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Friday, 19 November 2010

Pro-lifers You Can Make a Difference Now!

Whilst I find the whole concept of using an internet poll to decide whether to have an abortion abhorrent, I feel I must urge everyone possible to vote for this baby to live:

You will need to copy and paste the link as I don't want a live link which would track back here.

I'm tempted to write more but since I am extremely angry I shall restrain myself - I think the site speaks for itself.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Until We Meet

(To my unborn children)

Loved and lost…
…so brief a spell on earth

A candle flickering briefly in the darkness

You touched my womb but a moment
My heart forever

No bump
No birth
No baby

Did I imagine you?
O happy dream!
Joyous Summer!
Now Winter comes
I feel the cold.

Did you know before you left me?
Did you hear my voice
my heart?
Did you feel pain?

I miss you.

You never saw the sun or moon
Never knew the joy of spring
You never saw your big sister
Or knew the joy of love and laughter

But one day I will come to join you
Will you know your mother's face?
God chose to take you straight to heaven
To spare you from the pains of earth

For unto everything is a season
A time to be born and a time to die
You never knew grief and mourning
Never had a need to cry

I won't forget you precious babies… take good care
until we meet.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Horse Boy Camps Worldwild - One Family's Experience

This is a guest post written by my friend. Having worked with children with autism myself I am appalled at the treatment of her family for what I would consider to be fairly "normal" and not particularly extreme autistic behaviour.

My uncle saw an article in the newspaper promoting the Horse Boy Camps and offered to send us there if we were interested as I have a 13 year old Autistic son.

It was terribly expensive, £1200 for 5 nights b&b - but finding somewhere able to cater for people with autism is incredibly hard, so that's the price you have to pay.

I read Rupert Issacsons book with interest, and we were able to book to go to the camp in Scotland running 24th to 29th July.

We arrived after a 7 hour journey on Saturday and a summary of our trip is here below;

From the booking it was a little disorganised, but they were in the process of one leader, Rhoda McGovern, leaving and a new one, Gillian Naysmith, starting so we thought that was just a minor blip.

We arrived at Ardlamont House on Saturday evening, a beautiful huge stately type house with attached cottages. We thought we were in a cottage, but we'd been told wrongly by Rhoda, and were in two rooms as the main house. Again, a bit disorganised but not a problem.

The house was beautiful, but not at all child or autism friendly with knickknacks all over - but the house owners were also apparently experienced in dealing with autistic children and adults, so obviously knew what to expect if they're opening their house to them.

Then we find out it's not b&b, but self catering. We'd brought other meals but not breakfast stuff and the nearest shops were 30 miles away including a ferry crossing. The other families complained and after the 'organisers' having some chats with the owners, they decided they would provide breakfast after all.

My party was myself, my severely autistic son Joe 13, my daughters Olivia 9 and Violet 18 months old. My Mum also came with us as my partner was unable to get the time off work. Gillian was there with her partner, her 9 year old daughter and her 6 year old autistic son. Another family had a 5 year old autistic son and a 2 year old daughter, and there was a lady with her 3 year old autistic son.

Saturday night the volunteers took Joe and Olivia and some other children up to the stables to meet the horses. We had some dinner and a lovely nights sleep.

Sunday we had a lovely cooked breakfast - Joe was a little unsettled and a little bangy but no where near as bangy has he could have been.

After breakfast we went up to the stables, and had horse and carriage rides around the estate. Joe observed the horses as I expected, but was quite happy with the volunteers watching what was going on - a lovely morning.

After breaking for lunch, we went back to the stables to ride down to the beach. Joe again observed, getting a little closer to the horses but not too close. Olivia & I got to ride down to the beach, then once at the beach everyone took turns riding. A couple of the little ones got onto horses, Joe and the 5yo boy again observed.
After a while Joe took me over to one of the horses and stroked it, which I thought was a breakthrough and I thought after a few days he might actually get onto one. Olivia & Violet were having a brilliant time getting to ride and play on the beach with plenty of people about to play with/help with Joseph so I could play with her.

Then we had some free time. We sat in the garden of the main house playing with the dogs and chatting, again a lovely afternoon.

Joe was quite happy outside in the garden and I went in to make a cuppa and start dinner while some of the volunteers stayed outside with Joe. Then Olivia came running in, Joe had smacked and broken a little pain of glass in a window. I went out to see what had happened and one of the paid staff, Karen Thursfield, said he was sitting there, very calm and chilled, when he got up and ran at the window.

It turns out (Olivia & a volunteer, Charley later told me) that this woman claims to be a 'healer' and when everyone else but her had gone inside, sat close to Joe and started waving her hands around his head/body & chanting, he'd jumped up and ran away distressed! He doesn't like strange people in his personal space and doesn't have the ability to tell them.

He was quite distressed after this but again, not as bad as he could have been, and calmed down and came in to eat dinner with us.

After dinner, the Gillian & Karen came into the kitchen where me & mum were doing our dishes. They said that they'd had a meeting and suggested we leave as this 'situation' isn't helping Joe as he is very unsettled. I said it's day one, he's autistic which means he doesn't like change to routine but for 95% of the day he'd been perfect. They said that they'd spoken to the Rupert Isaacson, and he'd also suggested we leave.

I was absolutely raging and told the organiser exactly what I thought of her and the organisation. I told her they were aware of Joes age when I booked, and if they only welcome younger easily managed autiistic children they should have said.

Interestingly, they've since changed their website. When we booked it was "open to all families who have children on the autistic spectrum'. Now it is for children on the autistic spectrum aged 2-12.

I mentioned a full refund and she said I could discuss getting a partial refund.

Not just because he's my boy, but in total honesty the other autistic children were a lot worse behaved than Joe, but they were all small enough to be picked up and taken to their rooms out of sight.

Mum suggested to them that maybe we're being sent home because they're worried seeing a 13yo autistic boy is worrying the other parents because they're seeing what they face in the future.

Two of the volunteers were absolutely devastated by the treatment we received.

One of them, Charley, was an absolute star. She was only 24, but works with autistic adolescents in Manchester. She was absolutely brilliant with Joe and you could see she was the only person there with any real experience. She'd told the organisers that they were being ridiculous and that she'd dealt with much worse behaviour than Joe was displaying but the organiser told her she'd been desensitised due to her job - an absolute insult to her and to my family.

Since we've returned, we've been passed from person to person with nobody taking any responsibility. The partial refund seems to have been forgotten. We're £1200 out of pocket and my children will be going back to school next week with only sad memories of the summer holidays.

I'd hate for any other family to experience similar treatment.

Be aware, these Horse Boy Camps are only suitable for you if your child is the 'right' type of autistic, and under 5' and 5 stone so you can hide them away when they're being 'autistic'.

Monday, 2 August 2010

My Web Wanderings (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, 30 July 2010

30 Day Food Diary Challenge - Day Eighteen

  • Toasted sourdough fruit loaf with marmalade (I wasn't very hungry which isn't surprising considering my calorie intake the previous day was well above average)
  • Orange juice
  • Tea
Dinner (at IKEA)
  • Tuna melt panini
  • Small piece of a BLT sandwich
  • Cranberry flapjack
  • 2 cups of hot chocolate
Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 1754kcal
Protein 61g (122%)
Total Fat 59g (90%)
Sat. 25g (127%)
Chol. 117mg (39%)
Carb. 255g (85%)
Fiber 19g (75%)
Sugars 78g
Calcium 838mg (84%)
Iron 10mg (57%)
Magnesium 292mg (73%)
Phosphorus 1245mg (125%)
Potassium 2048mg (59%)
Sodium 1806mg (75%)
Zinc 8mg (50%)
Copper 1mg (55%)
Manganese 5mg
Selenium 137µg
Vit. C 90mg (151%)
Vit. B1 2mg (120%)
Vit. B2 2mg (94%)
Vit. B3 16mg (80%)
Vit. B5 4mg (38%)
Vit. B6 1mg (40%)
Diet. fol. eq. 466µg (117%)
Vit. B12 3µg (43%)
Vit. A 1614IU (32%)
Vit. A1 363µg
Vit. E 5mg (27%)
Vit. K 30µg
Vit. D 244IU (61%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

Thursday, 29 July 2010

30 Day Food Diary Challenge - Day Seventeen

This is where the quality of my food goes downhill because my husband took time off work and we were on "holiday" at home. As before italics indicate food not made at home.

