Thursday, 20 January 2011

Amazon Delivery :)

After waiting in all day yesterday for the British Gas man not to turn up, this morning it felt like the doorbell was ringing non-stop! First my Grandma arrived with an offering of lunch in exchange for me teaching her how to use her mobile phone (after everyone else in my family had lost patience!!) and then within 10 minutes of her arriving, a delivery man came with our Amazon delivery, and the British Gas man finally turned up, phew! The Amazon delivery was mainly Graphic Design books for Liam, but there were a couple of things for me...I'll talk about them later...first the food I've eaten today!

Breakfast...porridge...delicious! :-D I got a bit stressed last night when Liam came home from the shops with loads of junk foods (expensive chocolate biscuits, chocolate trifle pots and the dreaded Nutella), none of which I ate because I got in a strop...sorry Liam!! Anyway, overnight I decided I would treat myself to a spoonful of Nutella on my porridge...but when I came to make my porridge after Liam had left for uni this morning, I discovered he'd hidden it to "save me from myself"!!!! It seems I made up for the lack of Nutella by topping my porridge with everything else in sight! Porridge made with mashed banana and cinnamon in, topped with dark chocolate drops, blueberries, golden syrup and peanut butter...

loving the sunshine we've had over the last couple of days!

this was so good! I haven't had golden syrup in ages...was very sweet but divine, so glad I couldn't find the Nutella...this was much nicer! :)

So for lunch, Grandma had brought a salmon and prawn bake from M&S...basically a 'posh' fish pie with but with sliced potatoes. Luckily I cooked some peas to go with it as by the time we split it between me, Grandma and the baby there wasn't much to go around! I actually had half of it which was the "correct" portion size, but still looked tiny to me!

this wasn't great if I'm honest, no nicer than a standard ready meal, and no where near as nice as fish pie I can make myself! Still, a promise is a promise, and I spent the next 1.5 hours trying to teach Grandma how to send and receive simple text messages! I think she finally got it...ish...I'll see if she still remembers when I see her on Sunday!

Mid-afternoon I found the Nutella jar - Liam had hidden it behind his gardening gloves on top of the (un-used) table top dishwasher! Oh dear...

I ate about half the jar and didn't even enjoy it! Kept it on the dining table away from me, but kept going back for another, and another, and another spoonful! It was way too sickly sweet and left a gunky feel on the roof of my mouth - I much preferred the substitute sugar laden porridge this morning...when will I learn!

As mentioned, a couple of things I'd bought from Amazon arrived today...

Paul McKenna's "I Can Make You Thin" and Jillian Michaels "30 Day Shred" DVD ... I will be slim and toned by my wedding, hopefully achieving more natural/intuitive eating along the way!! Has anyone read/watched either of these? Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to start reading the book until after the Nutella incident!!

I like the basic principles in "I Can Make You Thin":
  • Eat when hungry
  • Eat what you want to eat, not what you think you should eat
  • Take the time to enjoy every mouthful
  • Stop when full
Not sure how easy it will be to take time over my food (he recommends putting your cutlery down between each mouthful) when baby is around, but I will give it a go! Also need to override my "must clear my plate" mentality! It seems to make sense though, and hopefully will "allow" me to enjoy my food I like without feeling guilty :)

I decided to give the principles a try with dinner - pork&apple sausages, mashed potato, onion gravy and savoy cabbage...

I made sure to put my cutlery down between each mouthful (despite the baby screaming with tiredness through most of the meal, pour Liam was sat next to him this evening!) and really taste the food. To be honest, I didn't actually enjoy it as much as I thought it would - the mash was too watery, the cabbage a bit tasteless and the sausages had an odd texture. Still nice, but it didn't quite live up to the expectations I have in my head of this meal. That's the problem with family life though - sausage & mash is one of Liam's favourites so we will still have to eat this sometimes, I can't always eat exactly what I want. I left some of the mashed potato but ate all the sausages and cabbage...

