U Freeky is probably the big one.

For the next week I am going to focus on fasting more often, try and get my weights back in and seriously contemplate trying another version of the pill, in case it helps with my hormonal-headcase-syndrome.

Fat Friday:

I think this started as a joke on RPW, but I’ve decided to add it into my blog. Basically a counterpart to Fit Friday where we admit to our diet and health wrongdoings and consider how to avoid them in the future.

The questions are as follow and you can answer them one by one or in a paragraph:

1: What is the most delicious thing you ate all week?

2: What is your current favourite naughty recipe?

3: When were you lazy this week?

4: How do you plan on counteracting all this next week?

So this week I’ve been very lazy in terms of workouts, but at least kept busy with actual work and housework. I need to get my weights back in to encourage my hamstrings to match my calves and quads, lest I have oddly chubby thighs forever.

I’m not going to lie, far too much of that chocolate cake went in. I’ll be as good as possible and avoid eating piles of something like that for a while, but it’s so delicious. Obligatory anime-face: *¬*

Next week I’ll stick to my morning fasting and continue piling in veg in the afternoon and evening, along wil a nice pile of protein.

Chicken and Parsnip Pizza with Baked Potatoes.

Been a little busy, so here’s a post-bomb day.

We had an amazingly bad for you chocolate cake for pudding. Mmm!

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Ingredients:

For the dough:

-2.5 cups self-raising flour or flour with agents

-3tbsp olive oil

-1tsp salt

-1tsp sugar or honey

-1/2tsp paprika

-1/2tsp mint

-warm water as needed

For the sauce:

-1 small parsnip

-400g/14oz chopped tomatoes

-1/2 sweet onion

-chilli oil to taste

For the toppings:

-1/2 sweet onion in rings

-2 diced chicken breasts

-200g/7oz cheddar cheese

Utensils:

-chopping board and knife

-frying pan

-flat tray

-mixing bowl and spoon

-rolling pin

Recipe:

1: Mix the flour, salt, sweetener, paprika and mint.

2: Make a well and add the oil.

3: Slowly incorporate the water into the well until the dough is firm, dry and stretchy.

4: Roll into a ball and leave to one side.

5: Finely dice the tomato, parsnip and half onion.

6: Pan-fry with oil and a little salt until everything is softened and there is no fluid left in the base of the pan.

7: Stretch the dough out into shape on the tray. Add the sauce.

8: Crumble the cheese on top and add the chicken and onion.

9: Bake at 160C/30F for 35-45 minutes, or until the crust sounds hollow when tapped.

10: Serve with a jacket potato, chips, beans or a side-salad.

The pudding that's really, really, REALLY bad for you.

The pudding that’s really, really, REALLY bad for you.

Elspeth, bless her heart, has given me an award.

Elspeth nominated me for the Liebster Award.

I’m not quite so sure about being the model wife, but I’m working on it. 🙂 Thank you so much.

Anyway, I need to say seven things about myself that are not easily guessed on my blog and then nominate some people.

1: I have a very deep passion for words. Learning new languages, tracing etymology, hypothesizing about sayings, reading anything at all, reciting poetry and songs by heart… all of this gives me a sort of thrill followed by deep peace. Anything I perceive as abusive towards one of the languages I speak greatly offends me and I always feel the need to correct it, even if I don’t act on that urge. When writing I read my own words again and again and correct them several times until they are pleasing to read both aloud and silently. A well-metred, gently rhyming piece of iambic pentameter or a clever haiku are definitely in the top-10 of life’s greatest pleasures.

2: I have a strange relationship with caffeine. As long as I’m overall feeling well, it just enhances my senses and gives me energy. If I’m depressed or hormonal it calms me and evens me out. If I’m stressed or ill it makes me feel angry and sick. And I won’t know how I’m going to react to it besides having a cup.

3: I prefer the boring, slow or repetitive work of tutoring over the people-facing part. Correcting homework, sending emails and translating help me unwind and are far better than face-to-face interactions.

4: When I was 100% positive I would never meet someone who resembled myself enough for me to love him, my life plan was lifelong celibacy, become a traveling journalist and spend my free time on a bike with a sidecar, keeping a dog, painting and writing novels.

5: I abhor throwing food away. It’s a waste of time, money and good food when it goes off or when someone doesn’t finish their plate. I’m probably going to be one of those mothers that doesn’t make herself a serving because she knows she’ll eat all the leftovers off the kids’ plates and then finish a bowl of something nobody else liked. And I’d rather miss out than get fat.

6: I don’t actually understand people who are attracted to drama, gossip and conflict. I try and get involved when I think it helps my social standing to do so or when it may help me get rid of someone who’s annoying me, but it’s very confusing to me and I somehow even manage to get gossip wrong. When I disagree with someone I work overtime to keep the tone neutral and the matter as a debate rather than an argument. Overall, I’d rather talk mechanically and amorally than let my conversational partner take it to an emotional level, where I have no interest in continuing.

7: I spend far too much time watching anime and cartoons and have moved onto dubs now that I have to do my chores or essay marking whilst watching it. It’s far easier to mark an essay whilst listening to an anime than whilst reading subtitles.

I award Magoosa and Emma, because they’re brilliant and I don’t think they’ve been tagged yet. No-obligations tagback to Elspeth and another no-obligations one to Hearthie and Jennie.

Anyway, the rules of the award are to say 5 random things about yourself, answer my 5 questions and pass the award on to five bloggers who show sweetness, dedication and community spirit. So here are my questions.

1: How did you come up with your blog? How do you decide what to write?

2: What is the hardest fact you’ve had to accept in life?

3: Who do you love the very most in this World?

4: What is your most time-consuming activity and what would you put the time into if you could get it back?

5: What is your dream home like?