When Your Love Affair With Food Has Come To An End…

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‘Food glorious foooooood!’…. is what I want to sing from the top of my lungs whenever I discuss such a scrumptious topic. I’m not going to lie, I love food. It brings you together with friends, you feel the love that was made with it while sitting around the dinner table with family, and let’s not forget the feelings of euphoria that run wild after you’ve finally satiated your haaanger. I mean, what’s not to love about food! Well, after so many years of having the best love affair of my life, it would seem it has come to an end. At least for the time being. My lover, has betrayed me, and my stomach and gut are now paying the price.

Yesterday was a very lazy Sunday for me and I decided to watch the movie “Chocolat”. However, it wasn’t the best of choices with what I’m going through. While watching it I started drooling at all the mouth-watering deliciousness that was on display. You see my fluffy pandas I was torturing myself. It was a cruel and unusual way to go but I did it nonetheless. I sat there wishing I could have every magical morsel that presented itself on my screen. The funny thing is, I’m not a sweets person. Savoury is my thing. Like lasagna, pesto sauce with penne pasta, Greek dips, roast chicken with all the trimmings, pizza, a Patty & Bun Chicken Burger,  Chilli cheese fries, warm fat pretzels, this Rosemary & potato sourdough bread from Gail’s. I mean I could carry on but I will spare you. Anyway, while watching the movie I seemed to be serenading the TV forcefully, almost as if I were pleading with a long lost ex to take me back. And then I screeched “Why have you cursed me?!” towards the heavens. “WHYYYYYYYY?!!” As I looked back at my screen it was just in time to see Dame Judi Dench seductively sip the silky thick  hot chocolate. Her expression after that was of pure euphoria. The kind you would get after a great orgasm. (Yeah, I went there). There she was, stupid Judi and her stupid happy expression. All I could do was yell “CURSE YOU BAD JOO JOOS! Curse….. you!”  as I raised my fists in the air.

Ok..ok….my melodrama is over. I swear. Oh one last thing… I also watched Julie & Julia. I know, I know! Food movies back to back.

You see, as some of you know, for the past 10 weeks I have not been feeling well. The doctors ran tests and nothing really came up. They said that it could be IBS but they didn’t want to say for sure. The first 4 weeks were the most miserable of my life. I had to take an Uber to and from work just so I wouldn’t have an anxiety attack in an underground tin-can as I shit on myself profusely. There were days where my internal pep talks consisted of… “You can do this. You will not shit your pants. You own your poop, not the other way round! Just go out the front door. Good. Now walk down the stairs. You’re doing it. You see, everything will be fine. Start walking to the bus. You got this Ali! You are one tough cookie. You…. oh shit. RUN! RUN BACK HOME! RUN FOR YOUR FUCKING LIFE! CLENCH CLENCH CLENCH!” And then I would slam the door to my apartment, start sobbing and ultimately feel really sorry for myself. This was the cycle. My life… for weeks.

The doctors were not that helpful. They said most of the time they don’t usually refer patients unless the symptoms persist for at least 6 months. A big HELL NO to that one. The only suggestion that they made was for me to go on a Low-FODMAP diet for the next two weeks. And with a shitty little leaflet, that didn’t explain what I should or shouldn’t eat, I left. My heart grew heavy and I decided after my umpteenth visit to the docs to walk into this posh pharmacy and plead with them to give me a miracle. And guess what? They actually did! Their suggestion was a probiotic liquid called Symprove. Within 2 days I felt almost back to normal. At the same time however, I did switch to the Low-FODMAP diet. So both have helped tremendously. But I really think the Symprove was the key. There was one slip up with a spelt grain pasta (which I thought I could have) and had to call in sick the next day. But apart from that I have been feeling at 90%. Which is a drastic improvement. But alas, even despite my positive outcome, with every passing day I start to loath food at little bit more. And that’s because of the diet I’ve been put on.

Here’s what I can have….

