Healthy eating plan, beans and cous cous…

I’ve started a fitness plan because of the expanding middle haha. The gym, I attend, is running a course and so I’m tracking what is eaten. The app to track food is called Fitness Pal and is very good for recording what you are eating, drinking and any exercise. I’ve decided to cut out bread, rice, pasta and potato so my diet is on the low carbohydrate side. This is to curb appetite, hopefully. All the obvious stuff, such as sweets, chocolate, biscuits, processed food, etc. are banned. When eating out, may have some of the above although will try to avoid where possible. I’m also trying to cut down on alcohol, which is really hard.

Low carb diets are controversial, but recent studies indicate weight loss and improved health. The best way, in my view, is to be sensible. Still eat sweet potatoes, swede, carrots and copious amounts of other healthy green veg. Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, avocado, mushrooms are suitable for this sort of plan. When hungry, fruit and nuts are the best snacks, although it is hard if you want chocolate.

My dodgy time is around 4pm. By this, I mean it is the time I’m hankering after food. To help with this, lunch is consumed after 1.30pm and even later, if possible. Dinner is around 6.30pm and this does help stop the ol’ hunger pangs a little. Sometimes, fruit and or nuts are consumed in the evening, but not too often. I’m keeping to around 1400 calories a day. This is quite high for me, but feel is sensible and will stop some of the hunger. Will update on my progress and do join in if you want? My plan is at the end of this post.

I’ve been sorting out my kitchen cupboards and now see some foodstuff that I’d forgotten about. I know, exciting times! Anyway, I’ve recently discovered and devised a couple of lunch time meals. Admittedly, the first one isn’t low carb, but delicious for a quick lunch.

Cous Cous Bean Salad.

Make cous cous by adding the boiling water and mix. Then add basil green pesto, beans (your choice, I used mixed salad beans). Add a few pine nuts and or pumpkin seeds. Chop up some sundried tomatoes. Add lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and mixed herbs. This makes a great lunch which is filling and healthy. Afterwards, you can add what you like such as boiled egg, ham, advocado, etc.

Cous Cous

Basil green pesto

Beans

Pine nuts and or pumpkin seeds

Sundried tomatoes

Lemon juice, olive oil and mixed herbs

Bean Cous Cous…

The next revelation happened during the recent Cotswolds trip. We stopped in a B & B and the proprietor offered us homemade baked beans for breakfast and as they were so delicious, I decided upon my return, to copy and make my own. This is how I made them…

Chop carrot, onion and add tomatoes, onion, puree, stock, herbs, garlic, pepper and splash of treacle. Boil and blend, then add the beans. Cook in oven for about an hour in a casserole dish.

As you can see, I had sliced avocado, roasted mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and low fat cream cheese with the beans and even though I say so myself, the meal was surprisingly delicious and filling.

Haricot beans

Onion

Garlic (clove)

Large carrot

Veg stock

Passata and some tomato puree with some boiling water (about 1/2 pint)

2 tins tomatoes

Paprika, salt, ground black pepper

Chili powder

Optional treacle

Bay leaf (optional)

Home made baked beans with sliced avocado and blob of soft cheese…

 

Sum up

  • Low carb – Cutting out bread, rice, pasta
  • Track what you are eating
  • Lunch is consumed after 1.30pm and even later, if possible. Dinner is around 6.30pm
  • 1400 calories per day
  • Prepare and cook healthy meals

 

 

Ref.

https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb

Mushroom Risotto

This is a delicious quick lunch which uses up the old mushrooms you may have lying about.

Chop the mushrooms, onions, garlic, bacon (if want to include) and get a litre of chicken/veggie stock ready plus 200g of risotto rice.

Throw the chopped bits into a pan with a splash of oil and cook. After a few minutes throw in the rice and add liquid. You may want to add peas and or spinach or whatever you jolly well like. Leave for a few minutes to simmer. Add Parmesan cheese and enjoy.

Tip: This could be boxed up for tomorrow’s lunch too.

Bacon

Mushrooms

Onion

Garlic

1 litre of Chicken/Veggie stock

200 grams Risotto rice

Peas or spinach, etc.

