The Lent Diaries: Day 45

I NEARLY CAVED.

Walking around Asda today I thought to myself “Well, there’s only one day left. I could…”

BUT I HAVEN’T. I WILL NOT SUBMIT.

So nearly 7 weeks of emotional pain, fighting against my innermost urges and attempting not to punch people waving their sodding cakes and crap in my face, it has come down to this…this is what I will be eating on Saturday:

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If you need me I’ll be in a sugar coma in the corner of my sofa.

Days until Easter: 2

Days until chocolate and cake related carnage: 1

The Lent Diaries: Day 44

I think I skipped over a day here. I’m totally lost. A no refined sugar diet for the last 44 days is confounding me. On the plus side, only today and tomorrow to get through before I have a full on binge-fest (I feel very 90s calling it that. Very Bridget Jones).

One of my biggest plans for tomorrow is to put on my Sunday best and face the delicate and time-consuming task of choosing an Easter egg. I haven’t ever bought myself an Easter egg, I don’t think. And gone are the days of being given, well any really. When I was little, my brother and I would, every year and without fail, become embroiled in some sort of sibling rivalry, fight-to-the-death, about who had the most chocolate eggs and whether you could make them last until July. Chocolate eggs, when you’re 8 years old, are a major indicator of popularity. (Though 8 year olds, unsurprisingly, don’t give that much consideration to how many chocolate eggs their economically drained parents have had to purchase as a mutual exchange between all the thousands of friends they have at school, at Brownies, at ballet class and at church in order to get given eggs in return so that their daughter can beat their son in the popularity game of life. This exchange,  now that I think about it, seems like some kind of confectionery-gangster bribery racket).

I very much enjoyed a massive “HA! I got more than you” laugh in the face of my smaller, farting, partner-in-crime.

Though consequently, I did end up being the fat kid of the family…but chocolate.

You would have thought, given that Easter eggs start making an appearance sometime around October these days, I would have had ample time with which to seek out the right one for me. But seeing as how I gave up all that stuff all those many days ago, I have very much avoided making eye contact with the seasonal aisle (and the biscuit aisle, and the sweets aisle, and pretty much the entire bakery section) so I don’t really know what I want, or what’s even there. (Total lie: I am well aware of the entire back wall of Asda, redecorated in purple foil and cardboard like a shrine to Cadburys!)

I could go all glam and splurdge on a Hotel Chocolat egg. I could go middle-of-the-road-but-still-snootier-than-thou Thornton’s. I could spend all this same money and buy A THOUSAND eggs eating Kinnerton (a pretty enormous confectionary company you’ve probably never heard of) but then I would end up with Shopkins and Power Rangers cheap-as-chips (mmm chips!) sick tasting chocolate, although then I’ll definitely have more Easter eggs than my brother (competition still stands, even in our 30s!) but who really wants to eat chocolate that tastes a little bit of vom?

I don’t like gimmicky eggs with mugs, because then I’m left with a crappy mug I don’t want (I’m picky about the mugs in my cupboard!). I don’t want white chocolate, because despite the fact that I like it, have you ever noticed that it can really burn your throat? And I fear that, because of my abstinence, I might actually make myself really sick if I get something too OTT, DYKWIM?

What would Jesus do? I mean, after being the instigator of Lent, surely he face the same dilemma?

❤ Ellen xxx

Days until Easter: 3

Days until Bridget Jones binge-fest: 2

Days until ultimate Easter Egg shopping: 1

 

 

 

Whoops.

I made some changes. No, not to the whole Lent thing, since that would be way late in the day. I made changes to here.

I really hope it all happened properly and I am not some stupid, technological idiot who just effed everything up.

I feel like I should go all formal here.

Please confirm receipt and acceptance of the above.

Many thanks

Kind regards

Or else, I have lost you all and am writing to no-one!

The Lent Diaries: Day 42

I made sugar free scones again. Except I put too much sweetener in them this time and they’re kinda awful. I got too cocky and cocked them up (But did it stop me from eating one two several? Um, no!)

