Today was a challenge. I had a friend drop by for coffee (which I don’t drink) with cakes (which I do eat). Now this wasn’t such a huge challenge at first as this particular friend is notorious for choosing the most horrendous cakes on the market so I figured resisting was going to be easy. Until the cakes emerged.. Oh My Goodness! These were luxury deep filled strawberry and cream tarts, and when I say deep filled I mean with cream. The pastry was proper buttery confectioners pastry and it was thick and the cream was fresh, whipped deliciousness. I LOVE strawberry tarts. Let’s face it folks we don’t get fat because we don’t like our food do we? I resisted although it nearly killed me.
I don’t want to tell people I’m on a diet, because I’m not, I’m saving my life (I hope) and I just don’t want the fuss and the “oh are you allowed that?” or “we didn’t ask because you’re on a diet” or the “just this one won’t hurt” comments. Like you’d say that to a recovering alcoholic, it’s just the same, that one WILL hurt, that one justifies a whole day of face stuffing because you’ve gone off the path so you may as well make a meal of it now (forgive the pun).
I don’t know about anyone else but the first few days are so important for me to be uber strict, once I’m into the flow, about 4 weeks into it I can allow myself a treat and be sensible with it, but this early it’s only spelling disaster.
Anyway I did it. Trouble was I overslept this morning (that sleeping pattern adjustment is clearly still a work in progress) and the friend popped in around morning tea time and so I had to skip brekkie because of it. NOT GOOD at all.
I have to force myself to eat breakfast and think that my life long hatred and avoidance of that meal is one of the reasons I am fat in the first place and I recognise it as something I need to get right. So I’m kind of off the track. I did have some water and some mint tea and I did have a rye cracker and banana so that I wasn’t totally without food but it wasn’t the hearty breakfast I’ve promised myself.
For lunch I had this:
it may not look too hot but believe me it was delicious. When I’m on a healthy eating trip I tend to put more effort into flavours and composition of my food than usual and I quite enjoy cooking and experimenting. This is a chicken breast and mixed seasonal veg in a light cheese sauce.
The chicken looks a bit dry but it wasn’t at all and I squeezed some lemon juice on it before eating.
I made a marinade for the chicken by finely chopping and mixing together the following:
- 4 cloves of garlic (it was for the whole family and I love garlic and it’s healing and cleansing properties)
- a pinch of sea salt
- a pinch of freshly ground black pepper corns
- A handful of fresh coriander (grow your own it grows like crazy on a sunny windowsill, window box or in a container outside)
- a teaspoon of honey
- a splash of extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 3 freshly squeezed lemons
I poured it onto the chicken breasts, more than enough for 4 large breasts and then left them to marinade for a couple of hours. I cooked the chicken en papillote putting all of the breasts and the marinade into a foil parcel on a baking tray. I cooked it on 180 fan for 10 minutes then opened up the top to get some colour on the chicken and cooked for another 5-10 minutes. It was succulently moist and ultra tasty.
The vegetables were easy peasy. I got a large pan with a bit of water boiling in it, a pinch of sea salt and a good shake of black pepper. I roughly chopped the following and threw it all in together:
- two large leeks
- 8 medium sized carrotts
- half a small swede
- a handful of frozen petit pois
- a big courgette
- half a medium sized white cabbage
then on top of those in the steamer I put:
- half a large cauliflower
- a full medium sized broccoli head
When it was all cooked, still with some crunch in it, I drained the water (kept this to use as veg stock for a soup tomorrow) and placed it all into a large lasagne dish.
While it had been cooking I whipped up a cheese sauce. I made the sauce much more runny than I would usually by reducing the initial roux, so instead of a tablespoon each of butter and plain flour I used half a tablespoon of low fat spread melted in a saucepan and mixed half a tablespoon of plain flour into that. I added 12fl oz of skimmed milk and brought to the boil. I then threw in 2oz of low fat cheese grated.
Now this was without a doubt a poor cousin of my usual cheese sauce made with butter, a pint of whole milk and 8oz variety of hard cheeses. But once it had been poured over the veg and cooked in the oven for 10 minutes on 190 it had done the trick, coated the vegetables with a tasty moistness that was definitely cheesy.
Now my reason for doing this was that I knew if the sauce was runny it wouldn’t stick to the veg and if I dished up with a slotted spoon most of it would be left behind in the dish and not make it to my plate. This worked a treat and I wasn’t tempted to scoop up any more of the sauce as I knew it wasn’t going to be the treat my cheese sauce usually is. But it did taste lovely and once the lovely strong flavours of the veg had mixed with it it was perfectly tasty and felt like a real treat. The kids loved it too.
When we’d finished I poured the remains of the sauce into a measuring jug and between us we’d only actually consumed less than half of the sauce although I know there would be added moisture from the veg but this was a success for me as between the four of us we had effectively only consumed half of the original ingredients so divided by 4 we were not doing too bad.
When I do veg like this I always add a nice English onion and leeks as they just add a fantastic flavour to the other veg and make them more tasty and appealing.
I have to remember that my son is 14 he is growing fast so he needs his protein and calcium and so he doubled up on the chicken and he added a bit of extra grated cheese to his vegetables when they were on his plate.
I don’t want us to all eat different meals, this is about health after all so I want to make things the whole family can eat and if need be just add something to meet individual needs.
No carbs on this meal from potatoes or pasta so another carbless success there.
For dinner I was feeling only moderately hungry, not ravenously starving like I usually am. My body was having sweats and cramps digesting the good stuff all afternoon (really my body is in shock right now because of the sudden influx of good stuff, it’s throwing out those toxins like crazy).
So this was what I went with for dinner, remember I’m doing heavy lunch and light dinner:
It’s not rocket science but it’s delicious, healthy and satisfying. I chopped a couple of bananas, a kiwi and threw on some raspberries and blueberries, then squirted the whole thing with freshly squeezed lemon juice and walloped on a big dollop of fat free natural fromage frais.
If I get hungry later on I’ll have a piece of fruit, I have some delicious looking strawberries in the fridge.
I’m starting to feel more lively already just 2 days in, more energy for sure. I’m having these stomach cramps but they will pass in a couple of days and are a usual feature of the first couple of days for me. I’ve had to run for the loo a couple of times but that’s good, exercise is good and I’ve even used the upstairs one to get a bit more out of the experience.
I’ve already noticed that I haven’t had heartburn for two days and haven’t been reaching for the rennies. I cleaned the fridge out today too and I’ve got all of the laundry up to date. These don’t sound like big achievements but for me just wanting to do these things and not relying on the kids to do them is a HUGE step.
Seriously it’s crazy how fast we start to feel the effects of caring for our bodies and fuelling them properly. If this is happening after 2 days imagine how I’ll be feeling in 2 weeks or 2 months? Thoughts like that will keep me in the zone.