Two Fit Chicks Episode 14 – Intuitive Eating

For your aural pleasure!We're talking about intuitive eating in today's new episode of Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone.

Intuitive eating has a gazillion aliases, such as mindful eating, non-dieting, conscious eating or just plain Eating In A Way That Doesn't Make You Want To Stab People.

I read a lot of Intuitive Eating books about four years ago and thought, "Well, derr" because I was going great guns and full of smug at the time. And then when things went off the rails I started re-reading in panicky, "Show me the holy grail" fits of desperation.

Carla is a veteran intuitive eater – she was at it for years, intuitively, before she realised it had a fancy name. Her calm attitude to eating convinced me to revisit the concept and now I'm working like a mofo to forge a healthier relationship with food. I thought I was there a few years ago, but clearly I have more work to do. That is a giant beast of a post for another day.

In the meantime, if you're a serial dieter and wonder if there can ever be an end to the struggle – why not give this episode a listen. Carla shares how she became a mindful eater, I talk about my experiments with it, then we share some tips and ideas for getting started.

» Check out Episode 14 over at the Two Fit Chicks website

Who are your self esteem heroes?

Recently I linked to Already Pretty, a fantastic blog by Sally McGraw about personal style and body image. Last Monday she wrote yet another brilliant post about her self esteem heroes.

It's easy to focus on and amplify the memories of those who have given your self-esteem and/or body image a kicking. Family members remarking on sturdy thighs, teachers pointing out chubbiness (so professional), or girls who called you a "red-headed slut" in high school. Despite having red hair themselves.

(Actually that last one made me chortle at the time and still does two decades later!)

Sally wrote:

But let’s talk instead about the quiet heroes of your self-esteem. Who in your life makes you feel gorgeous, powerful, perfect? Which friends and family members are quick with a compliment, or eager to re-route the conversation when you start tearing yourself down?

Such a cool idea. Here's my list – incomplete for sure, but it's been awhile since posts. No time for dilly-dallying!

  • Colin the Kickboxing Coach – I wrote previously that he deserves a knighthood for services to self esteem. He makes everyone in the team feel welcome, from prize fighter to prize wussbag. Whenever I'm about to punch myself in the noggin with frustration he'll pop up and say, "nice kick" or "good work, keep going!" and that you suck! voice is sent back in its box.
  • Kellie the Zumba Lass – I'm an anonymous number in an insanely crowded classes – she wouldn't know me if she tripped over my beet-faced sweat-basted semi-conscious body. But her classes make me feel so freakin' alive – I'm always there, fully present with shaking booty. Afterward I'm giddy and can't shut up about it all day.
  • Sister Rhi – We dissect our lives in a weekly phone debrief, lifting each other up and laughing at ourselves and our misadventures.
  • Carla – Our podcast calls leave me buzzing and determined to make the most out of my days. Carla makes me see how important it is to be passionate about what you do and not let other's opinions stop you.
  • Dr G – He is very economical with his words – a man of action to my slug with verbal diarrhea.

    "Your eyes look especially blue today" I'll say.

    "Yeah," comes the reply, "Blue EYE BAGS!".

    Or: "You're looking very tan lately, Doc!"

    "It's just dirt!"

    But he makes me feel loved and happy to be alive by making me laugh – half the time he doesn't even realise he's said something funny, which makes it even better. He also knows when to give a hug and can tell the difference between carefree joke and joke-to-disguise-inner turmoil.

    He also always remembers when it's Haircut Day so he can say, "I like your 'do!" when I arrive home even though he can't really see a difference.

How about you?

How to grow pea shoots

I've been busting to tell you about the quickest, cheapest and easiest-to-grow salad leaf ever – pea shoots!

Pea shoots are simply the young leaves of a pea plant. Normal garden pea plants take months to grow and require more space and effort that my garden and enthusiasm currently allow. But pea shoots take just 2-4 weeks, and with minimal effort you are rewarded with delicate, juicy and tender leaves and tendrils.

home grown pea shoots

I'd seen pea shoots in restaurant dishes or in expensive plastic bags at the supermarket and thought they must be a bit posh. But when the most excellent Alys Fowler recently demystified them on her show The Edible Garden, it looked so foolproof I had to give them a bash. She has red hair and you have to trust your own kind.

You start with a bag of ordinary old dried peas from the supermarket. This 500g bag cost about 60p and I've sowed six batches from it already.

dried marrowfat peas

If you're lucky you might come across these daggy Leo brand dried peas, just like the ones Alys used on her show. These were 51p for 250g so you are paying for the retro packaging.

Leo Dried Peas

Grab a container of choice and some potting compost (potting mix as they call it in Australia. What do you call it in the US? Is it all the same? Help me, proper gardeners! I guess I mean some nice healthy brown stuff? I use peat-free). You're only after the shoots here so you don't need it to be very deep – I use an inch or two.