Seasoning and mixed herbs

Easter prep, gym, cooking and a flat tyre…

Had a good week. Was invited to a family meal 🥘 . It was a lovingly home cooked Spanish tapas and absolutely delicious. We had bruschetta (as photo), meat balls, tortilla, olives, veggies, canary potatoes, prawns and manchego cheese. The pud was homemade brownie with ice cream and was absolutely amazing. The beer was Punk IPA by BrewDog which is my all time favourite beer, at the moment. Must say, tapas is a great way to entertain because you can pick what you like which, in my case, is most of it. Oops.

Been to the gym three times and been on a couple of walks. Tried to go on about 1200 calories and some days have been ok but others, as above, not great. However, feel more in control as not stuffing chocs and biscuits so feel a lot better. With Easter Sunday looming this is my main aim. Upwards and onwards. Really aiming to start properly after Easter.

On Saturday, did the booze and bits top up shopping and discovered a flat tyre when we returned to our car. Luckily, handy husband was with me and put the spare tyre on. This seemed to fascinate the local shopping population. Looked a fairly simple operation but I probably wouldn’t have the strength for the nuts. We then had to rush to the tyre shop and the man insisted I stayed in the car, like lady muck, while he jacked the car up! So I carried on nonchalantly writing this blog post! All part of life’s rich tapestry! Can you change a tyre?

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and I’m looking forward to a jolly family day of roast lamb and all the trimmings including homemade Yorkshire puddings, chocolate pudding and cake. Then I’m back on the running, gym and healthy diet routine. I promise.

The obligatory Easter chocolate cake is a simple affair…

8oz marg

8oz caster sugar

8oz self raising flour

4 eggs

Chocolate drops

Splash of treacle and or milk (makes it fudgy and yummy)

2 oz Chocolate powder

Mix together and put into two 8 inch tins.

Icing is 2oz butter with around 3oz icing sugar and 1oz chocolate powder. Mix with a tiny drop of boiling water. To be honest, you don’t have to be too careful about measurements for the icing.

Enjoy and have a wonderful Easter.

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Three Day Stews

I have always cooked stews with enough meat for two days but recently I accidentally did enough for three days. I found I can adapt a stew by accompanying mash or roast potatoes, rice, cous cous and so on. Also, you can add some spices and various vegetables to make the meal variable and delicious.

Today, I’ve cooked chicken, beef and pork casseroles and left them on a slow, low heat to cook.

Basically, I divided the meat into three separate pots and threw into the oven on a high heat to crisp up the meat.

Whilst they were getting a blast of heat, I proceeded to cut up the vegetables: carrots, onion, pepper, mushrooms with seasoning and herbs.

Then I made a pot of gravy for the stews which consisted of meat stock, veg stock, tomato purée and a cheeky splash of port. Oh yes.

The pork also had an additional sauce of honey, French mustard, herbs and seasoning to make it sweet and succulent.

After an hour I took the three pots of meat out of the oven and added the honey mixture to the pork, gravy an veggies to all three stews. Only a little gravy to the pork though because hoping for a sticky thick sauce for the pork. After about six hours slow cooking, they will go in my freezer and I shall have one stew per week. Each one will last for three days.

You can adapt them, as above, and it means when you come home from a long day at work, you have something yummy to tuck into.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Food on Valentine’s Day

Enjoyed walking little O across cold, windy fields and felt better for the jaunt. Had a quick cuppa with Zillah, O’s owner, then went home.

A huge van was blocking our driveway,  but I was glad to see it because it meant the plumber had turned up, and was dealing with the drainage problem. After some panicked activity, we paid the helpful chap, who had dreadlocks down to his waist and settled down at the computer to do some blogging work.  We were relieved the drainage problem was sorted.

Having received the happy news from dreadlock plumber, we decided to venture out to celebrate Valentine’s Day and clear, clean drains. Such is life.

The jolly couple (us) had lamb shank in a yummy red wine gravy, mash potatoes plus veg. We were then pursuaded into having a chocolate pudding which arrived with two dollops of ice cream. The chocolate pud was in the shape of a heart which amused the waiter. