Doing the Sugar Smart diet has made me smart in other ways too. Becoming aware of carbohydrates in no mean way is one side effect.

One of the substitutes for white wheat which they advised was barley. I am not sure about others but barley water was something we might have been given as children when we had urinary problems( probably, or so I’ve heard). No one ate barley- I didn’t even know what it looked like.

The recipes in this diet substituted white rice, white flour, white sugar for all whole food. I did not feel inclined to eat brown rice as I was on a separate agenda to lose my taste for rice. Though we are predominantly rice eaters and rice figures in our breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes, I could easily do without it at a time. Over the years, I developed a taste for it and it became difficult for me to imagine lunch without rice of some sort. Added to this was the soothing comfort that a plate of rice afforded me. Branless, white wheat has been used in our house for years and I can make a mean roti ( pita type bread) in minutes. Ever since my daughter had a problem with her monthlies and possibility of having cysts in her ovaries, which could lead on to polycystic ovarian disease, we (the two of us) have tried to give up wheat too- in all its forms. So both rice and wheat were off for me on the Sugar Crush diet. I had to pick and choose the recipes that would suit my additional requirements.

And then I found a couple of recipes featuring barley. The grocery store had these small packets of barley ( barely 250 gms) and very cheap – so I bought a couple of packets and tried to cook it as in the recipe. Believe it or not, barley is so good- it has a white, chewy, almost crunchy taste to it, and I am huge on crunchy, chewy food ( that’s why I love chocolate so much). There was a recipe with cucumber, tomato, black bean and barley salad, that I initiated myself on. It was tasty and I was hooked. Additionally, you don’t feel too hungry after a mean of 1/2 a cup of cooked barley.

I read up more about barley and here is some of what I learned. It is supposed to have originated in the Orkney Islands off the coast of the Scottish Highlands and also a native of the Tunisian desert. Barley is a versatile crop and can grow anywhere. Barley can be of different types – one is the hulled variety ( not very commonly available) and then the common pearl barley. But the Ethiopian black barley is supposed to be the best of all in terms of nutrition. pearl-barley

( Google images)

Have you tried eating barley ? Have you liked it or become addicted to it as it seems, I have ?


A young 20 something and her teenage tantrums

I have a daughter who turned 23 this year. She is away in our home country doing her best to become a doctor. She is in Medical School.

Her father and I visit her about once a year and she flies down to visit us about a couple of times a year. ( In a week from now, I will be going to visit her)

Last month, one weekend, she disappeared. We found out only about 24 hours later that our daughter had disappeared- not answering calls, picking up messages or calling back. Her father went through a Thursday pinging her repeatedly but to no response.

On Friday that week, one of his colleagues from here was going to her place to work in the same institution where my daughter is placed. He took some gifts for her from us, which we sent through him. Imagine our distress when he went looking for her in her hostel and found her “signed off” as going out. He immediately called us to inform us that our daughter was missing and that he got a ” out of town” dial tone on her phone when he called.

We were so worried, compounded by our own non-response from her over the weekend.

Hours later she picked up one of her father’s calls. On asking her where she was , she told us she was still in her town. A few minutes later and some hard questioning later, she up and fessed that she was about 10 hours from her college in a forest area where she had gone adventure sporting for a few days.

Of course, her father had a lot to say to her about her lack of responsibility and her carelessness and her dishonesty among other things. To cut a long story short, she reached her place back about 3 days later, shocked that her escapade was not hidden any more.

Now about 3 weeks later, she refuses to speak to her father. To me, she talks but only because I call her and she is my daughter.

We are going through difficult times here but the good thing is I haven’t resorted to emotional eating through it all. I am still at my diet though it was supposed to have ended last week Thursday- today is day 35- the diet was supposed to end day 32.

Daily Prompt: Anticipation

via Daily Prompt: Anticipation

In anticipation.

A cat in my laundry room,

As stray as can be.

No one wants him alive,

But me.

Life is difficult for a stray

Especially when fair weather goes away.

A poisoner of cats turns up in Winter

And wishes the strays away.

This stray has been a survivor,

Surviving two tough years in the wild.

Feral he is not,

He loves to be with humans

Though timid, he has a lot of love to give

Two days ago, this evening

I found him shivering

Brought him to my laundry room

Wishing the poisoner had spared him.

Two whole days of waiting,

Finally he raised his head up today

And when I called his name,

His ears perked up and his tail was set a-wagging.

A tin of cat food was brought out

To try to tempt him to eat

Some of his erstwhile forbidden delicacies,

Were now freely available.

If only he would eat,

I waited in anticipation.

Until the first bite in his mouth he put,

And swallowed it whole.

There is no more satisfaction

Thank watching an animal

Sent back from God,

To restore one human’s faith

in God and man.

Cat update and my day 31

The second last day before my diet ends. I am actually going to miss it, so I think I am going to continue it. A loss of 5 kgs is not a joke for me, someone who has been trying to do so for at least a few years. My sugar cravings are gone now, completely. I don’t want to be going there again and if I remind myself that I am on the diet formally, maybe I won’t fall off.

Kath, one of my coworkers has  a six week old puppy, who she adopted grudgingly recently. The puppy is seemingly healthy, playful and has a good appetite. My friend has dreadlocks and the puppy likes to sleep on her neck and he apparently chews her dreadlocks to soothe himself to sleep. Long story short, the puppy now has an inflated tummy and is sometimes in pain. His bowel and bladder move normally and he is eating well  but Kath is worried about the puppy. A scan of the abdomen showed a few blocks in his system and the vet is not sure what they are. Kath teaches diving on weekends and as her classes are important to her and her students, she would like someone to look after her pup while she is out teaching. Of course, I said I could keep her. At my home there is a 4 year old cat and I am not sure how he is going to react to having a pup at home. Called my husband up and he agreed to have her.

The stray cat Gundu is still in my laundry room. The guy who helps with housework took a look at him yesterday and told me cheerfully that he was a goner. He had seen the other strays lie down similarly for days before they passed on. I lost my spirit after this and went up to sit in my room and brood. Previously such emotions would have led me straight to a binge. Now I didn’t feel like it- was it my extreme anxiety or my genuinely having lost my sugar cravings- I can’t tell. When I came down at around 7:30 pm to get my daughter her dinner, I looked in at him and found him down from his cushioned perch and down on the floor, near the door- and— he was on all four legs. I called out to my house help and boy, was he surprised. I forgot to mention that while I was upstairs, I prayed with all my heart for him and concluded with ” Lord, if it is your will, take him.” Shortly after, I saw him  on all four legs . He still didn’t want to eat anything but he was looking a little more alive than the previous day- it was now about 36 hours since this started.

I put him on his window perch outside my kitchen window and he sat there quietly watching the other strays eating. There are about 7 now, left after the poisoner did his job. After some time he allowed me to carry him and put him inside the laundry room on his cushion.

This morning at 3 am, I woke up and found him quite awake and eyes alive. He hit himself against my legs as cats often do and then when I sat down on the floor wanted to climb on my lap, which I let him. He sat there peacefully and I sat at peace too, grateful in the moment, for the few extra minutes that God had granted me with him. You can never tell with strays.

At 6 am, I went to check on him again and he came out of the room on his own and even sniffed at a bit of his favourite cat food but didn’t seem to want any. But at least he sniffed.And that is something.

So at the beginning of day 31, I am at 85 kgs and am wearing a top which was way too tight for me when I was “obese” and now I could just about manage to pull over my head but at least it got in. My bust looks crushed because the top is a little tight over there but I am ok. The arms feel tight. It is good to be back in the ” XL” range of clothes from XXL or XXXL.

And I am grateful.