Wednesday, 10 August 2011

My eating insanity

So, I kinda feel like I need to put this down in writing. Hopefully somebody might read it and realise they're going the same way and save themselves. If not its going to feel great to get it out.
I used to way 256lb/116kg. I was in pain walking, miserable with the way I looked and not enjoying life the way a young adult should be. So after (too many) years of procrastination I started calorie counting, after loosing a couple of stone I joined the gym with a friend and found the fact that I could do exercise which I hadn't been able to do as a youngster at school to be exhilarating. Making improvements in my gym routine became a sort of drug. I got the same feeling from stepping on the scale every morning and seeing a few tenths of a pound disappearing. For a year, the scale went down every morning.
Throughout the whole year I ate 1500 calories maximum. I don't think I went over a single day until my 21st birthday, upon which I weighed 147lbs. I felt delighted with my weight on that day. I felt beautiful in my dress and everybody told me I looked fantastic. Many of these same people went behind my back and told my mum they were concerned I was a little on the skinny side.
I was aware I'd reached my goal weight but I was so terrified of becoming the fat miserable girl I used to be. I upped my calories to 1800 per day and was running 6 days a week, 5km each time. I walked everywhere and would find excuses to walk because I felt I had to earn my meals, because in my head I didn't deserve the food.
I lost the weight by removing high calorie foods and foods that contained more than a couple of grams of saturated fats. Even then at a healthy weight I couldn't bring myself to eat such foods. I developed a mental list in my head of foods I wasn't allowed to eat. Although I wasn't really aware of it at the time. Eating out or being at other people's houses became a nightmare because I didn't have any control over what I would be made to eat.
Then I moved to Sweden. I love it here. But I felt so isolated. No job, no friends. Just my wonderful boyfriend who I felt I'd lost all the weight for. Now that Id moved in with him I didn't want to put weight on again. After all, who'd want a fat girlfriend after having a thin one? I lied about how much food I was eating, exercised like mad. Gave him bigger portions than myself.
The weight just kept dropping off.
One night, and whilst staying away from home for a few days, Id been running in the morning, had an 80 calorie breakfast, worked manual labour all day to lay a roof then eaten about 550 calories throughout the rest of the day I was a wreck. My brain was counting the calories I'd eaten for the day over and over again. Overestimating everything to gross proportions. Terrified I'd put weight on while we were away. I was absolutely exhausted. Was dizzy every time I tried to stand up. I finally admitted to my boyfriend what was going on. I was so ashamed. He looked so hurt and so scared. He just wanted to help me but I genuinely didn't think I could stop doing it.
Don't get me wrong, I wanted to gain a bit of weight. I just didn't want to gain any fat. Stupid isn't it? I'm ashamed to say, even though that was the low point of my mental state, it wasn't my lowest weight. The weight loss continued, even when I was eating 2500+ calories. I ended up with a BMI of 19, which is fine for some people but it was definitely not ok for me. I was freezing in the heat of summer. Blue lips, purple nails. I cried after being in my dads car for an hour because it was so uncomfortable sitting on my sticky-out tail bone.

I eventually did start going up in weight, through bread binges. Granted not exactly healthy, but boy did it put the weight on quick. Then I injured my knee and couldn't run for 6 months, so I put more weight on, a little too much really. But rather 10 lbs over weight than 20 under.

That little voice in my head still pipes up every now and then " lunch over 200 calories?! you pig", "no, no, you can't have an ice cream you haven't been running!" but by now they're just whispers and the grumble of my stomach tends to drown them out.

