Veganuary At The Pavilion Restaurant

What a beautiful day we had today in Hastings!  Bright blue sky, sunshine, no cold wind and, for this time of year, mild temperature.  Such a day can not be wasted inside so we set off.  We took Milton for a walk in the Country Park and as a bonus, bumped in to two of our neighbours, Tom and Marie, so walked with them.  It was glorious up there.IMG_4011I knew, thanks to a local Facebook site, that the Pavilion Restaurant on Hastings pier had a special vegan menu for Veganuary so we headed there for lunch.IMG_4012I always enjoy walking along the St.Leonards and Hastings’ promenades.IMG_4016The Pavilion Restaurant is near the entrance to the pier.  I had never been in before but will definitely be going again.

IMG_4034Thank you for supporting veganuary.IMG_4032I am not sure why I have not been in here before.IMG_4020It was much nicer than I expected and a very pleasant place to sit and have a drink or food.IMG_4021We had both.  Soya milk latte for me.

IMG_4022I knew I was going to have the ‘Fish’ and chips because that had been recommended.  I actually want to try everything on here.IMG_4017I also had the cauliflower salad which I really liked but was not sure about the gloopy blobs of dressing.  The dressing texture was a bit wallpaper pastey and the flavours indistinct;  a vinaigrette would have been better.  But all the salad ingredients were really good and I enjoyed it.IMG_4027The ‘fish’ and chips.  WOW.  WOW.  WOW.  Amazing.  Wrapping the tofu in seaweed makes it taste as if it’s from the sea.  The tartare sauce was good.  And the chips.  Oh my, some of the best I have ever had anywhere.  Obviously not the best choice for a diet but a lovely treat and this was my only meal of the day as I fasted before and afterwards.IMG_4024I highly recommend the tofu ‘fish’.  And the chips.  Really excellent.

I did leave a piece of ‘fish’ and some chips because I was full.  I could easily have eaten them but I didn’t need them.

After a really lovely lunch we walked along to the Old Town as we had a birthday present to buy for someone special.  It’s always a pleasure, pottering about in the Old Town.  These cute plants were for sale at Reste on George Street.IMG_4044Time to head home.IMG_4046

IMG_4049I fasted for most of today and have walked 13,666 steps and I am happy with that.




Posted in Beach, Keep It Local, Vegan | 2 Comments

Bracing at Pett Level

I was so happy to wake up this morning knowing I had nothing in the diary; a rare occurrence but one I hope to make more common.  I had a lovely Friday evening, watching the Darkest Hour with Sally and Rebecca and then helping Rebecca out with some troublesome port that needed finishing – I am such a great friend 🙂 .  I slept well and woke up refreshed and ready to enjoy my day.

It was a leisurely beginning.IMG_3945I have been following a feasting and fasting routine which works well when I manage lots of fasting.  It’s obviously not so good when I tip the balance too far towards feasting, as I did last week!

I was full of resolve today to get back to approximately 20 hours fasting a day and a 4 hour feasting window.

I feel ok fasting like this thanks to keeping my minerals balanced.  By adding some Cream of Tartar (potassium) and Pink Himalayan salt (or you could use Celtic sea salt) to water, you maintain your mineral balance and it makes a huge difference to keeping you hydrated and not feeling hungry and light headed.IMG_3946I make my solution very weak or it makes me feel nauseous.  In 700ml water, I add 1/4 tsp of each.  I have 2 of these a day.IMG_3947It has to be Pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt.  The white salt people usually eat has been stripped of its minerals and it best thrown away.IMG_3948I relaxed quite a bit today and enjoyed it all.  No feeling guilty in Hastings today.  I work hard and deserve a rest at the weekend.IMG_3951 (1)I wanted to take Milton to Pett Level today as he hasn’t been on a decent walk all week and I like the beach at Pett during low tide.  Rebecca and Beryl came with us which was lovely.

It’s a while since I have been here and they have added a lot of dark brown sand and rocks to the top of the beach,IMG_3955Both the dogs like the beach and their little noses were going crazy.IMG_3961The sun nearly came out but not quite.IMG_3965Low tide exposes lots of rock pools and sand to walk on so we can walk round the cliff end, but at a long and safe distance from the cliffs as there have been several rockfalls here recently.IMG_3970I enjoy the different textures and colours on a beach.  One minute you are walking along a large expanse of compacted sand.IMG_3972The next you are wading through rock pools.

