Wednesday, 30 April 2008

SCBWI talk and weekend disaster

Well, I really enjoyed the SCBWI talk last Thursday by Ruth Louise Symes. She talked about her diverse career. She has had published teen novels to picture books, basically written for all children's ages. She started out not knowing anything about how to write and just wrote and wrote until she went to a talk by the then new Writers Advice Centre and sent a ms into them and learnt from that. She has also written radio/tv scripts for a couple of books and has written scripts for the Hoobs on tv, which she said was the most lucrative money she's earnt so far. The talk went on for just over an hour and I was tired the next day.

Then came the weekend and disaster. Mum and I had been to Crystal Palace and found a new organic shop there, which was a disappointment, had come back to Forest Hill and gone to WHS and the craft fair there. We were walking home and 2 mins away from home, disaster struck and mum tripped (we think) over a drain cover and fell to the ground. She badly hurt her left knee and right hand and has now lots of colourful bruises over her body and she believes the pulled something in her right thumb. She keeps telling me that she will be fine in time and to put it to the back of my mind but I keep seeing that image of her falling forwards again, just like last time. I did have a little cry at home whilst she was in bed as it all got to me and still does now and then.

Well, must go now and do my washing up before I leave for home. Yay.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Return of fruit spread

No, it's not a title for a spoof horror book or film. I've decided to go back to having fruit spread with my porridges during the week and have raspberries at the weekend. As much as I loved having the raspberries, I was finding that I became bloated with stomach pains at times afterwards and felt maybe combining the 2 foods wasn't a good idea after all. So I had fruit spread this morning. I had a bit of a bad stomach but didn't last long, but no bloatedness which was the main thing.

Writing - have now revised Chapter 3 of Checkmate, which I will type up tomorrow. At the last word count it came to just over 30,000 which possibly means it could be too long for My Weekly pocket novel but enough for People's Friend. We shall see. Still have quite a bit of work to do on it.

I will post later about the SCBWI talk I went to last night, which I enjoyed. The talker was funny and a bit scatterbrained but very nice.

Have a good weekend.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Good and bad foods

I shall start with the good foods. I have recently discovered courtesy of the Vitality Show, where I originally sampled it and bought it, the 9 Bar Pumpkin Bar by Wholebake foods. They are a mixture of different seeds with honey and taste really nice. Even my mum who normally doesn't like seeds likes them. I usually don't like pumpkin seeds but mixed with other seeds they taste OK. The other foods I like is banana chips, but unfortunately they have now turned into a bad food. After eating some each day I found that they were giving me an IBS symptom so have now stopped eating them. Maybe I will try them again some other time but not each them each day. I bought them because bananas contain tryptophan which makes serotonin, which as mentioned in the last blog here I believe I am low in. The other bad food is aspartame, which is a sweetener put in things instead of sugar. I have been sucking/chewing Smints a lot these last couple of years and recently read something alarming in a health magazine. A reader wrote up asking how they could help their high blood pressure and was told to avoid eating a variety of foods, and one of those was aspartame. As I too have high bp, I was alarmed at this news. So, I am going to try to look for something else to suck which is refreshing and doesn't contain too much sugar and sweeteners, esp aspartame. Watch this space.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Ups and Downs

This week has been another up and downer for me. It started off all right then on Tuesday I had my hospital appointment for the test results. They came out low which meant that my problem probably has nothing to do with cortisol levels or hormonal levels, so that ruled those out (I had thought of PMS because I'd worked out that the exhaustion was happening the same time each month). The consultant said that my symptoms sound like anxiety and depression. I have now been reading up on depression and found that low serotonin levels can cause that so am now trying to help myself by taking multivitamins and minerals plus eating more bananas and dates. We shall see how that goes over the next couple of months. That was a bit of a high. Then on Wednesday I reached the train station and got a bad stomach upset and had to go back home so had the day off sick. Not good as I've already had several days off sick so far this year and it doesn't make my record look good. I am now better and hope to get better even more soon. Watch this space.

Writing. Apart from emailing letters to healthy magazines I finished amened Chapter 3 of Checkmate today and will type it up tomorrow. At the same time I will listen to one of my CDs about stress which I bought today at So Organic in Greenwich. Being keen on organics now needless to say I spent a whole lot of money in there. Never mind. They do say retail therapy is good for your mood. That's my excuse anyway.

Well, that's all for now. Catch up later with more news soon.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Here is the proof that I actually saw and met the 2 original Diet Doctors, Vicky Edgson (on left) and Dr Wendy Denning (on right). They were very friendly and helpful ladies and am was so pleased I decided to go to the show in the end. I am now blogging to expand on their talk entitled Beyond Calories in, Calories out.

Dr Wendy first talked about factors that can help you put on the weight and asked the audience if we thought hormones, stress, exercise, thoughts factor in keeping weight off. I put my hand up to all but thoughts. I was interested to hear what she had to say about hormones, as my problem I believe all lies with the stress hormone, cortisol. Then Vicky mentioned 6 points and I can only remember about 5 of them. They are 1. always eat breakfast, 2. include protein with each meal 3. eat no more than 3 hours each time a day 4. eat little and often, 5, eat a variety of foods. She mentioned that if you were on her programme she'd make you eat at least 20 different foods a day and over 100 a week. Made me think about what I eat. I eat different breakfasts every 3 days but my lunch doesn't vary that much at all each day, and dinner does. I am trying to think off what I can eat that makes it variable.
Then it was a Q&A session and when to drink water was asked. Answer. Sip with meals not drinks glasses with meals as it intterupts the digestion system, which I knew anyway. Also soya was mentioned. It now makes me think if it is hard for us people in the western world to digest soya properly because we are not used it then why do people tend to put it in everything, esp bread. My mum reckons it could be a cheap product that is why. I also read that soya is a main culprit why the rainforests are being destroyed so quickly, for the production of soya for animal feed and other foods.

Well, my health went downhill earlier in the week. I suffered from a bout of exhaustion again on Wednesday and Thursday. I believe it was a combination of being very tired after a bad night's sleep and my body not coping with only being 2 of us instead of 3 in our team at work. I managed 2 hours at work on Weds before having to cry off (literally) and go home. Was better on Friday but tired again on Saturday after another bad night, all down to sugar I think. So from now on I am going to try not to eat sugary foods esp chocolate stuff. I am going to see my endocrine consultant again on Tuesday for the test results so will ask him about if sugar affects the cortisol levels and sleep patterns. When I mentioned it last time he didn't say a word. Watch this space to find out the answeres.

Well, this is all for now. No more to say on the Vitality Show apart from will definitely go again next year, and possibly to the Real Food Festival that I 've seen advertised. Sounds interesting and up my street.