Hello Southern Hemispherites!!

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  • After a rest, a cuppa and an apple for lunch (still struggling for appetite with this infection), I have loaded a few videos.


    I hope they work, I’ve never used imgur for videos before.

    Hello everyone,

    Omg that heat, my heart went out to you Gday, and LJoyce, I was so hoping you wouldn’t get home until the cool change had gone through. Talk about the sublime to the ridiculous!
    Just loving your photos (what a good photographer you are) and the videos.
    I hope you are continuing to recover well from that chest infection.

    And my heart went out to you Intesha, too. Such a dreadful time to be trying to find a place to live. I hope your inheritance is in a high interest deposit and that your brother doesn’t come near it.

    By the third day of the heat I was finding it very difficult and then, when I could finally open my home to cooler air, it was flooded by the highly irritating leaf trichomes from the stressed plane tree on the street. Dreadful rhinitis attack! Thank heavens for zyrtec working.

    Neil, if you have been eating well, living out of your garden, and eating less than 1900 calories a day, ignore the stupid scales and congratulate yourself. And accept these medals: https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/81ExnoW6gLS._AC_UF894,1000_QL80_.jpg
    It doesn’t matter what the scales are showing, it is the perfect behaviour for your long term health and if your work clothes are a little tight now, they won’t be for long.

    Sending good wishes to everyone

    Good morning everyone

    The respiratory infection is finally improving. Resulting in me actually getting a reasonable amount of sleep last night and even managing a 15min very slow walk this morning – the first time I’ve left the house in days. The walk was probably not sensible, but I just needed to see something other than the same 4 walls. It will be a few more days before I’m well again, but it’s nice to be seeing improvement.

    Neil, I’m glad you liked the photos, I hope they helped with the disappointing scales result.

    Intesha, I will keep hoping for the best for your housing situation. Getting away from Sydney prices sounds eminently sensible.
    I hope that amongst these troubles, you can actually enjoy your planned holidays.

    GDSA, I’m sorry I couldn’t oblige by dragging some chilly weather home with me. I’m hoping autumn will start here properly soon.

    Cinque, Glad you are still picking things from your tiny garden. It has been odd not to have one myself this last summer. I’ll will get working on the winter garden soon as I don’t need to wait to clear summer beds.

    Lindsay, poor little Scarlet, I hope the events at the park don’t make her afraid of other dogs. Very cute pic – Scarlett the honey thief.
    I hope you get the meal & snack planning sorted – much more difficult when you have a spouse who needs fattening up.

    Anzac, hope the planning continues well for the European holiday.
    Antarctica is well worth braving the cold for, and it’s not actually that cold during the day. When I was there daytime temps were 0-5C. Given how much gear we are wearing it’s actually pretty easy to get too hot. If you go out on deck at night it’s very cold, but I only did that occasionally at dawn or sunset to get a picture.

    My weight has been decidedly odd. Before I left on holiday, I had been doing AD fasting and had gotten down to 78.9kg.
    While I was away, I did not fast. But at the hotel I skipped lunch and on the ship I skipped breakfast most days. I picked up a small tub of plain yoghurt from the breakfast buffet and put it into my mini fridge for mid morning. I felt like I was eating a lot – especially the delicious cheeses which I had after almost every lunch and dinner. There were also plenty of sweet treats offered up for afternoon tea, supper and desserts, and while I didn’t overindulge I did eat some sweet treats every day. I expected to return with a huge weight gain. But the gain was modest, I was 80.5kg when I got back – I had to check several times that I wasn’t misreading it! Given how hugely swollen my legs and feet were from the flights, I knew I had at least a couple of kilos of water weight on board, so this modest gain made no sense to me.
    I was moderately active on the holiday. I did do the 30min stretch/yoga/pilates class at 8am every morning. I got some modest exercise onboard walking to things and using the stairs rather than the lift. The only strenuous exercise was when we landed the zodiacs and headed off hiking across the ice. That was really hard work, but there were only 4 excursions that were really strenuous for 90 minutes or more. I’m wondering if the cold weather burned more calories.
    Since being home I have had little appetite and have done nothing but lie in a recliner or bed. I’ve been so sedentary, my calorie needs are not much more than 1300cals per day. While I have been eating less than that most days, the gap isn’t huge. Yet, my weight has been steadily dropping. It was 77.7kg this morning.
    I’m very happy being that weight, I just don’t understand how I got here.

    Take care all. I am slowing going through photos and uploading them to my laptop. I will load some more on imgur later today.

    Hello everyone

    Where is the time going? I thought I posted two days ago and it was 2 weeks ago

    LJ your photos and videos are so amazing, thankyou for sharing. Mr A and I are looking into a possible trip at the end of next year (for my 60th) but I’m not hopeful given we have a big trip this year already. Maybe for my 61st? However I sincerely hope that plan B has kicked into action by then. We don’t know what plan B is yet except it involves me no longer working in IT or banking and potentially a move north for warmer winters. Really looking forward to more Antarctica pics!!

