Misters

I can’t believe how fast the year feels like it is going all of a sudden!

You may be back at work? You may be still camping up north or similar, or if you are like me you are winding up slowly, getting your head back in the game and starting to put some hours in…

I have been lost in a swirl of house stuff, work stuff and Netflix ha ha. I have watched some bloody GOOD TV in the past couple of weeks and I can highly recommend Fresh Meat to anyone wanting a new Bingewatch – Vod is my new style crush! So cool. Can you guess which one she is? (a hint; it’s not the one in Overalls which may surprise you). I think I watched three seasons in about four days – new season coming out this year! Wahay! (can you tell I only really get to watch TV when I’m on holiday? I’m well behind what everyone is watching – don’t ask me about Making a Murderer).

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Anyways – I wanted to put a good word in for Misters in the city. I don’t need to because they’ve been around for a while and are well established for being GREAT but I finally managed to get there today with my grrl Alissa and it was SUCH a revelation to be able to eat ANYTHING off the menu. They are right in town (don’t tell the GD about my $22.50 parking! Jebus! I won’t be using that Wilsons building again – it cost more than lunch!) and get this – the Chef has Coeliacs! So they run a completely gluten and dairy free kitchen – which means – you know where I’m going – NO RISK WHATSOEVER of cross contamination! I went in cautiously – sometimes the combination of gluten and dairy free can mean lacking a certain taste factor but needn’t have been worried. I highly recommend. You should go there NOW and get something delicious to eat.

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          dscn4195          Misters new menu in copy

 

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141 – ow ow ow!

Tonight I went out for dinner with my work friends. I rang ahead because it was a restaurant that I hadn’t been to before and checked that they could do GF food that would be safe for a coeliac and the man I spoke to on the phone assured me that mostly the gluten was in the soy sauce dishes and that yes, they could do a number of them sans gluten for me.

So I rocked up full of confidence and was completely bamboozled by the menu straight off. It was a fairly authentic Japanese ‘pub food’ restaurant (I am told), and they made a point t say that they only made sushi when requested – they have other special dishes they were more proud of. It all looked AMAZING and delicious but I was wary because I knew that whatever my colleagues had – I would get a slightly different version – read not so great. Unfortunately my fears were realised.

The staff were unclear as to which dishes I could have and anything I suggested – the young waitress said couldn’t be adapted. Luckily one of my friends had lived in Japan for years and can speak Japanese and she asked about adapting two of the dishes by taking the sauce completely out of the picture. Thank goodness for Ruth!

I ended up having a sauce-less Salmon Tataki (barely grilled thin slivers of salmon) and a seaweed salad – no dressing  and they were both delicious. YUM. But. Within minutes of me finishing my meal I started getting stabbing stomach pains, was uncomfortable sitting still and my jeans became uncomfortably tight. I looked 8 months pregnant under my tent dress  (yes a dress over jeans because I’m so nineties) and I needed to lie down. Not gluten though, I think it was the raw factor. Remember how I am to meant to be eating raw food this year? Yes the seaweed salad may have been a mistake.

So although it was a really lovely evening catching up with some of the wonderful women I work with, it was another fail on the food front. I am off to bed now – to try to relieve some of the tension in my belly – yes that’s code for farts (but at least I might get the bed to myself tonight! All of the family and fur kids in the bed does not make for a very restful night). Good night!

132 – bleurgh

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Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. I’m fucked. Sorry for the potty mouth straight out of the gate. But man. I am faaaaaaarked. A combination of hard-core work stuff, extra grumpy Dutchman (not smoking so he’s SO grumpy) and sugar withdrawal. I am not sure how I am sitting here right now awake after 8pm.

That’s a lie, I do know how I am still awake. The GD went and bought cigarettes didn’t he, and in his guilt(?) he has offered to go and get something sweet for me to have with my cup of tea after the boys are asleep. I am waiting for this treat to materialise in front of me. Because I’m weak. And although I nearly died from my head-splitting headache on Thursday – first day without sugar – and have suffered since; and I when I talked about it I said stuff like ‘the headaches are good because it reminds me what I have started and what I don’t want to start again‘ and other optimistic things. But I am weak.