  • "Cream cheese" sandwich (technically it's not cream cheese as I make it from yoghurt)
  • "Nobbly Bobbly" ice cream
  • Fish n chips
  • Chocolate pudding
  • Kombucha
  • Orange juice
  • Tea
Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 2196kcal
Protein 72g (144%)
Total Fat 116g (179%)
Sat. 52g (261%)
Chol. 350mg (117%)
Carb. 227g (76%)
Fiber 14g (57%)
Sugars 113g
Calcium 691mg (69%)
Iron 8mg (42%)
Magnesium 306mg (77%)
Phosphorus 1330mg (133%)
Potassium 3368mg (96%)
Sodium 1090mg (45%)
Zinc 7mg (44%)
Copper 1mg (50%)
Manganese 3mg
Selenium 115µg
Vit. C 134mg (223%)
Vit. B1 1mg (80%)
Vit. B2 1mg (82%)
Vit. B3 10mg (52%)
Vit. B5 4mg (41%)
Vit. B6 1mg (70%)
Diet. fol. eq. 234µg (58%)
Vit. B12 4µg (63%)
Vit. A 2585IU (52%)
Vit. A1 646µg
Vit. E 8mg (41%)
Vit. K 47µg
Vit. D 166IU (42%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

30 Day Food Diary Challenge - Day Sixteen

  • Pate on sourdough toast
  • Lacto-fermented cucumber
  • Banana loaf
  • Orange juice
Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 1877kcal
Protein 74g (149%)
Total Fat 96g (148%)
Sat. 46g (228%)
Chol. 373mg (124%)
Carb. 194g (65%)
Fiber 19g (75%)
Sugars 81g
Calcium 664mg (66%)
Iron 11mg (60%)
Magnesium 399mg (100%)
Phosphorus 1408mg (141%)
Potassium 3287mg (94%)
Sodium 1138mg (47%)
Zinc 12mg (77%)
Copper 4mg (185%)
Manganese 4mg
Selenium 83µg
Vit. C 134mg (224%)
Vit. B1 1mg (87%)
Vit. B2 2mg (100%)
Vit. B3 21mg (103%)
Vit. B5 6mg (64%)
Vit. B6 2mg (100%)
Diet. fol. eq. 201µg (50%)
Vit. B12 11µg (188%)
Vit. A 17486IU (350%)
Vit. A1 2266µg
Vit. E 4mg (22%)
Vit. K 43µg
Vit. D 69IU (17%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

30 Day Food Diary Challenge - Day Fifteen

I've got rather behind on these for various reasons so I'm just going to post what I ate and the nutritional information and then put any comments on the Day Twenty One when I do the weekly average.

  • Ham and cheese toastie with salad and crisps (this was a meal out with family)
  • HM Broccoli and stilton soup
  • Sourdough bread and butter
  • Orange juice
  • Kombucha
  • Tea
Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 1695kcal
Protein 84g (167%)
Total Fat 88g (135%)
Sat. 50g (249%)
Chol. 250mg (83%)
Carb. 151g (50%)
Fiber 16g (63%)
Sugars 36g
Calcium 1838mg (184%)
Iron 8mg (46%)
Magnesium 269mg (67%)
Phosphorus 1770mg (177%)
Potassium 2377mg (68%)
Sodium 2395mg (100%)
Zinc 11mg (72%)
Copper 1mg (35%)
Manganese 3mg
Selenium 93µg
Vit. C 189mg (316%)
Vit. B1 2mg (107%)
Vit. B2 2mg (124%)
Vit. B3 10mg (51%)
Vit. B5 4mg (45%)
Vit. B6 1mg (65%)
Diet. fol. eq. 355µg (89%)
Vit. B12 3µg (53%)
Vit. A 8362IU (167%)
Vit. A1 651µg
Vit. E 6mg (30%)
Vit. K 126µg
Vit. D 174IU (43%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

Monday, 26 July 2010

30 Day Food Diary Challenge - Day Fourteen

  • Toasted sourdough fruit loaf with home made low sugar marmalade
  • Tea
  • Orange juice
  • Kombucha
  • Tinned Sardines in Tomato Sauce on sourdough toast
  • Orange juice
  • 30g Chocolate
  • Chilli
  • Banana Loaf
  • Orange juice
  • Kombucha
  • Tea
Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 1422kcal
Protein 48g (96%)
Total Fat 54g (84%)
Sat. 25g (124%)
Chol. 196mg (65%)
Carb. 195g (65%)
Fiber 18g (70%)
Sugars 52g
Calcium 521mg (52%)
Iron 11mg (63%)
Magnesium 258mg (65%)
Phosphorus 948mg (95%)
Potassium 2149mg (61%)
Sodium 1453mg (61%)
Zinc 8mg (55%)
Copper 3mg (165%)
Manganese 4mg
Selenium 93µg
Vit. C 106mg (176%)
Vit. B1 1mg (87%)
Vit. B2 1mg (76%)
Vit. B3 14mg (70%)
Vit. B5 4mg (44%)
Vit. B6 1mg (70%)
Diet. fol. eq. 417µg (104%)
Vit. B12 18µg (297%)
Vit. A 11979IU (240%)
Vit. A1 2458µg
Vit. E 4mg (22%)
Vit. K 22µg
Vit. D 752IU (188%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

Not really much to comment about as most of it is fairly typical. I guess the sardines must be high in vitamin D though as I'm usually low and that is the only thing particularly different from usual. The vitamin A is particularly high because my chilli contains liver.

Average Nutrition over the last week as a percentage of the UK RDI
Protein 140
Fat 91
Sat Fat 140
Carb 94
Fibre 86
Sugars 74
Calcium 84
Iron 80
Mg 100
Ph 182
K 145
Na 53
Zn 94
Cu 206
Mn 264
Se 205
Vit C 183
Vit B1 134
Vit B2 115
Vit B3 93
Vit B5 95
Vit B6 113
Fol eq 158
Vit B12 239
Vit A 203
Vit A1 118
Vit E 43
Vit K 67
Vit D 116

I find it pretty amazing that my fat over a whole week has averaged out as below the recommendations since I make a deliberate choice not to eat a low fat diet. I use butter and lard in my cooking, I use whole milk and I am certainly not stingy when using fat to brown onions at the start of dish. I've even had people comment on how generous I am with butter when I spread it on my bread. (And I'm not underestimating how much I used - I've actually weighed slices of bread before and after buttering them to make sure I'm accurate.)

In the first week, I was particularly low in salt and vitamins E and D. Salt doesn't bother me and neither does vitamin D (which is apparently rectified by half a tin of sardines anyway). Vitamin E is more important and although it has improved slightly, it is definitely something to work on. I have read up about signs of deficiency though and it is encouraging to know that I am not showing any particular signs of vitamin E deficiency.