    Neil I don’t understand why your weight is doing what it is doing but don’t ever give up

    I’m so sorry for your housing crisis Intesha, I hope you get something asap and that you can enjoy your wonderful holidays. I also hope greedy brother doesn’t pop up again with his hand out

    Cinque as much as I love warm weather I was very happy for the big southerly change to hit last night. I slept better than I have for ages with the window wide open and a cool breeze blowing in. I read Sydney had the most humid summer on record and I can attest to it. I hope your cooler weather is also persisting

    Haha Lindsay, what a beautiful picture of little Scarlett; honestly butter would not melt right? I know that look very well as I get it most mornings when I investigate the sound of some mad scrambling of claws on the wooden floor as Maxx takes off with something illicit

    I hope the weather has cooled down G’day and yay for the future lotto win! You truly deserve it

    My weight is ever so slowly going down. I did have a bad weekend last weekend so I spent this week undoing the damage which is enormously frustrating so I will take much more care this weekend. I still have 4 kilos before I hit the 80’s but I was very close to triple figures at the beginning of the year and that, of course, was a massive trigger point plus the big trip has instilled much motivation 🙂

    Neilithicman, just wanted to comment on your sight gain. I also have been struggling and have not been eating much due to stress etc. I’ve been having a few tests done recently and one of them showed that my cortisol level was quite high and one of the side effects is weight gain. I know that you have had quite a stressful time also with one thing and another so maybe this could be the cause also.
    I am sitting here in Delhi after arriving last night. Going on a tour this afternoon but the official tour doesn’t start until tomorrow.
    LJoyce welcome home

    That should have been weight gain 🙄

    Oh WOW Intesha, enjoy! Delhi was so amazing – as was all of the parts of Rajasthan that we visited. Do share your itinerary if you get time, I would love to see it 🙂

    I also forgot to say that I was so sorry to read that you had to do that long-haul trip home being so sick LJ. I hope your recovery continues to happen quickly and WHOO HOO to not gaining a lot of weight! Maybe it was all the walking around on the ice peering at penguins, watching the whales and feasting your eyes on fur-seals 🙂

    I promised more photos.

    Buenos Aires: https://imgur.com/a/BVO3ADx
    Ushuaia: https://imgur.com/a/tZAB3GR
    Antarctic Sunsets: https://imgur.com/a/3M9V4Qy
    Antarctic Peninsular Landscapes: https://imgur.com/a/LBsNpm3
    Wildlife: https://imgur.com/a/WtrtWcI
    More wildlife: https://imgur.com/a/xdnyfSC
    The Ponant ship interior: https://imgur.com/a/SxxRkDH

    Intesha, have a fabulous time.

    Anzac, Antarctica is definitely an expensive destination – I was stressed about how much it cost, but I don’t regret it now. If you are going to go, I’d recommend choosing a small ship that limits their passenger numbers to about 200 – you will get to do far more landings and see a lot more wildlife. (Antarctic cruise ships are only allowed to land 100 passengers at a time.)

    Simply breathtaking LJ, the scenery and wildlife are like nothing elsewhere on earth. I love the posing fur-seals 🙂 and the unusual features of the chinstrap penguins

    Lindsay, I thought I’d post a matching thievery shot of mad Maxx



    Intesha, I had thought that, the weight seems to be going on my belly, which is usually where it goes on when your cortisol levels are up. I hope you have a great break in Delhi and can put things out of your mind while you’re there.

    Ljoyce, looks amazing! The shot of the humpback’s face poking out of the sea is amazing.

    Cinque, we have the opposite issue at the moment, you have heat, we have lack of it. March is usually our most settled and temperate month, this year it’s been miserable.

    Hello to everyone else, I’ll post again on Wednesday after my weigh-in (which I’m dreading)

    Morning all

    Weigh in this morning and I was down half a kilo. Not what I was hoping, but at least it’s something.


    Perfectly said Anzac, LJ those pics are simply breathtaking.

    Also LJoyce, I am glad your weight was odd in such a good way. An example of how our weight regulation is so much more than calories in and calories out, maybe.
    I hope your health is good now, and the swelling gone.

    Anzac, fingers crossed that plan B rolls into sight soon.
    You are doing really well to keep your weight loss going.

    Hello to gorgeous Maxx.

    Intesha, lovely to think of you enjoying Dehli, and maybe another city by now.

    Neil, we are thankfully in the cool now, I hope you are not freezing.
    Luckily my place cooled down quickly as the plane leaves are in enormous piles everywhere still.

    Best wishes all

    Hello all,

    Woohoo for cooler weather. 6am and I’m siting here with my winter dressing gown and slippers on – yay. The heat has settled down finally – still forecast for days up to 35 degrees here and there over the coming weeks but I can handle that.

    Oh LJoyce I’m very envious indeed, great pictures and what a wonderful experience and adventure for you. Great work with not piling on the kilos while on holidays, having pre planned strategies in place is definitely the way to go in resisting temptation to just eat what’s there because it’s a holiday.

    Intestate, I do feel for your housing situation, it’s a huge crisis for many sadly across the country and I wish I had a magic wand for you. I’m also envious, what a fantastic experience To be in Delhi- the sights, sounds, smells how wonderful. Oh and the food……

    Neil, research has proven that stress is one of the biggest factors in weight gain. I do hope you can find a solution to help things settle for you, you’ve had a lot on your plate for awhile now.

    Have I missed something in my absence from the forum lately – where’s Thin? I haven’t caught up on recent past posts before this page so as usual I’m out of the loop with going’s on.

    Good news from me, Im back in the swing with my eating routine and extended fasting and the consistency is certainly paying off, 4.8 kg down since the 5th March. I can see the 59’s heading my way before too long. So glad to finally be in the right mindset and feeling the motivation. It’s been a tough couple of years since Mr GDay’s passing and subsequent stresses of the will ( stress and weight gain strikes again) and I can feel the positivity flowing once again.

    Have been making the most of the cooler weather the last week. My gym/office is getting a makeover- new paint job, new carpet, huge clean out getting rid of unused crap and I’ve upgraded some of my equipment. Can’t wait to share pictures when it’s done but it’s going to take awhile before completion as I’m juggling a lot of different tasks at the moment.

    I’m also treating myself to a back yard makeover ( the yard behind the enclosed verandah) although I’m not sure treat is the right word – bloody hard heavy work but it will be worth it. I’m installing a lawn, paving, relocating the clothes line and some of the fruit trees to make it more orderly, appealing and useable. At the moment the ground is just dirt, crusher dust and some bark chip areas and I’m sick of the dogs stirring up the ground and everything being dusty. I’ve designed it so I can move around the majority of the yard barefoot. The best part will be the lawn. I haven’t had lawn for over 30 years so I’m very much looking forward to that. I’m hoping to get the lawn in very soon (instant turf) so it has time to settle before winter.

