All of the pleasure, none of the pain

It’s properly cold now. I mean it’s only getting up to 16°C during the day. Well, OK, but it has been 1°C overnight. And the Aussies have NO IDEA about insulation, double glazing, or appropriate heating for their houses. I fear I may lose some fingers.

Now can I get some sympathy?

For me, as well as for my poor cats, the only answer is to stuff in the calories like they’re going out of fashion. It’s a dangerous game and is the reason Bertie has turned into a little dumpling in a few short weeks.


But I still need to eat, so I thought I’d roll out the fun-free cake again, this time in a different incarnation.

apple and date cake

Apple and date cake

This time I replaced a third of the dried fruit with diced apple and sliced the remaining apple to line in the bottom of the tin, along with a little spray oil, before baking. I also added 1 tsp cinnamon. Goddamn, it was delicious!

For interest’s sake, I thought I’d do a little calorie counting. Each 70g slice (1/12th) contains:*

  • 15g dried fruit, 30g fresh fruit and 20ml fruit juice
  • 8g of almonds
  • 3g protein
  • 2g fibre
  • 140 kcals (600kJ) (vs 275kcals (1170kJ) for shop-bought lemon drizzle)

But … that’s nearly half the calories.

So I had two pieces. With some Baileys ice cream.

I am my own worst enemy.


*I am not a nutritionist and all the maths is my own. You’ve been warned.


Light-weight, hard-hitting breakfasts

Having got back from all my travels, I’m going back on the wagon. Not THAT wagon, although to some extent it’s a little inevitable. I mean the diet wagon.


About a year ago, Mr Eleanor and I had a medical. They weighed us both, and we both exclaimed “oh, fuck!” I’ve always been a little bit on the heavy side but never had much success with losing weight. I think that was primarily because I was never actually really dieting 😛

But this time “something has to be done” and “things have to change“. And this time I (we) succeeded, losing nearly 20lbs (9kg) each on a cunning diet I devised called Eat Less (You Fat Bastards).

One of my bucket list items is to reach my ideal weight, preferably by Christmas but definitely by my 40th early next year. This is a weight chosen by me, not Vogue magazine, that will infinitely improve my health (reduce pressure on my arthritic joints, reduce the risk of diabetes etc) and hopefully stop my jeans trying to macerate my internal organs when I sit down.

homemade granola

I only tell you all this because I’ve been trying to dream up some healthy, lower calorie breakfasts that abide by my need for higher protein in the morning. (And that will also alleviate the crushing despair and boredom of being on a diet.) So here are my thoughts for some, in the region of ~250kcal:

  • Egg and toast: 1 piece wholemeal toast, 1 poached egg, 6-8 cooked mushrooms and a grilled tomato (no added fat – not even for cooking!)
  • Toasted cherry almond cornbread (2 pieces – no butter)
  • Granola and fruit: 50g homemade granola, 1/2 an apple or peach, 1 tbsp low fat yog
  • Bircher muesli
  • Berried soy milk porridge: 40g oats, 100ml soy milk + water as needed, 50g fresh/frozen berries and a scattering of toasted almonds
  • Cheesy sweet potato muffin
  • Banana toast: 1 piece of wholemeal bread, 2 tsp peanut butter, 1/2 sliced banana, a sprinkle of cinnamon

cheesy muffins

I only have 5 or 6lbs to go which is GREAT! But ‘they’ tell me that those last 5lbs are the hardest to shift. ‘They’ can be really negative sometimes, can’t ‘they’?

Now all this talk about food is making me a bit hungry …