Other than those things noted last week, the only things below 80% are sugars (which funnily enough I'm quite happy about) and vitamin K which has dropped from 90% to 67%. I notice that most days it has ranged from the 20s to the 70s except for day one when it was 295% and day eleven when it was 312%. On both of those days I had spinach and bean curry. Spinach is one of the richest sources of vitamin K and beans are also a good source. I think I should make a conscious effort to eat beans on a more regular basis as they also seem to be good for iron and B vitamins.

If I multiply up the average percentage over the full two weeks to what they would be if I consumed 2000 calories per day, I would only be below 100% on sugar, salt, iron and vitamins E and K and below 90% on only salt and vitamin E (vitamin E would be 50%). I would conclude therefore that the only particular deficiency in my diet is vitamin E. Although I'm disappointed to find out my diet is deficient in this respect, it is encouraging to find that for the most part I have a good diet and I'm glad to now be aware of the lack of vitamin E.

If you are at all interested in nutrition and what you eat, I would recommend the food diary challenge as an excellent way to discover how you are actually doing nutrition-wise.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

30 Day Food Diary Challenege - Days Twelve and Thirteen

Since two of my meals on Saturday and one meal on Sunday were provided by other people, I can't really enter them into the software for nutritional analysis so instead I am posting details of all six meals but them combining the nutritional information from the three meals at home as if they were from one day. I will put the food which wasn't at home in italics.

  • Egg on toast
  • Orange juice
  • Tea
  • Variety of sandwiches (ham and mustard, cheese savoury, egg and cress, tuna and sweetcorn).
  • Orange squash
  • Feast ice cream. (I actually don't like chocolate ice-cream but my husband went to buy them while I was queuing with Little Girl to go in a replica military helicopter.)
  • Plated salad
  • Orange juice
  • Logan berry pie with cream
  • Toasted sourdough fruit loaf with home made low sugar marmalade.
  • Buttermilk soaked pancakes
  • Orange juice
  • Kombucha
  • Tea
  • Chicken sandwiches with lacto-fermented cucumber. (Sounds gross but they taste pretty similar to shop bought gherkins - I really like them.)
  • Banana loaf.
  • Orange juice
  • Tea
  • Cheese salad sandwiches
  • Crisps
  • Fruit scone with cream and strawberry jam
  • Strawberry and apple pie
  • Kombucha
  • Tea
Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 1329kcal
Protein 64g (127%)
Total Fat 39g (59%)
Sat. 20g (98%)
Chol. 416mg (138%)
Carb. 193g (64%)
Fiber 19g (76%)
Sugars 41g
Calcium 562mg (56%)
Iron 9mg (48%)
Magnesium 315mg (79%)
Phosphorus 1141mg (114%)
Potassium 2592mg (74%)
Sodium 1496mg (62%)
Zinc 8mg (51%)
Copper 1mg (45%)
Manganese 6mg
Selenium 134µg
Vit. C 180mg (300%)
Vit. B1 1mg (93%)
Vit. B2 2mg (94%)
Vit. B3 18mg (90%)
Vit. B5 5mg (54%)
Vit. B6 2mg (80%)
Diet. fol. eq. 229µg (57%)
Vit. B12 2µg (42%)
Vit. A 2077IU (42%)
Vit. A1 435µg
Vit. E 3mg (13%)
Vit. K 13µg
Vit. D 149IU (37%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

Interestingly my fat intake is low on this analysis which probably indicates that my breakfasts are low in fat given that this includes two breakfasts and a lunch. I don't think I can really draw any other conclusions from the information.

Friday, 23 July 2010

The Recipe Room

I haven't gotten as far as doing my post of yesterday's food yet but I wanted to just mention that I now have a recipe blog. Anything in my food diary which I have posted a recipe for will be linked. I'm thinking of transferring those recipes which I've already posted here (such as yoghurt and sourdough bread) but I'm currently undecided about that.

30 Day Food Diary Challenge - Day Eleven

  • Baked porridge served with yoghurt
  • Orange juice
  • Kombucha
  • Tea
  • Chicken sandwich
  • Orange juice
  • Spinach and Bean curry served with rice
  • Orange juice
  • Kombucha
Evening Snacks
Nutritional Information
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 1942kcal
Protein 75g (151%)
Total Fat 79g (122%)
Sat. 31g (154%)
Chol. 192mg (64%)
Carb. 248g (83%)
Fiber 26g (104%)
Sugars 82g
Calcium 751mg (75%)
Iron 17mg (93%)
Magnesium 474mg (118%)
Phosphorus 1461mg (146%)
Potassium 3852mg (110%)
Sodium 1172mg (49%)
Zinc 12mg (79%)
Copper 2mg (110%)
Manganese 5mg
Selenium 76µg
Vit. C 120mg (200%)
Vit. B1 2mg (120%)
Vit. B2 2mg (88%)
Vit. B3 18mg (92%)
Vit. B5 7mg (71%)
Vit. B6 2mg (95%)
Diet. fol. eq. 704µg (176%)
Vit. B12 2µg (33%)
Vit. A 8432IU (169%)
Vit. A1 263µg
Vit. E 7mg (36%)
Vit. K 234µg
Vit. D 67IU (17%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

A week into this challenege I told my husband that I don't seem to have a lot of vitamin E and that it comes from plant oils and also that I don't have a huge amount of salt. He commented that maybe he needs the crisps he eats (which I rarely eat) for vitamin E and salt. He has now give me a packet of crisps twice in one week which is pretty unheard of so I wonder if he thnks I need them to improve my nutrition. I'll have to ask him after he comes home form work.

I had quite a high (relative to my usual) calorie intake which I guess is partly down to having done quite a lot of gardening that day and partly down to no dinner the night before.

I also had a pretty good iron count which I think is mainly down to the curry which is deliberately high in iron (9mg per serving). I'm planning to post the recipe on my recipe blog but I want to take a photo of it first as I think recipes with pictures are much better.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

30 Day Food Diary Challenge - Day Ten

  • Baked Porridge served with yoghurt
  • Orange juice
  • Kombucha
  • Tea
  • Almond butter and banana sandwich
  • Orange juice
Mid Afternoon snack
  • Tea
Apparently either the hazelnuts in the Coop mix are raw or I'm allergic hazelnuts when they're cooked and not just raw. I don't know whether there were more hazelnuts in this particular portion or whether it was because I ate it on an empty stomach but I felt so sick after eating it that I couldn't eat any dinner. Needless to say I'm no longer eating the hazelnuts.

Nutritional Information
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 1346kcal
Protein 38g (76%)
Total Fat 71g (109%)
Sat. 25g (125%)
Chol. 112mg (37%)
Carb. 156g (52%)
Fiber 15g (60%)
Sugars 73g
Calcium 640mg (64%)
Iron 8mg (43%)
Magnesium 365mg (91%)
Phosphorus 1013mg (101%)
Potassium 2273mg (65%)
Sodium 730mg (30%)
Zinc 7mg (48%)
Copper 2mg (85%)
Manganese 4mg
Selenium 44µg
Vit. C 95mg (159%)
Vit. B1 1mg (60%)
Vit. B2 1mg (71%)
Vit. B3 5mg (24%)
Vit. B5 3mg (33%)
Vit. B6 1mg (45%)
Diet. fol. eq. 133µg (33%)
Vit. B12 2µg (27%)
Vit. A 1292IU (26%)
Vit. A1 220µg
Vit. E 8mg (40%)
Vit. K 17µg
Vit. D 67IU (17%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

Obviously with not having eaten dinner this is an unusual day so not really worth analysing.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

30 Day Food Diary Challenge - Day Nine

Today I'm posting before the end of the day although after dinner so some detail may change. (I have now added 30g chocolate into the nutritional analysis.)

