Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Challenge complete!

The end of my 30 day bread-free challange!!! Yahoo!!!

Every single one from my Baker's Dozen has been sadly missed. It's been a long month!

However, it's been easier than I expected to not snack on toast, eat sandwiches, or have bread based products. Bread and butter pudding was sadly off the menu this month (my favourite!) but I survived. I found you need to be more organised if you’re avoiding the convenience of sandwiches everyday. It takes planning - cooking, prepping, shopping and thinking ahead.

So, today for lunch I had complete freedom in the form of a bread roll sarnie, having spent my 30 days (pretty much) bread free. What did I throw together? An outstanding, delectable, mouth-watering fish finger roll - and a posh roll at that! It had olives baked into the bread, and I jazzed up the fish fingers with the rest of yesterday's roasted/pickled peppers.



                                                        A-maz-ing.


However!!! One hour later, my old friends Bloat and Indigestion came home to roost. See?! Quitting Bread did help my stomach, and the effects were immediate when I returned to a normal diet.

This challenge has done me more good than just health reasons too. I was secretly getting a little stale (!) and bored with sandwiches and their umpteen fillings. The variety I've found on the shelves at Tesco has done me good, and I'm much more inspired now when filling my lunch box.

I think I’ll still have the occasional slice of toast – that’s what I missed most – and a sandwich when there’s nothing inspiring around to eat, or I need an ultra quick snack, but I definitely will continue to find alternatives to bread. Plus, I don't know how many more curries I can attempt to eat without a naan bread. It smells and tastes so good, but this month's sacrifice has made my stomach feel much less bloated for the last month. Success!

Bloat-o-meter: 10/10 - I won't be having a sandwich tomorrow for lunch!

Signing off for the final time... I'm going to miss this blog!

Louise x

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Day Thirty - Final day of the challenge

The final day of my bread-free month. Lunch successfully avoided bread as I had mini feta cheese and herb pasties with roasted pickled peppers, a banana and a chocolate muffin. Delicious, but perhaps an M&S treat should wait until after pay day next time. £6 for all of that - and the banana was free from my fruit bowl this morning!

Quote of the day:

"People who eat white bread have no dreams."
    -  Diana Vreeland (originally Diana Dalziel)
       Quoted in AnnetteTapert and Diana EdkinsThe Power of Style (1994)


I agree whole heartedly. If you're going to eat bread, make it brown!
Stay tuned for the conclusions of my 30 days of Quitting Bread...

I cannot wait for a choice sandwich for lunch tomorrow!!! So much convenience, choice, freedom and pleasure!

Bloat-o-meter: 1/10 - a lovely variation, if a little high on fat content.
Louise x
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Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Day Twenty Nine - penultimate day!

Leftover potato salad was the order for the day. Delicious even 3 days later.

One slip up... I am getting sloppy! I was ravenous before hitting the gym tonight. There were some leftover sarnies from a buffet we had at work today, so I secretly scoffed a couple of ham sandwiches. Why do triangle shaped sandwiches taste even better?! Guilty pleasure…

Not much to report today. Kind fo looking forward to finishing this. I miss naan bread. Garlic bread. The convenience of the humble sandwich.



Bloat-o-meter: 2/10 - the gym worked off most of my bloated-ness from the cheap buffet sandwich I scoffed.

Louise x

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The final weekend

The final weekend of my bread-free month challenge.

Saturday, Ciaran was late home from work. Starving, I sneaked a slice of toast. I know, I know, naughty me, but there was nothing else in the cupboard to snack on. I'd have had to cook half a dinner if I hadn't cheated and eaten that wholesome, healthy wholemeal slice. We have no food! Sunday is catered for and shopping isn't done until Monday in our house!

Quote of the day:
"Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant."
 - The Bible, Proverbs 9:17.

Incidently, I found an amusing post online today, comparing men to slices of toast. Click here to read "Men are Toast", the short article by Brie Gatchalian.