But in other, less saccharine news, I have found a good remedy (possibly too late) to not having sugary treats and that is to treat oneself to something else. A kind of distraction technique of sorts I suppose. Like flicking a hair band on one’s wrist only much more enjoyable.

Today that distraction, after a 7.30am hospital appointment where I found out how many kilos I weighed, was brunch at Cote Brasserie. Surely the only sensible option when you’ve faced up to your weight at the hands of a medical professional is to go and add to it!? Surely?!*

I have never been disappointed with a meal at Cote, which is commendable given that it’s just another chain restaurant in a sea of many, that are most certainly taking over where I live (a contributing factor to wanting to move away!). But Cote is like a diamond in the rough. A most enjoyable experience all 4 other times I’ve been there.

This morning I opted for a French Breakfast, which I thought was baguette or croissant, or something equally as stereotypical and culturally ignorant.

Not so at chez Cote. Non, non, non. C’est beaucoup plus. Peut-être que ce n’est pas vraiment français mais …

French breakfast at Cote is like English breakfast with attitude, with style and with glamour. It’s Paris fashion week on a plate. It’s snobby and chic, and I loved it!

Scrambled egg…with chive.

Toast…but brioche.

Mushroom…but a giant one.

Bacon…but shiny and crisped up.

Black pudding…like if Chanel did black pudding.

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Not my photo.

Oh heavenly plate of loveliness.

I could have easily devoured two lots. I shall most certainly be attempting a recreate at home…or just drag Welsh husband back there immediately.

❤ Ellen xxx

Days until Easter: 5 (Days until cake-fest: 4)

*No need for panic. It was only a pre-assessment in preparation for me to have my wisdom tooth taken out under general anaesthetic. I know you were beyond worried there for a moment. Don’t fret. I will be fine. Thank you for your concern.

The Lent Diaries: Day 41

Well, it’s basically Tuesday already. So that means only 4 days standing between I and eternal happiness.

I made a decision yesterday. In the absence of being able to go to London (which I actually could do if I really wanted to) and make a trip to Crumbs and Doilies in Soho (a truly amazing looking cupcake café that I have never been to but spend an inordinate amount of time drooling over on Instagram) to eat one of every cupcake in there, on Saturday, I am going to have…

THIS:

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This is the sort of cake box my dreams are made of. The kind of thing one sees in the supermarket and thinks “I need to buy that one day”. And Saturday shall be the day. Sure, I could have bought one of these every week since I started going to the supermarket for myself (nigh on around 11 years now!) and yet something, some tiny voice that sounds a little like my father saying “No, you’re not having that!” has stopped me all this time. That’s the same voice that stops me from buying Haagen Daz when it’s full price and requires a small mortgage to acquire. Which just goes to show that parents can teach you a lot about financial responsibility!

But no more. No more, I say. No more shall I listen to my instinct/inner father voice. I shall have my cake and eat it too!! All of them.

(Just this once Dad. I promise to go back to being less frivolous next week!)

❤ Ellen xxx

Days until Easter: 6

 

The Lent Diaries: Day 40

I got a bit lost. In the beginning I was writing at the end of the day of. Then last week I started writing about the day before. As such I had no idea what day I was on until I counted using the calendar on my computer. If I had had to work it out in my head we could have been here for days, such is my mastery of mathematics, so thank goodness for technology/bone idleness.

So last week I was very much “meh, don’t really want anything”. Since then I have gone back full pelt into CRAVING. Maybe it’s because the end is in sight. Maybe it’s because I “allowed” my friend Helen (Hi Helen!) to have dessert when we went out for lunch on Friday. Of course, she was allowed, based on her own free will, to have dessert should she so choose but, knowing my plight, did check it was ok first. I led her to believe that I’d be able to contain my jealousy on the basis that she had something I wouldn’t be interested in, except when it turned up, of course I was molto jealous. It was a chocolate and orange tart with mango sorbet on the side. I was ever so lucky she opted to not have the chocolate gnocchi (I KNOW!!! Pasta stuffed with Nutella! OMG!) because I may have hurled the plate across the restaurant (Ask Italian…just in case you were wondering!).

