When does this woman earn a living I hear you ask? Or perhaps you don't ask. By the way, if you feel like leaving any comments I would be glad to hear from you. So far there haven't been any. I don't know whether this is because nobody is out there reading this, or whether you have nothing to say. I am sure it is neither reason-perhaps you're just shy. I am interested in you. Really.
Well, the fact is that I am taking time off work to get myself healthy. For a month or two now I have been suffering with unexplained pain. I am waiting for a scan and using this unusual and wonderful opportunity to do some of the things I never have time for.
Eating well needs good planning, and when I am short of time, I don't know about you, but the plan goes out of the window. I end up eating something fast and convenient or eating out. Both options can compromise good intentions. I'm hoping to lay down some good habits now while I am taking a break, which will withstand the normal pace of life at work.
An easy way to plan is to make an outline of the things I am going to eat over the next week. I do this each Friday. On Saturday I buy fresh fruit and vegetables and stock up midweek. Most of my meals rely on fresh produce, so a couple of shopping trips a week are essential. I often make three main meals with extra portions which will last me all week. For example, if I am making a chicken bean stew, I make a whole pan at the weekend, use it for two meals then freeze a third for a quick reheat option.
Salads need to be made on the day of course, but I can pull a few leaves at a time from the greenhouse, and even pick just the right number of tomatoes so there is no waste. The salad will stay fresh enough in a container if I prepare it early in the day.
Saturday or Sunday has become baking day, where I prepare my stock of sugar free banana bread, made with rye or buckwheat flour, or sugar and gluten free chocolate brownies. Mostly when I give in and eat the wrong thing, it is when I am with other people who are having sweet cake or biscuits. If I have something naturally sweet I have prepared earlier I don't feel I am missing out. When I have shared my baking with friends they have been amazed by how tasty sugar free baking is.
I don't worry too much about occasional slips when eating out. I have the philosophy that sustainability is better than being very strict for a short time then giving up altogether when it doesn't work. I have found that most mainstream cafes and restaurants do not cater too well for the food hourglass type of approach. I often end up eating salad with no bread, which can be a little unsatisfying, but then I tend to keep a mini snack box with me to top up, this may contain a few walnuts, raw vegetable sticks, fruit or oatcakes. Eating out in the evening can be easier, there is nothing nicer than a beautiful salmon fillet with lots of green veg in place of potato. I treat myself to a good red wine or a coffee with a shot of spirit in place of sweet desert and actually do not now miss the cloying sweetness of refined sugar.