On Sunday I had lunch out with a friend who was visiting from Stoke. We both had fish cakes – a brilliant alternative to a bread-y burger, naan bread and curry, sandwich or wrap in Las Iguanas. Yummy! 100% success rate today at least.

Bloat-o-meter: 2/10 - I'll add a point for my cheat on Saturday

Louise x

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Saturday, 20 November 2010

Day Twenty Six - Date Day

Today I’d booked the day off work. Ciaran, my patient, bread-loving boyfriend, and I had a shopping day in Milton Keynes, and went to see Stomp perform. We hadn’t had a Date Night for a few weeks, so we planned “Date Day” today to catch up - theatre, lunch and shopping.

Having a bit more time in the morning than a normal weekday, I prepared us a potato salad for lunch. Always a winner!

Any potato salad I make always has the following ingredients:

  • Potatoes (obviously!)
  • Sweetcorn (simple, easy, healthy)
  • Light Mayo
  • Onions
  • Chives
That’s the basics. Other ingredients I like to add if I have them is little pieces of ham or small strips of bacon, fresh peppers, crunchy bacon bits, capers, or peas. Although, peas and capers are unadvisable in the same dish as it’s hard to tell them apart – cue the occasional shock to your taste buds!

Nicely full, we left for Date Day. Stomp were fantastic, and we got some great clothes from our mini shopping spree - all in all, a great date!

Bloat-o-meter: 1/10 - I lurrrrrve potato salad!

Louise x

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Day Twenty Five - lunch at Heidi's

I'd warned my good friend Heidi about my Quitting Bread challenge, so I wondered if she would remember not to make sandwiches for lunch when I popped round today. I didn't want to put her out, but a challenge is a challenge... apart from garlic bread, as you've seen!

She had remembered! What a star!

We had a lovely jacket potato each with curried chicken and mayo on top, accompanied by tomatoes. Yum - I will have to remember that idea. I get so sick of beans and cheese on jackets!

Since then, I've googled alternatives to cheesy beans. How's this for a great selection?
  • chilli con carne
  • coleslaw
  • cheese and leek
  • salsa
  • fried mushrooms and garlic
  • yoghurt & cucumber
  • tuna mayonaise
  • corned beef
  • smokes sausage and mayo
  • leftover curry
Go bake that potato!

Bloat-o-meter: 1/10 - Thanks Heidi!

Louise x

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Thursday, 18 November 2010

Day twenty four - European influences

Today it was freezing. The first day I'd got in my car this Winter to see the thermometer read below zero, so today I took a ready meal for a heart warming lunch. I'd not tried this one before, a spanish chicken dish.

Advantages? 

 + A delicious taste
 + Kept me going until tea time
 + It only took 6 minutes warm up in the oven

Disadvantages?

 - It STANK!!! A strong garlic aroma lingered in the office all afternoon, and probably followed me around until bedtime
 -  I had to use the afore mentionned sock-drying microwave at work - ew!

Bloat-o-meter: 2/10 - more filling than bloating

Louise x

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Day twenty three - Each Quiche, Pear, Plum...

Apologies if the title confuses anyone... It's a slightly tweaked version of a nursery rhyme if no one knows?

"Each peach, pear, plum, I spy Tom Thumb..."

I've no idea where the rhyme goes from there!

Anyway, I digress. Today's lunch was a nice looking cheese and ham quiche I grabbed out of the freezer this morning. This morning being the key point - I forgot to take it out the freezer last night so it was still a little frozen for lunch today. If only the bin men at work didn’t use the microwave to dry off their wet socks, I could have had it warmed up!

Accompanied with fruit and a mince pie, it was a perfect combo. Hooray for the return of mince pies and the festive season!

Bloat-o-meter: 1/10 - no bloated feeling, hooray!

Louise x

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Day twenty two - Support from the Irish!

My bread-free diet had some advice offered to it today which might have helped lead me off track today:

"Eaten bread is soon forgotten" - an old Irish saying, according to my boyfriend's mum.

Bearing that in mind, last night I went round to Ciaran's mum's house to have dinner to celebrate him starting his new job so successfully. We had spag bol (thanks Ann, always a winner!) and , I ask the question, what is spaghetti bolognaise without garlic bread? Italians world-wide would be turning in their graves!

