Friday 30 September 2022

30 a Week Challenge Day 5

 Thursday meals:

Breakfast: Wholemeal toast with marmalade

Lunch: Baked potato with cheese, cherry tomatoes

Evening meal:

There was a portion of beef stew in the freezer for G so he had that with the veg but I just fancied a plate of steamed veg and gravy served in a pasta bowl. Sprouts and sweetcorn added 2 points to the challenge 👍

 This was followed by some more fresh raspberries with hot, thick custard.... Delicious

Snack: iced ring donut (cue guilty look 😉 )

That takes the total to 17.25, still some way short of the 30 required 👀

Today I am thankful for:

DD's visit and a lovely catch-up chat yesterday

Good food

A warm home on a chilly day

Today is the last day before the price increases, when the energy cap changes to Energy Price Guarantee.  I will be reading the gas & electricity meters later today.  Even though we have a smart meter, I will read and photograph the readings in case of a problem later.  The energy provider has asked me to increase the DD by £38 which is probably about right but I will wait a wee while to see how the Government £66 grant will be paid.  If it goes into the energy account it should cover the increase in costs.

Do you know how yours will be paid in the UK?

It's really chilly this morning so we plan to make some sandwiches and pay a visit to the local plant nursery where we can buy the lawn dressing and grease band which we need for our apple trees at the allotment.  Some exercise and fresh air will do us good 👍

Thanks so much for popping in.  Have a lovely day and stay safe x

Thursday 29 September 2022

30 a Week Challenge Day 4

 Wednesday meals:

Breakfast: muesli with homegrown raspberries and spoonful of yogurt 

Lunch: Cheese on seeded bread grilled in the microwave, cherry tomatoes

Evening Meal: Oven baked fish, oven chips and baked beans followed by apple pie and ice cream.... 

Unfortunately, I can only add baked beans to the challenge list for Wednesday, as raspberries, tomatoes and apple have already been ticked off, but G has come home from the allotment with some YS sprouts @ 10p!  and a gifted cucumber from one of our allotment neighbours.  That will be another 2 points sometime this week 😃

The allotment produce is winding down but we are still harvesting raspberries and cherry tomatoes.  Spring onions are ready now too (another one for my food list) and there's a bit of lettuce too. 

Stay safe everyone x

Wednesday 28 September 2022

30 a Week Challenge Day 3

 Tuesday meals:

Breakfast: Porridge 


My back was hurting yesterday morning, so G offered to buy me lunch out. A local pub has just begun lunchtime carveries, so we decided to help them out 😊  The choice was turkey or gammon, roast potatoes and 3 kinds of veg for £6.95 per person. I don't usually eat meat, but the turkey looked delicious and I was hungry so that's what I had. It was piping hot and delicious. I could only add green beans to my challenge list though as carrots and peas have already been crossed off 🤔

Evening meal: Cheese bap with baby tomatoes followed by raspberries with a spoonful of yogurt.

Snack: homemade flapjack (containing oats and sultanas)

The total so far....

It's getting harder to add things to the list now.  I'm definitely flagging 👀  

I have a Sainsburys food delivery this afternoon and there are an awful lot of substitutions this week but I do have a free loaf of bread to look forward to 👍  If you click on the 'Discover' link on the website then 'Free samples and competitions' you will find the offer.  There are other things as well like flavoured milk for free.  My usual skimmed milk has been substituted for Organic milk, my bio washing powder for non-bio, and a few other things which will be refused at the door. My back still hurts so I'm grateful for the delivery.

Any idea how many different fruits and veg you consume in a week?

Today I'm thankful for:

Food delivery services

A lovely, bright & sunny day

DD called to say she is visiting tomorrow 😍

Thanks so much for popping in. Stay safe everyone x

Tuesday 27 September 2022

30 a Week Challenge Day 2

Meals on Monday:

Breakfast:  Banana & toasted crumpet ( needed eating up)


Red pepper and 4 cheese quiche with side salad eaten in our favourite plant nursery coffee shop. 