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Unfortunately, I had to say ‘see ya later’ to my two favourite ingredients, garlic and onions. How the hell does one cook without these two things?! My breads and pastas, unless they were gluten-free, were out of the question. Avocados and asparagus which I both adore, I can’t have. The list above says I can have 1/4 avocado but others say I shouldn’t. Hence, I leave it out. So, I was stuck with rice and rice cakes. Who the hell likes rice cakes by the way? It’s what I imagine eating cardboard would taste like. Every time I eat one I have to lather it with almond butter but, guess what?! N0w I can’t lather. Therefore, I’m officially screwed. Luckily I can eat plain meat, fish, and chicken so that’s something I guess.

All in all this diet has forced me to rethink how I eat. It’s forced me to look at my meals with a shoulder shrug of whatever. I have no desire anymore when I sit down to eat and that’s the part that’s killing me. I used to love going home after work and making something fun. But the thing that has nudge the dagger in a little deeper is the fact that I can’t bake anymore. I will have to work with Rice/corn flour and buy gluten free baking soda. I mean, woe is me right?!

Don’t worry, I’m not that depressed. But I am disappointed. When it comes to my health I take things very seriously therefore I’m following the Low-Fodmap diet to a tee! I know how important your health is and to always make sure it comes first. But in the process I have lost my love. And my love, has ripped open my heart and filled it with emptiness. I’m onto my third week now and food has never looked so dissatisfying. Yet, I know that I must grin and bear it. I’m not listening to the doctors suggestion of two weeks because everyone else is saying I have to be on this for at least a couple of months. And I like to be thorough. However the thing that’s really driving me? Is not repeating the shits any time soon. I will soldier on even though my permanent expression nowadays is the stank face of misery. I will endure, I will conquer! I sound like I’m going to war don’t I?! Lord I’ve got mental issues. By the way I would like to add that I would prefer coddling myself with two bottles of wine. But you guessed it…. I CAN’T!! Wooooooossssaaaaaahhhhh!

And so with all that being said…. my love affair has ended. The comfort has gone. The desire and passion has disintegrated. And slowly its embrace will be a very distant memory.

This was my ode, my lament to food. Oh how I’ll miss you. You never judged me. You were a soothing reassurance that everything was going to be alright.

Oh woe is me….

❤❤❤

PS- I will do a dedicated post on the Low-FODMAP diet along with two great books you should buy. Don’t worry, I won’t be complaining in that one! :-)

Weekend Photo Journal: Fantabulous Flamingos

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Since it’s summer and I’m not back home in Cyprus (booo!) I decided that this weekend’s photo journal will be dedicated to the bird that visits my country… FLAMINGOS! I mean, why not! They’re funny, funky and majestic all in one go. And let’s face it, having flamingos around with their coral-y pink hues really does make for happier times.

So without further ado, my montage of everything that has to do with flamingos…

 

If you want to know the details/credits of these photos, I’ve created a pinterest board, so click through to Flamingo Fabulousness now.

It’s Okay, You Don’t Have To Settle…

 

Now that it’s officially summer, I’ve been seeing a lot of couples snuggling and holding sweaty hands together. Definitely more than usual. Maybe they chose the couple’s path because they wanted a partner to do fun summer things with. Or maybe they’re just tired of going to gatherings as that ‘single’ person, so they found another single person to be their indefinite plus one. Or perhaps it’s just that love is in the air and I haven’t gotten the memo.

It’s sickeningly mushy just how many gushy smiles and long enamoured gazes of adoration are strewn in front of me. It actually reminds me of ‘Bambi’. You know when all of the young animals start awakening their inner lovey-dovey syndrome? Well that’s what seems to be going on around here and to tell you the truth it’s starting to make me feel a bit queasy.