I was so stuffed from that dinner, it was hard to tell if I was bread-bloated.

BTS - Back Teeth Submerged
TTT - Tummy Touching Table

 It was delicious though, and such a pleasure not having to cook for ourselves!

Bloat-o-meter: 4/10 - I didn't gorge on the garlic bread too much...

Louise x

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Sunday, 14 November 2010

I didn't cook once this weekend!

So what was on the menu for this weekend?

Saturday was a complete disaster and I made absolutely no attempt to stop it. We ordered in a curry from our new local curry house, Curry Junction, and a tikka naan was too tasty to resist. I didn't even feel bad about cheating on my challenge. It was delicious! How can you have a curry without a naan??? Sorry, I don't even feel like I have let you down, dear reader... Maybe this is when I should quit?

Actually, wait a minute though - I still didn't eat sandwiches for lunch. I had cream cheese on ryvita with tomatoes and olives. I successfully avoided the bread and filler option at least... Not a complete disaster then. That's what I've decided anyway!


The day: Sunday evening
The location: The Harvester
The Crime: Croutons from the salad bar
Oops!



Sunday lunch I was dining alone, so I had an omlette. Simple. Easy. Peppers and onion, 2 of my 5-a-day. Half a day of success.

Saturday's Bloat-o-meter: 8/10 - it was a big naan!
Sunday's Bloat-o-meter:

Louise x

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1/10 - a good score, even with an honest little mistake

Day Nineteen - Quick lunch

Busy day!

This was my last (week) day off from "moving in week", so lunch was quick, rushed, and pretty standard. I still managed to avoid bread, but tinned ravioli and a yoghurt doesn't do much to sustain you through getting back in the swing of unpacking this morning, having my friend coming over for a cuppa, dinner to sort out for the evening, and I still had to plumb in the new washing machine. Perhaps homemade ravioli would be more filling... I might try it someday.

Hungrrrrry!!!

Bloat-o-meter: 1/10 - not worth the hunger!

Louise x

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Friday, 12 November 2010

Day Eighteen - Wedding bells!

Today Ciaran and I went to a wedding of some friends, Lauren & Phill. We had a quick lunch of pork pie and salad before we headed off into Northamptonshire. I don't know if I can eat many more olives, starting to look like one!

The wedding breakfast was lovely, and I snuck a cheeky bread roll as it was a bit of a celebration. I think one or two pieces a week doesn't hurt, it must be a culumulative feeling of being bloated and having belly ache. Nice to know I can have the odd bit now and then, but I will continue to be bread-free for the rest of the month.

    Wedding menu:

    Local pate and Melba toast

    Chicken, pancetta and white sauce with veg

    Apple frangipanes and clotted cream

The cake was my favourite bit. I think there were two layers of icing on the chocolate sponge too, making it even more delicious. Top marks to the baker there!

Congratulations to Phill and Lauren, it was a lovely (bloat-free!) wedding!

Bloat-o-meter: 1/10

Louise x

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Day Seventeen - Market Day

Before doing my “top-up” grocery shop, I headed to the Tesco café for lunch. The sandwiches looked delectable, but I plumped for the macaroni cheese option. It was actually pretty good!

On to the shopping, and to the bakery section on my Auto Pilot mode. Boy, did those baguettes look good! I tore myself away and headed off down the shower gel aisle. I needed another scent to distract me. Help! Christmas scents helped me out, spiced apple candles from Glade was in the next aisle, mmmm!!!!

Back to Winslow, where we moved to on Day Fifteen of my challenge, and market was in town. It consists of an olive stand, a butchers, cards and wrapping paper, flowers, veg & fruit, and oh no! Bread! Batches, cottage loaves, crusty loaves, rolls and baps, a bread-free wanderer’s nightmare! I bought some bread. But I won’t have any, promise! Ciaran will find it a hard task to fill his lunch box this week without it. That’s allowed, don’t look at me like that!!!

