There’s a pattern forming here, have you noticed? Hands up, yes I’m struggling to write a diary blog each week but I have my excuses. There’s an elephant on my chest! If you follow my blog you’ll understand what I’m referring to. For those who don’t here’s the link to a past post referring to the last time I was up at ridiculous o’clock typing away in the hope that the elephant would bugger off.

My two kiddies are the loves of my life (and hubby too of course) but my goodness they can’t half test my sanity at times. Settling into their new schools has been a roller coaster of high blood sugars, low blood sugars, insulin pod failures, panic attacks, running off school property, hiding from teachers, leaving school early, meetings, almost daily phone calls…..need I go on?

My new found energy from my restricted diet has been sapped from me, I go to bed early and almost  sleep before my head hits the pillow, then lie awake watching the minutes and hours go by when I wake in the small hours. The anxiety symptoms are back in style; clenched jaw, gritting teeth, stiff neck, shoulders up to my ears, stiff hands, screwed up toes, dry mouth…the works! Oh! and the elephant, lets not forget about him!

All that aside, I’m managing to cope quite well at the moment with my eating, family meals are restoring back towards ‘normality’ and I’ve had great fun playing with new recipes.

Beating the bread blues

I was struggling to find breads on the supermarket shelves that I could eat that were wheat, barley, dairy and egg free. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am able to tolerate potato and corn flours in moderation (definitely still can’t do corn pasta and potato as a vegetable is off the menu for sure) which is such a relief as this was hugely restrictive. As you may be aware I have appointed myself as a brand ambassador for Delicious Alchemy, bless them, I do get freebie mixes to try and review which makes me feel very special but that title is strictly of my own making (note to self, must make a badge – only kidding!) Well, the bread blues took hold last week, sushi and rice cakes just weren’t cutting it any more for me so I made a loaf of Delicious Alchemy’s white bread. No frills, I was a good girl and stuck to the recipe with no Glutarama tweaks. It-Was-Divine! I’ve actually written more about it here but feast your eyes on this little beauty in the meantime;

Soft springy white loaf, easy to slice with a gorgeous crust.

Soft springy white loaf, easy to slice with a gorgeous crust.

 

Once I tried the white bread I knew instantly that I could work a little Glutarama magic with the flavours so I came up with two more breads using the White Bread Mix and Brown Bread Mix;

 

Orange and Fruit Loaf and Sun-dried Tomato Bread - easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Orange and Fruit Loaf and Sun-dried Tomato Bread – easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Other meal ideas

My only issue at the moment seems to be that I find a great meal idea and then do it to death! First it was sushi, then salads, then vegetable stir fry’s and now, this week, I be mostly eating soup and noodles! It’s not until you have a restricted diet that you appreciate how many top allergens there are in foods, my heart goes out to everyone who has to do this for the whole of their lives. Milk in soups seems to be a big thing. Why supermarkets feel the need to put milk in vegetable soup is beyond me. No! I’m talking about cream of… soups. Obviously they’ll have dairy in them, its the bog standard veggie soups that surprise me. What’s that? Did I hear someone shouting at their screen?

Make your own you daft woman!

I hear you loud and clear (must try harder Rebecca) I do have a great soup that I make every time we have roast chicken. I’ve left mum’s before with a chicken carcass to boil up for 2 hours and make my own stock. It’s a family favourite, and by family I mean me, my middle sister and my mum…NOT my hubby, daughter or son! So when I do make these soups I have to make sure there’s plenty of room in the freezer. I call it my ‘Chuck everything in, it will still taste the same, chicken soup’ catchy title yes?