    Must dash, I’m heading out of town today and time has got away from me. Take care xx

    Morning all

    Gday, last I heard Thin was going to Cuba and was not taking any devices with her, so I’m guessing she’s still soaking up the sun.

    We had a long weekend this weekend for Otago Anniversary Day, that means I have three days of work and then I get another long weekend for Easter, then a week and a half of work and I get a week of holiday off. The weekend was good, I managed to get out for a couple of good rides, one of 36kms and one of 44kms, it was nice weather so I also got a bit of garden work done too.

    My youngest boy was away for a sleepover at a friend’s house over the weekend, so my wife and I watched the “Poor Things” movie that Emma Stone won her academy award for. Wow, I can see why it had an R18 rating. There were lots of pretty full-on sex scenes, full frontal nudity, and explicit surgery scenes, but it was still a very enjoyable movie.

    Well, I have my weigh-in tomorrow, so I’ll check in again then. Until then, have a great one everyone.

    Edit: Oh, I forgot to mention, since I’ve had my stomach issues, I’ve tried doing the 30+ per week challenge which is supposed to help gut health. It’s not just eating 5+ servings of fruit and vegetables per day but getting food from 30 different plant sources per week. It’s tricky, but luckily, it’s not just fruit and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, etc.

    Good morning cyber maties!

    We’re back on the canal and the silence is golden after the frenetic chaos of Latin America. Cuba was challenging on so many levels. I felt like I’d fallen down the rabbit hole. Those poor people are really suffering. After a month there, we flew to the Yucatan. DD had to book our flights out of Cuba. She’s currently in Patagonia.

    But Mexico was a disappointment and nothing like our memories from living on the US/Mex border decades ago. Their diet is diabolical, everyone looks like a bowling ball on legs and we struggled to find healthy food despite the very high cost of living. The ‘well-equipped kitchens’ of the self-catering accommodations usually comprised a microwave and a frying pan – try cooking with those two items! No chopping board, knives, kitchen utensils, storage containers, saucepans. We managed to find some good places without tour buses and cruise ships. The weather was good. And then we had to return to Cuba for our flights home.

    I managed one FD per week for the ten weeks but some were definitely dodgy efforts. Somehow I kept my weight steady (helped by my trusty travel scales) for the first eight weeks and then I think my body thought ‘enough is enough’ and I hit the slippery slope. I became sugar-addicted which was horrid. On return, I immediately committed to 5:2 and the first day back yielded a lovely 1.1kg drop. I’m still about 1kg above where I want to be (59kg) so will continue 5:2 until that’s achieved. My FDs will be Sundays and Wednesdays just like the old days.

    I had a read of the posts to see if there are any fellow fasters around. I note that all are present and correct which is good. Thank you for the honourable mentions, Cinque! I missed you too.

    Anzac, I read your news of quitting IT and moving north – how far north?

    Lindsay, is your OH alright now?

    LJ, I looked at some of your photos – spectacular. My DD is wild camping and hitch hiking her way to the southernmost tip having backpacked solo through central and southern America for the past 15 months. We can’t wait to have her back in May.

    GDSA, friends told us of the crazy heat wave in WA too. And the mad housing crisis created by poor government policy.

    Neil, how’s your weight? Putting my finger in a moving stick mixer yielded enough blood to make the galley look like a massacre had taken place – a lawn mower? Shudder!

    Intesha, happy travels. I’m over it. I feel so fortunate to live on the peaceful canals. Daffodils. Beautiful plants in giant hanging planters in all the villages. Polite, quiet, civilised people. Clean streets. Sharp knives. Good coffee. Clean drinking water…. how lucky we are.

    Morning all, and welcome back Thin.

    I remember from the “Sugar” documentary that the amount of soda Mexico consumed had skyrocketed and the government was trying to lower it by introducing a sugar tax, since that was greatly contributing to the rise in obesity rates.

    My weight was steady this week. I hit my 30 different plants for the second week in a row, so that is going well. 2 more days of work and then I get a nice long weekend.

    Have a good one everyone.

    Welcome back Thin. Neil I watched Poor Things a few weeks ago, while I can understand why the actress won an award for her role, very strange movie indeed. I nearly gave up watching part way through but it was so weird I had to see where it went.

    YAY Thin, you’re back! Welcome home to your lovely canal. Interesting about Mexico, we loved it but that was back in 2004 and apart from a few days in Mexico City we travelled to small towns mostly. We also loved Cuba in 2017 but found the food pretty terrible in most places (unless you like seafood which I don’t). Congrats on the huge 1.1 drop already and the other kilo will be gone in no time

    My weight has crept up the past two weeks, I assume because I have been chained to my desk with deadlines and not done much exercise at all. That will change after Easter as we have some breathing space

    Have a great day all

    Hi everyone.

    I was mostly well a week ago, just a persistent cough remaining. I was very busy as I had a lot of catchup appointments from those I’d cancelled while sick. I also had three lunches/dinners to attend. Unfortunately getting well meant my appetite came back and I really struggled to control it and eating moderately was a battle I didn’t always win. Even with FDs, that odd weight loss that I’d had quickly disappeared. It’s not too dire though, I’m now around the weight I was before I headed off on holiday. I am also still fitting into my 70s jeans (they’re not from the 70s, they just only fit me when my weight is in the 70s).

    Welcome back Thin, you are not encouraging me to put wither Cuba or Mexico on my travels list.

    Anzac, hope you get a well deserved break over easter.
    Are you seriously planning a move north and leaving your current career?
    Loved the Maxx pic

    GDSA, a back garden you can use despite the heat will be wonderful. I’m sure you’ve found a hardy drought tolerant turf. It’s an excellent time of year to be laying it, so there’s a good root system before the next summer. Make sure you also have some shady spots to relax.

