Good morning on the first day of this brand spanking new year. I've been up since 7am, how about you? Mind you, I went to bed at nine last night, read for an hour and couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. I'm into another highly entertaining book, more about that later. So, I missed all the fireworks, I'm sure there must have been some, there usually is around here. I watched the fireworks from Australia, hello Australia, and an impressive display it was too. Later, when I put the big computer on I will watch our own firework display in London. But for now, I am back in bed with the little laptop on my knee.
Are you ready for the off? I've been reading all about your plans, your hopes and dreams for the coming year, now it's time to put it all into practice, no more dreaming, the rehearsal is over, this is it. I shall do my best as usual, and I am sure you all will. That's all we can do, our best.
Right, what to talk about first? There are a couple of questions which I will answer in this post. I don't mind if you ask me things, as long as it is not too personal, in which case I will tell you to mind your own business, ha ha.
The questions are about diet, what I eat. Hells Teeth (good name) asks for my recipe for veg curry. That's a difficult one, I don't have a recipe, I make it up as I go along. Not much help I know, but I like to experiment. As long as you have a few basic ingredients you can play around with food and adjust to your liking. So, get some veg, any veg you have, I used packets of prepared veg, ready chopped up. I wouldn't usually buy my veg like this but it was mega cheap, 15p a bag. Start it off boiling in a big pan, not too much water. Then I add turmeric, always turmeric into everything it is good for you, mixed dried herbs, and curry powder. Other things I might add are whole grain mustard, lemon juice, garlic puree, black pepper, veg stock cube, tomato puree, packet sauce mix, tin of beans, frozen peas and sweetcorn, and porridge oats. I add some of these not all of them. I keep tasting as I go along. And that's it basically. Don't get too hung up on proper recipes, if you haven't got some of the ingredients you don't need to rush out and buy them, don't be afraid to use whatever you have.
Next question, and this could drone on into several pages, what do I eat to keep slim, this is from Ruth. She asks if I can detail my meals over a few days. I could but you might find that quite boring. There are a lot of pictures of some of my meals in a link at the top of the page. There is also my food diary, the shopping lists of what I buy. I think the best thing I can do is give you an overall picture of my diet, then if you want more detail I can add that later.
My diet has become more refined as I have got older. I realise now that pigging out on stuff I like the taste of does me no good at all, and by that I mean sweet things that make me feel good. Comfort eating if you like. I went through a phase of chomping through endless chocolate bars, every day in fact. I was busy and didn't have time to get a proper meal, and the sugar kept me going. My weight went up to about 11 stone, my clothes were tight and uncomfortable, but I was pretty fit because I was doing a physically demanding job. Well I thought I was fit, but if I was that weight now I would be totally unfit.
I don't like the word 'diet' at all. If you need to lose weight, don't go on a diet, because the moment you do your mind is constantly focussed on food. Depriving yourself of food that gives you comfort is a sure fire way to make you depressed. It's a vicious circle, you get fed up so you eat, and eat all the wrong things because you want to get back to feeling good. But what happens, feeling good only lasts for ten minutes or so, then you feel like crap again. Thankfully I learnt how to eat properly, and now I eat for the long term.
Of course some of my thin-ness could be down to my genes. I take after my fathers side, he was small and thin though God knows why, he drank like a fish. I can't remember seeing anyone overweight on my fathers side though. My sister took after my mothers side and she always had a struggle to keep her weight down, especially after having two children. But she managed to lose it through sensible eating, and is able to maintain her ideal weight now.
I am going all around the houses here to answer a simple question, but I feel some clarification is needed into sensible eating habits, as it is the key to reaching and maintaining your ideal weight. I am of the mind that you can eat almost anything, in moderation, and it's the moderation bit that people have the biggest problem with, what exactly is moderation? What some people see as normal, other would see as extreme. I eat large amounts of vegetables, because luckily I like them, and it has been proven that they are good for you. People who say they hate vegetables are really depriving themselves of the most essential part of their diet. At this stage I must point out that I am not an expert on nutrition. I don't want a debate on here about the composition of food, the calories, fat content, carbs, protein, mono unsaturates, fibre, polyunsaturates, or what effect deprivation of any of these elements will do to my body. There are still a lot of people out there who believe you need to eat meat, again this has been proven not to be the case, so no debate on veg v carnivore.
So on a sliding scale, what do I eat? Probably more than 50% of my diet is vegetables and fruit, may even be up to 75%. I eat vegetables every day, and try and get a combination of green leaf and root. Vegetables go through pretty quickly, the goodness is absorbed into your body and the waste jettisoned at regular intervals. Meat and processed food hangs around much longer and gives a bloated feeling.
What next? I eat wholemeal bread not white, maybe a couple of slices a day, toast or a sandwich. I eat bran flakes or porridge for breakfast. Sometimes with fruit, banana, sultanas, stewed apples, tinned peaches.
I never fry food, always grill it. I never boil veg, always steam it, or make a stew or soup, or raw in a blender. I very rarely make sauces, can't be bothered to mess a pan up and I don't want to smother the taste of the food itself. I never make gravy, even the veggie kind. I never have a pudding after a meal. The meal fills me up, I don't need any more. I sometimes have a pudding, maybe creamed rice, tinned fruit, yogurt, in the middle of the day, for elevenses, or an afternoon snack, if I feel peckish.
I've gone off on a tangient here, what else do I eat? I eat a bit of fish, usually frozen salmon portions if they are on offer. If they are not on offer or reduced, I don't have them. Very ocassionally prawns, but only if reduced. I eat some dairy, cheese is my weakness and I have to be careful not to over indulge. I eat yogurts, but none of the sickly sweet puddings in small plastic pots.
I eat brown rice and wholemeal pasta, cous cous, different types of beans, tinned mainly. I buy the ocassional ready meal, but only if it is reduced or on offer, and keep it as a standby in case I am too busy to cook.
Right down at the bottom of the list is treats, and what one person's definition of a treat is, maybe not the same as another persons. I have treats, I won't deny it, but for me a treat is not to be eaten every day. I have to limit how many treats I buy, because my will power is not very good once I get them home. My will power kicks in at the supermarket, I bypass all the aisles where there are sweets, cakes, biscuits, crisps, and fizzy pop. In my mind these are not food. I've had a few treats over this holiday period, but now it's back to normal. I must say though that there has been some horrible rumblings coming from my stomach over the last few days, I know I should not have had that tub of fresh cream, or that tub of trifle. Nice at the time but they have done me no good at all. Yuk, I feel sick thinking about it. Time to get back to healthy eating, don't want my weight creeping back up again. I'm happy with my eight and a bit stone. I'll start posting a bit more about my eating habits, if anyone is interested. Lunch time. Toodle pip.
PS. Before I go, thank you so much for your New Year good wishes. I feel chuffed that you choose to read my blog. Thank you for your comments.
Painting my WHY I TEACH
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