Now scatter over some dried peas, then lightly cover them with some more compost. Water them gently – don't get too carried away like I did otherwise the peas will float to the top and you'll be cranky.

sow your dried peas

Leave them outdoors or on a sunny window sill. Water them whenever the soil looks a bit dry. If the sun is blasting hot move them into a shadier spot so they don't wilt. Not much of an issue round these parts 🙂

While you wait for the pea shoots to grow you can observe the loony squirrel across the street that climbs up to a second-floor window ledge then can't figure out how to get down.

stuck squirrel

Honestly he sat there for two hours. At first I thought he was asleep but then I zoomed in on his little face and it was a genuine "how the feck did I get into this mess?" expression. We were just about to head across the street with a ladder when he finally scrambled down.

Squirrel descends

So here's the first batch of pea shoots. I went completely overboard with the dried peas so it was like a pea afro. Once they're an inch or two high you just head outside with your scissors whenever you want a salad and snip off some leaves! Or just stick your face right into the plant and nibble like a rabbit.

Pea afro

They taste best when they're young and crisp – here in Scotland it's taking about two or three weeks. The flavour is delicate and fresh and faintly pea-some. After that the leaves start going a little flimsy.

Uses for pea shoots: Salads (especially when feta is involved!), stir-fries; garnishes for soups. Maybe stick them in those green smoothies. I like just munching a handful of shoots by themselves.


Growing pea shoots is so easy and perfect if you're short on space. They grow in pretty much anything – I'm using old yogurt pots and those dishes that mushrooms often come in – just punch some holes in the bottom for drainage.

So if you love your greenery and resent paying £2 for a plastic bag of weeds down the shops, why not give them a go?

Friday Link Feast #8

Jump World Cup! World Cup! World Cup! What do you mean you don't care for football, it's the World Cup! World Cup! World Cup! Party!

It is not going to be the same this year without my lustbucket headbutting supercrush Zidane but I can't wait to see if a new athletic lad captures my imagination. And of course I hope Australia does alright but I drew Holland in the office sweep so their triumph could mean a mighty £30!

Meanwhile I'm huffy because I pulled my calf muscle at kickboxing, doing a tuck jump. Okay, attempting a tuck jump. I'm just not built for anything plyometrical. I looked in the mirror and noticed I was barely leaving the ground so thought, Must try harder. I leapt up then felt a horrible twiiiing!

I hobbled around yesterday, then felt okay this morning until I was running late for the bus. I stepped off the curb with too much vigour and the calf twiiiinged again. Had to shuffle back home and ask Dr G for a lift to work. Now it hurts like a bastard!

So no Zumba for me tomorrow. I'm pathologically addicted to Zumba at the moment so this is crushing. Why is it whenever I finally get my exercise groove back, I always push too hard too soon!? Boo.

Some links for you today!

Two Fit Chicks Episode 13 – Growing Old Disgracefully

For your aural pleasure!After six weeks in the wilderness, today there is a brand new episode of Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone!

Carla and I chat to Stephanie Dolgoff, author of My Formerly Hot Life about her experiences of changing identity and body image as she gets older. We also tackle some more listener questions on topics including losing weight in a hurry, protein and exercise guilt. We finish up with a spectacular bumper edition of Blogger News!

» Check out Episode 13 over at the Two Fit Chicks website

The Forbidden Eclair

Highlights of the past few weeks:


Kicking off a mission to bake 50 different kinds of bread before I leave this earth.
This is brown soda bread, which is like Bread for Dummies since you just use baking soda – no faffing with yeast. It was bloody beautiful, especially dunked in Reassurance Soup.


Looking after the kids.
It’s still a “shove random things in pots and cross fingers” approach because gardening books and websites just make me scream in confusion after awhile. But it’s all looking green, so rock on!


Watching Scruffy, my new favourite Eating Disorder Pigeon, potter round the yard.
Maybe he got into a brawl or a cat tried to take him out. He was pretty much ignored by the other EDPs…

Scruffy makes a move

… but recently began to pursue a pretty little bird.

Scruffy in love

A week later and they’re inseparable, guzzling seeds and wandering side by side down the rows in the veggie patch. Until Dr G yells out the window, “Oi! Get arf my parsnips!”


Dr G and I also spent a couple of days in Belfast and saw a Metallica gig.

And Dr G ate a chocolate eclair the size of his head.

(I had a custard tart with berries on it but the photo was blurry; hands shaking from anticipation)

Gareth is usually indifferent to sweets so I was surprised when he said, “Oh man, I’m having that eclair!”

“Really?” I said.

“Oh aye. I always wanted to have a chocolate eclair when I was a kid and Mum never let me have one so now I’m going to have one!”

“Dude that’s a slippery slope,” I joked, “I spent years eating all the stuff my mother never let me have when I was a kid and I’m still paying for it!”

He only got halfway through before threw down his spoon in defeat, saying that maybe his Mum had his best interests at heart after all.