IMG_3971We walked along this rocky platform.IMG_3975It is thickly encrusted with sea shells, such as mussels.IMG_3979It was beautiful at Pett Level today.  Very cold and very beautiful.IMG_3978The dogs in their fur coats didn’t seem to mind the cold at all.IMG_3974The coldness drove us back along the beach towards the car.IMG_3987There are a lot of trees on the beach here.IMG_3988What a strange creature!IMG_3990Plus groynes, in neat rows.IMG_3992The warmth of the car was a delight.  We hadn’t gone far before we came to a fabulous shop selling a huge range of local veggies, fruits and salads.  Not much was in plastic which is great.IMG_3993I bought a whole head of kale and it’s huge.IMG_3994Aww, aren’t they cute?IMG_3995By about 4pm I was ready to have my first (and only) meal of the day.  I made some kale crisps with some of this huge head of kale.IMG_4001I cut the kale off the tough stems and cut it in to bite sized pieces.  I washed and dried it thoroughly and then massaged some olive oil in to each leaf.  I placed the oiled kale on a baking tray, sprinkled lightly with salt and baked in the oven (180) for 10 minutes.IMG_3999It didn’t cook evenly so maybe a longer cooking time and a lower temperature would work better.  It still tasted good though,IMG_4002I also had a bowl of stir fried mushrooms, spinach and tofu with almonds and sesame seeds.IMG_4003That was enough and I do not feel hungry.

I walked over 10,000 steps and went to the pool this evening and swam 1.2 km.

This was a great day.





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2018; The Holidays Are Over

This day last week was New Year’s Eve, so I think I am just in time to wish you all a “happy new year”.  We had a wonderful Christmas period with family and friends and I enjoyed the week off work.

IMG_3777We had a lovely Christmas Day and Boxing Day at my sister Holly’s in Chichester.  We ate and drank and made very merry and also enjoyed walking in the Witterings, indoor fireworks and delicious and healthy food (as well as lots of Christmassy treats).


A few days later it was my turn to host my sisters and their families and we had a lovely 2 days together.  We had a fabulous early dinner at The Stag Inn in the Old Town which was the beginning of  very lively evening.

They are some of my favourite occasions; being with my sisters and brother-in-laws and seeing my children relaxing with their cousins.  Special times. IMG_3775New Year’s Day was spent packing away decorations and burning the Christmas tree and then walking along the beach during a glorious sunset.IMG_3809Looking West is so different toIMG_3807looking East during a sunset.IMG_3799The first sunset of 2018 was a good one.IMG_3798I then had to work all week which was fine actually as I think quite a few people had extended holidays so trains and coffee shops etc were not too busy.  When I say “all week”, it was only a three day week for me.

I have been following a vegan diet now for 2 years.  I have not lost the weight I intended because unfortunately lots of vegan food is very high in calories!  And they are often the foods I enjoy, such as a glass of wine with some crisps and humous.  So I did not lose the weight I meant to last year but I am less than I was at the start of the year.  Importantly, I am now 4 and a half stone lighter than when I started so progress is slow but downwards and I will take that.

I am expanding my veganness from being food focused to lifestyle too.  I bought some vegan shoes last week and have swapped all my handbags from leather to fabric.  My intention is to live a fully vegan life.  It will be a gradual process, beginning by committing to not buy any more non vegan products.

I had a lovely weekend, mainly because I spent it with some very lovely ladies.  I only managed a photo of one of them, Rebecca (2 actually – apologies to Beryl).  But yesterday Marion visited and we had a lovely lunch and afternoon together in Hastings.

In December I did a course about feasting and fasting.  I will share some information about that as we go through January.  It was an interesting, enlightening and challenging experience.  I am going to continue feasting and fasting 5-6 days a week and eat more ‘normally’ 1-2 days a week.  Today was the day of eating in a more conventional manner but with a focus on being healthy, plant based and unprocessed.

I have been struggling with a cold all week so I began my day with a celery juice which is recommended to help people with thyroid problems.  It was gross but I got it down and then enjoyed some fresh squeezed orange juice before going for a walk on the beach.

