Christmas, Uncategorised

Wishing you all happy holidays

Notebook 1-1
Holly and berries by Nick

A thank you to all my followers, for supporting me over the past few months.  It’s been an exciting time setting up my site and getting my posts ready.

Also a big thank you to my ‘software engineer’ for sorting my laptop recently. Hopefully next year I will be able to do all sorts of amazing things with my site.

I have many plans for the new year both with decoupage and other art and craft based projects.  One of these will be based on the Tree of Life, possibly in various formats.

I will also be writing more about my life living with fibromyalgia. When I first had the idea to start doing this I didn’t know where it would go. It’s still early days but I hope to carry on as long as I have something useful to pass on to others with fibromyalgia.

Hope you all have a great break and enjoy a happy new year.

Christmas, London, Poetry, Uncategorised, Writing

A wintry tale from the past….

abstract blur bright christmas
Photo by Meve R. on Pexels.com

Snowflakes gently glide to the ground; white snow covered trees are glinting in the faded sunlight.

I start to walk along a track through the trees listening out for any sounds. It’s really quiet apart from a few birds singing. The occasional thud of snow falling from the branches breaks the eerie silence. 

As I make each step forward, I hear thick snow crunch beneath my feet. My hands feel bitterly cold; the breath in front of my face nearly freezes. 

A spectacular scene of ice unfolds into the distance. A frozen river bed fills the expanse.  On the horizon is a bridge, which stretches across the river. 

Rustic tents and strangely clothed people bustle about a huge outdoor market.  The market’s taking place directly on the ice.  I walk over onto the river bed and join the crowd.

By one tent I see the excited faces of the crowd, waiting at a printers.  People are gathering around and watching a man print a special ticket.

Where can I be? 

Before I went to sleep I had been reading about the frost fairs that took place on the river Thames in London, during the 18th century.

The year is 1716. I realise, I was looking at old London Bridge and the river must be the Thames. It looks so strange without the familiar stone embankment on either side.

Old London Bridge was quite a differently proportioned bridge to the current one. It was built on nineteen arches supported by small piers, these in turn slowed the flow of the river which is why it often froze.

The tickets I saw being printed were actually printed, using a woodcut, on the ice as a souvenir for visitors. They were dated and read ‘Printed on the ice on the River Thames.’ 

I had left a window open, which is why I felt cold and had fallen asleep still holding the book I had been reading.

For more fascinating facts and information about London in the past have a look at the Museum of London website.

branch cold freezing frost
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Carer, Cholesterol, Chronic illness, Fibromyalgia, Invisible illness, Uncategorised

How’s the diet going? Losing weight with fibromyalgia

watermelon shake filled glass cup beside sliced watermelon fruit on brown surface
Photo by Bruno Scramgnon on Pexels.com

You may remember my post ‘You are what you eat’. My carer was diagnosed with high cholesterol a few weeks ago and is trying to reduce the cholesterol and lose weight.

I decided to get my cholesterol checked by my doctor; as I do far less exercise and probably eat a lot more than my carer. 

I was surprised to find it was ‘OK’; although my BMI was high and I am categorised as overweight.  My question is, How can this be? We both eat the same meals?

Our bodies burn up calories differently.  Some people are more likely than others to have high cholesterol. This can be for a number of reasons, which do not necessarily relate directly to the food they eat. 

Between us we have learnt a lot about reducing cholesterol. It isn’t as straightforward as I had first thought. 

Learning about the different types of fat, such as saturated and unsaturated fats has been tricky, when trying to select food. Also good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol.

Butter or its equivalents was very confusing.  Fat spreads are high in saturated fat but some contain plant sterols which help to reduce the ‘bad’ cholesterol in the body. They work by blocking some cholesterol being absorbed into the blood stream from the gut.

The British Heart Foundation has produced some guidance about food labelling which is really useful when choosing healthy food.

In a nutshell it really means eating a healthy balanced diet which is low in saturated fats.

Losing weight and lowering cholesterol are two different things, but combined you can do both by cutting out food high in fat and saturated fat.

So far I have good and bad news; the good news is…..

My carer has managed to lose almost all the weight required in roughly two weeks. I asked ‘What’s your secret to this amazing weight loss?’ Apparently not eating unhealthy snacks throughout the day. If you feel hungry substitute the unhealthy food with different types of fruit. Most drinks are OK, as they contain no fat/calories and having a drink rather than food can help to make the stomach feel full. Also cutting out cake and biscuits which pile on the pounds. 

My results so far are less encouraging, I have only lost 2 lbs in about two weeks. Having fibromyalgia I think it’s harder to stick to a diet. I have cut back drastically on snacks now and we longer eat cake for tea. Both of which were piling on the pounds and are full of saturated fats. I’ve stopped eating cheese, only cottage cheese. But chocolate, my favourite snack I’m still eating. Dark chocolate is better; so I have a small piece at a time. 

The good news for me is, I have noticed I’m not wanting to eat as much or eat as many snacks. My clothes are also a lot looser around the waist! I’m taking it slower losing the weight and hopefully I will be able to stick with it.

If you want to find out about high cholesterol the NHS website has more information.

Another site that has a lot of facts about reducing cholesterol is Heart UK .

I also came across an interesting article by Dr Axe an American clinical nutritionist about reducing cholesterol naturally without using statins.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions about this please let me know. It would be great to share others experiences.