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Day Six


There are some people out there who haven’t had any experience of poverty and really don’t understand in the slightest what it looks like, or how it might feel. Even in countries where they live right alongside poor people, they build higher walls, buy cars with tinted windows and complain about how dangerous the city has become.

Originally posted on The Fasting Atheist:

Today was a bit of a challenge. I was fine in that I was my normal pretty upbeat self, but physically my body seemed to be protesting slightly. Years of living and travelling abroad (particularly Ghana, Colombia and Pakistan) have really worked their magic on my body, and it served as a slight reminder to take it easy. But it was manageable; nothing I couldn’t handle.

And anyway, Ramadan is not supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to be hard. It’s supposed to be a reminder of how difficult other people’s lives can be, of how it feels to be poor. This is one of the things that attracted me to finding out more about Ramadan, because the concept of fasting for a month to empathise with the poor seems like an honourable one. Yet at the same time, it made me feel conflicted because it is such a poor…

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An Introduction

Originally posted on The Fasting Atheist:

Welcome to my blog! This is me…… and this is my flatmate, Fatima.

Fatima and I have a lot in common: we both like ‘Made in Chelsea’ (though while for me this is a dirty secret, Fatima is out and proud), we both like bubble tea (though Fatima verges on obsession), and we both go for the (somewhat occasional) run. We are both twenty-somethings struggling to find our way in London with job problems, money problems, friend problems and health problems, and we have both supported each other through all of these things over the past year and a half that we have lived together. But there is one thing that Fatima and I do not share, and that’s our religious beliefs. Fatima is Muslim and I am atheist. Therefore, for Ramadan Fatima fasts, and I do not. Until now. I have promised Fatima that I will fast for…

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Breakfast – why?


I haven’t had breakfast today.  I didn’t have breakfast on Tuesday either.  We’re back on the 5:2 regime and this is the only was I can do it.  Nothing to eat until around 4pm and then Cauliflower Pizza which is very scrummy.

For as long as I can remember we’ve been told that we should/must eat breakfast to get our metabolism working. Apparently if we don’t we will not perform tasks as well, we’ll have no energy and we’ll feel sluggish.  So, for years I have followed advice and always made sure I had breakfast (whether or not I was hungry) and low and behold within 2 hours I was hungry.  It didn’t matter what I ate, porridge didn’t stay longer in my stomach, higher protein didn’t make a lot of difference and my usual toasted Rye bread with butter and Marmite also only lasts a couple of hours.

I discovered last year, when I previously did the 5:2 regime, that not having breakfast or anything to eat for as long as I could on a fasting day worked far better for me.  I noticed higher energy if anything (I guess my body wasn’t having to work on digesting food) and felt far less hungry than when I eat breakfast.  I found that once I’d had my mid morning coffee, I lost that “I haven’t had breakfast feeling” and was coffee time.

So, what are others saying about this?

Do we really need to eat breakfast?

When I tell patients this, many of them agree, saying that a good breakfast “anchors” them for the rest of the day, and prevents indiscriminate eating later on. Others insist that, if they eat breakfast, it kindles their appetites, and they’re off to the races with their food cravings. The latter group often says: “I’m fine until I eat, then it’s downhill for the rest of the day.”

Recently, some counter-think has been introduced into the breakfast debate. With the popularity of Intermittent Fasting, some argue that the longer we go without eating, the better it is for us. During the long period between an early dinner and a late brunch—sometimes up to 18 hours—the digestive apparatus rests, and ketosis is induced; ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body cannibalizes its own fat stores. Restricting eating to a narrow window of say, eight hours per day is a modified and do-able form of fasting.

Advocates of Intermittent Fasting say it reduces insulin resistance, combats inflammation, and even helps mood and memory because blood sugar is stabilized and the brain fuels itself with short chain fatty acids instead of glucose.

7 reasons why you should not eat breakfast.

Breakfast – Not the most important meal after all.

Contrary to popular belief, breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. In fact, omitting breakfast, as part of an intermittent fasting schedule, can have many important health benefits, from improving your insulin/leptin sensitivity to helping your body more effectively burn fat for fuel.

Longer bouts of fasting have also been shown to have potent health benefits, including the regeneration of your immune system, as demonstrated in recent research.

Many people find that eating breakfast leads to feeling hungry again soon thereafter, which can lead to unnecessary snacking. This is reflected in another recent study4 into the metabolic effects of eating or skipping breakfast.

As reported by Time Magazine:5 

“…contrary to popular belief, having breakfast every day was not tied to an improvement in metabolism. Prior thought—supported by research—has shown that eating early in the day can prevent people from overeating later out of hunger, and it boosts their metabolism early. The new study which examined causal links between breakfast habits and energy balance couldn’t prove that.”

