Saturday, 6 April 2013

Saturday Snippets (9)

This morning the sun shone.

It's amazing how much better you feel with a little sunlight and warmth permeating in through the glass.

I trotted downstairs and made our morning drinks.  Starman had had a gloriously comfortable night - he had taken up most of the bed, at least two thirds - whilst I was left squeezed in against his side, or alternatively clinging to the bed edge.  The house was quiet because number one son had gone to work as the engine has supposedly blown on one of his Landrovers and he now has to earn the money for a replacement engine, or at the very least, an expensive repair job on the existing one.

We sat sipping our respective hot drinks talking about the usual sort of things that go on in usual sorts of houses.  Day to day life in other words.

But then there was a shift in conversation.  We found ourselves discussing the HOH's responsibilities for care of his other half.  I don't know who started the conversation, but it became quite interesting as Starman told me he hadn't realised quite how much lay on his shoulders.  He'd just never considered it.  

However, I could almost hear the cogs going round in his mind as the possibilities became apparent.

We had discussed 'weight' during the week.  I had mentioned to him that I was worried about my weight gain.  I hardly dared weigh myself.  I had done very little exercise since before we had our series of bad colds, and then life in general, and Easter in particular had gotten in the way.  I found myself explaining to him that I could do with a little 'incentive' to lose some weight.  I knew I needed to lose at least a stone, perhaps more.  Would this be something he felt he could help me with.

He thought about it for a minute or two.  "But I need to lose a stone as well" he told me.  "Why don't we both keep an eye on our diets?  It would be much nicer to lose weight together, and from the cooking point of view it would be easier for you surely?"

I agreed with him.  But immediately a problem reared its head.  He had returned from the supermarket last night, not only with a bottle, but had also brought back two rather large packets of crisps.  You call them 'chips' in the US.  Well these are called 'Kettle Chips' and are thicker than usual, and he had bought a packet of 'plain' and a packet of 'vintage cheddar and chives', which he had opened first.

He had asked me whether I wanted any.  I had declined, trying to keep to my weight loss plan.  He had gotten up off the sofa, and literally wafted the opened packet under my nose.  I don't eat many crisps, but these smelled so good, and my  mouth literally watered.  Before I knew it I was taking a large handful.

Well, we ended up eating the lot.  Starman was very contented.  I was not happy with myself for giving in so easily.  This was no good.  I would be putting more weight on instead of losing it.  What could I do?  Hence our conversation.

"I have several Blogland friends with a similar problem" I informed him.  I then went on to carefully outline what their husbands saw as remedies.

"Do you think you might be able to help me in a comparable way?" I asked him.  "After all, I not only need to watch my weight, but I have to watch my sugar intake as well.  So you would be directly taking care of my health and well-being.  It's only an idea.  I'm not telling you.  Just asking if it might be something you could think about."

I have never known Starman to take so little time thinking about something!

He looked at his watch.

"I have to get up.  Got a busy day ahead of me if the sun is going to shine.  I need to get out and clear around the duck pond.  Pull out all that old wire-netting that's got lodged in the grass."

He sat up suddenly pulling his pillows up behind  his back.  "Right then.  Hurry up.  Go get the hairbrush."

Suddenly a good idea didn't seem quite as good as it had ten minutes before.

But then at least it was an opponent I had had previous experience with.

I climbed into position handing him the dreaded implement, not even daring to wonder whether I would get any sort of warm up.

He rubbed my bottom a few times and then brushed my cheeks with the bristles.  I squawked.  "You can't do that!  You'll puncture me!"

Starman laughed.  "It's turning you pink very quickly.  I told you I didn't have much time this morning.  Just you lie still and leave it to me."

He gave me a few perfunctory swats with his hand.  It didn't last long and certainly didn't hurt.

Then SWAT!  My feet swung up and nearly took his eyebrows off.  "Ouch!" I shrieked.  SWAT!

"I am going to give you ten.  That should be enough to help you remember" Starman told me.  

I ouched my way through every one of them.  

When they didn't stop I informed Starman that he had gone over the number and must have forgotten to count.  I was really burning.

"No Ami" he replied.  "When I said ten, I meant ten to each cheek!  Any less wouldn't be very effective now would it?"  He paused for a minute and gave me a quick 'in between spanks' rub.

"I think I could get used to the Maintenance business" he said glibly. "Shall we say ten in future for every pound you put on instead of take off?"

I was doing my over the knee version of 'front crawl'.  

"But is this fair?" I asked him.  "You told me you need to lose weight as well!"

He had the temerity to laugh again!

"Ami, you suggested this.  If you start to moan about it I will make a rule that states 'Ami gets ten for every pound Starman puts on' as well."

Whilst the spanks were nowhere near 'punishment' strength, they have left me with a rosy glow and a sore derriere!

All I can says Fellow Friends and Bloggers, is that I caution you to be very careful when asking your HOHs for help with health issues.  They can rebound on you!  

So this week the recipe is for all my fellow dieters, and you will probably get similar recipes for the foreseeable future!

Oriental Rice Salad with Mixed Peppers and Prawns

300 kcals - Serves 4 - preparation time 15 minutes!

1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 orange pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
300 g (11ozs) bean sprouts
6 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
Half a cucumber, cut into thin sticks
250g (9 ozs) cooked, peeled, king prawns
300 g (11 ozs) cooked, long-grain (Basmati) rice
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

For the Sweet Chilli Dressing:

2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce or 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp runny honey
15 g (quarter of an ounce) fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1    First make the dressing.  Put all the ingredients for the dressing into a large salad bowl and whisk together to combine.