I bought myself pity chocolates on Mothers day because no one else had. I received beautiful hand drawn cards from my children but apparently I am still a four year old at heart and wanted a ‘proper’ present. It was just an excuse. I ate them all over the course of the afternoon and evening (a small box mind you). And I was kind to myself but disappointed. Because I had survived three days added sugar-free at that point. Not fruit or high fructose free but all of the added crap.

There are side effects to the lapse in diet of course. I have a preggy belly again, and the silk muu-muus are good but I have seen my students looking sideways at me again and I can feel a ‘Are you pregnant miss?’ coming. My skin is farked. My energy levels are all over the place and I am slower at boot camp. My head is covered in allergic sores under my hair. I feel pretty. Oh so pretty. These are all good reasons to stick at it.

I am eating better though in general, and am resolved to be sugar-free again by Friday. Wish me luck!

129 – hibernating or the nearest possible thing to it

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Recently my eldest has become obsessed with the idea of hibernation – following an article that we read about a 90 yr old tortoise that had been given wheels after her front legs were EATEN OFF HER by rats in hibernation. He is bummed, as am I, that humans don’t get to hibernate. That we, as a society, tend to look down upon people who take to their beds for winter – refusing to get up for anything other than food or ablutions. That we throw around labels like ‘lazy’, ‘unmotivated’ or ‘depressed’ simply because someone cannot bear the thought of crawling out of bed on another cold and rainy day for work or school or whatever. Well I think that attitude sucks tbh. Obvs it would be even better if we could slow our heartbeats down to one beat per minute and not require food or the bathroom during this time period as well and really settle in for good snooze (imagine the un-intentional weight loss and gut healing that would happen too without all the food! I’d wake up able to tackle all of the delicious-ness pain free!).

However in the absence of human hibernation, because – you know – I have to work and raise my children and boring responsible shit like that, there are a couple of things I do when the (slightly) colder days of Autumn kick in, to keep myself snuggly and at optimum comfort level no matter where I am.

The first thing is manipulation of the wardrobe. In order to ‘take the duvet with me’ wherever I go, I employ two rules when clothing myself in the morning;

  • Volume
  • Layers

The larger and more shapeless the dress or pants the better – like swimming around in a sheet – and then if you add an oversized cardi or coat it’s just like a walking around in a well dressed bed. If it’s raining I wear my rubber high top chucks. Interesting shoes and jewellery are key so you don’t look like a toddler who escaped daycare. This look is neither sexy or even vaguely figure flattering but it is damned comfortable. I also like to mix up fabrics and textures, wool with silk with leather etc. Very satisfying, very comfortable. I feel like I can cope with almost any weather Mother Nature throws at me and my clothes feel like they are giving me a cuddle all day long – Bliss. I’m really IN to clothes – I don’t know if you’ve picked up on that yet? Really, really in to clothes. Totes shallow and totes ok with that.

Number 2? Food. Comfort food to be exact. Cups of tea with toast. Hot soup. Roast dinners with heaps of roasted root veges. Mince and baked potatoes. Gf Pasta or rice dishes. This is not a diet that is kind to the waistline, but as I am wearing what amounts to a silk muu-muu most days anyway it’s a win win!

Speaking of food, I have been better at being sugar free for the latter part of this week. I had a splitting headache on Thursday to show for it which was to be expected but still sucked. And I have been trolling through old recipes.

Here is my favourite cold-weather breakfast, Brown rice porridge;

  • One cup brown rice
  • 400mls full cream coconut milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tblsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
  1. Cook the rice using the absorption method – bring to the boil in three cups of water, turn down and simmer for about 15 minutes or until most of the water has gone.
  2. Add the coconut milk, sugar and cinnamon and simmer for another 1o minutes

Store in the fridge in a plastic container, this will yield about 6 servings. The sugar doesn’t bother me because I figure it’s such a minimal amount when split 6 ways. I eat it heated up with a banana cut up on it or frozen berries (low fructose) to add some fruit. This brekkie keeps me full until lunchtime! Yum!

Selfie with the giant Tortoise at the Zoo
Selfie with the giant Tortoise at the Zoo

126

So I’m driving home from work at 8 pm (parent teacher night) and I cross over the intersection on to Williamson Ave. As I come over the bus parked at the side of the road pulls out in front of me. Slowly. Without warning. I speak in to the silence in the car (my stereo is broken and it is literally the only thing I like about my car so that’s just not fair).  I say ‘Just pull out in front of me dude’ then after a beat ‘Fucking cunt’. I crack myself up. Even in the confines of my car – where noone can hear me – I’m a potty mouthed bitch.