I didn't feel full whist eating as such, but I did start to enjoy the food less a couple of mouthfuls before I stopped eating. I kept eating because I wanted to finish the sausages and cabbage - my favourite aspects of the meal. MISTAKE! About 5 minutes after I'd finished eating, I felt very full and bloated, a feeling which has so far continued for the rest of the evening, not nice. I should have stopped when I started to notice the lack of hunger...there will be other sausages and cabbages!! Looking back, I regularly feel full and bloated after my evening meal especially, just haven't really taken much notice of it before...need to start listening to my body!

I really do like the concepts of Paul McKenna so will continue to follow this. Tomorrow I get to choose what I really want for dinner as Liam is at work - at the moment I fancy a margarita pizza topped (by me) with roasted peppers and goats cheese, but I'll wait until tomorrow afternoon before going shopping to see if I change my mind!

30 Day Shred... I've heard that you really ache for the first few days of this, so I'm going to wait until Sunday to try it - I can already barely walk by the end of my full day working on Saturday, so don't think it would be helpful to be in pain before my shift even starts!!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Pearl Barley Risotto

Whilst I have loved eating Yeo Valley's apple flapjack yoghurt for the last couple of days, this morning I felt the need for porridge. I decided to incorporate both the yoghurt and the porridge oats for an apple inspired bowl :) This is what went into the bowl with the oats and milk (reducing my usual amount of milk as put about 50g yoghurt into the mix)...

So 40g oats, 200ml milk, 50g yoghurt, 100g apple slices and quite a lot of cinnamon...

I've never tried tinned apple before, let alone in porridge. Verdict is I prefer tinned peaches and tinned pear, but the apple version was still good, and an easy way to get extra fruit into my diet :) I topped it with the rest of the yoghurt and some sultanas, to go along with the flapjack theme...

porridge looks so much prettier than my recent breakfasts! Something was missing though...I gave in and added a blob of peanut butter...

yum, everything most things taste better with peanut butter! :)

Baby had been napping whilst I ate my breakfast (we'd been awake since 6am, yawn!), I had to wake him to take him to his one year check with health visitor, can't believe he's grown up so fast! He's on 91st centile for height and just above 75th centile for weight...little big muncher! He was born at 11lbs 3oz though so not particularly surprising!! Poor little guy hates being dressed/undressed so wasn't too impressed at being weighed naked, especially when he'd just been woken up!

Back home and time for lunch. We'd popped in to Tesco on way home and I'd been so tempted to buy a big jar of Nutella to fall into...was literally hovering by the shelf for ages trying to tear myself away! Managed to resist though so treated myself to some ham and smoked cheese instead which, with the leftover egg from yesterday, made up my lunch...

Yummy and filling, I made it into egg mayo and cheese roll-ups :)

Mid-afternoon, 3 Thorntons chocolates slipped into my mouth, whoops!! Plus a couple of skinny lattes to try to beat the tiredness!

This evening's dinner was pearl barley risotto, a really simple tasty recipe that can easily be adapted to whatever food you have in really!

Pearl Barley Risotto
(serves 3-4)
  • 170g pearl barley (or more/less depending on appetites)
  • carrots (I used 3)
  • onions (2)
  • leeks (2)
  • mushrooms (I used about 200g)
  • 1-2 tsp oil
  • approx 425ml stock (or boiling water + stock cube in my case!)
  • Plus any extras - ham/chorizo/tofu/extra veg etc all work well with this, or it is delicious without any extras

First, prep the veg (or in my case get Liam to do all the chopping!!) - carrots and onions finely diced, leeks and mushrooms sliced...

next, soften the leeks, carrots and onions with some oil in a large pan/casserole dish for about 5 minutes over low heat...

then add the mushrooms and fry for a couple of minutes...

before adding the pearl barley...

I stirred this through and then at this stage I added 90g of shredded ham hock - one of the freebies Liam got from work on Christmas Eve that then went into the freezer :)

To be honest, when I made this pearl barley risotto in the past, I didn't add any meat. I said at the time that it didn't need it as the vegetables give a lovely flavour, and the ham hock didn't even add anything to the dish so next time I would go back to it being meat-free.

After mixing everything through I added the stock - 425ml of boiling water and one stock cube...

bring to the boil and then cover with lid...

lol, pointless photo!! Apart from for the big reveal (!) - after 45 minutes of simmering on a low heat, it should look like this...

this is so yummy...