The study found that eating breakfast was linked to a greater overall dietary energy intake. And again, the type of foods you eat for breakfast may be the key ingredient that is being overlooked in this type of research—both past and present. Typically, you will find that eating a carbohydrate-rich breakfast will tend to make you hungry again far sooner than a low-carb, high-fat breakfast will. The reason for this is because if your body is using sugar as its primary fuel, it will need a “refill” at regular intervals, as sugar is a very fast-burning fuel.


Myths surround breakfast and weight.

“Eating a healthy breakfast is a good way to start the day,” according to the Web site of the United States surgeon general, “and may be important in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.”

But new research shows that despite the conventional weight-loss wisdom, the idea that eating breakfast helps you lose weight stems largely from misconstrued studies.

Only a handful of rigorous, carefully controlled trials have tested the claim, the new report, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found. And generally they conclude that missing breakfast has either little or no effect on weight gain, or that people who eat breakfast end up consuming more daily calories than those who skip it.

So, here I am not feeling hungry despite being up 4 hours and only having one cup of tea and one black coffee. (Black because I refer black, not for purposes of weight loss).

I think in the hyperbole of the 5:2 debut, the idea was that you could do this and eat what you like in the other days. I also know now that it is better to maintain some control and healthy eating plan during the 5 eating days, so during the interim of the Fasting Days we’ve decided to be very low carb which is one of my favourite, healthy ways to eat. We haven’t eaten normal bread, any potatoes, or pasta, or rice since Sunday.  I have recently discovered Chick Pea pasta which is great and high protein.  So, if and when I  would normally make pasta, this is what we have.  You really only need a little, it’s incredibly filling.  We’re not talking Atkins, or Dukan.  I am still having my Rye Toast on those days, but other meals are more or less carb free.

We are both Morbidly Obese and do wish that people would try not to point it out to us the plainly obvious.  One day I am going to have to answer back.  The other night we were out for the evening and after the short film there were “aperos” (drinks and nibbles).  I picked up a drink and a small wafer biscuit.  My petite (and I suspect pretty much naturally so) friend looked at me and said, “You’re not eating again!” in horror.  There was a distraction, so no time for me to have to answer, which is just as well, as it is humiliating when you discover that even your friends judge you on your size. My answer might have been, “I’m sorry, are these for just to look at.”   I often come across people who let stuff slip from their lips when really it would be better if they kept what they were thinking in their heads.  I am sure they don’t think we see what they see.

I wanted to write about the breakfast myth and thought I’d mention what we’re up do and hope that people allow us to get on with it and not tell us about their ideas re diet, regimes and eating plans.  We’re 60 and 67 and have been there, done that and have many diet T shirts.  We know what works, we know why they don’t all work and we know why we’re fat.  We know it’s in our hands and we know that fads, shakes, special diet meals that cost £££’s is not the answer.

So, thanks for reading, thanks for listening and thanks in advance for not teaching an old dog new tricks.

Anyway, the gates are closed and we plan for them to remain so for some time!


Guns with history

Just over 2 years ago 20 year old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook school in America. He used guns he’d taken from his mother’s house, the mother he killed before leaving to massacre at the school.

I blogged about it several times and vented my anger on the blind pro gun owners in America who continued to justify their right to bear arms!

Today I am sharing this powerful video…..will it make a difference?  Who knows. What do you think.


I stand quietly


Counting my blessings.

Originally posted on Dirty, Naked and Happy:

I stand quietly while you do somersaults on the bed as you aren’t being naughty, you are just trying to get your out of sync body under control.

I stand quietly by the toilet door every time you need to go, and come with you around the house, and sometimes even just across the room, because I know you can feel truly frightened when you are not near me.

I stand quietly at the supermarket checkout while everyone stares at you barking like a dog and blowing raspberries on my arms to cope with the buzzing lights.

I stand quietly while you tell the baffled shop owner that you are looking for shoes that feel hard like splintered wood because your skin can’t bear soft things.

I stand quietly when the attendant gives us scornful looks when I ask for the key to the disabled toilet because the hand dryer…

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Standing desk (again!)


Feb (again) and I am now seated! We have spent the last 3 months refurishing the kitchen and my end of the dining table is no longer in the kitchen. Such a messy set up is not suitable for the lounge where the dining table is so I am seated on one side and know this is not good for me. I have just come across this from a virtual friend on Facebook who always shares good stuff. Thanks Catherine……I need to work out where to purchase this from.

Originally posted on musings from outside the asylum:

Back in Feb 2012, I began trying a standing desk and wrote about it here and here.  As you can see, I was very pleased with my new desk position and looked forward some healthier internet surfing.

In July(ish) 2012, I started with a rather painful foot problem necessitating eventually (after several months waiting for it to resolve itself) visiting a podiatrist a few times.   He prescribed me orthopedic insoles and for a while my feet improved.  However I’d been sitting for a few months and the pain was not resolved enough to bring me back to standing.   I am pretty sure the problem wasn’t caused by me standing, but I will be sure to use my insoles when standing just in case.

