Farewell #HH30

This weekend I decided that I could no longer strictly follow the HH30 challenge. I've been tired and I started getting headaches every morning, and feeling run down during the day. This cannot be attributed solely to my diet but may have been a combination of HH30 and the intense running programme I am currently following. My diet was just not varied enough, I didn't have time to plan so as to ensure I was getting all the nutrients I needed to run so much.
But, I don't want to look at this as a failure, because it is by no means one. In spite of leaving the challenge early I think it is possible to live on whole foods alone, one just has to plan in advance and have the time to be creative. Also I have learnt so much, both positive and negative.

  • I don't need to smother my food with sugar or salt to make it taste good
  • Simple, steamed vegetables are an amazing snack/meal
  • Black bean brownies are amazing!
  • Quinoa = win (actually, I knew that before, but I just want to reiterate it. If you've never had it, you should)
  • You can drink black masala chai, but sweet, soy-milky masala chai will always be King of Tastebud Land.
  • I LOVE BREAD and I promise, dear beautiful bread, that we will never be apart again. Especially you, Tiger Bread. Omnomnomnom.
So, I'd like to wish my fellow HH30ers the best of luck in their final days and would like to thank Happy Herbivore for arranging the challenge and opening my eyes to a more simple way of eating.

Basic Maths: Knitting + Cake + Pub = Love

A couple of weeks ago I was selling a few bits and bobs at a local in-pub jumble sale (in-pub = the best kind of jumble sale) and, as usual, was knitting away all by myself. I was approached by somebody who asked if I'd be interested in helping to set up a knitting club there as part of a monthly Sunday afternoon event.

Obviously I jumped at the chance and this Sunday saw the very first knitting club at Twee By the Sea, in 60 Million Postcards (Bournemouth). In a nutshell, it was AWESOME.

There was cake, including some delicious Happy Herbivore black bean brownies that I had made for us vegans and A Girl in Winter, chai and a whole lot of yarn. New knitters came along for the ride as well as us who are a bit more experienced and we even got two men involved.

Note to men: More of you need to knit, it's incredibly sexy. Fer reals.

Our novice knitters made some adorable little owls with the bits and bobs I'd supplied and all in all I think we had an attendance of around 12 people. A roaring success (or as roaring as a knitting club can be).

I'm very excited about next month's event already. If you are in the Bournemouth area and would like to learn to knit (or crochet) please come along. We have plenty of needles, hooks, yarn and patterns to get you started and I have an almost infinite vat of patience for teaching which I have only just discovered. Also, if you're old hat at knitting and fancy coming down to drink cider or chai and have a chin wag please do. The more the merrier. 3rd Sunday of the month, 60 Million Postcards from 3pm.

If you're not in this area, wherever you may be I would recommend setting up a group. With Facebook at our fingertips it's easier than ever to spread the word, it's oodles of fun and you get to meet new and lovely people.

Clambering Back on to the Whole Foods Wagon

I simply must confess to falling off the #HH30 wagon this weekend. Bread was consumed, chocolate was consumed (wine was consumed too, but we'll skim over that bit) and today I went to my new favourite Indian restaurant for lunch and ate a big fat Masala Dosa.

Please don't judge me, I had been doing exceptionally well up until this point and the wine impaired my judgement. Honest.

So, for my sins, I'm back on it harder and stronger than ever.

A fabulous thing to arise from this challenge is that my taste buds are actually starting to notice the finer depths of flavours that I was once destroying with salt (and over-cooking too). The taste of the fresh basil in tonights dinner was amazing. The whole foods dinner a friend cooked for me on Saturday night, with absolutely no salt or pepper, was delicious.

If I can more permanently break away from both added salt and sugar in my diet it would be nothing short of a miracle. With 3 weeks to go, anything could happen. Let's just hope that 'anything' doesn't include another Masala Dosa.

This Is About Knitting (not pubes)

This morning in a shop, with my change, I was handed a pube by the cashier. Not one to make a fuss so early in the day, I put it in my purse with the coins and notes, where it probably still remains (unless I passed it to the bus driver).

That story is of no relevance to the rest of what I'm about to write, I just had to tell somebody, and who better than you.


Continuing on my quest to make the world realise that knitting is not just for grandmas, I am pleased to say I have been asked to assist with a new knitting club. 'But why is it different from any other knitting circle?' I hear you ask. Here's why:

It's in a pub.

OK, so it's not that groundbreaking but this is Bournemouth and I am very excited to be part of it. The knitting club is part of a night called Twee by the Sea which takes place every 3rd Sunday of the month in 60 Million Postcards. This month (the month of May) it will be on the 16th* and I really hope those of you who are local can come along. I'll also be teaching the basics of knitting to newcomers and there will be spare needles and yarn on hand so even if you've never tried before, just bring yourself, drink a cider and have a go.
*I'm waiting for further details from the organisers about times and links and things. More details to follow!

The Sweet Tooth vs #HH30

Day 4 of the #HH30 Whole Days Challenge and I'm feeling less hungry.

I now have porridge in my life and have discovered an ingenious way of sweetening it - with a mashed banana! Yes, yes, I'm behind with the times and you've all probably been doing this for years but I am a sugar junkie. It had never occurred to me that I could actually sweeten my breakfast cereal in a healthy way. Whether I continue to do it after the challenge is over is another story. I do love sugar but luckily I'm not missing it too much because I gave it up for lent this year.

Continuing on the subject of satiating my sweet-tooth, tonight I'll be making Happy Herbivore's deliciously famous Black Bean Brownies for the first time (sans sugar, but there's banana and agave in there). I cannot wait, the recipe is so simple and it's fat free, flour free and vegan. Take a look.

Whilst all is going well on the surface though, I did dream about cheese last night. Daiya cheese to be precise (which I've never tried - come to the UK!). And pizza. And melting bits of cheese in a microwave and eating it.

Repressed much?

Running and #HH30

So it's day 3 of the #HH30 Challenge and something has only just crossed my mind. I run and am currently in training to run around 18km between Bournemouth and Swanage. I need A LOT of nutrients.

I am slowly building up my distance (I was a non-runner until November 2009) and this morning ran 6.25km, which doesn't sound much but actually burned off 360 calories. I'm not super-slim by any stretch of the imagination but I certainly don't want to waste away (or make myself sick) whilst running and doing the #HH30 challenge.

I'm going to have to make sure I stock up on a lot of carb and protein rich foods on the days I run. Obviously, chickpeas immediately spring to mind, but I'm certainly going to have to do some more research if I want to make sure I remain healthy throughout this month.

Does anyone out there have some whole food recipe suggestions to suit my lifestyle? Any ideas would be welcomed!

Now... to the kitchen I go to quieten my noisy stomach!

What a Yarn: knitcroblo7

Just over a year ago I went vegan, which will of course make this final blog (knitcroblo7) in the Knit and Crochet Blog Week a little different to most.

Being vegan means that, as well as not eating animal products, I also don't use them in any other form. This includes wools from any animal and silk products, any mixed yarn that may contain any amount of either of those products and also yarns (often cottons) that include milk proteins.

Over time, with the help of my local yarn store and our beloved internet I have found a wide range of yarns (mostly cottons) that are amazingly soft and a joy to knit with.

Obviously, now I've got you here, I would like to get you thinking about where your yarns come from. For me, I feel that it is not right to own any animal and use the animal for it's products, no matter how great the welfare standards. Have you ever considered how silk is produced or what happens to sheep during their lives when producing wool (see mulesing) and afterwards (see the supermarket)?

I believe all animals, human and non, have the right to be free and equal and that is why I choose to buy and make knitted and crochet products which are 100% vegan. I hope next time you come to buy some yarn you take a moment to consider it's origins.

Revisiting a F/O:knitcroblo6

I write this blog (knitcroblo6) from my bed. Quite appropriately, I feel like somebody pooped in my head this morning and so have decided to write as few words as possible. I'd like to reintroduce you to some old friends of mine, who are still going strong and still as loved as ever.

In chronological order, meet the poops.


Rose (Mike's Girlfriend)

Jeremy Poopling (who has the honour of living on my toilet cistern and watching everyone poop. Jealous?)

Team Winnet and The Toilet Roll

Having made the most of my last day of processed foods (e.g. booze) last night, I am now going to lay down again. Hope your day isn't too crappy (come on, somebody had to say it).