  • Apple and Sultana Porridge
  • Orange juice
  • Kombucha
  • Tea
  • Spicy Pork n Veg Pasta
  • Orange juice
  • Kombucha
Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 1685kcal
Protein 64g (127%)
Total Fat 64g (98%)
Sat. 25g (127%)
Chol. 137mg (46%)
Carb. 234g (78%)
Fiber 20g (79%)
Sugars 86g
Calcium 592mg (59%)
Iron 12mg (66%)
Magnesium 419mg (105%)
Phosphorus 1344mg (134%)
Potassium 2890mg (83%)
Sodium 559mg (23%)
Zinc 11mg (71%)
Copper 4mg (195%)
Manganese 5mg
Selenium 119µg
Vit. C 156mg (260%)
Vit. B1 2mg (107%)
Vit. B2 2mg (88%)
Vit. B3 14mg (70%)
Vit. B5 5mg (50%)
Vit. B6 2mg (80%)
Diet. fol. eq. 163µg (41%)
Vit. B12 11µg (180%)
Vit. A 7584IU (152%)
Vit. A1 1957µg
Vit. E 5mg (24%)
Vit. K 30µg
Vit. D 154IU (39%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

I just remembered I did also have some token salad with dinner but not enough to be worth the effort of entering into the nutritional analysis. I'm low again in calories again which surprises me as I thought I'd be hungrier both to catch up on yesterday and because I spent around an hour digging a new bed in the garden. I also deliberately put olive oil in the pork dish to help with vitamin E but I guess because it was such a small quantity it didn't make a significant difference. I must make that mayonnaise soon - yesterday evening I used the food processor to grate a mountain of cheese I bought cheap because it was going out of date (I keep grated cheese in the freezer) and I don't think it's made it through the dishwasher yet.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

30 Day Food Diary Challenge - Day Eight

Edit: I eventually remembered I'd had a packet of crisps my husband gave me in the evening so I've added it in and now the nutritional information looks a bit more normal.

We were meant to have spicy pork n veg pasta for dinner but I forgot to switch the slow cooker on at the wall so my husband kindly rustled up an omelette for us instead. It was only when I was writing this up that I remembered that Little Girl and I had already had almost the same thing at lunch time. Doh!

  • Apple and Sultana Porridge
  • Orange juice
  • Kombucha
  • Tea
  • Egg on Sourdough Toast
  • 30g Chocolate
  • Orange juice
  • Cheese omlette
  • Sourdough Bread
  • Banana loaf
  • Orange juice
  • Kombucha
  • Tea
Evening snack
  • Packet of crisps (potato chips)
Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 1540kcal
Protein 51g (103%)
Total Fat 81g (124%)
Sat. 41g (204%)
Chol. 639mg (213%)
Carb. 166g (55%)
Fiber 18g (72%)
Sugars 67g
Calcium 649mg (65%)
Iron 9mg (48%)
Magnesium 272mg (68%)
Phosphorus 1158mg (116%)
Potassium 1902mg (54%)
Sodium 1246mg (52%)
Zinc 8mg (53%)
Copper 1mg (50%)
Manganese 5mg
Selenium 115µg
Vit. C 12mg (20%)
Vit. B1 1mg (60%)
Vit. B2 2mg (88%)
Vit. B3 7mg (33%)
Vit. B5 6mg (55%)
Vit. B6 1mg (55%)
Diet. fol. eq. 161µg (40%)
Vit. B12 3µg (48%)
Vit. A 1985IU (40%)
Vit. A1 527µg
Vit. E 5mg (26%)
Vit. K 16µg
Vit. D 138IU (34%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

I've been lower than I expected on calorie count all the way through this but I'm convinced I must have forgotten something for it to be that low. I've racked my brains though and can't think of anything. I'm thinking maybe I need to do more exercise as it makes it hard to get in all the right nutrition with such a low calorie consumption.

I'd be really interested to read the posts of anyone else who wants to join in this challenge so please leave a comment if you decide to do it - it doesn't matter when you start.

Monday, 19 July 2010

30 Day Food Diary Challenge - Day Seven

  • Apple and Sultana Porridge
  • Orange Juice
  • Tea
  • Kombucha
  • Lamb Hotpot
  • Banana loaf
  • Orange juice
  • Kombucha
  • Tea
Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 1739kcal
Protein 52g (103%)
Total Fat 91g (140%)
Sat. 39g (194%)
Chol. 303mg (101%)
Carb. 195g (65%)
Fiber 22g (86%)
Sugars 84g
Calcium 602mg (60%)
Iron 10mg (58%)
Magnesium 384mg (96%)
Phosphorus 1238mg (124%)
Potassium 2709mg (77%)
Sodium 744mg (31%)
Zinc 9mg (60%)
Copper 2mg (95%)
Manganese 5mg
Selenium 80µg
Vit. C 129mg (214%)
Vit. B1 1mg (93%)
Vit. B2 2mg (94%)
Vit. B3 10mg (48%)
Vit. B5 4mg (43%)
Vit. B6 1mg (60%)
Diet. fol. eq. 223µg (56%)
Vit. B12 3µg (45%)
Vit. A 6656IU (133%)
Vit. A1 275µg
Vit. E 4mg (21%)
Vit. K 48µg
Vit. D 172IU (43%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

Through a very convoluted spreadsheet, I'm now able to produce a seven day average as a percentage of the UK RDAs (which come from the EU). The UK RDAs are slightly lower and looking at them averaged over a week I'm not doing as badly as I first thought:





















Vit C


Vit B1


Vit B2


Vit B3


Vit B5


Vit B6


Fol eq


Vit B12


Vit A


Vit A1


Vit E


Vit K


Vit D


The only things lower than 80% are iron, sodium (i.e. salt), vitamin E and vitamin D. I'm not too worried about being low on salt and as I've said before I'm sure I get plenty vitamin D through sunlight. The iron was mainly brought down by the day at my Auntie's so it's vitamin E which is the key thing I've been low on. I am planning on making some mayonnaise though so I can have tuna/egg mayonnaise sandwiches so that should help with the vitamin E consumption and since it is a fat soluble vitamin (and therefore stored in the body) it doesn't matter too much if my intake varies.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

30 Day Food Diary Challenge - Day Six

  • Sourdough soaked pancakes. Normally these would be buttermilk soaked but we were out of buttermilk (and plain yoghurt which would be my alternative) so I soaked the mixture overnight with regular milk and a tablespoon of sourdough starter.
  • Orange juice
  • Tea
  • Bangers n mash with red onion gravy and peas and carrots. (I rather over catered in terms of peas and carrots on Friday when we had a friend round so we've been using them up ever since.)
  • Strawberry with cream
  • 30g dark chocolate
  • Orange juice
  • Tea
  • Pate on toast
  • Orange juice
  • Kombucha
  • Tea
Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 1674kcal
Protein 57g (115%)
Total Fat 101g (155%)
Sat. 49g (246%)
Chol. 369mg (123%)
Carb. 144g (48%)
Fiber 17g (67%)
Sugars 40g
Calcium 484mg (48%)
Iron 8mg (47%)
Magnesium 259mg (65%)
Phosphorus 1031mg (103%)
Potassium 2740mg (78%)
Sodium 1944mg (81%)
Zinc 10mg (67%)
Copper 3mg (145%)
Manganese 3mg
Selenium 61µg
Vit. C 147mg (246%)
Vit. B1 1mg (87%)
Vit. B2 2mg (94%)
Vit. B3 18mg (90%)
Vit. B5 5mg (48%)
Vit. B6 2mg (80%)
Diet. fol. eq. 196µg (49%)
Vit. B12 12µg (192%)
Vit. A 12830IU (257%)
Vit. A1 2248µg
Vit. E 3mg (14%)
Vit. K 24µg
Vit. D 146IU (37%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

A fairly low iron figure again despite one of my meals being pate on toast. This is partly down to laziness and not having made some more fruit/nut/chocolate mix but this has now been done so my iron consumption should improve. (Although since I'm on iron capsules at the moment, the iron I consume through food is probably a moot point really.) I do find it suprising though how hard it is to keep iron consumption high - if I wasn't anaemic I would think the figures were set too high.