At times I feel the pressure of being single. Of being almost 33 (in 2 days, eek!) and still not have a ‘husband’ and ‘kids’. The Greek side in me is saying you’re a fucking spinster. But the other side is saying, why do you have to settle for something right now? Why do I have to feel bad about the fact that I’m single and have no interest in men. Don’t get me wrong, from time to time thoughts  of attachment swivel around my brain. Not to mention that there’s also soft porn scenarios being played out by a strong Chris Hemsworth type that will have his way with me. But those are temporary. One where the ultimate outcome would be for him to come in, take care of me for a little while and then leave. In the long run? I’m not so sure I want to, or can, settle down with a man. And I most certainly don’t want to settle in life either. I’m not sure why I’m the turtle in this race, but I am. Where the glacial pace seems to be the norm.

Settling for me means that I have accepted that life has handed me a small when I clearly wanted an extra-large. It’s knowing that my routine will be like this for the rest of my life. It’s the acceptance of servitude. And honestly, I want more.

My life right now is very much a multitude of unknowns. I don’t have anything written in stone and I kind of like that. Sure I get stressed but at least I don’t feel the mundanity of every day life. I want to try and strive for everything. I don’t want someone or something putting me in a glass box so to speak. I haven’t planned all the intricacies that people do when it comes to their outline of life. I don’t know if I will achieve any of the things I’ve set out to do. But at least I can be in my 80’s with 50 cats saying “Well at least I tried”.

Love for me is a very romanticised  concept. As much as I loath the men that I’ve been with turning my heart into shattered stone I still believe that love does exist. But I also believe that it is a very precious thing, so precious in fact that people have not been properly trained in the matter. They fling love around like a tester dummy, not caring whether bumps or bruises form. And because of this I haven’t been able to let go. I do try, but eventually people have ultimately proven me right. Whereas I desperately am trying to be proven wrong. However, despite my hang-ups on this subject I still have a Pinterest board named “If I were ever to get married, this would be the dream.

So settling is not an option for me. I don’t want to be stuck in a loveless situation, nor an unfulfilled life situation. If I find someone then they will accept me for everything that I am and for everything I am not. If life somehow turns into a routine then I will always change it.

I guess what I’m saying, is that I want to look back on my life and know without a shadow of doubt that my choices were my own. That I persevered through the unbeaten path. That even though my advances might have been small, the outcome was in a war won. That love conquered me in the most genuine of ways. I’m not striving for all the riches in the world. All I’m striving for is the idea that my life can be what I truly see it to be and nothing less! For if it were less, then that means I would have settled.

❤❤❤

I’d Rather be Too Much…

 

What’s being ‘too much’ of something and why is it a hindrance to most people? Is caring too much a problem? To some, yes. Is laughing too much an annoyance? Again to some, yes. And why do people cut you down with the phrase ‘You’re just too much’?

If I had to choose between being too much and too little, I’d rather be too much of something. I’d rather live too much of life. Or smile too much because I’m happy. Or laugh too much because silliness is intoxicating. Or care too much in order to be a selfless human being. Why would anyone want to be ‘too little’ of something? Who in their right mind would want to laugh, smile, care, talk less?

Some may come at you with the phrase, ‘can you [insert whatever ] less’. And do you know what your response should be?  ‘Go fuck yourself’! Yes! And then go be ‘too much’ with others who get it. Because with the right people, you won’t be too much. You will always be just right. Just enough, or more than enough.

Complexity in a human being is intriguing.  I want there to be layers so deep that it will take me decades to burrow to the core. Being complex is to be more. To be too much. And I want the humans around me to be able to offer more. Finding out how they  fear, hope, dream, love, think and so on is to be MORE!

So don’t let anyone tell you, you’re too much of something. Because in truth, the more you are the better. After all, it’s intrigue that fans the flames of wanting to dig deeper in another human being’s soul. And what could be more interesting then challenging yourself to get to know the ‘too much’s’ of someone? Nothing that’s what.

Keep building upon yourself. Keep sharing. Someone will take the time to appreciate you just the way you are. You are a universe of intricately woven mystique. You my dear panda will never be ‘too much’ of anything.