I feel like the triumph of losing weight from being obese to normal has been completely destroyed by then becoming underweight and I'm so ashamed of the pain it caused my family, especially my Mum and boyfriend. My disordered eating habits affected holidays, momentous occasions and realtionships. But I feel I've finally got the balance. Everything in proportion.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Summery Berry Meringue Cake

Hello everybody. Im finally at a place where I have recovered from disordered eating and food fears and feel comfortable to continue posting yummy, healthy recipes. I may post with a few more details about what happened to me soon... but for now, enjoy!
NB: Pictures to follow

Summery Berry Meringue Cake

Serves: 6

3 egg whites
120g sugar (1.5dl)
2 tbsp Custard Powder (Vaniljkräm pulver)
1 tsp distilled vinegar (ättika)
100 ml milk
50g strawberries
50g blueberries
100ml cream
1 tbsp powdered sugar

Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. This should ideally be done in a VERY clean bowl with no traces of fat.
Add the sugar and continue to whisk until you can no longer feel the grains of sugar if you rub it between your fingers.
Spread the mixture out into to 25cm circles on waxed baking paper. Then use the remainder of the mixture to pipe small decorative edging around only 1 of these flat cakes.
Bake the meringue cakes at 100-125 degrees for 1 hour.
Mix the milk with the custard powder and leave to stand for 10 mins in the fridge.
Whisk the cream with the icing sugar. Leave in fridge until needed.
When the meringues have crisped and cooled place the plain one on a decorative/serving plate. spread with the custard mixture and decorate with sliced strawberries and blueberries.
Place the next meringue on top and cover the inner(non-decorated) part with cream mixture. Decorate with remaining strawberries and blueberries. Dust with icing sugar.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

151 calories per serving, 1.2g F, 0.5g SF, 24.1g C, 9.6g S, ?g Fb, 2.8g P

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Spiced Butternut Squash Muffins

So, I love butternut squash. M is not such a fan and it is quite expensive so we don't have it too often. We had some the other day so I made some soup and then roasted some with a little butter and fresh thyme. Both delicious, of course! But then, what to do with the rest? Why not try something new. You may have noticed I've been into muffins recently... well nothing has changed! Therefore we tried these, and the result... well I ate 2 straight off the bat!

Spiced Butternut Squash Muffins
Serves: 12

250g butternut squash, peeled deseeded and cubed
185g  flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
100g sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom, freshly crushed
1/4 tsp paprika
185ml milk
1 egg
15g margarine

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, while its warming up, pop the squash in on some baking paper and allow it to bake for 30 minutes.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and spices.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg and milk.
Put the margarine into a magic bullet/good processor and add the squash once it's done baking. Puree the butter and buttnerut squash.
Add the puree to the egg and milk and whisk well.
Carefully fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just integrated. Careful not to over stir.
Divide the mixture into 12 muffin cases.
Bake for 18-20 minutes in the middle of the oven.

122 calories per serving, 1.8g F, 0.5g SF, 24.1g C, 9.6g S, 1.0 Fb, 2.8g P

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Forest Mushroom Sauce

So, I've been embracing Sweden once more! Something I've always considered to be a part of Swedish culture is the wonderful way in which they make use of allemansrätten or "everyman's right" which states that "Alla skall ha tillgång till naturen enligt allemansrätten".
Basically everybody has access to nature. This includes the wonderful tasties that grow in nature such as fruit and mushrooms. I had never been mushroom foraging in Sweden until the other day. We went looking for Chantarelles and Funnel Chantarelles.
It was so much fun. I actually had muscle ache the next day from squatting down so much, I had no idea I was even getting exercise. Double bonus - exercise and delicious mushrooms!
Honestly I've never had such tasty mushrooms in my life! I decided to try and make my own version of M's favourite sauce. I didn't want to try and make it exactly the same because nobody - not even your girlfriend - can beat your mum's cooking. The sauce turned out yummy, and although it's a bit luxurious I promise it is totally worth it!

Forest Mushroom Sauce
Serves: 4

200 g mushrooms, whatever you forage (or discover in the supermarket!)
1 small onion
3 tsp becel light (35 cal serving margarine)
150 g creme fraiche
300 ml milk
1 cube vegetable stock
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp white wine
3 tsp becel light (35 cal serving margarine)
pinch of salt and pepper

Chop the mushrooms and finely chop the onions.
Fry them off in a good quality sauce pan using the margarine until they have softened.
Once they soften add the wine and wait until it is absorbed.
Add the flour and mix with the buttery mushrooms.
Add the milk and bring to the boil, stirring well constantly.
Add the stock cube.
Once the cube is disolved add the soy sauce and season.
Boil for 20 minutes.

