Friday, 25 April 2014

Operation: Yummy Mummy - A Dual Pronged Approach

So Operation Yummy Mummy was going really well over the holidays. Lots of time - time to make green smoothies for us in the morning, time to make a proper lunch for the KhocolateMan (most mornings), and time for preparing on a plate and eating only what was in the Lite n Easy bags. I was on 1200 calories a day with the breakfast and lunch foods (I do a green smoothie in the morning, breakfast foods for lunch and the lunch foods for dinner) and things were going very well. The meals are easy to prepare, generally varied, and come with instructions when assemblage is ambiguous (who knew putting a microwave omelette together could be so complex!).

I thought I'd have a look at how the meals stacked up against a system my Dad showed me a while back - Portion Perfection. Dad bought me the book, the melamine plate, the melamine bowl and the snack bible (which has gone walking - hopefully it will surface after the move). The idea is that you should recognise that standard servings given to you in restaurants and in packets and boxes are actually not what is healthy for you. That the serves that ARE healthy for you are actually much much smaller than what you think, and when you have the plates you can see the size you should be having of different foods by using them in conjunction with the book. I already know the calorie content of what I'm eating with Lite n Easy, but I wanted to see if the meals worked with the visual approach as well.

Eggs Benedict on a Portion Perfection Plate. Thai Chicken Cakes and Leafy Salad on a Portion Perfection Plate. Moroccan Cous Cous and Chicken with Salad and Bruschetta on a Portion Perfection Plate
Three of my favourites. For more, click here.

Verdict: mostly it stacked up pretty well against each other. As a female I'm not meant to be going up onto the lip of the plate for most things. Occasionally the carb portion was on the high side, but that's okay once in a while I think. The fact that two systems using different approaches (to train your body to accept different sized servings) ultimately come up with the same results as to the 'value' of the food is reassuring.

That's Operation Yummy Mummy at the moment. I did totally blow it with Easter, and then again today with High Tea at The Spot Caffeteria with Auntie Spanx, but that was a birthday present (thanks Tilly and Bhatti!) so I figure that doesn't count. Back to it this week!

A Productive Weekend

So the Easter long weekend has been and is almost gone, and we have spent four days away with four of our closest friends - all of us with no internet and no phone reception. A lot of good food, good wine and good fun occurred.


I got two new Panda Got Swag pieces finished - one is a little peaked cap made from The Ocean Blue handspun yarn (merino, alpaca, bamboo and silver sparkle) from The Good Sheep, the owner of whom I met when I lived in Lightning Ridge. I have enough left that I am thinking of making the next two sizes up, too - or possibly one for me, because the yarn is BEAUTIFUL.

Pixie Elf Hat
When you put it on a kid the rib softly squishes their little face (gently) and makes a little peak at the back. Adorable!

The second one is Presto Chango by Valerie Wallis, a pattern which has kicked my ass twice before, but has fortunately come together very nicely this time. I knitted it with black Cascade 220. It still needs buttons (I'm thinking pearly white ones), and I did cheat a bit with the front panel (I did a chessboard pattern rather than the cascading leaves), but I got the 3 month size right, seamed it neatly and had literally JUST enough wool with me to finish it.

Presto Chango - a better photo
This is what victory and triumph look like.

In case you can't tell (cos it's black and hard to see), Presto Chango is a baby cardigan - but rather than buttoning down the middle of baby's body, it has a rip-off panel that buttons across the middle of baby's body instead. That way, if (when) baby spits up, drools, snots or otherwise creates a mess, you can unbutton the panel and put another one on without having to get squirmy arms back through holes and into a totally new jumper. My friend Camo introduced me to them, and I have thought they were just about the neatest thing out ever since. Cool, huh?

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Soapbox #1 - Vaccination

I pride myself on being a well-educated woman, married to a well-educated man, both from well-educated families. Both our mothers, in particular, are highly qualified professionals in their chosen fields, both of which have connections to children and their well-being.

In their own ways, our families also taught us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us - though not so much in a strictly biblical sense as our families are pretty moderate in their (very different) beliefs. More in a 'If you wouldn't want this person to put you in danger, don't put them in danger.' Broadly speaking, they wanted us to keep ourselves and those around us safe.

These two thoughts occurred to me this morning in two separate contexts. The first was while on the phone to my former employer - and now friend - who happens to be a nurse, qualified midwife and mother to two awesome girls (our flowergirls at our wedding!). We were talking about vaccination, and she said despite the experience not being ideal, she would go back and do it again in a heartbeat if she were given the choice a second time. Safety first, comfort second.

The second was when a friend posted this article on Facebook, which has led to an interesting discussion of its own.

I am pro-vaccination for SO many reasons - but mostly being that by choosing not to vaccinate, it places others in danger. I work in a situation where we have children (and women of child bearing age) in attendance and in abundance. Not vaccinating in this situation - for us and our clientele - is dangerous. It places those too small to have been vaccinated in danger. It places those with compromised immune systems in danger. It places expectant mothers and their unborn babies in danger. It may not be possible to tell just from appearances that people are in these situations - it is not always obvious how old a child is, or that someone has a weakness in their immune system, or that a woman is pregnant.

I don't mean to offend anyone by saying this. It is my opinion, and that of my family and most of our connexion. There will be others with different opinions and that's cool too.

Just don't come near me when I'm pregnant, or before my child is old enough for their shots. Oh wait - how will you be able to tell? Hmm. Best just stay away full stop.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Operation: Panda Got Swag - My Little Chilli

I made this last week, but I made it look like a chilli.

Well, that's what I had in mind, anyway. You be the judge.

Pattern is Sheepy Sack by Mandie Harrington

For reference, it's meant to be kind of like a long nappy cover. It's pretty cute.