It might even help with settling into our new domestic bliss. Narky boyfriend the other night, as he couldn’t snack on toast before bed like normal. I offered him a banana instead… He wasn’t impressed!






Bloat-o-meter: 1/10 - getting the hang of this!

Louise x

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Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Day Sixteen - Unpacking Galore!

Unpacking started today. What a daunting task, boxes everywhere! I am sooo glad I labelled most boxes when I packed them. It made finding the kettle, toilet roll and TV remote much easier!

The last of my tomatoes were picked before I moved house, and I ate them today with lunch. A sad day, I’ll miss my summer veg patch. I’ll be chomping at the bit to get into the garden at the new house come spring!

Still, the last crop of my home grown cherry toms were delicious sliced on top of cream cheese Ryvitas. I think I prefer tomatoes on the crackers as it gives the snack a bit of moisture. You know the old game of how many Jacob’s crackers can you eat at once without a drink? Maybe I should do a Ryvita challenge!

Short post today, lots to do!

Bloat-o-meter: 1/10 - one less thing to worry about!

Louise x

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Day Fifteen - Moving Day!

Our new house
The big day was finally here! My dad, (who came up to help us move - legend!), Ciaran and I had Ginster’s pies for lunch with a cereal bar. I am craving Vitamin C so am living on OJ for the move. 

Dinner at our new house last night could have been an easy sandwich, but no, we fired up our new oven and had chilli salmon and chips. Mental note, buy some ketchup when I'm at the shops next!

Exhausted…but loving the new place and the comfortable stomach!

Bloat-o-meter: 2/10 - althought I'm not sure I was bloated, just greasy from the pie

Louise x

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One big weekend...

We’re moving house this weekend, so the kitchen cupboards are close to empty. This is proving hard without bread to rely on for snacks and quick tea times. Moving, having no oven/microwave/electricity has proven hard to avoid an easy sandwich this weekend.

My drunken Hen Do confession post (see below) was from Saturday, a simple and slurred confession, but lacking in detail. Let me update you, so you know I'm not cheating...

We enjoyed a nice buffet lunch on a farm, with games and pampering, and then the 6 of us went out to the Haha Grill for dinner and ­­cocktails. I had hot beef salad. Haha was lovely as always, it never fails, my favourite restaurant.

Sunday – the start of the move. A late breakfast was lunch, easy score there. My house was all packed up, and I headed to Dunstable for the night (where Ciaran lived for one more night). We had dinner out, a delicious roast pork dinner at the new place in Chalk Hill. Lovely, good fuel for the move tomorrow.

Bloat-o-meter: 1/10 - feeling great!

Louise x

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Saturday, 6 November 2010

A confedssion after several cocktaisl!

Just got in from a gerat Hen Do in Milton Keynes.
I had a sliuce of french baguette with dinner. It did very littel harm.
CONFESSION!
Done.
Lauren, Bride To Be, love you! x

Friday, 5 November 2010

Day Twelve - Lovely Lunch

My lunch box almost didn't make it to work with me today. With no bread allowed, my lunches are looking more and more tasty each day with the variety of food making it to the cut. I caught Ciaran eyeing up my lunch pack this morning as he was leaving. If I hadn't caught him, I'm sure he would have pinched it for himself!
 Today's lunch:
  • Prawn scampi and dipping sauce (cooked last night, how organised!)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • A kiwi fruit
  • A lemon curd filled muffin - the best bit today
And Ciaran? What did he get for lunch? I packed him off at 8am with a spare muffin.

Bloat-o-meter: 2/10 - full, but not bloated

Louise x

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Thursday, 4 November 2010

Day Eleven - National Sandwich Day

It's National Sandwich Day!

I suffer! I want a sandwich!!! 


So how did I cope, bread-free, on this national treasure of a national day? Too bad we don't get a Bank holiday for it...

Today's lunch was an item purchased from Tesco across the street on my lunch break. A pasta pot, tomato flavoured. It was cheap, but, probably quite obviously as a result of this, it was also pretty horrible. Way too vinegar-y, and probably had more calories in it than a Christmas turkey.