IMG_3857My happy place.IMG_3859It was sunny and beautiful but don’t let that fool you.IMG_3862It was freezing!  Come on Milton, get down to the sandy bit.IMG_3866My plan to walk along the sand back to the car was foiled by the volume of water pouring from the storm drain outlet.


It created a river that, unless we wanted to get very wet feet, was too deep to cross.



IMG_3875Sorry old boy, we need to turn back and return by walking along the path.IMG_3877

IMG_3870One cold and sunny walk was not enough.  I dropped Milton at home and went to Bodiam where I walked round the castle with another lovely friend, Lucy.IMG_3881I was too busy chatting to take any pictures until we got back to the car. I recommend the walk around Bodiam Castle as it is beautiful and half of it is beside a river.IMG_3882Lunch was mainly vegetables, with some Linda McCartney spinach and mushroom “sausage” rolls which were very tasty.  I personally wouldn’t choose such food products but I am feeding a teenager and the compromise for eating all those vegetables, are that he has something he enjoys too.  IMG_3884I steamed some cauliflower, tender stem broccoli, carrots, courgette and green beans over the pan I boiled the potatoes in.  I stir fried onion, mushrooms and savoy cabbage with lots of pepper and fennel seeds.  Yum.IMG_3885This afternoon we went to the Jerwood Gallery with Rebecca to catch the last day of Paula Rego’s ‘The Boy Who Loved The Sea And Other Stories.’  The sky was amazing as we walked in to the gallery.IMG_3889I have never been upstairs in the gallery before (I didn’t know it had a second floor).IMG_3891This window provides a lovely view over the boats moored on the beach and out to the sea.IMG_3890It was interesting.IMG_3892A simple supper of a persimmon, blueberries and coconut yogurt.IMG_3894Good eating, mainly plants in their natural form and over 16,000 steps of walking in beautiful spaces with lovely people.




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Off Plan, Then Back

I did not have a good week last week (I ate too much and did not exercise enough) so resolved to do very well this weekend to set me up for a good week ahead.  Saturday started very well indeed.

For breakfast I steamed the greens: kale, green beans and spinach

IMG_2956and roasted the reds: peppers and tomatoes with fresh thyme and also some chickpeas seasoned with smoked paprika.  No oil added.IMG_2957Enjoyed with some new potatoes.  All free and speed foods with no syns.IMG_2958It was sunny but with rain forecast for the remainder of the day so we took Milton (our dog) in to Hastings Country Park for a walk.  We walked from the car park to the Fairlight side of the park.  It was a delightful walk with interesting skies as they were a mixture of bright sunshine and heavy clouds rolling in.

Our lunch was delicious.  Jacqui gave me a vegan haggis to try and it was so tasty.  I will be eating it regularly but I have to be careful as it has 4 syns per 100g or 20 syns per packet.  That is less than half the syns of the meat version by the way.  I ate 1/4 of the 500g haggis so that’s 5 syns plus 3 syns for the gravy (made with 1 heaped dessert spoon of vegetable gravy granules).  We enjoyed the haggis with mashed potatoes, steamed courgette and broccoli with left over green and red veggies from breakfast.

In the evening I donned my striped jumper and my pirate hat and set off for Robertsbridge for another evening of madness and mayhem with the Bonfire Society.  Walking in procession is great fun and the fireworks were incredible – my favourite fireworks so far.  It was a noisy and muddy event and as always, good humoured and appreciated by the public who line the procession route and then join the bonfire societies and drummers for the bonfire and fireworks.

Congratulations to Robertsbridge Bonfire Society and the the Pyrotechnic team for a very successful event.

No congratulations to me though for consuming whiskey and then some naughties at Judges Bakery which was open after the event.  I did walk nearly 20,000 steps so that will help a little.

I had a much better day today.  I started at the gymn and spent some time on the cross trainer.  I really don’t like gymns so I soon headed down to the pool, sauna and jacuzzi which I am far more comfortable in.  1.2 km swam and a lovely relax in the outside jacuzzi.

When I got home it was Midday so I had a salad rather than a breakfast.  I had nothing for breakfast other than a cup of tea as I don’t like swimming after I have eaten.

Mixed salad leaves, rocket, cucumber, tomato, boiled potato and spring onion.  On top is beetroot mixed with pinto beans, sauerkraut, gherkins, pickled onions and 1 tbsp Vegenaise (4.5 syns).

