Monday, October 31, 2011

Depressed, Distraught, Disheartened, & Frustrated, Damnit!

In the past year I've gained almost 40 pounds. Since 2007, I've gained 90 pounds. o.0

It's a chicken and egg situation, in terms of what came first/what caused what.

Either way, my health has seriously deteriorated in the last 4 years. And yet, I don't know if I'd exchange my health situation from then to now. I had debilitating headaches, stress, sinus, migraine, TMJ, all at once, to the point I couldn't distinguish one pain from the other. BUT I also had energy, I had fight. I do not have either now.

I feel so freaking hopeless!

I have no energy. None. I wake up exhausted. Today I'm so tired I don't even have the energy to make myself something to eat! Though, part of that is likely depression. Still, I'm so bloody tired all the fucking time.

I don't have the energy to do normal things, like showering, doing dishes, making myself something to eat, never mind energy for going out into the world!

I hate this. I just hate hate hate hate hate it!

I know part of why I don't sleep well is because I hurt. It's hard to get actual rest when you're sore. I wake up often feeling like I've been hit by a mack truck.

My body is falling apart. My arches ache, even when I'm not using them. My Achilles tendons are swollen, with lumps no less! And there's not a gods damn fucking thing I can do for them. Loose weight. That's what they need. How the fuck am I supposed to do that when I can't walk with them to do it?  Eat less. That's what my doctor told me when I asked what to do about my weight. You know, because that's just so bloody easy.

I have no discipline. I know that's a huge part of my problem. I spent over a year eating miserable 'heathly' food to loose 60 lbs. But what really helped was walking. Something that's hard for me to do now that I'm even heavier, and my feet are broken.

I also have FMS full on now, and it makes everything harder. I used to be able to push myself when I was tired, and had a massive headache. I could go for a long walk, or go to the gym, and still be done all that feeling almost refreshed. If I tried that now, I would injure myself, and I would get home feverish and shaking. I would spend the next few days to a week, in bed, sleeping, or trying to sleep and being unable to because I was in too much pain. That's the reality I live with now. I never know how much I can push, or if I should at all. If I push when my body can't take it, I pay for it for days.

I feel like no one understands. I mean, I wouldn't believe this if I didn't live it. It's fucking ridiculous. I have no reserve energy. I have no ability to tell when moving more will help, or when it will sideline me for a week.

Right now I'm feverish and sore. I'm likely exhausted. Why? Because I stayed up late on Saturday. Nevermind I slept until noon yesterday. Nevermind I did fuck all yesterday. Nevermind I got up late today. Nevermind I had a bleeding nap. Nope. I'm feverish with exhaustion. Yet I have a headache from sleeping too much. WHAT THE FUCK BODY?!?!?!

How do I fix this?? How? Just how? I don't know what to do.

I hate this. I hate my body. I hate being chronically ill. I hate being fucking useless. I hate not knowing what I'm capable of one day to the next. I hate being this fucking fat. Jesus. It's disgusting. Just utterly disgusting.

I swear, if I didn't have Chris, I'd be suicidal right now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Brioche Stitch is my Nemisis


In terms of pattern, it's super easy. It's 3 rows, with a two stitch pattern per row.

You'd think it would be easy peasy, but noooo!

I mean, try it. Count one, two, one, two, for about 200 stitches. You can see how easy it would be to get a "one, two, two," in there.

My rows are about 500 stitches at this point I estimate, and I've tried starting the Brioche stitch twice now, and screwed it up both times! The first time it was such a mess I had to rip back four rows!! Four!! This time I've just left it. I'm not sure what to do. Hopefully I'll only have to go back two rows. Still. It's bloody painful!


And it really doesn't help that it's very hard to see where you've screwed up. It's the nature of the stitch, it looks fine until you get to knitting it the second time around, then you realise it's not right at all, and you've messed up the "one, two, one, two" pattern.

I think I'm going to leave the damn shawl for a bit and come back to it. I just can't bring myself to rip out the two-four rows again. Gods help me! It looks like such a simple stitch.....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Spanakopita

Makes: 1 9x13 inch pan phyllo squares, 8 quarter-sheet phyllo triangles, 12 GF rice paper rolls


  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 20 medium white mushrooms, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 pkg frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
  • 1 large tub (300g-400g) Ricotta cheese
  • ~150g sharp parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • ~200g Greek style Feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup fresh dill, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 pkg phyllo sheets, thawed overnight in fridge
  • 12 rice paper sheets, (I used ~8 inch circles)


To make filling:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, on medium heat. Add the chopped onions, mushrooms and garlic. Stir occasionally cook until onions are translucent/lightly browned, and water is cooked off mushrooms.
  2. While cooking onions, etc., thaw spinach in a pot of water on low heat. Use a fork to scrape thawed spinach off the frozen block. When all the spinach is broken up and thawed drain water off with a sieve. Allow spinach to cool before squeezing water out. I've found using my (clean) hands, wading it in a ball and squeezing out the water works best.
  3. Transfer spinach and cooked onions, etc., to a medium sized bowl. Add cheeses and dill. Stir until just combined.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir. Add eggs two at a time, stir until just combined.

To make Quarter -sheet phyllo triangles:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375˚F.
  2. Remove phyllo from package, and lay it out fat on wax paper(unfold sheets). Lay another layer of wax paper on top of sheets, with a damp tea towel on top of that – this will prevent the phyllo from drying out (and getting brittle), or getting too damp.
  3. On a clean work surface, lay out two sheets of overlapping wax paper over an area big enough to lay a full sheet of phyllo – work with the phyllo's longest side parallel to you. Give the phyllo at least 2-3 inches of extra wax paper on the top and bottom. This will make it easier to butter the sheets.
  4. Lay a sheet of phyllo on the wax paper. Lightly butter the left half the phyllo sheet. Fold sheet in half sideways. Butter left half of folded sheet and fold again. Butter the long strip of phyllo.
  5. Place a tablespoon scoop of filling near the bottom edge of rectangle. Fold a triangle of the phyllo strip over the filling. Fold filling up – as phyllo box will show – to make a triangle.
  6. Butter all sides of the finished triangle and place on a baking sheet.
  7. Repeat process for 7 more triangles.
  8. Bake in the oven for about twenty minutes or until the phyllo is lightly brown. I fnd I have to watch this like a hawk, depending how you fold, the triangles can take more or less time, so be careful! Check on them when you begin to smell them cooking!

To make the 9x13inch pan:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375˚F.
  2. Lightly brush melted butter onto the bottom and sides of a 9x13 inch pan.
  3. Lay a sheet of phyllo, centred, into the pan. Gently press the phyllo to the bottom and sides of the dish. Lightly brush the sheet of phyllo with melted butter. Repeat with two more sheets of phyllo.
  4. Lay a sheet of phyllo sideways on bottom of pan so that it will ft folded in half on the bottom of the pan. Butter half of phyllo sheet resting on bottom of pan. Fold sheet over. Butter top of sheet.
  5. Spread filling evenly into pan.
  6. Fold overhanging edges of phyllo on top of filling.
  7. Lay sheet of phyllo sideways, so that one half of sheet is fulling covering filling. Lightly butter the half of the sheet resting on filling. Fold sheet over, and butter the top. Repeat with three remaining sheets.
  8. Carefully score the top of the phyllo sheets in a diamond or square pattern. If you don't do this before it's baked you'll never get squares when it's baked!
  9. Bake in the oven for approx 20 minutes, or until the top of the phyllo is lightly browned. Let cool before cutting along pre-made lines. Serve hot or cool.

To make Gluten Free Rice Paper Rolls:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375˚F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
  3. Melt ¼ cup butter in a small bowl – don't mix butter from phyllo with butter for GF rolls!
  4. Fill a medium sized bowl with hot tap water. You will likely need to rinse and refill bowl while working, as the water cools quickly and the sheets leave a residue in the bowl.
  5. Fully submerge a rice paper sheet in the hot water for approx 5 seconds. Check on sheet, if it is now mostly soft, and no longer crinkles when bent, it's time to remove it. Hold the sheet over the bowl to allow excess water to drip off.
  6. Lay out the rice paper on a clean work surface.
  7. Place 1 tablespoon of filling near the bottom-middle edge of the circle – but leave enough rice paper below filling to wrap paper over the filling.
  8. Fold bottom of rice paper up over filling. Fold the sides in to create a long rectangle the width of the filling – fold loosely as the filling will expand slightly when cooked. Roll rice paper rectangle around filling bundle to create a roll.
  9. Coat finished roll in butter and place on lined baking sheet.
  10. Repeat steps 5-9 for each roll until you run out of filling.
  11. Bake rolls in oven until rice paper is lightly browned. Approx. 15-20 minutes – but keep checking as I didn't time these the first time! I just kept checking on them – sorry!

Note: This recipe makes enough for two to have lunch, while baking a 9x13 pan for taking to a party, and even enough for 1-3 GF, dairy loving friends to have some too!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Curry Lentil Soup

This one's for Dee.

Prep Time: If using a food processor, 20 min, if chopping by hand 45 min (or 1 hr if you are slow like me)

Makes: ~24-28 cups of soup. (Enough for dinner for 2 plus 5 days worth of lunches)


  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger (can also use fresh, but I rarely have that in the house)
  • 1/2 tsp ground corriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp salt (optional, I find the soup flat without some salt)
  • 1 head of celery
  • 3-4 carrots (just lightly less than celery)
  • 900g bag of lentils (I use green usually, but mixed or whathaveyou works just fine)
  • ~18 cups water (can use soup stalk if you have it, no need for salt if you do!)


  1. Pour olive oil into a large pot, and put on medium heat
  2. Mince/crush garlic. Chop onions. Add to pot. Stir.
  3. Add spices. Stir into onion garlic mixture. Let fry while chopping veggies.
  4. Chop/slice carrots and celery. Since carrots are sweet, chop 2/3rd's the amount of carrots to celery to keep the soup balanced. Add other veggies (optional).
  5. Wash lentils, and add the bag's worth to pot. Immediately add the water or soup stalk. Bring pot to boil on high heat, then turn down to 1/3rd heat. Stir occasionally. Add more water if necessary. Cook for 2 hrs, or until lentils are soft.


  • Your food processor is your friend. I use the chopping blade for the garlic and onions (as well as the eggplant), and the slicing blade for the carrots and celery. Saves about 45 min in prep time for me!
  • This is a very basic soup. You can add all sorts of veggies and starches to make it interesting. I like adding 1 cup of chopped potatoes, or frozen peas/mixed veggies. If you are trying to get more veggies hidden, finely chopped eggplant is excellent, it takes on the flavour of the soup and mimics ground beef.
  • How much soup you get will vary by how much veggie you add (obviously). I have a 32 cup pot. I like to make sure my pot is half full of veggies before I add the lentils and liquid, this ensures I get a full pot of soup. If you have more than half a pot of veggies, be prepared to have to scoop some out into a smaller pot at the 1 hr mark (this is approx. when the lentils will have swollen to full size).