    Neil, 30 different plants sounds very challenging. I’d be adding a lot of different seeds to the muesli!

    Hello to everyone else – I started this post hours ago and just found it on my laptop. No time to finish it now.

    30 isn’t too bad, I’m in day 1 of my next week and I had Muesli for breakfast giving me oats, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, mango, apricots (I have it 5 times a week so I don’t count it as a full serving of each until I get all 5). Lunch was pumpkin soup and a nectarine, dinner was roast kumara, potato, corn on the cob, and a salad of fennel, apple, and celery. 1 day down and 17 different plants in the books.

    Thank you for the welcome back. It’s my second FD. I dropped another 100g yesterday after the simple pleasure of a piece of fish with steamed vegetables for dinner. The joy!

    Lindsay, when I left, you were wholeheartedly re-embracing fasting. How’s that going?

    Neil, all those plants sounded challenging to me also but, after you started listing some, it sounds fantastic. Your gut will be so happy. Coca cola is the national drink in Mexico. The Mayans in particular are morbidly obese – they’re well under 5ft tall so it really shows.

    Street vendors selling sticky drinks, cigarettes and candy set up stalls at the perimeters of primary schools and we saw them passing sweets into the school playgrounds.

    At Cozumel port, seven cruise ships per day unloaded several hundred passengers each, mostly from the USA, overwhelmingly huge (the people and the ships). Incredible that grossly overweight people (or anyone for that matter) would think it’s ok to leave a cruise ship clad only in a bikini and a flimsy see-through pool gown thing!

    My next post is for Anzac really and primarily travel related so feel to skip on through!

    Anzac, this post is mostly for you. Sorry for the length – I’m making up for ten weeks of absent posts! Ha! – I just knew you would have been to Cuba!

    You visited in better times. Things have become increasingly more dire for the people since covid. We’ve spent much time in developing countries including communist countries but found it confronting and challenging on many levels. Since this is a food forum, I’ll mostly mention that. It was unappetising, expensive and scarce. (Think Aeroflot if you’ve ever flown with them). People queue for hours with their ration books to buy one small bread roll. When the rice truck arrives, an orderly queue forms around the block to acquire one scoop. We bought eggs on the black market but felt guilty as people are so hungry.

    Sometimes in a restaurant we were shown a menu and told, “sorry, we have no rice”. We did find some fish. On one menu, we found, ‘lobster served with vegetables’. The teeny porion was surprisingly good but served with cold cooked cabbage! At another, needing to get rid of all remaining pesos, I splurged on stuffed calamari which was as tough as an old boot and filled with beef of all things.

    We couldn’t even buy toothpaste since the US has an embargo on all US banking & credit cards and Australia has Cuba on the terrorist list so no cc use allowed from there either – our two main sources of income. All major hotels, restaurants and shops, taxis, buses, controlled by the Cuban government and accepting only cc payments and only at the official rate. It made it hard for us.

    One panadol costs 2 euros so departing travellers leave their leftover medicines, band aids, insulin, etc at the hospital. We also left our clothes behind and gave leftover food to the taxi driver. Beggars literally cling to your clothing as you try to walk down the street, showing you their leg ulcer or whatever. Kids shout out for a dollar. Sadly, some misguided tourists think this is a worthy cause and oblige.

    There was minimal garbage collection and we could find our way around by the stench or sight of enormous piles of rotting chickens and fruit on the street corners. I could barely stand to look at emaciated, starving street dogs being kicked away from door fronts. It’s desperate.

    On the positive side, the streets of Havana are very safe even at night and we had an interesting colonial apartment in Old Town. From our balconies, the spectacular Capitol Building loomed at the end of the street against the contrasting crumbling architecture of Old Havana. The balconies allowed us to observe the 24/7 frenetic goings-on below without being harassed. I loved the sing-song cries of the walking street vendors announcing their brooms, tamales, pan, etc. The non-stop blaring speakers as the pedicabs passed. Cuba’s iconic classic cars are so much fun. Our taxi to the country town of Viñales was a ’59 Chrysler. Spectacular limestone mountain backdrop, the sound of the horse and trap transport cantering through the streets. Drinking mojitos for 40 cents!

    We stayed in ‘casa particulares’ for a couple of weeks getting to know our hosts. The people are really lovely and we learned so much. My Spanish improved considerably. The literacy rate is incredibly high at 97%. Infant mortality is very low by western standards. Medical training is of a very high standard but doctors are paid 30 euros a month. Cubans are not overweight, a phenomenon often associated with poverty.

    We, too, were last in Mexico in 2004. Before that, we spent much time in Baja California which we loved. It is a now a prosperous country and just like the USA. Everything was so expensive – alcohol and food are the same price as England. We enjoyed the smaller towns of Cobá, Valladolid and Bacalar. Arriving in Cancún was a shock. Not our kind of destination at all. DD, (who had booked our flights out of Cuba as everything was ‘forbidden’ to us even with a VPN) suggested we bypass it as she knew we’d hate it. But, being ‘forbidden’ from taking the direct 70 minute flight to Cancún, we were forced to travel via Panama City taking 8 hours, so decided against onward travel that day. Touts wouldn’t leave us alone asking if we wanted a taxi, tour, drugs, souvenirs, even Cuban cigars. I loathe this form of tourism where the colour of our skin defines and dehumanises us negating any meaningful interaction. We left the next morning.

    LJ, sorry your errant weight returned but pleased it’s not too bad. There were definite ‘no go’ areas of BA when we were there several years ago. DD has spent a lot of time in Argentina recently. She has to send USD to herself via Western Union and then change it on the black market. The exchange rate changes daily so, like us, she’s been walking around with wads of cash. So far, she has felt safe but feels that could change as people become more desperate. It is now very expensive. Yesterday, a starving dog destroyed her tent while getting food from it. This poses a major challenge with another three weeks of camping in Patagonian with weather that can change drastically on a dime.