166 calories per serving, 6.1g F, 0.1g SF, 10.4g C, 5.6g S, 0.9 Fb, 5.8g P

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Dark Chocolate Meringues

These are mourish! Really yummy, they take a bit of time and effort to make but they are so worth it.

Dark Chocolate Meringues
Serves: 15 (2 meringues each)

100g dark chocolate
3 egg whites
240g sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 125 degrees.
Whisk the egg whites until they are real stiff. I don't have an electric whisk so I rub the whisk between my hands so it spins really fast and it takes like 5 minutes.
Slowly add in the sugar and continue to whisk until the sugar is entirely integrated, you shouldnt be able to see or feel any grains in the mix.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave and then pour it into the mixture and stir gently. If you stir too much you will get brown meringues instead of nice marbley ones with layers of yummy chocolate.
Use a serving spoon to lay put 30 dollops onto a baking tray. They grow a little during baking so don't put them too close together.
Bake in the oven for 90 minutes.
Allow to cool, ideally overnight, because they crips up a bit.

101 calories per serving, 2.0g F, 1.4g SF, 20.0g C, 19.5g S, 0.2 Fb, 1.2g P

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Blueberry Muffins

We fancied something a little bit more fun for our Saturday morning breakfast. It's the first "free" weekend we've had in ages. M mentioned wanting to make Blueberry muffins for breakfast a while back, so I took some blueberries out the freezer last night and this was the yummy result.
Blueberry Muffins
Serves: 12

125 g margarine
160 g sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla suagr (or a few drops vanilla essence)
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
300 g flour
100 ml milk
200 g blueberries

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and prepare a muffin pan. I used a silicone one - no prep needed!
Whisk the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and whisk well.
Add in the baking powder, vanilla sugar, and salt.
Gently stir in the flour, careful not to overmix. You only need to integrate it.
Add the milk, and again, careful not to over stir.
Fold in berries and then distribute into the 12 muffin forms. They end up pretty generous sized these muffins.
They take about 20-22 minutes in the middle of the oven.

250 calories per serving, 10.0g F, 1.9g SF, 36.4g C, 16.3g S, 1.1 Fb, 4.5g P

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Elderberry Jam

So, seeing as I'm in Sweden, I might as well throw myself into the culture. How might I do that. DO as Swedes do! And what do Swedes do, I hear you ask. The answer is very simple. They make jam! Everysort under the sun. I'm British and I pretty much only ever triy raspberry, blackcurrant or strawberry jam. Here they have every flavour chutney, jam and gelé you can imagine. I know it's meant to be quite British but I've just never experienced it in England; wheras it seems to be a general thing over here.

Want to know the best part of my jam making experience? It was FREE! The elderberries and apples came from the bushes and trees around our flat (if the tree is planted on, opr hangs over into public property you can just help yourself), and the jam sugar was bought by my parents, but even so - that little amount probably cost a grand total of 10 pence! I plan on also making som plum jam, some carrot marmelade and some apple chutney at some point! We shall see!

Elderberry Jam
Serves: 40 (1 heaped tsp per serving)

300 g elderberries
250 g apples, cored and peeled
120 g jam sugar

Rinse and drain the elderberries. Make sure they are all ripe, any green will sitll be slighty poisenous.
Slice the cored and peeled apples into small pieces.

Cook the berries and apples in a saucepan with the lid on, on medium heat until they soften. You may need to add water, but there should be enough in the fruit.
Stir occasionally.
Once the fruit has softened (around 10-15 minutes) add the jam sugar and mix well.
Cook for a further 5 minutes and then transfer to prepared jars.
Put the lids on immediately to ensure a seal.

20 calories per serving, 0.1g F, 0.0g SF, 5.2g C, 3.7g S, 0.7 Fb, 0.1g P