Tonight in one of my interviews I said ‘Taking the piss’. I said to the PARENTS of a student ‘She is taking the piss’. Luckily I have Deaned this girl for three and a half years and the parents know I adore her, and they were not at all offended, and I apologised profusely of course, but seriously. That is not cool. Normally I am MUCH more professional I promise.

I put this down to one thing; Sugar. Yes.

I didn’t want to write this post. I told my friend at work that I hadn’t been blogging as regularly lately because I felt guilty lying by omission. That if I didn’t tell you about my big bloated sugar belly, my tingly teeth or my ridiculous sugar intake that maybe it wouldn’t exist. I am conscious that people read this stream-of-consciousness/drivel. Enough of you have been in contact to say you do, or taken the time to tell me in person, and it’s really special to hear. So I thank you from the heart of my bottom and I’m sorry.

I’m sorry because for the past four weeks I’ve been living a lie. (Duuun dun dun) Easter was too much for me and I am now spiraling in to a sugar induced grump fest. And I have been trying to find things to write about that mean I don’t have to mention the brownie crumbs on my 5 o’clock shadow and the cup of tea with real milk I am slurping all over myself. I am trying.

I got up this morning before the sun rose and took the dog for a run. My first one in WEEKS. I had boiled eggs on toast for breakfast. With butter. And Coffee. Damn. And I followed it with a GF brownie chaser. What the fuck? Ok, I can come back from that. I packed a savoury lunch of chicken curry. Right. Be good. Be positive. Stop self harming with food. This shit isn’t good for you grrl, Nourish not Punish.

Waiting for lunch I decided to walk up the road with my friend (the very one who insisted that you guys want to read about me fucking up like this because we can all relate so I am doing it). I was going to get a bottle of water because a side effect of all this shite in my diet is that I am thirsty all the time. I get to the cafe and buy ginger crunch and a coffee. Excuse me?

So for lunch I had ginger crunch and a trim flat white. And then after work for afternoon tea, the school supplied snacks – apple and cheese – dairy and high fructose. For dinner, because the non gf staff ate all of the gf food supplied I had grapes, a mandarin and gf brownie for dinner. High fructose, high fructose, sugar and dairy. The poor woman who runs our school cafe was mortified because she had made this food especially and she kept pressing this gf cake on me – what could I do? I ate the fruit and cake. Happily. Because I had an excuse.

The lovely, patient, solo parenting Dutchman made me dinner at short notice and I am now full of greens, potatoes and sausages. And sugar. My teeth are tingling, my body feels bleurgh. I am suffering but I am stuck in the cycle. So every day I will get up and every day I am going to try again. Tomorrow I am going to have green tea – if any hot drinks at all. Coffee is a gateway drink. I know the GD will read this so he won’t offer me coffee. I am going to have a smoothie for brekkie so I am not hungry and I am not going to buy anything to eat.

These are the conditions I have set for myself. For tomorrow. To start again. Again.

117 – and it drags on

I’m on a new diet. It’s the ‘yes I think I’ll have breakfast today, ohhhhhh well… maybe not’  diet. The very thought of food can make me retch or cramp up. Or I get a very distinct and specific craving for something and can’t stomach anything but that thing – for the last three days it’s been GF any-citrus cake and the grumpy Dutchman dutifully got me some – of course I didn’t want it when he finally got home. I am exhausted and manage small efforts of normality followed by long periods in bed.

I actually got to work on Friday. I felt better enough on Thursday night to be optimistic, planned my lessons, got my clothes sorted and packed my lunch. Got up and felt a bit blah – but that’s understandable. I ended up having to take my breakfast with me because I couldn’t finish it – this should have been a clue really. I’m a girl who finishes everything on her plate and then follows the crumbs back through to the kitchen to see if there’s anything else I can finish off. Anyway, breakfast never got finished, and I lasted as long as recess, then home to bed.

I have been told by fairly reliable sources, that Gastro bugs last longer in coeliacs – this doesn’t seem fair really – we already have gut issues – why add to the drama? But it makes sense. Coeliacs is an autoimmune disease and it makes sense that anything else would knock us on our asses. No ‘reserves’ to help up back up on to our heels you see.