Tomorrow (which is actually today because I'm writing this on Monday) will be day seven so I will be able to do averages for the first week.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

30 Day Food Diary Challenge - Day Five

  • Egg on toast
  • Orange juice
  • Tea
  • Pork chop
  • Buttered boiled potatoes
  • Peas and carrots
  • Orange juice
  • Kombucha
  • Tea
Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 1663kcal
Protein 71g (141%)
Total Fat 75g (115%)
Sat. 35g (174%)
Chol. 344mg (115%)
Carb. 195g (65%)
Fiber 27g (106%)
Sugars 61g
Calcium 562mg (56%)
Iron 12mg (67%)
Magnesium 391mg (98%)
Phosphorus 1412mg (141%)
Potassium 3308mg (95%)
Sodium 1544mg (64%)
Zinc 10mg (67%)
Copper 2mg (105%)
Manganese 5mg
Selenium 111µg
Vit. C 153mg (255%)
Vit. B1 2mg (127%)
Vit. B2 1mg (82%)
Vit. B3 19mg (97%)
Vit. B5 5mg (50%)
Vit. B6 2mg (100%)
Diet. fol. eq. 257µg (64%)
Vit. B12 2µg (37%)
Vit. A 12236IU (245%)
Vit. A1 440µg
Vit. E 4mg (20%)
Vit. K 56µg
Vit. D 85IU (21%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

On Saturday I actually ended up eating a lot of things similar to Friday so there's not a great deal of difference. One thing I've noticed which has surprised me is that (relative to the recommended amounts) apparently my diet is high in protein and low in carbohydrate. I wouldn't particularly say I have a high meat diet (although obviously there is meat in it) but I guess there must be more protein in other things than I appreciated.

Friday, 16 July 2010

30 Day Food Diary Challenge - Day Four

  • Baked Porridge
  • Orange juice
  • Kombucha
  • Tea
  • Pork
  • Peas and carrots
  • Mashed potato
  • Peach yoghurt
  • Buttered fruit loaf
  • Orange juice
  • Tea
Nutritional analysis
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 1874kcal
Protein 74g (149%)
Total Fat 64g (99%)
Sat. 34g (171%)
Chol. 220mg (73%)
Carb. 268g (89%)
Fiber 32g (126%)
Sugars 97g
Calcium 853mg (85%)
Iron 11mg (61%)
Magnesium 415mg (104%)
Phosphorus 1647mg (165%)
Potassium 3916mg (112%)
Sodium 1872mg (78%)
Zinc 11mg (72%)
Copper 2mg (75%)
Manganese 7mg
Selenium 129µg
Vit. C 159mg (265%)
Vit. B1 2mg (140%)
Vit. B2 2mg (100%)
Vit. B3 22mg (108%)
Vit. B5 6mg (57%)
Vit. B6 2mg (100%)
Diet. fol. eq. 270µg (68%)
Vit. B12 2µg (42%)
Vit. A 11619IU (232%)
Vit. A1 370µg
Vit. E 3mg (16%)
Vit. K 39µg
Vit. D 67IU (17%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

Friday was a low day iron-wise but overall I think I'm doing fairly well in terms of iron. I think vitamin B5 has been low quite a few times and vitamin E is low again. Having looked at my list of foods high in vitamin E there are plenty which I eat (such as cashews, olive oil, mayonnaise, dried apricots, tomato puree, chickpeas and spinach) so hopefully I will find that on average I do have enough. I'm thinking of calculating weekly averages of the %RDA figures as I think that may be more useful than just looking at the daily figures.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

30 Day Food Diary Challenge - Day Three

Today I discovered a slight glitch with the nutritional software. It seems that when I use single serving sizes to create my "menu" in the software, those nutrients which are displayed only to one significant figure (namely vitamins B1 and B6) end up lower than they should be. In each single serving recipe today they showed up as 0mg but each had a %RDA of anything from 5 to 20% which should have added up to over 70% for each. Presumably when transferring to the menu, the figure in mg is rounded down and then used to calculate the %RDA as they both came out as zero. I managed to get round this by scaling each recipe by ten before adding to the "menu" and then telling the menu that it was for ten people so that it came out with the figures for one. I've now done the same for yesterday's figures (which improved some figures somewhat) but haven't done so for day one.

On to today's food:

  • Baked porridge
  • Orange Juice
  • Tea
  • Pate on sourdough toast
  • Orange Juice
  • Banana Muffin
Afternoon/evening snack
  • Fruit/Nut/Chocolate Mix
  • Cup of tea

Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 1877kcal
Protein 60g (121%)
Total Fat 88g (136%)
Sat. 40g (199%)
Chol. 252mg (84%)
Carb. 227g (76%)
Fiber 19g (74%)
Sugars 84g
Calcium 826mg (83%)
Iron 12mg (69%)
Magnesium 389mg (97%)
Phosphorus 1294mg (129%)
Potassium 2705mg (77%)
Sodium 1865mg (78%)
Zinc 11mg (76%)
Copper 4mg (190%)
Manganese 4mg
Selenium 110µg
Vit. C 106mg (178%)
Vit. B1 1mg (87%)
Vit. B2 2mg (100%)
Vit. B3 10mg (50%)
Vit. B5 5mg (52%)
Vit. B6 1mg (70%)
Diet. fol. eq. 175µg (44%)
Vit. B12 11µg (190%)
Vit. A 8100IU (162%)
Vit. A1 2105µg
Vit. E 4mg (21%)
Vit. K 33µg
Vit. D 71IU (18%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

Although my fibre figure looks low, it is probably higher as the software doesn't distinguish between wholemeal and white pasta and I imagine the figures it uses are based on white.

I've now looked up the Tolerable Upper Limit Intake per day for Vitamin A and found it is 3000mg so I am within the limits for this. I believe there is some controversy as to what level of vitamin A is too much so intend to do a bit more reading on this subject.

Other than a list of vitamin E rich foods, I don't seem to have any information on vitamin E so that is definitely something I need to look into.

I'm also creating a recipe blog so that I can give the recipes I have used without filling up this blog with recipes.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

30 Day Food Diary Challenge - Day Two

(Yesterday's post has now been updated.)

Today we were visiting my Auntie for most of the day so I only had breakfast and dinner at home. I had:

  • Baked porridge (oatmeal)
  • Orange juice
  • Tea
Mid morning snack
  • Scone with homemade strawberry jam, cream and a strawberry on it.
  • Quiche
  • Coleslaw
  • Potato salad
  • Grated carrot and cheese
  • Tinned peas and sweetcorn
  • Pickled beetroot
  • Tomato
  • Yoghurt with peach, banana and strawberries.
  • Orange juice
  • Tea
  • Orange juice
  • Egg on toast
  • Tea

It probably seems like a small dinner but the mid morning snack and lunch added up to almost 1000 calories and that is excluding the quiche and scone because the software doesn't have nutritional information for them.

Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional facts per serving (daily value):
Calories 1688kcal
Protein 50g (101%)
Total Fat 98g (151%)
Sat. 37g (183%)
Chol. 416mg (139%)
Carb. 162g (54%)
Fiber 17g (68%)
Sugars 58g
Calcium 1033mg (103%)
Iron 7mg (38%)
Magnesium 255mg (64%)
Phosphorus 1222mg (122%)
Potassium 2987mg (85%)
Sodium 1593mg (66%)
Zinc 7mg (49%)
Copper 1mg (40%)
Manganese 3mg
Selenium 59µg
Vit. C 183mg (305%)
Vit. B1 1mg (67%)
Vit. B2 2mg (100%)
Vit. B3 6mg (31%)
Vit. B5 5mg (52%)
Vit. B6 1mg (70%)
Diet. fol. eq. 247µg (62%)
Vit. B12 3µg (52%)
Vit. A 9008IU (180%)
Vit. A1 523µg
Vit. E 13mg (64%)
Vit. K 50µg
Vit. D 86IU (21%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

Interestingly today (when to my mind I ate a lot of fruit and veg) the fat consumed is a lot higher than yesterday. I am also surprised to see that I was actually low on most vitamins and on fibre although I'm glad my vitamin E intake was better today. The low iron content doesn't surprise me since I know that I have to make a deliberate effort to choose high iron foods in my own cooking.

It's very interesting to note that lots of fruit and veg doesn't automatically mean lots of vitamins.

If you decide to join me on the Food Diary Challenge, please leave a comment.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

30 day Food Diary Challenge - Day one

I have been spending quite a lot of time looking at nutrition recently and I thought it would be interesting to record and analyse what I eat each day to see how well I am actually doing rather than just guessing that I'm probably okay. I'll post what I've eaten (and/or am planning to eat) each day along with a nutritional analysis produced by some software I have a free trial of. If I am posting on a subsequent day, I will post-date my post to the day it refers to. I know that the nutritional analysis won't be exact as sometimes it doesn't have an exact match for an ingredient (e.g. when I use homemade chicken stock, it uses figures from canned chicken stock which I imagine doesn't have quite the same nutritional value).

So far today I have had:

  • Apple and sultana porridge (oatmeal to Americans).
  • Glass of orange juice.
  • Cup of tea.
  • Pate on homemade wholemeal sourdough bread.
  • Glass of orange juice.
  • Homemade low sugar marmalade on homemade wholemeal sourdough fruit loaf. (My that's a tongue twister isn't it!)
  • 30g dark chocolate. (I read about a study where 100% pregnant women who ate 30g chocolate did not become anaemic and need iron supplementation whereas 70% of those who didn't have the chocolate needed supplementation. To my knowledge I'm not pregnant but I am anaemic so I figure it's a good idea but I have dark chocolate because it is more tolerable than milk chocolate and contains less sugar.)
I am planning to have:
  • Bean and Spinach Curry (served with mashed potato because we had a mountain of sprouting potatoes so I made a mountain of mash yesterday).
  • Homemade peach yoghurt.
  • Glass of orange juice.

  • 2-3 cups of tea
  • Some kind of snack as yet undetermined (probably cashews, banana loaf or more fruit loaf) but given the current low calorie count I imagine I'll need something - I'll update tomorrow.
Edit: I had everything I had planned except that I wasn't actually hungry enough to have a snack and I also had 1/3 strawberry at dinner. (It was the first strawberry from the garden and there are three of us.) I've updated the nutritional analysis below and also removed the caffeine from the analysis because I drink decaffeinated tea so it is incorrect. I also added in a retinol figure (vitamin A1) so that I can check it isn't too high.

Nutritional Analysis
Nutritional facts (daily value):
Calories 1673kcal
Protein 59g (118%)
Total Fat 48g (74%)
Sat. 27g (135%)
Chol. 195mg (65%)
Carb. 267g (89%)
Fiber 36g (144%)
Sugars 90g
Calcium 791mg (79%)
Iron 16mg (89%)
Magnesium 449mg (112%)
Phosphorus 1484mg (148%)
Potassium 4352mg (124%)
Sodium 821mg (34%)
Zinc 13mg (87%)
Copper 5mg (250%)
Manganese 7mg
Selenium 81µg
Vit. C 176mg (293%)
Vit. B1 1mg (67%)
Vit. B2 2mg (118%)
Vit. B3 14mg (70%)
Vit. B5 6mg (60%)
Vit. B6 1mg (50%)
Diet. fol. eq. 564µg (141%)
Vit. B12 20µg (333%)
Vit. A 20342IU (407%)
Vit. A1 3834µg
Vit. E 3mg (15%)
Vit. K 221µg
Vit. D 155IU (39%)
Exported from Shop'NCook Pro 3.4.3 (

Things which jump out initially (aside from the low calorie count) are the low vitamin E and D count and the high vitamin A count.

I've estimated how many servings I'll get out of the curry so updating that after it is served may affect the calorie count (and of course other figures). I should add that I am aiming to maintain my weight as I am not currently underweight which is why I am concerned about low calorie count.

I'm not too concerned about the vitamin A as I think it's mainly the stuff from the pate which is retinol with the remainder being beta-carotene. The body only converts beta-carotene into retinol if it is required and it is retinol rather than beta-carotene which can cause problems in large quantities. I also don't eat pate every day so this may be an anomaly.

The vitamin D isn't a concern either as I know that the body can produce this in the presence of sunlight and since I have a slight tan I figure I must spend enough time outdoors for that.

Vitamin E I don't know so much about so I'll have to check what information I have in my nutrition file (which is mainly filled with things I've printed from the FSA, Danish food databank and the USDA) and keep an eye on how it varies. I believe it is a fat soluble vitamin which means that unlike vitamin C and the B vitamins it is stored in the body so it is not so important to have the "right" amount every day.

If you want to join in, you can get a 45 day free trial of Shop n Cook by visiting the url given with the nutritional analysis. It is very easy to use and I can get a full nutritional breakdown with far less work than it used to take me just to calculate iron content.

For my spammers

In case you hadn't noticed, comments are now moderated because of your spam. If you wish you may continue to post spam comments but they will never be published so you are wasting your time.

Monday, 21 June 2010

My Web Wanderings (weekly)

  • tags: Vaccines, health

  • tags: Vaccines, health

  • NB: Although this website states that many vaccines still contain thimerosal (a mercury compound), this is not the case in the UK.

    tags: Vaccines, health

  • I've been using this website to find out the ingredients of different vaccines.

    tags: Vaccines, health

  • tags: Birth

    • The Hunting and Gathering MAMA.

      Mar 30, 2010
      by Katy

      If you want to start a fight at the next party you go to, bring up birthing politics.  Hospital or Home.  Drug-Free or Epidural.  Birth Tub or Stirrups.  But not so long ago, there was only one option.  It was called, Your Doing This Now, Whether You Want To or Not.

      I have no problem stating my personal preference for a natural, drug-free, non-hospitalized birth.  The scientific and statistical evidence supports that, if all goes well, this is the ultimate in “healthy” experience for the mother and child.

      One of the biggest supporting arguments of natural and non-hospital births is that the birthing process is a instinctual and natural event, happening for hundreds of thousands of years without outside aid.   This is true.  But there are many additional things the hunter-and-gathering mother were also doing that prepared the delivering muscles much better.

      Looking back a hundred years, the birth-induced mortality rates (of both baby and mother) of non-industrialized civilizations were more favorable than rates of births happening in city areas.  Medical journal articles from the 1800s were looking at this fact back even back then!  Why were women who lived in the larger, industrialized areas of London having such a difficult time birthing than Gypsy women and Tinkers?  The populations without medical intervention fared better (less death and cranial deformity in babies and less death or injury in the mothers) than those with the advantages of surgeons, antibiotics, and a more sterile environment.  Why?