My standing desk was big and ugly and I decided to swap it with Jo (my Virtual Assistant daughter) who was looking for a…

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Dear David Cameron re Eugenics.

Dear David Cameron,

I note that you have been taking advice from an old leader about how to rid society of those who drain the economy, look nasty, and generally mess up the place by not fitting in.

David Cameron calls on obese to accept help or risk losing benefits.

Under proposals that are likely to be met with resistance from charities and some medics, the Conservatives will consider whether to reduce payments worth about £100 a week for those they consider could do more to help themselves by going on medical programmes designed to make them to lose weight, stop taking drugs or give up alcohol.

I know you know that you’re not the first to have ideas on how to clean up society by targetting the vulnerable.  I am sure you won’t be the last.  I am pretty sure (as a relatively intelligent fat woman) that Hitler wasn’t the first with these ideas, however he is an ideal example when making comparisons.

Nazi eugenics

In other words, a society could achieve positive outcomes – like increased productivity or reductions in crime – if it removed unhealthy or ‘undesirable’ genetic elements. Many governments had experimented with eugenics-driven policies long before the Nazis came to power. More than 64,000 Americans with mental illnesses were forcibly sterilised between the 1890s and 1924. Other countries – such as Japan, Canada, Australia, Sweden, France and Switzerland – also dabbled in eugenics-based policies in the 1920s and 1930s. – See more at:

‘Life unworthy of living’

The final, most drastic phase of the Nazi eugenics program was euthanasia. Killing the unhealthy to protect public health had been proposed as early as 1920, by two German writers: psychiatrist Alfred Hoche and philosopher Karl Binding. The mentally disabled, Hoche and Binding argued, possessed only lebensunwertem lebens (‘life unworthy of living’); legalised euthanasia would end the “burden for society and their families”. While many Nazis supported introducing euthanasia, Hitler was wary, because he knew approving the medical killing of the disabled would generate considerable public opposition. In 1936 Hitler told his inner circle that euthanasia was a policy that would have to wait until wartime, when it could be introduced with less fuss

– See more at:

Have read the above, I am wondering whether you should just move to Plan B and kill off all those who are not worthy.  I can imagine it will be far cheaper than wasting time paying buereacrats to administer yet another “scheme”.  I am sure G4S  and /or ATOS will be able to offer you a cheap all inclusive package.  You could probably get them to deal with all prison inmates at the same time in a job lot.  How much nicer society will be then!

Of course your eugenics programme is not new.  You  started with my disabled friends sometime ago.


No more benefits for fatties, says Cameron, while fat cats remain his bestest chums.

“It is not fair to ask hardworking taxpayers to fund the benefits of people who refuse to accept the support and treatment that could help them get back to a life of work,” the Prime Minister said. “While it’s perfectly fair to force hardworking taxpayers to bail out banks and my friends in the City because massively high-stakes gambling with money that isn’t yours is an addiction that we Tories cherish and support one hundred per cent.

He then hurried away saying he had to meet his friend Eric Pickles for a drink and “something chocolatey and naughty” in one of the Houses of Parliament bars which are subsidised by the taxpayer at a cost of six million pounds a year.”

As you can see, some people think your ideas are beyond belief.  I do really wonder whether you really are getting your ideas from Hitler!  How can you sleep at night?  If only you could step back and look at yourself in the mirror and see what we see.

You may have missed this Horizon programme,

Why Are Thin People Not Fat?

“Most of the studies on obesity and weight loss have been done on subjects who are overweight to begin with. A BBC Horizon documentary titled Why are thin people not fat? looked at the obesity problem from a different angle. They chose subjects who were naturally thin and stuffed them with excess calories. None of the participants had watched their food intake before, but their weight had remained roughly the same for years.”

The problem is that according to our current understanding, the number of fat cells can only be increased, never decreased. This means that any new fat cells produced as a result of (prolonged) overeating will always stay with you. What’s worse, as the purpose of fat cells is precisely to store energy, the body will now send more signals of hunger to your brain to keep those fat cells filled up. Obviously this makes following diets that rely only on cutting back on calories very difficult.”

The overall message of the documentary is that being naturally thin is a combination of many factors, some of which are genetically determined and some a result of the environment. Of course, individual choice also plays a role, but the studies on small children given unlimited candy show that even before we have the capability to think rationally about our food choices (kids will eat as much candy as they desire), there are differences among people.”

So you see David, those people you are suggesting you sanction are not just fat through lack of will power.  I am not fat due to lack of willpower.   Fat people spend their whole lives being told they’re fat and the person telling them is,

  • Doing them a favour
  • Telling them something they didn’t already know
  • Is being cruel to be kind
  • Wants to help them
  • Is no longer allowed to be racist, so fatist will do

When you look in the mirror do you see a fat guy?



So, let perhaps begin higher up the food chain a sanction some bankers.

Tax dodgers


Do that and you’d get my vote.





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