In the meantime, in the absence of chicken carcasses I’m becoming quite partial to fresh tomato and basil soups and Covent Garden do a lovely Slow Roast Tomato Soup. In fact here it is with a slice or three of another bread I am making from a packet mix by Rana’s Artisan Bakery;

Slow Roast Tomato Soup with Rana's Nearly Rye Bread

Slow Roast Tomato Soup with Rana’s Nearly Rye Bread

 

Another go to meal for the past fortnight has been made with Amoy Rice Noodles. These are cheating straight to wok noodles which is an unnecessary luxury when you consider that rice noodle just need to be blanched in boiling water for a minute or two before adding to the wok, but they were calling to me on the shelf so I had to buy them! That aside, this meal is super quick, perfect for post Pilates or 6 miles walks at night and you can just stir fry any vegetables to add colour, flavour and vitaminy goodness. I would show you a picture of such a dish but they all seem to be devoured before I think to snap them!

And the benefits so far?

I’m just starting the fifth week of my 12 Week Symprove Probiotic Programme. I’m being a good girl and remembering to take my 60ml’s of probiotic every morning 10 minutes before I eat. I’ve gotten into the routine of getting up, gulping my Symprove and making Beth’s lunchbox up. The benefits I reported in my last dairy entry are being overshadowed but a ruddy great elephant at the moment, however, I am still managing to last the whole day without needing a nap, my skin is still blemish free, and my (how shall I put this) ‘output’ is beginning to behave itself and far less stressful!

What am I hoping to achieve?

I’ve not written about this yet, in fact, I’ve not really dared to think about it too much. If I ponder on it I guess I’d like to be able to reintroduce as many foods as possible. Actually, that’s a daft thing to say, of course I’d love to reintroduce EVERYTHING but common sense tells me to prepare for that fact that for some food items this may never be possible. 

MILK – If I’m honest I don’t think milk will ever be back on the menu and I’ve mentioned before that this doesn’t bother me at all when it comes to milk-milk, in fact I actually enjoy a glass of nut, oat or coconut milk whereas before I hated the taste of milk on its own. What I would love to be able to reintroduce is milk cooked into things such as cheese, cakes, biscuits, pastry etc.

POTATO – I miss crisps, but that’s not the end of the world because I also love vegetable crisps, prawn crackers and those pea snacks you can get from Aldi’s (I seem to be able to tolerate pea flour too…I don’t actually rate peas as a veggie on my plate so never ate them anyway) As mentioned above I seem to be able to tolerate gluten free flours with potato in them so that’s not an issue. Chips! I miss chips, and roasts too but while I’ve never been fussed about mashed, boiled or baked potatoes, I do miss things like Dauphinoise potatoes or Shepherds Pie.

SOYA – This is in almost everything and I’m yet to work out my levels of tolerance. Sufficed to say, making sweet and sour chicken the other day for the family using Quorn did not agree with me one little bit so I need to  take reintroduction of this one more seriously when the time comes. 

EGG WHITES – I bake! need I say more? This is really hard. I’ve not tried baking with just yolks yet and knowing the baking qualities of the yolk and white separately I’m not sure yolk would be at all successful on its own when a whole egg is required. I miss pancakes, eggy bread, cakes (although I did make a super successful Apple and Cinnamon cake that suited me) and poached egg on toast.

I’m not missing wheat or barley because I’ve eaten gluten free alongside Bethany for years now, it’s just that now I’ve gone totally gluten free. Corn or maize is again proving awkward at times but as mentioned I can tolerate it in small doses, there are other gluten free pastas on the market that I can eat that are free from corn AND the whole family like them too so that’s not a problem. 

HEALTH – I guess what I’m hoping for here is increased energy levels and a healthy, happy tummy and bowel. Too much to ask for? I hope not. To cope with what life throws at me daily, I need to have lots of energy. I’m starting to like my body again, all the aquasize, Pilates and walking is actually starting to show, I can nearly see my 6 pack, yes! that’s right, there’s a 6 pack under my mummy ripples! I’m trying not to let the scales scare me because muscle weighs more than fat and I have to accept that my weight won’t go down too much. Mentally I’m starting to feel better, my moods are lighter, and my giggle is back, yes there is an elephant on my chest tonight … or rather 04:47 in the morning but I’m definitely feeling mentally stronger.

It’s going to take time, but I’m getting there.