2     Just before serving, add all the salad ingredients, apart from the sesame seeds.  Toss everything together to coat in the dressing, then sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.  Serve at once.

Each serving provides:

300 kcals
18 g protein
8 g fat of which 1 g saturates
40.5 g carbohydrate of which 15 g sugars
4 g fibre
725 mg sodium
248 g vegetables

I hope you all have a great weekend!  I may even venture out into the garden myself and plant some flower seeds in trays in the greenhouse and I need to press on with my patchwork cot quilt.  Then there is also a fairish amount of spring-cleaning to consider.   Hmmmm......


  1. You'll be buying a new garderobe, for two, in no time.

    1. What is a garderobe Bas? I thought it was a 'medieval' toilet! Now the mind boggles!



  2. Recipe sounds delicious. Love the help you are getting.

    1. The recipe is delicious but you need to use fresh prawns, not pre-cooked ones, and cook them yourself if you want a really special dish. I just toss them in very hot garlic and butter till they turn bright pink and it's important not to overcook. I'm not too certain yet about the help I'm "meant" to be getting, but we will see if it works.



  3. Oh Ami,

    Starman jumped right in there with that one, didn't he? Rob discovered the joy of using the hairbrush yesterday and I discovered that Susie was right and "wood is bad"! It was just a few swats, twice in an eve, but I have to ask you how you all manage to take a good spanking with that. I really need to toughen up or something... WOW!

    Your recipe looks delicious. As always thanks for sharing! :) I think that you know that I have been, and will remain on a low, low fat diet, since the dye from a test procedure caused pancreatitis last month, and landed me in the hospital for 8 days. In order to continue to recover completely and avoid a setback, all the food that I eat has to be <3 gms of fat, but Rob insists that for the most part I stick to <2 gms of fat. At first it was a real challenge, and we got quite an education regarding the fact that things labeled "low fat" are not necessarily that so much. We have learned to read labels, and have been able to find quite a number of things that I actually can eat. Because of all of this, I have to eat often during the day so that I do not lose weight. This leads me to believe that for someone who is trying to lose weight, given good portion control, this would work out very well for them. I would be happy to share some of the recipes that we have come up with. They are delicious and I have to give credit to Rob really, as he is a very creative cook when he gets in the kitchen. This morning he served me angel food cake with berries, 1/2 a deviled egg, and a sandwich with ham, tomato, low fat mayo, lettuce and a spread of laughing cow light qheso fresco cheese. Tonight he is making chicken chili with ground chicken and beans, onion, rice, etc. I guess my point is that you can eat some wonderful meals with ingredients that are really low in fat- including pasta, which I have fairly often. I will happily share or email you or anyone who is interested ( some recipes if you would like me to. I will also share a list of ingredients that we have found to fit, even brands but I expect that they would not necessarily be the same in the UK. Good luck and I hope that Starman's incentive works! :) Hugs!

    <3 Katie

    1. Just wanted to clearly state that each ingredient that we use is <2 gms of fat/serving. Not the total fat of a dish. :)

    2. Thank you Katie and I have made a note of your email address and will be getting in touch. I also have to have low or no sugar, so that is even more of a challenge. I hate boring food. Also, Starman does not cook at all - he has always regarded it as one of my jobs (as well as knowing how much I love to do it). The recipes you mention sound wonderful. And so much food too! I only have a slice of 50/50 toast with a smattering of wholefood peanut butter for breakfast or an egg cooked without any fat. My weight has been stable for over a year apart from going up or down a couple of pounds, but I would dearly like to get back to the weight I was ten years ago. I am well within my body/fat ratio, but my waist has a tendency to disappear (I am an apple shape apparently which is very bad) and I become tubular! I have big boobs and small boyish hips. There are times when I hate my body! I am five foot six and a half inches. When I had my kids I was only 8 stone - those were the days. I could eat anything - but not any more. Luckily Starman is willing to join me on this 'new eating' regime. Going it alone is much more difficult. But I now have to push my metabolic rate up - I 'spin' like mad for ten minutes pushing against resistance. I can hardly walk when I first get off, but it is a very good 'home exercise' if you have an exercise cycle. I listen to my ipod which helps the burn!

      Must go - ironing to do and then lunch to prepare. Glad to hear the 2 gms of fat is not the 'entire' dish. You had me worried there. Also, how do you differentiate between saturated and non saturated fats? I use extra virgin olive oil, cold pressed rapeseed oil and rice bran oil. Did you know that rice bran oil actually lowers cholesterol?

      Many hugs


  4. Ouch!! Wood is definitely not good. I guess that should certainly be some incentive - yikes! Wishing you both the best with the diet.


    1. I am still waiting for you to do a post on 'tolerance'. I am planning one. It would be a helpful thing for us all to read and compare. We talk about it briefly in passing, but I know that my hair frequently stands on end when I read about canes and belts, and yet others hate the thought of wood. I can tell you that I absolutely loathe the feel as the wood hits my tender nether regions, yet for some obtuse reason the "afterfeel" is wonderful, although I have to admit to feeling a little 'itchy' at times due to the "afterburn". Yes, we must discuss.



  5. We don't use this to lose weight--it's too sensitive for me but we do use it for exercise. If he asks and I have not exercised that

    Good luck Ami, you can both do this!

    1. Susie, exercise is excellent! I know, because I try very hard - but not hard enough. If several of us can do this together, think how svelte we could be by summer! (Well I can dream can't I?) I just don't want to procrastinate about my weight any more!