I have spent since Tuesday night in and out of bed, sleeping, being impatient with the lads, not eating OR eating a whole dinner last night and regretting it immediately. I am shattered and can’t concentrate on anything for very long. It sucks balls. I dragged myself around the zoo this morning – it was my bloody idea – with the three Dutchmen but it wasn’t as much fun as it sounds.

My four year old is loving the captive audience though. He is already a non-stop talker – like actually non-stop and if it’s not words it’s his own special gobbledygook – and I don’t have the strength to fight him off at the moment or get a word in edgeways. He spent Friday evening bringing me a drawing every five minutes until he ran out of paper. It was quite sweet really. He comes to the bed and ‘announces his crimes’ at me. For example – he just came in clutching a ramekin and asked if he could have milk. (There has been a ban on milk anywhere but at the table because of the amount that ends up on the carpet). I said no, you know you can’t have milk. ‘Is that milk in the ‘cup’?’. ‘YES!’ he shouts gleefully and bolts – dripping milk as he goes all over the carpet – confident that I am not going to follow him.

I’ll show him. I’m going to text his father.

Day 88 – did you miss me?

Sure you did, all of you out there in ‘actually has a social life land’. You didn’t miss me at all with your fancy parties, and restaurants, and glamorous fast paced lives. I’m sure you were waiting by your ‘pooters for my next thrilling installment ha ha

As I write this Master 4 is sitting next to me crunching on a foul blue lollipop LOUDLY and staring glass eyed at the minions giving a 21 fart gun salute. Cue much hilarity. Did I mention that he is naked from the waist down but does have a whistle around his neck that he blows at random and eye-watering intervals. Everything this kid does is LOUD. And right in my ear.

The reason for the middle of the day nakedness and mindless lolly eating is of course ‘The Great Gladstone Gala’ which we attended this morning. Master 7 has been building up his excitement ever since he came home with the cake boxes for me to fill to Wednesday, along with an instruction to make two batches of Bliss Balls and as many Jolly Jars as I can source jars for. No opt-in for this activity mind you – more like an implied ‘opt out and be ashamed of yourself and your lack of community spirit’. Last year I broke myself getting the cupcakes, bliss balls and Jolly Jars made. I don’t know how the other working parents do it and look so stress free with it. I can do it but it’s a stretch with my job on top.

This year I thought ‘Fuck this shit I don’t have time’ and have suffered racked with guilt ever since. And not – as I clarified to my grrls last night over (their) wine and my soda water – guilt or shame that the other parents at school will think I am useless and not contributing, but more that Master 7 is super proud of my bliss balls and cupcake making ability and really wanted to show it off. I didn’t want to let him down. As it turned out, after I talked to him yesterday morning (with 2 hours left to go before the baking had to be in) he didn’t care at all if I made anything to contribute – he cared more that I had money for him to spend at the Gala. And so, money being tight this week, I didn’t buy ingredients and gave the cash to the lads as spending money. Very happy little Dutchmen.

Ten dollars each can go a long way when you are a kid and will eat anything. Both boys bought candy floss as soon as we arrived. They then spent the next 20 mins getting as sticky as humanly possible and wiping as much of it on me as they could. Once hosed down we went for a wander and I tried to encourage them to spend their remaining dollars on rides or experiences. No – all up they bought shaved ice, cupcakes, Jolly Jars, one turtle, one green sword, one entry to Lego land where Master 4 declared it boring almost immediately, one entry to the boot camp bouncy castle which was over in 3 minutes and Master 4 managed to make $5 back playing money golf (you putt the balls on to the various notes stuck to the ground – his was a rebound and very impressive). Then Master 4 went to the toilet, couldn’t figure out his suspenders (very stylish) and ended up peeing all over himself. ‘It’s even in my shoes mum’. Sad face. So we walked home, he stripped – ‘Not my tee-shirt mum, my willy wasn’t pointing up so it’s dry’ and settled in to eat the entire contents of his Jolly Jar all at once and glaze out in front of the TV.