 Day 2 of the challenge and already I'm not sure how to record what I've eaten for my lunch shown above!  The side salad would be one of my 5 a day but the tiny amounts eg one slice of cucumber, sliver of onion etc are hardly portion sizes for the 30 a week challenge 😕 Maybe count cress?

Dinner: Poached eggs on seeded wholemeal toast (the toast counts as 1 point)

Snack: an apple

The total so far... 12.25 points... so far so good 👍

On the weather front, it's rained heavily all night so the garden and allotment have had a jolly good drink and the water butt is full. I didn't sleep well last night so today will be a gentle day. Nothing planned. 

Have a lovely day/evening (depending on where you are. Stay safe x

Monday 26 September 2022

30 a Week Challenge Day 1

photo from Country Living magazine

After a bit of research, I found out exactly which fruit or vegetable counts in the daily target.  See below....

In the usual 5 a day way of eating, potatoes don't count as they are carbs, but in the 30 a week they do as well as wholemeal bread, nuts, seeds, brown rice and wholewheat pasta.  Herbs & spices count too.  They count as 1/4 portion each.  Now it's sounding more achievable!

You can only count each type once in each week.  It should be fairly easy to get off to good start but I have the feeling that I might flag as the week wears on.

Meals on Sunday:

Breakfast: Muesli with homegrown raspberries and a dollop of yogurt.
Lunch: Jacket potato with grated cheese (half the usual amount 😇)  homegrown lettuce, tomatoes, grated carrot
Dinner:  grilled salmon, mashed potato, cauliflower, peas and hollandaise sauce
Snack : a handful of  mixed black & green grapes

A good start! I've just realised that I can add potato to the list now too 👍  Oh, and the muesli probably counts as it contains oats, but I haven't bothered to add it yet because I will eat porridge at some point this week anyway and can count it then.

I'm sure I will make mistakes in this challenge as I've begun this on a whim but I'll give it my best shot anyway.

Stay safe everyone and thanks so much for popping in x 

Sunday 25 September 2022

30 Portions a Week Challenge & Finances Reviewed

I read during the week that we can forget trying to fit in our 5 a day portions of fruit and veg if we concentrate on eating 30 different types each week instead.  I don't even know if I can name 30 let alone eat them, so I'm making a list this week to see how close we can get to the target.  I've started off with breakfast today which was homegrown raspberries on top of muesli containing dried fruit with a dollop of live yogurt.  There probably isn't enough dried fruit to make a portion but eating a similar breakfast for 4 days this week should equal one portion I think.  We will have grilled salmon with mash and veg for tea tonight so let's see how we go....

From the allotment we are still harvesting raspberries, runner beans, cherry tomatoes and spring onions and soon there will be baby beetroot and more lettuce.  We have cleared the spent French bean plants away and G will dig them into the ground next week.  The runner beans are almost finished and we are hoping some of the big ones we left on purposely will now dry sufficiently well to store for next year's seed.  The weather is getting to be a bit damp now though so only time will tell.

On a different matter, a news feed popped up on my phone this morning.  It seems we could be in for 10 hour long power cuts in the UK this Winter 😏

Why, oh why does the media latch onto this sort of story and report it with so much relish!
Yes....we know we have an energy crisis....yes....we know things could be tricky when demand for power is higher BUT the media bombarded us for weeks with stories of energy prices doubling with the lifting of the price cap to the extent that people were so worried they had sleepless nights ( me included) Now (thank God) we have the new Energy Price Guarantee from October 1st which is fixed for 2 years and will help poorer households to cope.  The price rise will be more like 27%  instead.  It still won't be easy for a good many families but, hopefully, G and I will be able to cope financially and not have to resort to selling G's car.....yet!

If we do have long power cuts I'll be worrying about all the produce stored in garage freezer 😔 but I suppose it will be cold enough in the garage during Winter to stay frozen for some time, especially if it's quite full and left unopened. 

Today the sun is shining, G is at work until teatime and I have a whole day to myself.  Bliss!

Today I am thankful for:

A beautiful, cold but sunny day
The announcement of the Energy Price Guarantee
A whole day to myself to knit, craft & read

How is your weekend going?  What's the weather like in your part of the world?