IMG_3131I usually make this with chick peas but I had run out so used pinto beans.  I prefer it with chick peas but this was good enough and I have a portion in the fridge, ready to take to work tomorrow.IMG_3132Knowing I will be returning home from London tired and hungry, I have prepared some easy meals to have in the week.  I made a sweet potato and red lentil soup and a lentil ragu/bolognaise sauce.  I will eat all the soup this week but only half the lentil ragu, so I put the other 2 portions in the freezer for another week.IMG_3134Dinner was a large stir fry made with onion, red pepper, mushrooms, courgette and spinach.  Flavoured with soy sauce, chillies and a ladle full of the sweet potato and red lentil soup.IMG_3135All free and speed food apart from the 1 tbsp oil I used for the stir fry (6 syns).IMG_3137

I also snacked on some grapes and used my HEX A on soya milk in tea and coffee.

10.5 syns so within allowance – yippee.

I swam 1.2 km today, went on the cross trainer and walked about 9,000 steps.

I feel as if I am back in the zone and I am prepared for my return to work tomorrow.



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Rye Bonfire Weekend

That was a fun weekend!  Not very diet friendly though but so much fun, who cares?  Well, I do of course but sometimes I just like to go a bit crazy.

My little girl came home on Friday which is always a treat for me.  We had a quiet night in, eating a vegetable curry I made.IMG_2778On Saturday evening, Lara and Harvey came with me to Rye.  I was in the procession for the bonfire event and they were going to watch which I was really delighted about.  We had a few drinks outside a pub.IMG_2785Rye is a very pretty town.  All the pubs and restaurants were busy and people were enjoying themselves, including us.IMG_2918We had booked a seat on a coach with one of the drumming groups so we were there early as they have to be dropped off before the roads close.  Having spent rather a long time enjoying one of the local pubs, I left Lara and Harvey so I could go and join the procession.  I was walking as a member of Hastings Borough Bonfire Society.  Here they are.IMG_2788 I joined the procession and was given a flaming torch to walk along with.  Thousands of these are made, by hand, by volunteers, for the processions.IMG_2789Off we go – wheeeeeeeeIMG_2795It was loud and colourful and hugely enjoyable.IMG_2799I was hoping I would recognise the spot I had left Lara and Harvey at because it all looked different with the streets packed full of people.IMG_2802I believe about 60 members of HBBS were in the procession at Rye.IMG_2805We wear jumpers in the Cinque Ports colours, a jerkin, a hat (some say it should be pirate but all kinds of hats are worn), black trousers and long red socks.IMG_2807Luckily Lara spotted me before I walked past and took these pictures of HBBS andIMG_2910yours truly.IMG_2913After walking through the town we entered the bonfire site.  When all the bonfire societies were in the site, we lit the fire by throwing our flaming torches at the huge bonfire.IMG_2814IMG_2826Then the fireworks began.IMG_2827IMG_2857The fireworks were fantastic.


Many hours after we had left home we returned.  Several drinks had been consumed and not much food so I was pleased I didn’t look too shabby at the end of a crazy, bonkers and fun night.  I had walked over 20,000 steps which was good for fitness.


This morning we went to Bannatyne’s and I swam 66 lengths and then relaxed in the sauna and jacuzzis.  That felt good.  We then headed in to Hastings Old Town because I had booked a table for lunch at the Hastings Arms on George Street.  We had not been there before but we will be going again.  It was lovely.  The decor was pared back, lots of wood and quite basic which made it comfortable and cosy.

There was interesting art work on the walls and importantly, the food was good.  I had a vegan roast which tasted great and was very reasonably priced.  My two little carnivores had roast pork and the three roasts plus 3 bags of crisps/nuts cost £32 which is very reasonable.

As always it was sad to say good-bye to Lara but she needed to return to London.  I rather fancied a snooze on the sofa but Harvey needed to take some photos for a homework assignment so I kept him company.  He was looking for shadows, lines and reflections in modern architecture so we started at the Jerwood Gallery.

Next was the boat sculpture.  Do not let that sunshine fool you, it was FREEZING out there today.

By the time we got to the pier of the year, I think my blood had begun to freeze as I was dressed for what the weather looked like (sunny) rather then the Arctic temperature, which blew through you as it was a bit windy.