I’ll say on thing about bread – it’s easier to plan around. If you don’t have anything in the fridge, just make a peanut butter and jam sandwich! Is it me or do they taste better slightly squashed? Oh how I miss PB&J sarnies! I realised yesterday I haven't eaten cheese for almost 2 weeks even, due to my bread/sandwich ban!

No. No. I will carry on, the strong, non-bread eating damsel in National Sandwich distress.   

Bloat-o-meter: 3/10

Louise x

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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Day Ten - Haunted by the radio

On the radio this morning, I think the DJ in question knew I really fancied a Subway for lunch. The first song I heard was "Make it with you" by... Bread. Thanks, what a good start to the day - not!

I made lunch from leftover salad from had last night, the delicious tomato, goat’s cheese, olive and capers dish. It looked great on the plate, dead fresh, healthy, and colourful. The envy of my office!

All good until… I realised the “cake” I had for dessert, a delicious iced Chelsea bun treat, is actually bread! I think… Hmmm cake or bread? What do you think? Judging by the moderately bloated feeling I had within the hour I’d be inclined to think it was a bread. This was exactly what I was trying to avoid this month. My first mistake. Oh, bother!   

Bloat-o-meter:  6/10

Louise x

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Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Day Nine - lunch out!


Today's blog is unofficially sponsored by...

I had lunch out with a friend today, so I was spared from the 7.30am lunchbox packing chore. I chose a curry from the limited but tasty Waitrose café menu (all glam, us!), which lasted me well into the late afternoon’s gym session.

Tea. My first tea time with no sandwiches, as "hot dinner" was at lunch today. This is why I prefer to have packed lunch at noon and a hot dinner at home in the evening. Something to look forward to, creative time in the kitchen (!!) and something to warm you up, but sandwiches, or their bread-free alternatives don’t really tick either of these boxes.

However, I had a flash of cuisine inspiration while pounding and sweating on one of the Towcester leisure centre's cross-trainers. A tomato salad would be fresh, full of vitamins, and lacking in the all important wheat and yeast. Olives, a little crumbed goats cheese, lettuce and some capers made for a delicious (albeit summery) dish for my late October evening. It meant ANOTHER trip tp Tesco, but it was well worth it. Delicious!

Bloat-o-meter: 4/10 for the curry. Could do better.
                           1/10 for the salad. Top marks!

Louise x

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Day Eight - Imodium hangover

Monday, Monday...

Today is dedicated to Emily - hello from Milton Keynes!

 There was 2 tubs of cream cheese in the fridge this morning, and in my sleep-dazed state, I took the wrong tub to work with me (Gromit!). So now I have two opened cream cheese pots. The one I took was boring old plain cheese, intended for a jacket potato, not half as enticing as the garlic and herbs one left lonely and already opened in the fridge. Damn. Well, I can foresee many more Ryvita cream cheese lunches on the horizon now!   

Bloat-o-meter: 8/10   - Even reliable Ryvita couldn’t help my Imodium hangover

Louise x

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Monday, 1 November 2010

My first bread-free weekend

I admit it, I cheated a little on my first weekend day of being bread-free. I woke up so late (both days…) that this weekend I had breakfast for lunch. A healthy bowl of muesli and a banana. Boring but satisfying, and I successfully avoided sandwiched, toast and bread accompaniments all weekend.

Sunday evening I got Runny Tummy Syndrome. I don’t know what caused it… too much mashed swede with our roast chicken maybe? Not fun! Normally I’d mop up my insides with a sandwich, but no, I’m not allowed! Crisps were my alternative, as amazingly I had finished the last of the BOGOF Ryvita’s. Unhealthy, dirty food, but so satisfying.

They didn’t have the desired effect, which is where the Immodium came in. This was not a good first weekend. The tablets did what they were intended to and I felt like I had a brick in my stomach for the next 2 days.

Bloat-o-meter: 10/10. And I hadn’t even eaten any bread! Eurgh!

Louise x

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