Hello, from what feels like the other side – certainly it’s been a while. A few things have happened over the months since I last posted, and so whilst I’ve still been cooking, we’ve got another constraint at the Low-Ceilinged Kitchen – in addition to being time-, cost- and expertise-constrained, we’ve gone all Low GI Joe.
(so happy to be able to indirectly cite this underrated gem of a film. I’m pretty sure I would have found GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra just as tense and compelling if we hadn’t been on an overnight bus in Peru at the time, and I’m mystified as to why Channing Tatum – who plays the eponymous hero – is so ashamed of it)
A couple of weeks after posting my latest recipe on here (June 2015, for three puddings and a cocktail) I reached a new low, just as my weight reached a new high. Not just for me, but possibly for the species as a whole. To be fair, thinking “oh dear, better switch to the fat jeans” before realising I was already in the fat jeans should have been a clue, but the turning point actually came when my GP weighed me in front of my husband, which was a bit of an “ouch”…for his scales. He would have done a blood test, but I was already a couple of biscuits into my morning. Anyway – that day I re-signed up to MyFitnessPal and resigned myself to having to be careful about what I eat. In particular, I’ve been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is a common but incurable hormonal disorder that affects women and has a range of side effects, one of which is a propensity for weight gain and difficulty in losing weight. One particular issue is elevated insulin, and so what’s worked for me and many other PCOSisters has been a low-GI diet designed to limit blood sugar spikes. For me, that means severely limiting sugar, refined carbohydrates and tracking my calories, and now, six months later my PCOS symptoms have improved a fair bit, and I’m in now in “maintenance” mode.
So what does this mean for the blog? Hopefully a return to business as usual – nothing’s changed, at least in that we’re still really enjoying meals at home with our friends, all of whom have been very supportive, and I’m certainly still cooking and getting lots of pleasure from eating. Sometimes this means making slight variations in our food – for example, I can make pho for a big group of us, but use zero-calorie shirataki noodles for my portion, or little chocolate fondants with frozen berries – but I’ll just have the berries with some plain yoghurt. Or go all out and bake all seven layers of Heston Blumenthal’s Black Forest Cake, and savour the experience of every morsel – making sure to log the calories, and incorporate it into the week as a deliberate treat. I’ve also developed new, low-GI versions of favourite comfort foods – cauliflower cheese, pad thai and crumble for example – as well as revisiting some classic indulgences that happen to be low-GI: the perfect steak, baked sweet potato fries, porchetta, slow-roast short ribs…