IMG_2904IMG_2905IMG_2906It looked stunning though, as the town shone golden in the late afternoon sunshine.IMG_2907Eventually the photography assignment was finished and we came home where I retreated to my sofa, initially with an ok snack of nuts, dates and hot tea, but as I was so cold and so tired, I gave in to Harvey’s request and we had pizza for supper.


Tomorrow is another day and I had a fantastic weekend so I am happy with that.


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Pottering In Hastings

I had a fairly lazy day today and I enjoyed it very much.  I began the day with a swim; 1.2 km (60 x 20m lengths) of breaststroke, front crawl and backstroke.  I really enjoyed the swim today and then relaxed in the outside jacuzzi  and the sauna.

IMG_2728I went for a coffee at Rebecca’s afterwards and stayed a while, sketching and chatting while she worked on some ceramics.IMG_2730I went home for lunch and was pleased to have some leftover Nasi Goreng for lunch.  I added some extra spinach and cabbage when I warmed it up and served it with sprouted seeds for additional nutrition .  This is mainly free and speed foods (rice, smoked tofu, onion, butternut squash, aubergine, green beans, chilli, spring onion, coriander and Thai basil) but I did cook the Nasi Goreng with oil (I estimate 1 tbsp so 6 syns).

Now I should really have got on with some chores this afternoon but instead I chose to potter about in Hastings Old Town with Rebecca and Fanny.

IMG_2737We walked down via the West Hill;  a lovely walk with gorgeous views.

I love the brick walls, the higgledy piggledy rooves, varied architectural styles, twittens and alleyways.  We emerged on the High Street.

We pottered along the High Street and then turned in to Courthouse Street which has an alternative and holistic health shop; Bio-five-O.  They stock supplements and several ethical brands which was good to know and I treated myself to some new make up as well as some essentials.  Everything I bought was vegan friendly.

We also went to one of the vintage/bric-a-brac shops which was much larger than I expected.IMG_2754The shop went on and on.IMG_2755We ended up on George Street and this one of my very favourite shops – reste.  I managed to resist buying anything today. IMG_2757By the time I got home I had walked over 10,000 steps!

Back at home I ate some cashew nuts and almonds (HE B) while I made a light supper of steamed and boiled vegetables with gravy.  IMG_2760My Dad would not be impressed at me using a packet gravy but as a vegan, it is much harder to make gravy properly!  I enjoyed my very simple supper of boiled potato and green beans, steamed carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts.  3 syns for the gravy.

So a good day of eating with 9 syns plus excellent exercise as I swam 1.2 km and walked over 10,00 steps, some of which was up hills.

I am however worried about weigh day tomorrow as I have had some bad days of eating this week.  I have kept up a good level of exercise but over-eaten the wrong type of food.












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November 5th In The Country Park

I had hoped for a fiery sunset tonight, since it’s November 5th, but it was not to be.  It was beautiful but not the flame red and pink sky I had hoped for.IMG_2661We began walking along the Firehills towards Fairlight but then realised we should be heading West so looped round and changed direction.IMG_2662Those clouds !IMG_2663These were taken about half an hour before sunset.IMG_2664Beautiful.IMG_2665We considered sitting and watching the sunset from this vantage point but it was actually quite chilly so we continued walking.IMG_2666Unless we stopped to take photos that is!IMG_2668This dear old dog hates stairs and had to be enticed down these but he made it and then enjoyed walking around in the woodland area.

I managed to take a wrong turn so instead of going through the old quarry to get back to the Coastguard’s Cottage, we had to walk back up all those steps but it’s all good exercise.IMG_2683The fluffy clouds turned pink and the sky around the setting sun glowed yellow and orange.IMG_2684


IMG_2686It was beautiful and even though it was not the blaze of glory I hoped for, we had yet another spectacular walk in this delightful Country Park.IMG_2687The sky was very pink over Dungeness as we walked back to the car.  None of these photos have filters added and only minimal editing, usually just adding a little light to show the detail of the land.  No editing at all in this picture even though it looks as if it has been edited.IMG_2688I did well with exercise today.  The walk in the Country Park contributed to the 8,000 + steps I have walked today and the steps and hills to the 44 floors I have walked up and down.