We have a birthday party to go to this afternoon too – I have totally given up on healthy food for them today and will just have to deal with the come down later…

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Last night I met a woman who told me – or at least the group of women that were there – that having coeliacs didn’t necessarily mean eating gluten-free, for like, forever. That her Mum had coeliacs and she didn’t all the time. That it was a choice and that some people didn’t get a reaction so it was okay. Aside from immediately wanting to punch her in the face and shout ‘YOU ARE AN IDIOT AND WHAT YOU ARE SAYING IS DANGEROUS’ she seemed ok. But here’s the thing, she was a Naturopath. And although I know that the grumpy Dutchman thinks that natural medicine is the biggest swindle there is, I do not and think it has its place and usefulness. But for someone who presumably is listened to seriously by people who are very unwell and looking for answers, to have her saying with some authority that ‘a little bit of gluten is ok’ is scary. It was a weird situation anyway because it was a farewell ‘drinks’ for one of my close friends who is heading overseas to ‘Art’ for three months, and we all knew each other really well, except for this stranger. Luckily my friend saw me about to ‘school’ this poor idiot woman and diverted me by mentioning the Bachelor NZ – something guaranteed to get me ranting. (seriously – a whole lot of women lined up for a man to ‘choose’ them like a meal in a fucking food court? get out of here with that misogynist dark ages bullshit. Seriously.)

But it has been happening more and more lately. People saying to me that maybe I should just ‘like, eat normal and just like, be normal, because it’s seems so hard?’. And granted this is usually in response to me having a rough day and drooling at them with their pie/wine/chocolate biscuit but I don’t find it very supportive or helpful. What I said last night to my grrls, who love me and want to support me but also want to fix me so I can be normal with them, is that I have made this choice to feel better. That before I felt like shit every day. And now I sometimes have days where it is shit but there is light at the end of the tunnel. And if I’m honest with myself, the ‘sometimes shit’ days this year come from me breaking my own rules. That I know I will be gluten-free forever, and probably dairy and sugar, but that the rest of the restrictions will ease up and I can gain some normality back. That yes, once again I will be able to enjoy both the smell and taste of my morning coffee, and that in the evenings if I so desire I will again have the joy of a glass of red wine with my dinner. But that for now, I have to be gentle, ease up on the toxins, and try to give my gut a rest.

It’s a choice I have made and so far I have gotten up every day for 88 days and made that choice. I didn’t choose to have coeliacs but I can choose to live a long and healthy life in spite of it. I can choose to not get bowel or stomach cancer by adhering to a strict gluten free diet for the rest of my life. I can choose to be able to absorb all the nutrients and good stuff I need from my food by healing and supporting the villi in my gut and for now that means being very careful with what I eat. And the next person that tells me that I could eat a ‘little bit of gluten no harm’ is gonna hear about it.

Day 82 – cooling down

I am cold. Rocking the hoodie and slouchy tights combo on the couch and feeling cold. That’s no good people. It’s only the end of March! And I am going to Christchurch in April – I am going to freeze. But, with the cooler months come the lovely cozy tights and fantastic coats and jackets. The cape coats and the trench coats and the leather jacket/hoodie underneath combos. All the delicious-ness of warm winter clothes. I do like wearing what amounts to a duvet for three months of the year. And it doesn’t really get cold in Auckland, not actually cold. Just cold enough for the look of it and that’s all that matters really.

It does however get cold in Christchurch. I am going to hang with my new niece Miss 2.5 months and her mum, my sister. My brother-in-law is going to China for work and I am going to co-parent for the week to help because she’s just wee still. My sister has all of these wonderful brand-new-mum ideas of ‘sleep training’ Sophie and ‘getting her on a schedule’ while I’m there to help – ha ha. I think the theory is that because I’ve already had two and they have lived that I am meant to be some sort of expert. It’s not like my sister to be this naive but I appreciate her faith in me.

It will be nice to have a week ‘off’ life, I am looking forward to it but I keep reminding myself that I’ll be living with a very young baby again for a week so it’s not exactly a rest!

Monday dawned low and long, the boot camp ladies and I blinking as we adjusted to the beginning of the working week. Monday is my no-stopping day at work and I basically lurch from teaching to meeting to teaching so it was good that I had done some prep yesterday. The GD was working a new location today so instead of making sure he was ready earlier than usual he did his man thing of relaxing, lingering over his coffee, long shower doing who knows what (when I should have been showering – it was my turn man!) and then rushing around like an angry bear because he was late – dragging the reluctant and barely awake Master 7 to school in his wake. Because I was organised I managed to have the fastest shower in the world, feed all the children – furry and dutch – get my shit organised and get to school within time enough to not be late. The GD says that it is not a competition. But he only says that because I am winning.