    I hope it wasn’t something I said but I seem to have the thread all to myself! Happy Easter to those who acknowledge it. I dropped another 700g with the second FD so 1.8kg down but then up a little after the NFD yesterday. I would like to be comfortably in 59s.

    The weather may be rubbish but it’s so overwhelmingly quiet and peaceful. I can hear birds. It doesn’t get dark until 6.30pm now so it’s not as gloomy as when we left. I am enjoying simple pleasures such as fresh milk, all the fish I can eat, clean streets, spring flowers, clean drinking water, quiet buses and orderly people.

    Happy Easter everyone. What a joy to have four days off and the weather is being superbly kind with sunshine and mid to high 20’s. I think one more week of daily swims then Autumn will kick in

    I’m doing lot of overdue chores as well as lots of walks this weekend. My Dad will come tomorrow as he always does and at 98 and a half he is doing so well. He still drives the 15 minutes or so to our place or up to the shops and although he takes a long time to get up our internal stairs he is physically and mentally fit. Amazing

    Well done on the weight drop Thin, not that there was ever any doubt. I was horrified to read about Cuba, it in no way resembled the happy, thriving country that we visited. I am so sad and feel dreadful for the poor Cubans. We also stayed in a family home in Viñales and the wife made the most incredible breakfast every day. We had to beg her to stop bringing more food. We also hired a vintage Chevrolet and driver for a trip to a lovely beach but there was zero suspension and we both had sore backs and backsides the next day but it was all part of the adventure

    Mexico sounds like it too has gone backwards. I do recall a lot of overweight people but certainly not to the extent that it is now. We were there in 2004

    I’m impressed with your 30 plants Neil, I would have about 20% of that daily

    LJ I hope your cough soon eases up. Our plan B does involve me leaving the world of IT and banking and heading North – possibly to Magnetic Island but our visit in December showed just how hot it is in Summer so that will be a factor. We hope to do something small with food – perhaps a pop up van or something. We have to be financial enough to not rely on profits from whatever venture we undertake as we don’t want stress, just something more as a hobby and we both love food and cooking so that will be wonderful. So we have to wait at least until the end of next year when I turn 60 and can start accessing superannuation. I am so lucky to have a job that enables me to WFH almost permanently so I am thankful for that and put up with the workload and stress

    Anyway, Mr Anzac is busy replacing skirting boards ready for painting all of the upstairs and then we are replacing our flooring. The boards are original so about 40 years old and in serious need of an update. So I am on dog-sitting duty and Mr Maxx is here with his squeaky bear (called Billy) so I must go and chase him around the backyard until he gets tired. Who needs kids?

    Happy easter everyone. I hope you are all having the type of break you needed.

    I have had an unexpectedly quiet and lazy easter so far. I have been struggling with fatigue in recent days. Unable even to face a walk and needing afternoon naps, which is not like me at all. I assume it’s lingering symptoms from the virus, especially as my blood oxygen levels as still a bit low due to the congestion I’m still trying to shift. I am just going with the flow at the moment and doing small tasks when I can manage them. It will improve, I just need to be patient.

    Take care everyone.

    Morning all, any fasters around? It’s a Sunday FD for me. I have no interest in the ‘chocolate holiday’.

    LJ, sorry to hear you’re still ill. Speedy recovery.

    Anzac, I was very interested to read of your dreams for a food van and potential move to warmer climes. That is so cool. Your current career sounds very stressful and who needs that? I’m guessing you wouldn’t want to leave your dad behind though; what a fit and able character he sounds.

    Our ride to Viñales was in a ’59 Chrysler – at first we found it exciting but, twenty minutes into the journey, we were also experiencing sore backsides! Our host there would sometimes whisper to us that she had eggs that day – but only enough for us. Our first Havana host was a young GP who made more money serving breakfasts to tourists than working as a doctor. She had to visit several different food stalls every morning to cobble together the various items of bread, eggs, fruit and so on to make up a breakfast which cost us USD7 – always cash.

    I forgot to mention that drug cartels have taken over large swathes of Mexico. There was a huge military presence in Cancún and Tulum where two random tourists were killed in the crossfire between feuding warlords in the week after we arrived and five locals were hacked to death with machetes during gang violence. The unprecedented increase in tourism from cruise ships, tour companies, etc has created a huge market for fentanyl and warring gangs are vying for the business. There’s so much government corruption (as in all governments) so it’s unlikely to change.

    Our clocks went forward overnight so tonight it will still be daylight at 8pm. Have a great weekend all.

    Hello to everyone,
    What a lot of catching up I have got to do.

    Welcome back Thin, so lovely to have you here again!

    Hello Gday,
    So good to read your catch up post. Laughed hard when I saw spellcheck changed ‘Intesha’ to ‘Intestate’, I hope she sees that and laughs too.

    All power to you with the backyard transformation. How is it going? It will be so wonderful when it is all done. I hope you are taking photos as you go, they will always remind you of what worthwhile hard work it is.

    Congratulations on getting back into your eating routine that suits you. (I am struggling a bit trying to do the same). I am so glad to hear you feeling and sounding so positive again. Ofcourse there will still be ups and downs, but hooray for the up-supremacy.

    Neil, It sounds like the difficult things might be settling down, at least a bit. I am so glad, and really hoping that continues.
    My sisters and I talked about that ’30 plant foods a week’ and I must say I found it easy. A teaspoon of curry powder and I have maybe 8 different plants! (But maybe that’s cheating).
    I have loved having it in my mind as diversity in foods is so good for our health.

    Thin, it is excellent to know you are back on the canals and enjoying the beauty and (comparative) easiness of living there.