I don’t feel disappointed in not walking 10,000 steps today because I also went swimming first thing and swam 60 lengths/1.2km.  I swam 30 lengths breaststroke (which I find easiest) 20 front crawl and 10 backstroke.  I have only recently begun using backstroke again and it feels good to use different muscles.

Eating was good in the sense it was healthy but I am over my syn allowance.  I didn’t get round to breakfast so lunch was my first meal.

I made a fat-free ratatouille with peppers, courgettes, onions and tomatoes.  I “fried” the vegetables in water to avoid needing any fat.  I had 2 “roast” potatoes which I parboiled and then dry roasted in the oven so again, no fat was added.  I also had a pile of steamed carrots and broccoli and half a packet of basil tofu (4.5 syns).

No snacks at all and for dinner I made 2 recipes from Jackie Kearney’s ‘Vegan Street Food’ cookbook.  I made a simple pickled cucumber salad by making a dressing of rice vinegar, chilli, sugar and lime juice in a bowl (less than 1 syn for 3/4 tsp of sugar).  I scraped the seeds out of the cucumber and cut it in to thin half moon shapes and then mixed in with the dressing.  Make this half an hour before eating so the cucumber can absorb the dressing.

I had the pickled cucumber with another recipe from Vegan Street Food;  Spring Vegetable Cheelas, which are like a savoury pancake.  The pancakes are high in syns, nearly all due to the gram flour.  I didn’t have leeks and instead I used mushrooms which worked very well.

Gram Flour Pancake (Cheela) With Peas and Leeks
Ingredient Syns for total recipe Syns for 1 portion (1/8)
2 tbsp cumin seeds Free 0
1 tbsp coriander seeds Free 0
350 g gram flour 56 7
2 tsp baking powder 1 0.125
2 spring onions Speed 0
coriander Free 0
2 tbsp vegetable oil 6 0.75
3 baby leeks Speed 0
100 g peas Free 0
Syns per portion 7.875

I had 2 pancakes (15.75 syns) and they were cooked in 1/2 tbsp of oil (3 syns).


Today’s syn totals.

Food Syns
Breakfast total 0
100g Taifun basil tofu 4.5
Lunch Total 4.5
1 tsp caster sugar 1
2 Cheela pancakes 15.75
1/2 tbsp oil 3
Dinner Total 19.75
Day Total 24.25
HEX A 400 ml soya milk

So I was nearly 10 syns over my allowance but hopefully the exercise will avoid a weight gain.

Posted in Healthy Lifestyle, Slimming World, Vegan | 1 Comment

Hastings Pier

Despite losing 4.5 pounds last week, which means I have now lost over 1 and a half stone, I didn’t have the best day yesterday and woke up feeling a bit bleurgh so I chose to make some juice for breakfast.  I had heard that drinking celery juice first thing is meant to be good for the digestive tract.IMG_2599Well I hope it did me some good because it tasted  quite unpleasant.IMG_2600While I had the juicer out I decided to juice a pineapple that looked past its best but having eaten some as I was chopping it up, I realised it was perfect for eating so I  juiced half and ate half.  Delicious as it was very ripe.IMG_2603For lunch I needed to finish an avocado I had been given on Wednesday.  It was a homegrown gift from my friend Andrew who visited and who kindly brought me one of his avocados he had grown.  I knew it was coming so the day before, when I had been in London, I bought some decent bread in Borough Market.  It was amazing and Harvey and I loved it.

As the avocado was very rich, we left some and I finished it today in a salad:  mixed lettuce leaves, 2 tomatoes,  1/4 avocado and half a packet of basil tofu.  I dry fried the sliced tofu in a non stick frying pan.IMG_2606Simple but tasty enough.IMG_2608Then this happened!  A vegetable pakora and some other naughties also happened.  I have no idea why but they did.IMG_2613So I collected my dog and we went for a walk along the beach, at low tide and in time for sunset.  I needed to walk some of those calories off!IMG_2615Hastings is being packed away for the winter.IMG_2620These were taken at around 4 pm and it was very quiet along the sea front.IMG_2621The sky was very dark and dramatic.IMG_2622Sunset was restricted to a bright pink strip under the large grey sky tonight.IMG_2626It was low tide so we walked along the hard sand.IMG_2627The seagulls were congregated around the sewage output.IMG_2628They flew away as we approached which is unusual for Hastings seagulls.IMG_2630IMG_2631I wanted to walk up to the pier.  I love the pier, both walking under it and on it.  I was delighted earlier this week when the pier won the prestigious RIBA Stirling prize for the UK’s best new building.  Earlier in the year the pier was awarded the best pier in Britain by the National Piers Society (NPS).IMG_2632

