It’s been a blustery and cold day so far today – but thankfully for the most part the rain has been fleeting, and unusually well timed. It’s graciously let me and my companion for the day move from A to B and back again without intervening and spoiling any of our enjoyment.
This has been particularly welcome because today I’ve been twalking with a friend along a stretch of the Grand Union canal that I haven’t been down in a while. This is mostly because I have mixed feelings about it.
Although previously I’ve walked the entire length of this waterway from Warwick to Knowle it’s been a long time (April 2007 in fact) since I’ve investigated any of the sections between Hatton Locks and the Black Boy pub.
My previous memories of it were not great.
At the time I was doing quite well with weight management and had embarked upon the Cambridge Diet (a meal replacement plan with soups and shakes).
Although I’d lost a lot of weight doing this I wasn’t anywhere near as fit as I am now and struggled with some aspects of mobility and distance. On that day after Hatton the towpath became a muddy bog that was not really very pleasurable to walk along. Although my companion at the time was wonderful company the day’s activity helped me ruin some expensive footwear and will also forever be remembered by me as the day one of my toenails completely fell off.
I won’t even begin to go into the blisters I ended up with.
Today my friend and I joined the canal just outside Chadwick End, and started our (rather chilled) stroll toward our objective – the Toby Carvery, where we’d decided to have a roast dinner before heading back to the car along the same route.
Instantly the paths looked waaaay better than I remembered and I breathed an immediate sigh of relief. I’d worn my sturdy waterproof boots – but thankfully if didn’t look like I’d need them.
The canal looked lovely.
There’s a lot of wildlife still in evidence here – and from the photos that I took ten years ago it seems like all the usual suspects (ducks, swans and moor hens) are still in residence and making the place look all the more alive as they paddle around searching for things to eat.
They’re not the only residents of the canal mind you – and one has to be careful of the vicious predators that lurk in the area, They are clearly prepared to tear a man limb from limb if given half the chance.
As you can see from this shocking evidence we barely escaped alive from this feral monster.
It tried unsuccessfully to lull us into a false sense of security with its endless purring, brushing itself up against our legs, willingness to be stroked and finally it’s masterstroke – allowing itself to be picked up and cuddled before it’s handler on the barge retrieved it and narrowly saved us from it’s jaws of death.
After this close call we continued on our way.
For the most part the route up to just outside Knowle is covered by trees, meaning that there isn’t much visibility of nearby fields – but there was still an occasional creature or two watching us pass by along the canal side as they munched away on their grassy dinners.
After around three miles we were at the top of the Knowle locks and looking admiringly at the little boatyard there just before exiting the canal and branching out onto the main road into town.
When (shortly afterwards) we reached the Toby Carvery we were more than ready for dinner. Neither of us had eaten so far and we were really really looking forward to our meals.
Thankfully whenever I eat here they never disappoint. The food is always delicious, immediately available, well cooked, fresh and most importantly VERY HEALTHY INDEED.
For those SW’ers out there who are wondering if they can eat here and remain on plan – the answer is absolutely YES.
The SW mobile app contains all the syns associated with (almost) all of the foods here and what you can’t find can be worked out via the Toby Carvery online nutrition chart (found here).
Most importantly (I’m sure you’ll agree) roast potatoes are 2 syns each. Personally I’d rather eat these than a Mars Bar any day of the week. I know which fills me up and satisfies me more.
Once we’d eaten our fill (I did go back for some more cabbage, carrots and swede mash after I’d hoovered this up!) we made our way back along the canal towards Chadwick End.
This was a brisker walk for some reason – but not because we planned it to be. We just felt really invigorated by the weather, food, surroundings and the chats we were having.
We were pounding the pavement so swiftly that I almost stepped on a butterfly to be – who thankfully escaped unscathed as nimbly I navigated around him/her and stopped to watch as he/she headed for a spot of lunch in a nearby bush.
Once this furry little fellow was safely out of harm’s way we continued along our route and reached the car just in time before the heavens opened – literally sitting down in our seats just as a downpour started!
Even more surprisingly by the time I’d dropped my friend off and driven back to mine it had stopped completely. I doubt we could have planned it better if we’d had a weather timetable given to us in advance!
So – after a wonderful day out it finally falls to me once more to bore those who continually inflict my blog upon themselves with my food and activity from yesterday.
Tuesday 10th October
- Half jar pickled gherkins 57
- 300g baking potato 231
- 3 tomatoes 45
- Tub of cottage cheese with onion and chive 176
- 240g White kidney beans 150
- 500g 5% fat pork mince 555
- Red pepper 30
- 300g mushrooms 65
- Small onion x2 60
- Bunch of broccoli 40
- Can chopped tomatoes 74
- 100g blueberries 43
- 250g frozen Aldi summer fruits 84
- 250g natural yogurt 154
- Banana 90
- 2 Large apples 140
- 3 tomatoes 45
Total consumed 2039 kcal (no syns used)
- Active/Total calories burned 1477/4181
- Total cardio minutes 60
- Steps/miles walked 25,511/12.59
So far I’m still finding #onplanoctober a real source of motivation – and what’s more a few people have said that it’s been helpful in one way or another to see regularly what I eat, how much exercise I do, and how this will (or will not) relate to weight loss.
For this reason I’ve decided to keep posting at the end of my blog until the end of the month. At the very least it keeps me focused and if people don’t want to read it then that way it’s easily skippable.
I’m hopeful though internet that this week will see another few pounds off on Saturday – and possibly even give me my seventeen and a half stone certificate – but only time will tell.
Today I feel a tiny bit bloated around the middle and I’m not sure why…