Trying to pull back again this week. Reminding myself of the mission. The Healing and Balance objective. Remind myself to ‘crowd out’ with lots of cooked veges and good fats and bone broth and to trim all of the no-gos that have been slipping in out again. Run with the dog, Try to get to a yoga class. Be mindful.

Day 81

Satisfying day. I got jobs done, saw family and managed to fold all of the laundry on the laundry couch! It is amazing to see the rest of the couch. The animals keep coming up and looking at it, sniffing it and then sidling up to it suspiciously – they see it so rarely. The lads immediately took to leaping off the top of the couch on to the floor or each-other. Only one of them bled. And it wasn’t for long.

After lazing in bed until 8am (8AM!) I got up and fed all of the children and fur-kids. Eventually fed myself and threw myself in the car to head up the hill to see my grandies. I can’t take the three Dutchmen with me at the moment because both are in a delicate state, so I left them at home ‘cleaning’ which I think mostly amounted to a marathon Lego session on the Music lounge floor.

Nana has dementia and since Christmas has been in care, currently in a nursing home with lovely staff and fellows oldies. Grandad moved in next door so he could be near her and visit but had a fall a couple of weeks ago, and then because of a brain bleed has had to have neurosurgery. He is in recovery and is doing very well but will need to move in with Mum when he has finished rehabilitation. Poor Mum and her man have been basically taking care of the two of them by themselves since before Christmas – Mum’s sisters do try to help but they don’t live in the same city so they are mostly moral support. Anyway – long story short I head up the hill to see them twice a week to try to give Mum the day off where I can.

I love going to see them – I used to drive the boys up to see them every school holidays – because they were up north it was harder to get to them regularly. This way they are only 40 mins away so I can hang with my fave oldies whenever I like in theory. Nana is funny. She has built quite a comfortable world in her head, based on actual events, twisted all out of reality and all stories end with people adoring her, or apologising to her for perceived slights, or recognising her essential ‘right-ness’. She has had some very bad moments, and has said terrible things (to poor Mum mostly) which is difficult for people to deal with but she is ok with me. We have always been each-others favourite person. I am prepared for her to not be alright with me and when she is I don’t take it personally because I can see she isn’t in control anymore. It’s mostly like visiting a toddler now.

Grandad on the other hand is a totally different man but in a good way – he finally gets to talk! Nana always did the talking for him or over him, and it is really cool to hang with him and have him so chatty. He has always been a voracious reader and I knew he KNEW stuff but he lost his sight about ten years ago and got depressed. The one good thing that has come out of this whole thing is that Grandad will get to have his own opinion for the rest of his life now. And he will be with people who can encourage him to learn new stuff again and open new doors for him technologically – My mum and her man are techy geeks.

So, a satisfying morning hanging with my oldies in their respective situations, assuring Nana that yes indeed Grandad is still alive and yes that’s where I was going next, Talking to Grandad about how we both really like Hospital food and ordering his meals for the next day. Eventually I had to jump back in my car and head home to see what state the house was in – The GD’s parents came around for dinner tonight and we needed the house CLEAN.

We did the mad as massive clean. I folded washing like a BOSS. I dusted shit like organised people do. I hung up dresses and ironed and got ‘work clothes’ sorted for the week. It was amazing. The GD vacuumed, and did dishes and helped the lads tidy up their toys. Then I made a delicious and healthy dinner for the in-laws and the kids ate it all! It was a miracle. Spicy fish fillets, steamed asian greens and homecut fries (parsnip, potatoes and kumara). Delish.

AND THEN. As if I am not awesome enough – I baked pizza wheels for Master 7’s lunches, and another batch of bliss balls. Fucking homemaker queen.

In other news, the re-introduced dairy has caused the skin on my face to get red and peel off all over the place. I am SO pretty right now. Dairy is definitely a no go.

Day 80 – secret groups and pissing off strangers.

After the IQS program ends you get this ‘special invitation’ to join the graduates facebook page (it’s a secret group) and I did of course – who turns down a special invitation to join a secret group?! Well I may have made my first enemy on the page. As I write this I am waiting to see the little (1) to turn up on my facebook tab telling me I have had a response to my comment. It’s a slightly sick feeling.