IMG_2634I like the reflections in the wet sand.IMG_2636


IMG_2637IMG_2638This should definitely be the location of a murder or serious crime in a drama series.  It would be a brilliant location.IMG_2639I walked under the pier and towards West St. Leonards.IMG_2640The big sky and the colours in both the sky and on the sand were beautiful.IMG_2642

IMG_2641As we walked West we could see the lights in Bottle Alley and the seafront properties, all reflected in the wet sand.IMG_2646



IMG_2648My feet were wet by now so we walked in to Bottle Alley and headed back to the car along the seafront.IMG_2650


IMG_2651At home I made a supper of vegetables: mashed potatoes, steamed cauliflower, carrots and brussel sprouts, stir fried red onion, cabbage and spinach with gravy.  Enjoyed with a glass of wine,IMG_2653I ate in front of the TV as I was home alone.IMG_2654As I was enjoying my meal I was invited over the road to watch some fireworks which I did.  That somehow involved more wine and crisps and then I had more again when I returned home.  So I will write off today’s syns and do much better tomorrow.


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On Plan

I popped in to a supermarket today to buy a couple of pumpkins so we could carve them. I was surprised they were so cheap.  I am astonished that pumpkin farmers make enough money for it to be a viable business.IMG_2529I spent the whole day at home today.  I made a smoothie for breakfast out of cashew nut milk (HEX A), spinach, cherries and bananas.  It looks grey and unappealing but it tasted fine.IMG_2535I excelled myself at lunch time with a quick and easy, nutritious and delicious salad.  5 boiled salad potatoes, mixed salad leaves, celery, cucumber and tomato with a chick pea salad.IMG_2538In the chick pea salad was obviously chick peas (about half a can), 1 tbsp Vegenaise (4 syns), cornichons, pickled beetroot and sauerkraut.IMG_2539Everything was seasoned with freshly ground black pepper.  It was delicious.IMG_2540For supper I made us both a burger.

Red Kidney Bean Burger (served 3 but could have been 4)


  • 2 tbsp flax or linseeds, finely ground
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, very finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp mild smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper


    • Add 2 tbsp finely ground flax/linseeds to a small bowl and mix with 3 tbsp water.  Set aside
    • Open a can of red kidney beans, pour the beans and liquid in to a saucepan and gently heat for a few minutes
    • Drain the beans, pour in to a large bowl and mash them.
    • Add the garlic, red pepper, paprika, seasoning and flax/linseeds mixture and mix well
    • Lightly sprinkle a baking dish with cornflour
    • Divide the mixture in to 3 or 4, place each third/quarter on to the baking sheet and shape in to a burger shape.
    • Bake in the oven at 190°C for half an hour


IMG_2541IMG_2542I added 2 slices of this Violife “cheese” (3 syns per slice) to each burger and popped it back in to the oven to melt a little.IMG_2543I placed the burgers on a pumpernickel roll and served with ketchup.IMG_2544This was tasty and we both enjoyed it.  I should have added green salad leaves but I had none in the fridge and really did not fancy going in to the dark and cold garden to pick any.IMG_2545I made a mistake with the rolls.  I have had these pumpernickel rolls several times and they are really delicious but unfortunately they contain milk.  So I will not be having them again and I am cross with myself for not reading the ingredients before.IMG_2530

Slimming World Syns and HEX Totals

Recipe Summary

Red Kidney Bean Burger
Ingredient Syns for total recipe Syns for 1 portion (1/3)
2 tbsp flax or linseeds, finely ground 6 2
1 can of red kidney beans Free 0
2 -3 garlic cloves, finely chopped Speed 0
1 red pepper, very finely chopped Speed 0
1 tbsp mild smoked paprika Free 0

Daily Summary

Food Syns
Banana 0
Cherries 0
Spinach 0
Breakfast total 0
1 tsp Vegenaise 4
Lunch Total 4
2/3 tbsp linseeds 2
2 slices Violife 6
1 tbsp tomato ketchup 1
Dinner Total 9
Day Total 13
HEX A 400 ml cashew milk
HEX B 1 pumpernickle roll

My weekly Fitbit stats are good, especially when you consider I have also been swimming and cycling.  Today though I only walked about 4,000 steps!