Liam commented that the pearl barley looks like sugar puffs/puffed wheat, but we were all agreed that this was delicious :) made enough for my portion (above), a slightly bigger portion for Liam, a smaller portion for daughter and 2 baby sized probably enough for 3 normal adult portions!

Today has been a really good day. However major chocolate cravings struck after putting the children to bed...I made the mistake of sending Liam out to Spar, and this is what he came back with for me!

all eaten whilst writing this blog...ooops!! Need to convince Liam to only bring me one thing back in future - at least that would limit the damage! Or go myself so I can choose what I get - he likes to bring me a 'choice' back but I inevitably end up eating it all!!

Monday, 17 January 2011

A Good Start...

Major deja vu but I'll write it anyway... today started well...

I wanted to be able to enjoy my breakfast for a change...which meant waiting until the baby had his nap - kind of getting fed up of having to do one spoon for me, one spoon for him at every mealtime - he starts squealing indignantly if I dare to deny him "his" share!!! I had a latte to keep me going - he hasn't developed a caffeine habit yet luckily! :-D

Once baby got sleepy I put him in my cot and set about preparing breakfast. I simmered some cranberries with half a chopped apple (other half had gone bad - using up unwanted food!)...

at the same time I boiled a couple of eggs for healthy snacks for later (hoping to help me avoid the biscuit tin!) organised me, see!

Back to breakfast, I had the cooked fruit with some more Yeo Valley apple flapjack yoghurt...this flavour is really yummy, has little cubes of apple in it too :)

unfortunately yoghurt bowls don't look anywhere near as good as porridge bowls! This tasted lovely and fresh, but I missed my porridge today, especially as it was so grey & grizzly outside! Think I've already decided what I'll be having for breakfast tomorrow! :)

The yoghurt did however keep me going til lunch (albeit only a few hours later due to late breakfast). To help make lunchtimes easier, I'd bought a few microwaveable veg pots from Waitrose. Today's was broad beans, leeks and cabbage with minted butter...

I had this with a meat-free "chicken" style fillet on top...

this worked really well, it was lovely to be able to have a hot meal at lunchtime without really any more effort than making a sandwich, yum!

Mid-afternoon I had one of my pre-boiled eggs with a little bit of mayonnaise to dip it in...

I was really looking forward to dinner today - I had meant to cook it last night but due to having to take daughter to local hospital to see out of hours doctor there was no time. Chicken and mushroom casserole with mashed potato and broccoli...

this is actually really easy to make, just takes 1.5 hours in oven but can be pretty much left alone for most of that time. Just brown the chicken thighs with some butter, pour on some stock (not to completely cover, can always add extra water if necessary) and put in oven at 180C for 1 hour. Then add mushrooms and cook for another 30 minutes, whilst doing the mashed potato and broccoli. When casserole is cooked, remove from oven and once no longer bubbling stir in some redcurrant jelly and cream before serving.

Delish! My Mum used to make this for us a lot as a child - one of the few things that both my fussy sisters would eat - I love it! :)

All in all, today had been a good day...until the children were in bed and Liam uttered the words "I really want chocolate" that is. A chunky KitKat for each of us later, and I'm slightly annoyed at myself!

Oh well, still a lot food-wise than a lot of days recently, just got to keep at it :)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Foodie Catch-Up

Apologies for the lack of posting lately - I have had such a busy week! Finished off by an even busier weekend - worked all day yesterday, then today, my "relaxing" day while Liam works - our poor daughter was screaming in pain for 2.5 hours so ended up taking her to the out of hours doctors - ear infection - I'm hoping that the combo of antibiotics and Calprofen will sort her out and allow us to all catch up on sleep tonight! She's desperate to go to school tomorrow so hopefully she'll be feeling better by then! :)

So onto food, I have eaten a lot this week! A lot of it hasn't been photographed so I will just give you the highlights...there were many biscuits, chocolates etc eaten behind the camera!!

Cocoa porridge with chopped tinned pear, topped with chocolate & macadamia nut granola

A big bowl of granola :)

Pumpkin porridge topped with Graze rocky road mix (cranberries, dark chocolate buttons & pecans)

Pear & vanilla porridge topped with Graze milkshake mix (dried banana, dried strawberries & white chocolate buttons)...the white chocolate worked so well with the pear in this one! :)
Huge bowl of pumpkin porridge topped with dark chocolate drops & peanut butter to keep me going at work!