❤❤❤

100 Things To Do Before You Die…

100 things to do before you die

So my little pandas, I have been MIA lately and I can only send you 1000 apologies for that. In a nutshell I have changed jobs and for the past 7 weeks my stomach has felt like Mount Vesuvius. It was affecting me so much that I couldn’t even leave my house in fear that I would randomly explode on public transport. I’m sure that’s painted a wonderful picture but that’s my life at the moment. It ain’t all roses. On top of that, I had major stress that I would be fired because I kept having to leave. But luckily as of right now they have been understanding about the situation. But who knows if this continues.

In these past  several weeks, I’ve been so down in the dumps that I did some woe is me kind of thinking. My conclusion? Is that life is way too short and I have wasted many years of it. I also realised that if you don’t have your health then you don’t have anything. The joy of walking around and not needing to be near a bathroom is like a foreign act for me nowadays. It’s hindered everything. Slowly I know I’m getting better but as I’m sure you can guess, my mental faculties were fried. Exhaustion and stress took over and negativity and moping were my new friends.

As I sat around being sulky I couldn’t help but think ‘Man, I haven’t achieved much up until now…’ I literally work, sleep and eat. Which if I’m being completely honest is not a healthy way to live. Alone all the time and work? No, it should definitely be more than that.

Flashbacks started coming to me of a girl many moons ago, full of hopes and dreams, knowing that she would never lead a settled, 9-5 life. She sensed that she would do big things. But alas life has a humorous way of weaving you through an obstacle course that’s so vast and tangled you eventually forget what you’re striving for.

And on that note, I should mention that next Friday the 8th of July is my 33rd birthday. So now you know where my head’s at and why I’ve been moping more than usual. Add the Mount Vesuvius issues and you’ve got a mess of epic proportions. The paranoid fears in my mind are concocting scenarios such as whispers being heard from all across the land of an old lonely spinster bitch who can’t even afford a goldfish for company. My only hope is that if I stick up a lot of affirmations and goals around my place I will subconsciously start to change for the better. Therefore to get me going I’ve made a bucket list of the things that I believe one should do before they die.

Here you go…

Bucket list 100 things to do before you die

A Little Wednesday Wisdom…

Wednesday Wisdom

 

Happy Hump Day my little fluffy pandas! I mean big up to at least getting this far without collapsing in tears as the last drop of wine leaves the bottle. Well done you! I of course can’t say the same thing, but I keep on plodding along the best way I know how… like an alcoholic that’s dead to the world. Okay, okay! In all seriousness I decided to pass along some Wednesday wisdom to help me and you get through life’s awefulness. And what better way to do it than to throw some sparkly, funny gifs at you!  So here we go!

Firstly, don’t forget to…

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The more you smile the better your insides feel. No seriously! Nobody wants to deal with a dreary, mopey, miserable Martha. So start smiling more. Smile when you look at yourself in the mirror. Smile at strangers. Smile at friends and family and of course smile at your spouse/partner more. You know you give them a shitty time on occasions so just do it okay!!

Secondly… (And this is super important)

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I’m sick and tired of people talking about a gluten-free, dairy-free vegan bonanza, laced with happiness-free, miserable-filled diets! You, do, you, boo boo, and leave me to my bread-loving ecstasy. I believe that people can achieve anything in moderation and to be completely honest I think it’s a miserable existence when your whole life centres around 500g of protein and barbells. So stop looking at my burger with envy yet blasting me for clogging my arteries. Bitch I exercise so that I can treat myself. Life’s too short people!

Thirdly, It’s ok to say that….

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No one knows exactly what they are doing all the time. And besides, sometimes…

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Ladies these next two are for you. No matter what, you will remember these for all of eternity…

That’s right ladies! Hoes before Bros always! And listen to Chris Rock because he knows what he’s talking about.