    So sorry to see how much disappointment and bad world news there was in your trip. Poor world, it is not in a good way.

    It was the inroads ultra processed food made into South America, causing immediate and terrifying obesity rates, that set off the work for a definition and some regulation of those foods. I hope they figure it out and can make things safer and healthier for people all over the world.

    Anzac, Hello to your dad! Happy Easter.

    I hate how your job wrecks your heath. But I know you keep doing everything you can, or it would be much worse.

    I am so excited about your plans for life up north making and selling beautiful food. You just need one easy delicious homemade meal/product for lots of happy customers and just enough profit that you don’t need to worry.

    LJoyce, how awful that it took so long to kick that cough. And now that fatigue. Look after yourself. You have the right attitude I think, try not to push yourself to do anything (advice from someone with chronic fatigue). Give yourself a chance to recover properly.

    I am pretty well but keep sneaking extra food: making my bowl of food a bit bigger, or having a handful of nuts after my meal… just because I can. I have some slight rumbling of reflux symptoms and have added an inch to my waist line, so time to use this group for accountability.

    But ofcourse, I am getting out of routine immediately as my sister and her partner are celebrating their 36 years together at yum cha this afternoon and I will be there. At least it will make my accountability post a bit interesting!

    Best wishes to all of you eating well today, or fasting well today.

    Morning all

    Cinque, I think the herbs and spices count as 1/4 point towards the different plants, so 8 different spices in curry powder would count as two different plants towards the total. I think it has to be a full serving too, so nuts and seeds you need around an ounce, fruit and veg it’s a standard serving you’d have for the 5+ a day, spices I think a serving is half a teaspoon, and dried herbs it’s around a teaspoon.

    Thin, I didn’t have any chocolate this easter, I did have a couple of hot cross buns though, my wife wanted me to make a batch, so I did a batch of a dozen of them, gave a couple to my dad, had a couple myself, then my boys polished off the rest. I’m having a fast day today, I’m trialling having half my calories first thing in the morning and the rest in the evening on fast days. I started eating breakfast again doing my 30+ plants and found it seems to have helped with my digestion, so I’ll see how I go skipping food in the middle of the day.

    Ljoyce, best not to try to rush things until you’ve completely recovered from your illness, I remember that the All Blacks fitness coach said at one stage that 1 week of flu will undo a month of conditioning training. You really need to build it back up again slowly.

    Anzac, you were lucky with the weather, our weather over Easter here was grey and dreary.

    I got plenty of cooking done though. I bottled all the pears off our tree, I got some quinces and bottled them too (I had to fight my wife for the quinces because she kept grabbing them and sniffing their butts), I made the hot cross buns, I made an apple shortcake slice from some Peasgood Nonesuch apples that an old lady from Church gave me, and I dropped half of it around to her. Then we had a family gathering to celebrate the March and April birthdays. It was also a bit of a poignant one because it was our first March celebration without my Mum. Her birthday was on the 18th March and she shared a birthday with her youngest grandchild.

    Well back at work now, just under 2 weeks to go and then I’m off on holiday for the school holidays. I hope everyone is well, I’ll catch you all tomorrow.

    Good morning everyone,
    Those guidelines for the 30 different plants do sound sensible, Neil.
    Omg I love the smell of quinces!
    And I am so glad that eating some breakfast is helping your poor tum.

    My mum’s birthday was the 19th of March, and she also had a granddaughter born on her birthday!
    I can imagine how poignant your family found this year’s gathering.

    After some glorious Autumn days it has rained all night here, and it is grey and cool. The garden is SO happy. It had been very dry.

    Yum cha is too sweet!
    I had a lovely ‘pork in a wrapper’, fried, but there was plenty of sugar in it and it was sprinkled with sugar. Then I had a chicken pie, smaller than a party pie, but the pastry was so sweet I only ate half of it. Saved by some whitebait that wasn’t sweet at all, hooray! Nearly had some vegetables but decided their beautiful glaze would be too sweet, and stopped eating.

    Infact I said my goodbyes and came home as it was so loud there and not really any chance to chat with my sister’s interesting friends, and I was fading. (I’d had a lovely chat with the person beside me about the differences between theatre and film).

    Breakfast was (homemade) bread, half vegemite, half peanut butter, and I got veg into my evening meal with some yummy beef stew.

    Sugar and carb heavy, but not too big, quantity-wise. I hope to balance it out with a veg heavy day today.

    Afternoon all, just a quick one to say that I had no change this week on the scales at my weekly weigh-in. Annoying but at least it’s not going up at the moment

    Have a good one everyone.

    Morning all,
    Neil, so glad it didn’t go up. Best wishes for the week ahead.

    I had a big day on Tuesday, it took me 7 hours (including 90 minutes wait to talk to a Centrelink operator, four times of logging on to MyGov and a trip to the local Centrelink office) to say ‘Yes I want to stay on the Disability Pension’. But if I hadn’t done that I would have been cut off it.

    And another big day yesterday but Hooray! today is quiet.

    Accountability: Doing well, have been keeping to my small sized meals, that I need to call my normal sized meals, and eating nutritiously. Today I am slow roasting a chicken so that will make for lots of easy, delicious meals.

    Sending good wishes to you all. May today be a day it is easy to do all the things that make you healthy and happy.

    Thank you for the welcome back Cinque. I had a chuckle at the word ‘intestate’ as well. Hoping the writer and recipient got their Will issues resolved.

    I could appreciate your difficulty enjoying a conversation in a noisy restaurant. And how hard to find something not containing much sugar. We walked through an open air food market the other day and the aromas were tantalising but, when I actually analysed what we’d be getting, decided against it.

    Interesting what you say about the food industry but I doubt anything will change. I like to cast a critical eye over the contents of shopping trolleys while standing in the supermarket line. It usually leaves me feeling a bit smug. (Sometimes a bit disgusted). This week though, I was watching a lady unload hers and thinking it all looked so healthy and appealing. And I noticed that the lady was so trim. I took some tips from her selection. There are several supermarket aisles that we don’t even venture down.

