Monday, 18 June 2012

It starts...

As you might have seen earlier, Clare had come up with a cunning master-plan, eat less, do more.

And have a weigh-in.

Which meant we had to get some scales. And was why I was in a strange part of London, known as Shepherd's Bush, visiting Arguus to collect said scales before heading home to make whatever. On the plus side I, according to micoach, burned 134 pie units going to fetch the scales. Huzzah.

Before weigh-in we had to eat, this was inspired by a recipe I'd seen when trying to work out exactly what jumping beans actually are (long story) but, as is the Contrary Towers way, it was at best inspiration, so here, if you care to try and repeat the meal, or more to the point, if I do, is roughly what I did...


  • 4 Portobello mushrooms. You don't have to get them from Portobello Road as I'd done, but it adds a certain something
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper, or whichever comes to hand
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tin of kidney beans
  • chilli powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • ground pepper
  • vegetable stock cube made up to about 300ml
  • olive oil
  • minuscule amount of cheddar cheese, grated
  • Chives from Charlie
So... What I did.

Oven on at 200c, mushrooms on a baking tray with some olive oil on top. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper. These might have been in the oven for about 20 minutes, it might have been longer, I wasn't paying quite enough attention.

Slice the onion, pepper, chilli and mince the garlic, bung them in a frying pan (too small) with some olive oil and fry for five or six minutes as they soften. Add the kidney beans after draining, then the vegetable stock and chilli powder.

Simmer on a medium heat, I was at about 5-8 depending on how mad the pan was at the time, the liquid will reduce and the beans soften muchly. Cayenne and ground pepper were added to taste and the whole lot was ready after about 10 minutes. It could probably have done with a few more minutes, but Clare was looking dangerously hungry.

Pile a few table spoons of the mix on each mushroom, top with cheese and put back under the grill for another few minutes.

Finally, Charlie got another hair cut so we could have chives on top.

Serve and eat. Really quickly.

It wasn't the worse diet food ever, definitely acceptable and suitable spicy. Which meant... It was time to weigh in. First though, as we were going to be scientific, we had to check our heights. Another comedy of error moments that ended with tears rolling down our cheeks from laughing too much. I just can't quite remember what it was that was so funny.

Rather importantly we had to invent a special means to record the heights without marking the walls, so post-it notes to the rescue!

It also meant we found a use for the Fifty Shades of Grey book, we used it as a means to find the tops of our heads and, hence, the height.

It was that or finding a table with a wonky leg that needed fixing.

We had our heights, 160.3 and 174.6cm respectively. I won't say how it took to actually get those figures, but there might have been some fanning around that slowed us down!

Finally... It was the weigh-in. Gulp. Now I knew mine was bad. And so did Clare. It still didn't make anyone feel better about it. I was lower quite recently but comfort ate my way back. Pfft.

So here we go... 70.7 and 95.4kg respectively. Oh crap. That's a lot of pies.

Hey ho.

Finally, we checked what our BMI was according to some website calculator or other. We were dismayed to learn we were overweight. What? Really? In my case, quite badly. I won't cry though as it's my own fault from too much of said comfort food as well as too much winez.

For the final entertainment we'd agreed to go walking. Not so far as last night, this was more a calibration walk of how long it takes to walk down the canal, round Limehouse basin and home again. We really couldn't have picked a better evening for it.

We did get a little bit distracted, kept stopping to take pictures (living by water is a problem if you like taking pictures) and generally enjoying the evening. But we now know it takes about 45 minutes and burns off around 300 pie units. Which isn't bad.

So anyway, we've officially started, it's going to be a slog, but at least we're both doing it at the same time, which is an awful lot easier. All I need to do now is think about what to make for dinner tomorrow...

Watch this space!

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