    • The answer back then, and still quite relevant today, had to do with movement habits, specifically the quantity of walking done per day as well as the practice of squatting to use the restroom.  The squatting action, preferably done since birth, creates a wide pelvic outlet (the space where the baby passes out).  Starting from childhood, squatting to bathroom aids in the ideal ossification (bone shaping) of both the pelvic bones and the sacrum.  The wider the outlet, the safer and easier the baby passes through.  Squatting also lengthens the muscles of the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, and psoas.  When these muscles are tight, they can actually reduce the movement of the pelvic bones and increase stress and pressure on the baby (and mama) during delivery.  Back then and today still, the populations of people who move a lot (and I don’t mean exercise an hour per day) have better, easier births.
  • tags: Vaccines, health

  • tags: Nutrition, health

  • tags: Vaccines, health

  • tags: home-education

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, 14 June 2010

My Web Wanderings (weekly)

  • tags: health

  • Five women told to abort due to prenatal diagnosis of conditions which would cause them to die before or soon after birth. Two babies died shortly after birth, one died at 19 months and the other two are now 5 and 8 years old. Not one of them regrets their decision not to abort. I pray that if I were ever in a similar situation I would be able to be the shining example that they are.

    tags: pro-life

    • Every day, parents like Illion and her husband hear dire news couched in clinical terms like "incompatible with life," "no quality of life," and "termination of pregnancy." Many mothers abort but some don't, not knowing whether their children will lead fairly normal lives, live with serious illnesses, or die soon after birth. Despite the uncertainty and fear, these mothers often have no regrets that they chose life for their children, no matter how brief. Here are the stories of five who continued their pregnancies despite medical advice to the contrary.
    • Almost every doctor the Illions saw pressured them to abort. Doctors said their son would be a vegetable, disfigured, never talk or walk, on a respirator. Doctors even called the Illions selfish for refusing to abort or, as they put it, "explore other options."
    • Today, Cole is a healthy and happy 5-year-old. "Even when he's in the hospital getting surgery he smiles when he wakes up. You look at him smile and everything is ok," Illion said. Although he lags behind in areas like speech and potty training, he is otherwise a normal child.
    • JoAnne Cascia's baby Gabriel was diagnosed at 20 weeks of gestation with Thanatophoric Skeletal Dysplasia, a lethal form of dwarfism that affects the ribs, making them too small for lung development. The doctor advised Cascia to abort, and when the Metuchen, N.J., mother called a clinic, the counselor told her that because it was so late in the pregnancy the baby would "not be intact" after removal. In other words, he would be taken out in pieces.

      "When I heard that, I just about dropped the phone. I thought, 'I just can't believe people choose to do this to a baby!'" At that moment she realized: "I'm his mother. My job is to protect him."

    • Cascia's doctor dropped her case: "I went four weeks without having a doctor at all because nobody wanted to touch me." She eventually found a medical group at St. Peter's, a Catholic hospital that specialized in high-risk pregnancies.

      Cascia gave birth to Gabriel on Feb. 24, 2004. He lived for 90 minutes. Hospital staff gave out wristbands for easy access and brought in muffins and coffee to ensure that her 35 family members and friends could spend as much time as possible with him.

    • "It wasn't a morning filled with grief and mourning and tears. The sadness came later. Everyone was feeling blessed that they even had an hour and a half with him."
    • in June 2001, Rafie sat in a doctor's office, struggling to deal with the diagnosis that her unborn child, a girl already named Celine, had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome: Only the left side of the heart was forming.
    • She dismissed abortion: "Even if my baby were not going to survive, I would want to spend whatever time I could with her and meet her at the end."

      But a specialist soon discovered that Celine had been misdiagnosed; she had Right Heart syndrome, a condition that offered slightly higher chances of life.

    • Celine underwent three surgeries—at 6 days, 9 months, and 18 months—to "replumb her heart," ensuring that it could function on one ventricle. Now 8 years old, she lives her life "full speed ahead."

      Rafie had already been active in the pro-life community. In 2002, she launched, a website that offers encouragement and resources to parents who are faced with a serious prenatal diagnosis.

    • Liz Ledoux of Farmington, N.H., learned of her baby's medical condition at 26 weeks, when doctors told her that baby Cynthia had Exencephaly—her brain was forming outside of her skull. The doctor pressured her to terminate and said that her daughter would "look like a frog."

      "It was not my choice to make," she said. "We knew that the condition she had was not 'compatible with life.' But in my mind, it was up to God when she returned to Him."

      Cynthia, born on Dec. 5, 2009, died that day after living for 90 minutes. "My daughter did not look like a frog," Ledoux said. "She was beautiful . . . the smile, and the perfect little fingers, and the perfect little toes. . . . Was it difficult? Absolutely. But I don't regret it. I had—in my eyes—one of the most beautiful babies in my arms for an hour and a half."

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, 31 May 2010

My Web Wanderings (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

What To Say To Someone Who Has Had An Abortion?

One of my oldest friends defriended me on Facebook.


Because I support the Paper Baby Campaign.

First she sent me a message saying:
"Have you actually spoke to women who have had to make the devastating decision to interrupt a pregnancy to save a terminally ill baby for further suffering. Well I guess not? This campaign is absolutely shocking. I hope you are enjoying being at home with your healthy child, judging other women who have had to make a heartbreaking decision."
Obviously it takes time to give a proper response to something like that but I replied with the following:

Dear Xxx,

I will write a longer reply later but I wanted to write a brief reply so that you know I am not ignoring you. From what you wrote I can only assume that the scenario you described is your own. If that is the case, I feel sadness that you were placed in a position where you felt that this was your only option and I pray that God will heal the scars of the associated trauma you must have endured.

I do not judge anyone - I leave that to God and I know that abortion frequently harms the mothers physically and or mentally too. Only 1% of abortions in the UK are performed because of a risk that the child would be handicapped - the remaining almost 200 000 are for social reasons.

I will write you a more detailed reply within the next week.


Unfortunately it seems I know absolutely nothing and what I said would have made no difference at all. I received a reply and was defriended and blocked. Since I have been given no opportunity to reply I am going to post the final message here along with my own responses. (NB Obviously if I had been able to reply directly to my friend I would have taken more time to word things nicely than I have here and have avoided being antagonistic at all.)

I am not going to go on anymore. You have no understanding of the depth of this issue or any idea of the range of outcomes of prognosis of such babies.

Oh. So I haven't spent countless hours reading about abortion, the methods used and the reasons for abortions. I haven't read the Bible where God the creator tells us that human life is sacred and should not be destroyed. I haven't read the stories of people who chose not to abort even when their child would not survive. I haven't read about children who were born with nothing wrong with them even though they weren't even supposed to reach full term.

I am not talking about babies with a "risk of handicap" I am talking about conditions such as Tripolody or anacephely [sic] (no brain) (there are many others) where the chance of your baby being born alive are zero.

When I spoke of the "risk" of "handicap" I was referring to ground E of the Abortion Act 1967 which allows for abortion on grounds of the baby having "such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped".