    We are now in Oxford. It’s pretty cool to be right in the city with the boat. We walked all around Jericho yesterday. The Oxford Canal is linked to The Thames at Isis Lock just in front of us and the latter is flowing fast and its banks flooded. We were moored on it in September tied between two trees but I wouldn’t like to be there now. There’s a heron right outside the boat and I’ve been watching and photographing it expertly catch fish. One woman told me she bought it some pickled herring – oh, for goodness sake! It warmed up to 17C, my first day without a coat.

    Neil, that’s good that your weight is stable. You have been busy in the kitchen. It’s tricky navigating those pertinent dates and remembering those past. I still think of my grandma often and she’s been gone 34 years. I’ll watch out for that movie you mention. We just watched ‘Boys In The Boat’ only because my brother appears in it (non-speaking part but still fun for us to find him). We really enjoyed it – directed by George Clooney.

    I’m ready for my fifth FD on 5:2 tomorrow. I’ve been eating too many macadamia nuts. They are so cheap here, we rarely bought them in Oz. These are from South Africa. I must start counting them out.

    Cinque, I forgot to add that it was terrible to read that you had to experience such bureaucracy to continue with your disability pension. Ironic considering why you need the pension. That MyGov website has left me frustrated many times.

    I had three medical appointments lined up over the past two weeks. Each one has been cancelled and/or postponed, two on the actual day. Frustrating considering how difficult it is to access healthcare in the first place when living as a constant cruiser with no postcode and how much planning goes into getting to those appointments once secured. The NHS is overwhelmed.

    FD for me. Looking forward to that and a long towpath walk.

    Cinque, (and Merry and LJ), as I was reading this, I was thinking of you and wondering if the studies would be related to further investigation of CFS. Finally, in the last paragraph, a link was mentioned. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-68762171

    Hello everyone,

    Thankyou Thin,
    I have just about recovered from Centrelink day!

    It is so awful to know how many lives have been burdened with Long Covid, but such a shining light that it has led to lots of research that helps ME/CFS’s tiny amount of research too.
    (I am also going ‘oh dear, 30 years of inflammation. My poor body’.)

    Sigh, It is so hard to see how those big food industry corporations, making zillions of dollars, will be made to change but I am glad people are trying.

    Ooh macadamia nuts, what a temptation, deliciously difficult to keep them to appropriate amount.

    My eating has been pretty good. I haven’t managed to post for days, but I kept planning to, and that does help my decision making.

    My health and my sleeping haven’t been good, so I am concentrating on just following my good eating rules and not sneaking in extras. But once I am in a better place I will have some days with only three small meals instead of four.

    Anzac, how was that terrible rain for you? I was thinking of you so much.

    Sending out good wishes to everyone

    Morning all, weigh in again and no movement, At least it’s not on the way up, but I would like to get it moving in the right direction. I’ll have to watch our 7 Sharp programme tomorrow night. Apparently Dr Mosley is going to be on talking about his latest research into getting to sleep and staying asleep. Something I’ve had issues with recently.

    I hope everyone is ok

    Hi Neil,
    Goodness me it is extraordinary how our bodies can keep weight steady on so little. ‘

    In spite of my extra strictness the last little while, my reflux symptoms have got worse. They are not bad at all and I wouldn’t notice them if I hadn’t had last year’s experience (a little cough when I bend down is the main one). With LPR, mine anyway, esophagus inflammation just creeps up slowly. But then it is very slow to fix it too.

    So now I am being strictest, three small meals and only one coffee. And I must say I feel both hungrier ( 🙁 ), and lighter and healthier ( 🙂 ), immediately. (It is only my second day).

    Sending out best wishes to everyone.
    Melbourne is cold and grey but still a beautiful place to live. Hoping your place is beautiful today too.

    Hi Cinque, glad that it’s turned around quick on just the second day of changing things up.

    While I’m not losing weight, at least the practice of eating breakfast and getting 30 different plant foods in the week seems to have helped a lot with my digestion. I don’t have that horrible bloated feeling and back to being more regular.

    The weather here today is atrocious. It was nice when I left for work so I took my bike, but it started bucketing down around morning tea time, and hasn’t stopped. It’s going to be fun to ride my bike home.

    Hopefully everyone else is fine and dandy at the moment

    Three weeks of 5:2 has left me feeling better and weighing less. The best thing about the extra FD is the added benefit of another day not overindulging.

    Neil, how is it working out for you splitting your food between morning and evening on your FDs? I now go until 5pm for my first intake and I’m often not particlarly hungry, but I have two coffees in the morning and a decaf tea in the afternoon. That small plate of food at 5pm tastes so delicious but I must say that it tends to awaken the hunger dragon.

    Hi Cinque. Nice to read your more frequent posts.

    Our weather is finally on the turn, 18C today which will feel very warm. I’ve completed all my medical appointments and OH has ordered new hearing aids. We’re ready for the season’s action!