Make sure to never turn into this…

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Don’t forget that even if your going through the shittest of times, Goldblum’s assurance goes a long way to ease your weariness…

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And lastly…. When in doubt, always remember to DO YOU and to…

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❤❤❤

 

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going back to my positivity and kicking ass for the rest of the day…

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Bucket List Destinations

Bucket List, Travel, Destinations, China, Pandas, Argentina, Chile, Bali

Seeing as how travel Tuesday is a thing, I’ve decided to finally hop on board and share my bucket list destinations with you. If I could stuff my London life and travel the world I would do it in a heartbeat. But alas, I’m going to have to write this post instead and wish that one of these days I will start scratching destinations off my list. Even though this list isn’t everywhere I would love to travel, it’s the ones that I would choose to do first.

Argentina

For me South America is a must! Out of all the countries down there, I would choose Argentina to be in the top 5 of my list. Firstly, I want to be on the streets of Buenos Aires dancing the Argentine Tango seductively with a fiery Latino man. Secondly, I want Spanish to roll off my tongue as I try to converse with the locals and thirdly, I want to explore every nook and cranny! I love everything Latin in case you didn’t know. I love the language, the dances, the passion, and the different cultures that reside in each unique country. So for me, Argentina is the place to go!

 

Bali

This mystical land has been plaguing my dreams ever since I saw a picture of Ubud (one of the towns) which was roughly 20 years ago. Every time I want to pretend that I don’t actually hate my current existence, I quickly google images of Bali. For me, it oozes serenity, evenness, a higher being and composure. It feels as if this place invented the phrase cool, calm and collected. And personally, I would venture out here to search my soul with questions like, “Do I belong?”, ” Is my inner being strong?” and “What path must I take to be at peace?”. Anyway, that’s the vibe I get and I desperately want to go there.

New Zealand

Ok, so ‘Lord of The Rings’ is my life and is the best trilogy this world has ever seen. FACT! It’s not up for debate. Therefore because of this alone I want to see Hobbiton God dammit! I want to sit on the stoop of Frodo’s house and smoke some weed. That’s it. Ok I joke (not really), I also want to see the beautiful towns, mountains and oceans.

 

Chile

Ah back to my passion for Latino awesomeness. Chile would be number 2 on my list. I think it’s becoming apparent that I have a thing for mountains, lakes, ocean types of destinations. Which surprised me a little. For the most part I thought I would choose places like a beach in the Caribbean or the Maldives. You know, places where I can be the laziest fatty on earth. But my first choices have been countries where I can trek and explore their wondrous cultures.

Norway

Doesn’t Norway strike you as a country that doesn’t have any crime whatsoever?! It’s like a place where magical unicorns and gnomes really exist; a quintessential place where the northern lights shin bright. All I can say is, sign me up right now!

Cambodia

I have always wanted to visit the temples, shrines and beaches of this beautiful country. It’s sunsets beckon me. This is also another place where I think I would do some soul-searching.

Santorini

Since I’m Greek I figured I should throw in a destination from my neck of the woods!

This beautiful island in the Aegean is a place I have been dying to go to ever since I was a kid. I’ve been to other greek islands but I’ve never had the privilege of stepping foot amongst the white stones and the bluest of seas. It’s also a plus that I can speak the language! Whoop Whoop! The only place where my language comes in handy by the way!

Chengdu & W0long – China

I have saved the best for last, in my books. A long, long time ago I was gifted the fluffiest panda puppet in the whole wide world. It was my life. Then as I got a little older I was gifted an animal book that had different creatures from all over the world. In it, was ‘The Giant Panda’ where I learned everything there was to know. As I traced the outline of my favourite friend on tracing paper (because I couldn’t draw freehand) I fell in love with it. So much so that it burrowed a place in my soul. I know that sounds a bit much but sometimes (ok most times!) I will watch YouTube videos of fluffy baby pandas frolicking in China. So there’s really no secret as to why I named my blog The Lone Panda. Because I consider myself a lone renegade mixed with the fluffy docile-ness of a panda.

Anyway, if money were no object then I would love to volunteer at the two panda reserve and conservation centres. Not only that, I would probably donate a good chunk of money to help them further their research in making sure pandas are here to stay for good!

So I would say China would be number one on my list! As if that wasn’t apparent already!

 

❤❤❤

 PS- the images that I’ve used are NOT mine.