Then, yesterday, Welsh Husband and I went to Pizza Express. I find Pizza Express a bit lame, and their menu barely changed in half a century, but he had a gift card so since we weren’t really paying, why not!? He told me to have a dessert.

Then later on in Asda, he told me to get a dessert.

I think he thinks I’m going to cave. But with the end in sight, NO I AM NOT. Fuck you and your temptations. Welsh Husband has assumed the role of the Devil to my Jesus.

(I take back the Fuck you though because he’s just switched on the vacuum cleaner. I assume he is actually using it and didn’t just want to listen to it’s dulcet/gnarled tones and it sounds like it’s moving backwards and forwards. God, I love him!)

I only have 5 more days to get through. That’s 5 if you don’t include today, which I am not, because 5 is better than 6.

And he is taking me for cake on Saturday.

Yay.

❤ Ellen xxx

Days until Easter: 7 (6 til I finish and can stuff my face!)

The Lent Diaries: Day 36 & 37

Nope.

Nothing left to say.

All hope is gone. Lent might as well be over. It’s gone on too long. It has sapped all creative and humorous writing from me. With nothing interesting to eat, and no comical stories about my struggle anymore, because there is no struggle, what am I left with?

Nothing. I suppose that’s a good thing but it doesn’t make it very entertaining.

In other news, I watched two good films yesterday.

The Descendents (a good George Clooney film, also starring Shailene Woodley who I have only just discovered thanks to Big Little Lies on Sky Atlantic. She’s marvellous. And pretty. But like you’re happy for her being that pretty, rather than jealous!) and Testament of Youth (starring Kit Harrington/Jon Snow without a northern accent, which threw me a bit. I’m having a thing for War films right now so I really enjoyed it).

Yeah, so my life’s kinda boring right now.

Anyone wanna talk about anything?

❤ Ellen xxx

Days until Easter: 10

 

The Lent Diaries: Day 35

I actually don’t have anything to say.

The longer this goes on, the less difficult it is to forego the things I have given up. The less difficult, the harder it is to write witty, even remotely funny things about it.

Didn’t stop me from eating more sugar free scones yesterday though. I countered the amount of scones with a super-green soup for lunch though…kale, petit pois, spinach and soya bean soup. It was a health-geek-Instagram-hipsters dream!

Also, I burnt last night’s dinner. Not that that has anything to do with Lent, I just thought I would add it in for anecdotal purposes. It was beef massaman curry. Previously made and absolutely delicious. This time, not so, and all dried up and stuck to the inside of the casserole dish. I hate myself when I ruin food.

❤ Ellen xxx

Days until Easter: 11

The Lent Diaries: Day 34

I MADE SUGAR FREE SCONES!!!

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Why, WHY, did I not do this sooner?

I made up for lost time by eating 4 yesterday.

Whoops.

They taste exactly like sugar-full scones, maybe a bit grainy which I attribute to the fact that the sugar usually used in scones would melt when baking and sweetener seems to not do this (don’t quote me, I’m not a chemistry aficionado). I made them with granulated sweetener. Unsure as to how much I should add, I took some advice from the back of the sweetener tub which suggested that 0.5g of sweetener is the same taste as 3g of regular sugar – I can’t say I ever really knew that sweetener is more sweet than sugar, but that totes explains why the teeny, tiny tablet sweeteners are so teeny, tiny.

I also totally don’t understand why more sweet treats aren’t made without refined sugar. All this free-from stuff that’s about these days and no-one is owning the sugar-free market. Which is silly when you can make the same stuff with many substitutes – stevia, maple syrup, granulated fructose, other fancy boho/hipster ingredients…

I sense a business idea brewing…

Don’t steal it.