Stay safe everyone and thanks so much for popping in x

Friday 16 September 2022

A Celebration and a Roundup of the Week

 It seems to have been an absolute age since I last posted but my cold really drained my energy and I couldn't summon up the enthusiasm to write anything.  I do feel marginally better today apart from my head feeling as if it's full of cotton wool.

Last weekend our Granddaughter was 18 and had requested a family party with just a few friends from school and dance class.  It was lovely, a real mix of ages, and I saw a friend who I worked with in the past and whom I hadn't seen for 27 years! There was a lot of catching up to do.  The food was delicious but there was so much left at the end of the evening that had to be binned as it had been out of the fridge for too long.  Being me I managed to save some cake though!  It was boxed and frozen for another day and DD did the same thing too.  But the rest was such a waste of good food.

Later that week I had a very sad day watching the live funeral webcast of my great, great nephew who died aged 19 days.  He was a beautiful baby boy, born by C section, who had a congenital heart condition and nothing could be done to save him. The sight of his tiny basket was heartbreaking and I simply can't imagine how his parents must be feeling.  I feel devastated for them.

The rest of the time has flown by in a flurry of tidying the garden for Autumn & picking bits from the allotment.  We still have:  runner beans (few and far between) raspberries (lots and lots) cherry tomatoes, tons of sweetcorn cobs and Bramley apples.  We managed to get our Grandson up the stepladder to harvest the apples for us as we couldn't manage it.  He was like a monkey, even on the shed roof at one point! Talk about elf and safety 👀  We shared the apples around the family and with a lovely neighbour and I have been popping boxes of stewed apple in the newly defrosted freezer in the garage in readiness for Winter puddings.  Lots of green beans have been frozen too.  Later on we should have purple sprouting broccolli, salad crops of beetroot, spring onion and lettuce (frost permitting) and Christmas new potatoes.

I love this time of year.  G hates it but I was born in November and love battening down the hatches for Winter.

Stay safe everyone x

Sunday 11 September 2022

Sadness & the End of an Era

 What a week this has been, culminating in the death of our beloved Queen Elizabeth II

She looked so frail when appointing our new PM on Tuesday that G & I were worried for her health, so the news of her passing wasn't totally unexpected.  She has given her life to our country and the Commonwealth and now deserves to rest in peace.  King Charles III has a lot to live up to but I think he is perfectly capable.  Long Live the King.

I feel very rough this morning.  I have a heavy cold with headache, aches, cough and dry throat.  I've done 2 covid tests 2 days apart and both are negative so I just need to rest.  I'll make this a very short post today.

Today I am thankful for:

A Monarchy coming together as they should to comfort each other and the people.

Being able to rest up today.

A sunny day after lots of rain this week to help the parched garden and allotment, and now to dry the washing.

The promise of help with energy bills in the form of a Price Guarantee.  

I know it will still not be easy for so many people but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.......

Stay safe everyone x

Friday 2 September 2022

Cholesterol Confusion and Maths Testing

 Thank you for all the soup suggestions on my last post. It's certainly given me some ideas to try 😊

Regarding my cholesterol levels: my total is 6.2 which sounds frighteningly high. The nurse weighed me (under 10st so not overweight), my BMI is 23 (within the normal range) heart age 73 (I will be 73 on November 1st) , blood pressure is low and my diet is basically ok. I drink very little alcohol and have never smoked. She concluded that I'm only at moderate risk for heart attacks and strokes 😳 She also explained that everyone is different and due to my lower risk anyway she wasn't recommending statins at this point.

All my other tests; thyroid, diabetes, liver, kidneys, B12 and iron levels, full blood count etc were fine. Why I feel so awful on some days is a mystery both to me and the medical profession 🤔🙄 


Old age is a definite factor so I am redoubling my efforts to reduce fat in my diet still further (without making my life a misery) and pushing myself to walk a bit more each day.  Que sera sera as Doris Day sang! 

A few years ago I completed the Numeracy Challenge online and enjoyed it so, when the invitation email came through, I did it again. 

I scored 89% so my brain, at least, is functioning! I even beat my last score slightly. Power to the Pensioners!!

Stay safe everyone and thank you for popping in x

It's OK.....

  Angie 💓 xx