    I had a laugh the other day when, spotting my lens, a young local man asked if I was waiting for ‘the bird’ to return. I asked if he meant the resident heron, but mentioned that there’s also a moorhen, three pink footed geese, four ducks, a robin, a kingfisher and two swans living here (in his backyard essentially). He thanked me for telling him it was called a heron. Sigh! This is the outcome when people go through life with their devices in front of their faces. At least he knew it was a bird.

    hello all

    Thin I love hearing about your environment, I can really imagine what it is like from your description. I have to ask, thinking back to your Perth self, would you call 18 degrees warm? Well done with the outcome of your diligent FD’s

    I’m happy with my ever-so-slow creeping weight loss. I still have a bit over 3 kilos to get into the 80’s but I started at 6 kilos so am getting there

    Two days ago we were in shorts and t-shirts in the morning when a cold cold change hit resulting in scrambling for trackies and fleeces. The doona is on the bed and autumn has truly hit. It was a bit warmer today with lovely sunshine and 24 degrees on our sheltered back porch, but any venture into the breeze immediately feels chilly

    Sorry the weather has been terrible Neil. We had a weather phenomenon called a ‘black nor’easter’ at the end of last week. Sydney received over 300mm of rain in two days and it caused chaos. The dog park was literally underwater (much to Maxx’s dismay) and we had to empty over 7 inches out of the pool

    So sorry that your reflux has become worse Cinque, not fair! Glad the three small meals are helping but I am sad that you are hungry 🙁 I was appalled at the Centrelink saga. My poor Dad had a similar issue, they made a mistake and merged an old bank account with his summary and promptly cancelled – yes CANCELLED – his pension. It was a completely human error but it took him many hundreds of dollars in mobile phone calls and much stress to get it reinstated. He had savings so was not in dire straits but imagine if he was living week to week off it

    Happy Friday everyone, have an awesome weekend

    Anzac, ha ha, no it’s all relative isn’t it! In Mexico, it was 30°C but it felt very hot to us. Good job on the slow downward creep, a downward trend is all we need. Your poor Dad. I could write a book on my encounters with that kind of nonsense. Sometimes it seems that all you do is correct others’ errors and fight bureaucracy. Interspersed with writing the odd rave review or accolade for a job well done.

    Good morning everyone,
    Autumny 18 degrees today here Thin, I have my woolly jumper and warm trousers and a thick dressing gown on top. (Hopefully I will acclimatize soon).

    Neil, I am so glad that your diet and meal timing has helped your digestion so much. Brrr that South Island weather, and to think I have been complaining about lack of sun.

    Lovely 5:2 work Thin and hooray for all the appointments done. Is your foot feeling nice and normal these days?

    Haha yes, but so sad re the birds and nature generally. More and more people are just never out in it. I feel so ignorant, not knowing the names and calls of all the birds around here, but at least I know some.

    Anzac, cheers to you. Slow creeping weight loss is probably the best. Is work settling down a bit?

    Thanks for the kindness re my reflux, I can be nicely philosophical about it, it is similar to my weight problem (ie if I don’t watch it, it will start creeping back) and what works for reflux works for healthy weight maintenance (ie small meals and no snacks). So it means I have double impetus and two lots of danger signals, which can doubly help me be sensible. I hope.

    I had some tinned sardine with my breakfast and there was roe in it! Never come across it before and freaked out: “Ooh this piece of fish is hard. Eek what is this gritty sandy stuff that is getting everywhere!”. Sorry to waste a delicacy but I got most of it off.

    After that little excitement to start the day I am going to write a list and try to get some things done.

    Best wishes to everyone or a wonderful day with real food, not too much, mostly plants.

    ….. and nothing that your grandmother wouldn’t recognise, Cinque! 🙂

    My grandmother wouldn’t recognise an eggplant Thin!

    If I only ate stuff my grandmother would recognise, I’d be eating mince, peas, carrots and potatoes every meal 😆

    Oh dear, you’d better not add that to your respective food mantras then! My nan used to walk her shopping cart across the footbridge into the town, rain or shine every morning, stopping at the butcher, the greengrocer and the grocers to buy her fresh food for the day’s three small meals. Nothing much out of a packet or a jar other than coffee, a small yoghurt, and so on. In those days, fruit and veg were eaten in season. Half a guinness every evening to help her gain weight on doctor’s orders.

    Cinque, thanks for asking about my foot. It’s been one year to the day since the original surgery. After the second surgery in December, everything was going well following the dratted elevation regime. And then about three months in, I developed the same weird ganglion problem as before but in a slightly different spot and not as large or painful. I found some walking shoes before we went away that have no eyelets for the laces so there’s been no rubbing and I think they helped a lot (whereas I’d been told to wear tightly laced up shoes to decrease swelling – a problem I didn’t experience).

    I’ve just attended a foot and ankle clinic in Oxford and was seen by an orthopaedic fellow from Sydney. Apparently I’m just one of the unlucky few that reacts in this way. The sudden onset after a prolonged period of excellent healing will remain a mystery. It does now seem to be decreasing in size. So, yes thanks, I can live with this level of scar irritation and put it all behind me I think.

    Last night, we watched one of our Morse DVDs. It was ‘The Last Enemy’ episode. It was like looking out of the portholes throughout. Almost all of it was filmed right here in Thrupp, we could readily recognise specific areas of the canal, towpath, the Thrupp basin, local pubs, canalside cottages and the lift bridge. It’s fun to think of Morse and Lewis walking right out where we’re currently moored. Thankfully no headless bodies though.

    FD for me. This is my fourth week of 5:2. I have just discovered the shock revelation that 100g of macadamia nuts represents over 700 calories. They’re now being counted out.

    Let’s pretend we had wonderful grandmothers who appreciated world cuisine.

    I do want to emulate your grandmother, Thin, with her fresh produce and three small meals.

    Lovely to be in Morse country.

    Oh dear those nuts, but take heart that we don’t digest a lot of the nut carbs https://www.nutsforlife.com.au/resource/are-all-kilojoules-in-nuts-absorbed/

    I had a good sleep, much better than usual, but I am groggy today, as so often happens. My daughter has been making laksa often and gave me a container of the broth she makes. Yum yum, that will be my next meal.

    Hope you all are as lucky.

    Cinque, thank you, I didn’t know that about nuts. Thumbs up for a good sleep and laksa broth but sorry about the grogginess. I’ve just recorded my lowest ever loss after a FD and, since I tackle them all in exactly the same way, I’ll be keeping a close eye on my scales’ battery this week. If that’s not the culprit, I’ll have to look inwards.

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