❤ Ellen xxx

Days until Easter: 12

 

The Lent Diaries: Day 31, 32 and 33

Day 31.

I used today for a lieu day. I don’t know why. But there was cake in the staff room (AGAIN!!!), and doughnuts (AGAIN!!!!), and someone gave me a Lindt bunny as an Easter gift. I had also decided to have school dinners because I ran out of food at home, and I KNEW it would involve some kind of dessert that I wanted. Secretly I hoped they would have the fruit bar up because I wanted an excuse to NOT have dessert. And then I would have fist pumped in my head and said “Yeah, I can’t have dessert because there IS no dessert. So I win!”. As it was, there were left over cornflake cakes with Mini Eggs on top from the previous days Easter lunch, and since I had already had a small slice of gluten-free carrot cake (my first experience of gluten free. Not all bad. A bit mealy and crumbly, but otherwise pretty much the same!) and 4 mini chocolate doughnuts, I gave in to the cornflake cake and then also polished off the Lindt bunny in the car on the way to Wales when school had finished.

I occurred to me, clearly way too late, that if one was to have a day off from Lent (as Jesus did…I’m not cheating, I am following in the master’s footsteps!) one should absolutely let loose and go at it hard. I should have taken the opportunity to smash down as much stuff as I wanted. Especially since I was still in PMT mode and could/would have eaten my body weight in Cadbury’s without any hint of remorse. Too little, too late though.

I now only have 1 lieu day left. I have decided to use this on 15th April. Yes, the day before Easter Sunday. So I can come off Lent a day early. Ha. I just have to remain steadfast until then!

Day 32 & 33.

I didn’t really want for anything on either day. It’s strange how my thinking processes have evolved and I am thinking about food waaay less than I was a month ago. Well, I’m always thinking about food really. All the live long day. But not just because I want to eat. Also because I’m fascinated by food and want to cook it and smell it and taste it and make it for people. Which I think is a healthy obsession really.

The last few weeks of trying to keep our house absolutely spic and span for selling, and spending every weekend in Wales at someone else’s house, have meant that we haven’t actually eaten any proper food for fear of making too much mess or because it’s not been convenient. It’s been left overs, easy things (jacket potato!), picky food, eating out and 2 roast dinners, but those were made at my in-laws house in their kitchen. It makes me look forward to proper cooking again when all this house business is over. (starting tonight (Monday)…because we accepted an offer on ours last week! YESSSSS!!! and we have a house to buy! YESSSSS!!! And now it’s just a nerve wracking waiting game/bullying estate agents and solicitors to just get on with shit!! But at least I can let me house get a bit dirty again and make a proper dinner!!!)

Day 32 evening we had a lot of picky food again. And I never really understood what people meant by “beige food” but I think I ate nearly everything beige that Asda had on offer – sausage rolls, crackers, crisps, quiche. All clogging up my insides. It made me reflect on the value of ACTUAL food that has more colour to it. Beige food is ok for a treat but I’m glad I want other things a lot of the time. Check out mature me!!

Day 33 lunch was roast again. And then we had McDonalds for tea when we had got back from Wales. Well, it was a long drive and we were hungry and the supermarkets were shut and all that waited for us at home was more beige food, so why not stop off and get someone else to make the beige food for you? I tried to stop Welsh husband from having a milkshake because I knew it would make me jealous. But then I “let” him. He had strawberry, which I’m not even that fussed on as a flavour anyway and since I couldn’t see it because it was in the same cup as my Sprite Zero, I pretended it was something I didn’t like.

I also won a phone case courtesy of the Monopoly stickers on the front of my chips! Yay!! I love Monopoly at McDonalds. I’m honestly more excited to win free small fries than banking on any hopes of winning £10,000!!

❤ Ellen xxx

Days until Easter: 13

Days until I stop Lent because I’ve decided to use up my last Lent day on the Saturday: 12!!!!!