Yeo Valley apple flapjack yoghurt, topped with granola

All delicious, I love my breakfast bowls! :)

I've had some great main meals too...:
Chorizo style sausages, roast sweet potato discs and (burnt!) roasted broccoli

Leftover vegetable lasagne smothered in cheese!

Peanut butter & mashed banana sandwich

Divine prawn Thai coconut noodle soup...this was so good!

Fish finger & chip butty

Fried egg & cheddar sandwich...I've eaten a lot of sandwiches this week - quick & tasty! :)
Special fried rice from local takeaway after tonight's hospital trip...too tired/too late to cook!

Also a not so great meal - after the success of the Innocent Mushroom Risotto Veg Pot, I was expecting great things from the Thai Curry version...

however I was majorly disappointed...

I kept trying to tell myself that it tasted nice etc but I wasn't able to convince myself...I ended up chucking some of this away which is so unlike me...yuck!

I've also eaten lots of snacks this week...the photos below are only the tip of the iceberg!

A latte with (2 in the end!) Nak'd Cocoa Orange bars dipped in!

Lindt chocolate with a touch of sea salt (all 100g of this has been eaten this week!)

Last of the mince pies

Granola & chocolate buttons

Lots of cakes! (in my defense, lol, Liam ate one cheesecake slice & daughter ate one strawberry cream cake, but other 4 were devoured by me!)

Apple turnover & a latte...bliss :)

Innocent smoothie and chocolate brownies...

...topped with Baileys extra thick cream...these brownies are so good, new discovery! :)

I also received a Graze box this week - I used to get them a year ago but stopped as they are quite expensive for what they are, especially when I was eating all the punnets in one day! I was sent an email offering me the first box free and next 3 half price to welcome me back in the New Year...will probably stop again when it goes back to full price but for now I enjoyed receiving some healthy(ish!) goodies. This is what I got this week...

honeycomb flapjack, dark rocky road mix, milkshake mix and sweet as a nut (frosted cashews, honey almonds & honey hazelnuts). The two mixes I used for great porridge toppers, both were delicious :) the honey nuts I had taken to work for my afternoon break on Saturday, but I was so busy that I didn't get a chance to take it (got to leave 15 minutes early instead, yey!) so I still have that one to eat. The honeycomb flapjack was munched as soon as the box arrived...

this was gorgeous...they didn't do flapjacks last time I had Graze boxes...would keep them going if I could get at least 2 of these in each delivery! :-D they tasted just like home made flapjacks, soft and fresh tasting...far better than any shop bought ones I've ever had! Hope I get flapjack again next week! They also do a '7 fruits flapjack' which sounds quite nice. I know I could very easily make my own flapjack, but problem is I then scoff the whole tray - this is nicely portioned to limit the damage!! :)

Lots of yummy food! I think part of why I struggle with how much food I eat is that is so tied up in my identity...I spend so much time planning my next meals! Different food means different things to me - when baby sleeps and I want to relax I'll have a latte for some "me time", when I'm feeling bored/upset I "need" chocolate, when I'm not feeling too great (which seems to be most of the time recently!) I "deserve" some kind of carby food (be it chocolate brownie or cake or pb & banana sandwich!) to make me feel is no longer just about fuelling me and stopping me feeling hungry! Even after the Chinese takeaway tonight...I was stuffed but said to Liam that I felt like I needed to eat something. He was shocked (he hadn't even managed to finish his dinner, much smaller appetite than me!) and I explained it wasn't like I was hungry, just felt like something was missing, there was a gap to fill. Didn't end up eating anything as I was too tired to move, laziness beat emotional "hunger" for this evening anyway!

I went shopping after work and bought some easy healthy food - a couple of pots of microwaveable fresh veg to have with some protein for easy lunches, some parsnips to roast as a tasty snack for example, and some big pots of yoghurts for when I can't be bothered to prep anything. I'm hoping that if there is plenty of healthy food to hand it will stop me reaching for the cakes and chocolate...we'll see!!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...