What happened was that a woman posted that her checkout person had exclaimed loudly and made quite a big deal over her food shop – being that it was mostly fresh fruit and vege and dairy and meat (no packaged food). The checkout lady told her that she hardly ever saw that any more and that it was so nice to see someone shopping healthy. The woman who posted described herself as feeling ‘proud and a little sad’. Proud because she was providing her family with healthy, nutritious food, and sad because ‘wasn’t it sad that people were too uneducated or too reliant on convenience foods these days’. Remember this is after only 8 weeks of ‘being educated’ herself – freely admitted. I let it go.

And let it go and let it go until about 5 other people had posted about their pious and gold star worthy shopping, most of them adding little patronising comments about ‘other people’ who ‘didn’t bother’ cooking from scratch, ‘didn’t understand’ how fresh produce was simply better for you or were just too lazy.

So I wrote this; Fresh produce costs more – the simple fact is that most people would like to feed their families fresh fruit and vege and dairy but that their budget doesn’t allow it. When you are trying to keep tummies full and a roof over your head you do what you can. My husband and I both earn enough to be able to buy fresh as well but a lot of people don’t. I don’t think its ever ok to assume people just ‘don’t know’ or can’t be bothered – they may not have the means.

And it brings me to something that I have been finding distinctly uncomfortable about the newly ‘cool’ JERF movement. I think that we all know that if you can get fresh fruit and veges, meat and dairy for your family this is good thing. And I also know that the grumpy Dutchman and I spend more money every fortnight on food for the four of us than on anything else – and it is a lot of money. Way more than we’ve ever paid before and it seems to go up and up all the time. It’s gotten so that I try not to take the GD with me food shopping because he’s never dealt well with the spending of the money on the food ‘But, but, but’ he splutters ‘we are just going to eat it all! And then have to buy MORE! It’s such a waste of money!’. (He’s never dealt well with the spending of any money on anything mind you).

And we both work full time jobs. And we are lucky to be well paid in those jobs (in as much as teachers and house painters are well paid). But not minimum wage and not unreliable or seasonal work. So we have wiggle room when food shopping that includes fresh produce and less packaged foods as works with my special needs and our taste.

But, there are people that simply can’t afford to do this. They need to keep their families fed, and they need to keep them full so they do the best that they can and buy food that is going to do the job. There are people who are time poor because they work multiple jobs or a solo parenting or have a really good social life and they want food that it quick and easy and does the job. There are people that grow their own produce and buy their dairy and meat at specific places so when they go to the stupidmarket all they are buying is all the other stuff – the toilet paper and the crackers and the chocolate biscuits. There are people who do whatever the hell they want and it’s none of my fucking business. Or yours.

And this is my point. It’s none of my fucking business what you buy at the stupidmarket. It’s none of my business what you feed your kids. And it’s none of my business why you do it. I have no right to look in your trolley and you have no right to look in mine. No judging full stop. And it makes me so uncomfortable because it just seems to be another stick to beat people with. ‘Oh look at that person, she’s obvs far too thick to feed her kids healthy food – she needs ‘educating’. As one of my girls said to me the other day ‘Miss I know the sandwiches in the cafe have salad in them BUT I can get wedges and a coke for half the price at the shop up the road’. Because what teenage girl doesn’t love wedges? I was a particular fan of mashed potato, white bread sandwiches with a lot of butter as a teen. Mmmm. White carbs. No judging – this is a safe place.

As I write this I am remembering getting annoyed with someone on the coeliacs page for only wanting to know about junk food when I was trying to give ‘helpful’ advice about ‘real food’ snacks. I will own this food snobbery and learn from it and try to bite it back when I am tempted next time.

I realise that my ‘journey’ is about this stuff (ha ha I can just about feel the GD cringe as I write journey – he hates that shit), and that I am obsessed with what food will be ‘good for me’ because I am trying to heal my gut, and that I’m gonna write about this stuff BUT I am going to try to be aware of not wanking on like a sanctimonious prick about it.  Because food snobbery is gross. And I let my kids eat all sorts of shit that I can’t be proud of. (you can’t fight Dutch grandies when it comes to treat foods believe me – I had to learn to let it go before one of us got cut).

So far no notification. Maybe I haven’t pissed off some random stranger in a far far land by implying that she is naieve and snobby? Or maybe, just maybe, she doesn’t care what I have to say.