Alright, give me a Hamm on five, hold the Mayo.

Hubs and I are working on getting our new routine into place with me working away from home again. I say ‘away’, it’s 14km (8 miles) away. On a good day, I whizz through in 20 minutes. The longest it’s taken was one night, when it took 45 minutes to get home.

My new BossLady lives in Geelong and drives up each day. Two hours. Although today the traffic was feral, so it took her three. I got a train to London each day, which was about 90 minutes. By Thursday, I was buggered (technical term). How she drives that far, 92km (57 miles) and functions as a human I don’t know.

The only way we’re getting through the week is getting as much done as we can the night before, batch-cooking and stocking the freezer to grab dinners out. And packing lunches before we go too.

I’m still aiming for high protein, low carbs. I cannot be stuffed with macros, life is too short for that; but I aim for around 20g of carbs a day, which when you don’t have gluten is easy. I eat buckets of greenery like spinach, salad leaves, cucumber and celery as they’re ‘free’ – and top-up the total with other veggies. Sprouted seeds (yummeh), broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, zucchini and eggplants (courgette and aubergine in English).

Sometimes I just pile it all into a lunchbox and pick at it, I’ve also got a jar of nut butter in my desk drawer. Other times I’m more culinary and make a proper salad. Either way, I’m happy.

With the greenery goes at least one boiled egg, cheeses and cold meats. We had bratwurst for dinner tonight, we’re all looking forward to cold brattys tomorrow!

For the flights I’ve packed some rice puddings, muesli / protein bars and today a travel mixed-pack of my post-run protein shakes arrived; along with a whey hot chai drink, which I’m road-testing as I type. Probably a bit too sweet for me to have too often, however I did get those for emergencies.

I love my food, but I can’t run the risk of having something with gluten in if I get desperate en route. My tummy is still not 100% happy; my IBS is in flare up with me being a bit stressed and frazzled. The last thing I need or want is a #CoeliacMoment in the plane [horror emoji] it’s bad enough using the bathrooms on a plane at the best of times.

I made Hanno’s bed again tonight, the suitcase is on there and the UK trip herding has begun again.

You compl-eat me

I’ve just started looking after a new Director at work. She arrived on Monday; preceded into the office last week by a handover list from a previous PA, including the Director’s food allergies and intolerances. (My official new work buddy doesn’t start work until the middle of August; but as we’re playing musical chairs at work, I am looking after this new one two-days a week as well).

Before starting one of my roles, I can remember being nervous as I tried to work out what to take to the office for lunch. Having got another office used to what I ate, or didn’t, the idea of breaking-in new colleagues filled me with dread. The couple I was living with; Mon Bears, said not to worry – I was working in Reading, nothing would be unusual. As usual, they were right. People in my new office didn’t bat an eyelid at what I had in my packed lunch. It was actually the easiest food transition I had.

It was also the office with the greatest fridge policy bar none of everywhere I’ve worked: if it was in the fridge on Friday nights, it got binned. The fridges on every floor in the building were spotless because of it. Bliss. I’ve never understood how can you forget you have food with you? I’ve never understood how people think a festering mess of slimy stuff is always someone else’s problem to deal with either, but there we go.

This was back in the oughties, when being gluten free was seen as a fad. I didn’t have a coeliac diagnosis; but every so often, I collected bread from the chemist on prescription and paid a small fortune for doing so. I had got an IBS diagnosis, but only after a locum GP listened to the issues I’d been having; then looked back at how many visits I’d had with ‘stomach virus’ and V&D symptoms over the previous few years. I was prescribed a medicine I had to take 20 minutes before I ate. It stimulated my entire digestive system to rhythmically contract like it’s supposed to, instead of fluttering, as it was wont to do.

I love the variety of gluten free food we have now, but having gone vegan a few times in my life, I can categorically say that being gluten free is far, far harder. How many replacement foods for meat dishes that would be an easy swap-out, like ham, sausages, mince and so on, have gluten or other grain proteins in to bulk them out? Most of them.

Anyhoo, I digress. How great it is that us peeps that have issues with food can share those issues and now be listened to. I’m not saying it isn’t an issue to eat out, it can be; but doing the high-protein, low carb thing (to help balance out my hormone pathway by avoiding glucose / insulin crashes) means steak, salad, cheese for dinners out with friends. Hardly a hardship.

I wish I could go back to that anxious girl venturing out on a brave new world and tell her it will be alright in the end. That’s what I’m telling myself now. I’ve had a bit of a wibble in the anxiety stakes; I am feeling better already, but it was enough of a wibble to make me think it was bigger than I could cope with on my own.

I’m getting better at the self-care thing. Wherever you are today, take five minutes to check in with you. How are you doing?

Catching up with the Outlaws

Last night Peanut’s Pa arrived in Melbourne for a lightening visit, Tuesday to Thursday, long enough to close off some loose ends and meet up with both his sons. We met the out-laws at the airport, drove into the CBD (whizzed would be pushing it due to the traffic) and had dinner with them in China Town.

Peanut was bright and chatty all the way into the airport, but went all shy on us when Pa and Nonie got in the car. However, he soon brightened up after we’d finished fire truck, ambulance, police car, tram and train spotting on our journey into the CBD. He’s well into the throws of toilet training, and takes great pride in going to the bathroom. While Pa checked into the hotel, I took Peanut to the bathroom with me; “wees-ing” has now entered our vernacular. I love how he tells us ‘Well done!’ too and firmly instructs us to wash our hands when we’re done.

We walked to the restaurant we wanted to go to, found it closed and headed back to China Town. Discussing where to go, with adults we can wander as much as we like, but as we were crossing the road I said that we could head towards a meltdown if we didn’t get some food into Peanut soon. We walked past a truly awful restaurant, really the experience we had there is almost worth another blog post, and settled in the first one that had ‘gluten free’ options available in the window.

In getting Peanut settled, I didn’t have long to read the menu before it was my turn to order; so I hurriedly chose beef with spring onions and ginger, Singapore noodles for a toddler and a chicken and noodle something for me too, so I had two mains to mix and match from. The rice came out first with a couple of the other main dishes, Peanut was determined to hang on for his noodles, when the noodles arrived, he then was determined to eat with chopsticks. We eventually persuaded him that it was ok to eat with a fork – but bless his heart, he gave it a really good go.

Note to self, when taking a toddler to a Chinese restaurant, don’t dress him in a white t-shirt. Particularly when he intends on eating his weight in noodles. He packed his dinner away, even allowing Pa to dish up a bowl of rice to help soak up his gravy, (every sauce is gravy, as he’ll then eat it). As soon as he finished eating, he started rubbing his eyes. We’d also finished eating our meals, so paid the bill and headed back to the car.

Somehow he managed to stay awake until we got home, we popped him into his PJs, cleaned his teeth, he was asleep nearly as soon as his head hit the pillow.

We had a relaxed few hours with them, putting the world rights in the car, they’re seeing my brother and sister in law tonight (baby update? He’s head down, bum up, fully engaged and ready to go) again for dinner, then fly out tomorrow afternoon. I love my husband’s Dad and his step-mum. We don’t see very much of them as they live in QLD, but having family holidays with them is going to be a large part of Peanut’s childhood as they’re only a few minutes away from a great beach. We talk on Skype and FaceTime, call each other and email regularly. We’re very lucky that communication technology has made it so much easier for us to stay in touch with both them and my family and friends back in the UK. I’m trying to work out how to get Peanut and I up to them for a week next year. We just need to book flights and a car, and fit in with everyone’s diaries.

3 generations