It’s Halloween tomorrow.  Have a good one.





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Cafe Culture

One of my little pleasures is sitting in a good cafe, enjoying coffee and food and good company.  Sometimes (rarely) I can resist the temptations lined up on the counter but I often don’t.  This weekend I spent time in 2 cafes on Saturday and enjoyed it very much.

The first was in Hastings on Saturday morning.  I had made a decent breakfast of scrambled tofu so I wasn’t hungry and I had no excuse for eating cake.  But I did.  I was out shopping with Harvey and suggested a coffee on the way home – we went in to Cake Room on Robertson Street.  I have never been in Cake Room before and I liked it very much; the decor and furnishings are 1950’s vintage and the space is large, light and airy.  The coffee was great and the vegan gingerbread a tad dry but flavoursome and enjoyable.  Harvey had a huge slice of sponge cake, generously loaded with berries and a hot chocolate.  I will be visiting Cake Room again, but just for a coffee!  Very good coffee.

The gingerbread sufficed for lunch and I spent a very enjoyable afternoon with about 10 ladies at Hartley Dyke, on the road up to Cranbrook from Hawkhurst,  It’s a pleasant spot, attached to a large deli, overlooking Kent apple orchards.

IMG_2483I meant to take a photo of everyone but the tea flowed, the chatter never stopped and time marched on so  by the time I took my phone out some of the local lovelies had left.  Then this lot wouldn’t pose properly!IMG_2484We got there in the end.  That was a very pleasant 3 hours.IMG_2488We managed to time our exit to see the most spectacular sunset.IMG_2490These two were taken at Hartley Dyke.IMG_2491This one was taken at least half an hour later outside Waitrose in Hawkhurst so it was a spectacular and long sunset.IMG_2498In the evening I did not do well.  I have done far worse but I did have a large bag of popcorn and then three slices of wholemeal bread, with humous and tomatoes.

Today was a new day and I did much better.  I started with a 70 length swim; half breaststroke and half front crawl.  That is 1.4 km (0.87 miles).  I really enjoyed the swim, mainly because I had a lane to myself for the first 44 lengths.  I also took time afterwards to really enjoy the sauna and I had one of the outside jacuzzis to myself which was lovely.IMG_2501I was hungry when I came home.  I had a banana, followed by a slice of wholemeal bread with half an avocado and a tomato.IMG_2502Followed by a second slice spread with Vitalite and peanut butter.IMG_2504Lunch was very simple; half a baked sweet potato with 1 tsp Vitalite, mixed lettuce leaves, cucumber, radishes, pickled beetroot and sauerkraut with 1 tsp Vegenaise.IMG_2510After lunch we took the dogs to the park.

Supper was from the freezer.  I hadn’t labelled it and can not remember which recipe I followed but it was rice, black beans and chick peas with lots of vegetables.  I added 1 tbsp lime pickle to mine.  Other than that it was all free or speed foods.IMG_2515In the evening we went to the Old Town to go on a Ghost Walk.  Instead of driving down we walked so on top of my swim I also walked nearly 14,000 steps today so I am happy with that.


The Ghost Walk was great fun and we both really enjoyed it.  I particularly enjoyed walking through part of the Old Town I had not discovered before.

So Sunday was a good day.  I have no idea how many syns I ate on Saturday and am not going to lose sleep over it.  I did ok today and feel optimistic about this week.  My syns were higher than the 15 I aim for but I am hoping I will lose weight because I did so much exercise today.  The scales will show me if I am correct on Friday.

Food Syns
1 slice wholemeal bread 3
1/2 avocado 7
Peanut butter – 1 tbsp 4.5
1 tsp Vitalie 1.5
Breakfast total 16
1 tsp Vitalie 1.5
1 tsp Vegenaise 1.5
Lunch Total 3
1 tbsp lime pickle 1
Dinner Total 1
Day Total 20
HEX A 400 ml soya milk
HEX B 1 slice wholemeal bread




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