I didn't know what "Tripolody" is and Google brings up very few results. I did find this though:
So the name of what the defect was Tripolody .. Very rare they say every woman has a one percent chance of that happing in every pregnancy.. They said how it happened is 2 sperm got into one egg and it didn't split properly.. Which now kinda makes since considering now that I know my progesterone has been so low.. Progesterone is what helps with the development of that process.. Anyways They gave me three choices...1) have an abortion 2) get induced and have him early or 0 I can Die.... So needless to say I was beside myself.. I chose to get induced because I don't believe in abortion for my self, and I knew he would never even take a breath and I didn't want to die eiether... He was born (stillborn) on March 20th, 2003 61/2 inch.. long and 3 ounces.... To me he was perfect, he didn't seem to have anything wrong with him.... He was Beautiful.... Anyways let me change the subject for a moment cause I could gom on and on about my Jacob...
Anencephaly on the other hand I have heard of. Last year I followed the blog of a mother of a baby with anencephaly. Baby Faith lived outside of the womb for three months.
"I named her Faith Hope. I cherished every moment of the pregnancy and even had a baby shower! I savoured every kick and turn she made inside my growing belly. For five months we hoped and prayed. Then to everyone's surprise, I was blessed with 3 months and 4 days with Faith before she went to Heaven. She was the sweetest little girl... so beautiful and so full of life. I feel so privileged to be her mother.

I created this blog 10 weeks before my daughter was born. The posts are very personal, emotional, brutally honest, and at times ungraceful... but it is my hope that by sharing our story, God will be glorified for all He has done for us. I also hope that this blog will reach other moms out there who are facing the same prenatal diagnosis that I did.

The doctors said that Faith's condition (anencephaly) was "incompatible with life," that she would likely not survive for more than a few seconds or minutes after birth, and that she would never achieve consciousness. They didn't understand how she was thriving for all those weeks... how she was smiling, cooing, crying, eating, breathing on her own, avoiding infection, and responding to her surroundings.

"For man this is impossible; with God all things are possible.
The Story of Baby Faith Hope is one I recommend everyone read.

Certainly a child with anencephaly isn't going to live a long life outside the womb even if they make it that far but to say they have zero chance of being born alive is inaccurate. Whilst I appreciate that Doctors have to be careful of raising false hopes in desperate parents, it sounds like there is some amount of misinformation regarding prognosis which then has an influence on the decision to abort. Whilst I believe abortion is wrong anyway, it makes it even worse when people are choosing to do it on the basis of false information.

Choosing to abort on the basis that the baby will die anyway is essentially euthanasia of the unborn. I believe all human life both born and unborn should be protected and therefore cannot support the euthanasia of anyone regardless of whether they are already born.

The first message mentioned abortion as a means to "save a terminally ill baby from further suffering". I recently read "Human Sentience Before Birth" (A Report by the Commission of Inquiry into Fetal Sentience). The general consensus seems to be that around 12-25 weeks gestation the unborn baby can start to feel pain to some degree. However this is with regard to an outside stimulus being introduced. Can a disability cause pain and suffering to an unborn child? Clearly once they are born this is likely but before birth it is not something I would wish to make a judgement on. However, just as those who have already been born can be given palliative care, so the same care should be extended to the unborn rather than euthanizing them.

The trauma to the mother is immense. And the trauma is not through the interuption of pregnancy but through the loss of a child. With such grave sitations there is no good outcome and there is no right answer. Carrying a child that will die at any point in the womb is absoultely traumatic for the mother also. I know women who have done both -some who have waited for the baby to die and some who have interrupted pregnancy. All have the same outcome -terrible grief and loss for the families.

Yes it is traumatic and the loss of a child is never easy. Abortion does not make that loss any easier. But there are right answers. They are in God's word. (But just because I believe myself to be right on this issue does not mean I think I am better than anyone else - I am still a sinner. A forgiven sinner but still a sinner.) I literally cannot begin to imagine how it must feel to be in such a situation. I have to fight back tears just trying to imagine being in that place and I would never presume to know how it feels. However, just because it such an emotionally traumatic event does not and cannot justify deliberate ending of human life.

The outcome is never a good one. Carrying a baby who will die with everyone asking when you are due and asking how you are preparing for the birth is devastating. Also carrying such a baby can cause harm to the mother as the baby is not well.

If a "good outcome" is a healthy child then yes, the outcome is never good. Here I will again quote Myah (Baby Faith's Mother) as she has more right to comment and does so far more ably than I can:
I miss my baby so much... It's hard to believe that it's been less than six months since the Lord called Faithy home. It seems like it's been so, so long since I last held her. It is hard, but I am so thankful for the 53 weeks that she spent here on earth. That's right, 53 weeks: 40 weeks in my belly and 13 in my arms. One year and seven days. What a blessing! It went by so fast --too fast. God knows I would do it all over again if I could.
With regard to carrying the baby to term I refer to Myah's post "Carrying to Term".

And your comment about abortions harming the mother with regards to terminations for medical reasons is compeltely inaccurate. The process is the same as the normal risks of delivery.

The comment I made was "I do not judge anyone - I leave that to God and I know that abortion frequently harms the mothers physically and or mentally too." I did not refer specifically to abortions for "medical reasons" but to abortions in general. I was also unaware that having a disabled baby provides protection against the mental and physical harm from abortion that those mothers who abort healthy babies frequently endure. The following is the result of an abortion - I don't think a delivery would have had the same effect:
Another moment brought to you by abortion...

Today at around 3:08 PM in Florida, you would have found me pulled over on the side of the road with my face buried in my hands as I gasped for oxygen and very audibly sobbed, because my very challenging son, who was diagnosed with autism at 8 and who had just had yet another public episode, innocently asked me if I wished I would have aborted him.

I was not prepared for this question. It felt like the whole of my viscera had been pulled through my navel in one neat tug, and I started weeping inconsolably. Not because there was any truth to his statement, but because I killed his brother or sister, my first child, in a second trimester abortion.

I was crying, my startled four-year-old was crying, my son was confused...

This is where we are 12 years later.

Abortion is forever.
This was taken from The S.I.C.L.E. Cell.

Contrast this with the birth story of Gabriel - I know which experience I'd rather have if forced to choose one of them.

I couldn't give a detailed list of facts and figures with regard to the risks but offhand I know that abortion increases risk of breast cancer. A quick google of "post abortion syndrome" should suffice to show that many women suffer psychologically after having one.

I do not want any more replies. I will not be contacting you again.

Yes. Defriending and blocking me on Facebook has made that pretty clear. I could write a letter to you but would there be any point?

As a women this is one of the worst things to be faced with and these kind of campaignes are cruel and insensitve.

I agree that it is probably one of the worst things one can be faced with. As I say, I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like knowing that your unborn child will not survive very long after birth if they even survive that far in the first place. I appreciate that unlike the other 99% of mothers who have abortions the women in this situation are aborting a wanted baby and that they genuinely think they are doing what is best. This does not however remove the fact that abortion is wrong. My conscience does not allow me to sit back and say, "Okay I'll ignore the fact that 200 000 unborn babies are killed every year - the feelings of 2000 mothers per year are far more important than the lives of those babies." I do try to be sensitive to those who may have had abortions but ultimately destruction of human life is more important than hurting somebody's feelings. It is not cruel to oppose abortion or to voice that opposition. It would be cruel and insensitive to show you (or indeed anybody who hasn't consented) pictures of aborted babies or to describe to you some of the methods used in abortions but I do not do that.

And until people are faced with such a situation they never know what they would do.

You are right - I do not know what I would do in that situation. However right and wrong are not defined by what I do. I hope I am never faced with such a situation but even if I were in that situation and chose abortion, that would not make it right. It would illustrate how much of a sinner I am and how much I need God's grace and mercy. But abortion would still be wrong.

My actions do not define right and wrong.

God does.

So the question still remains: What to say to someone who has had an abortion?

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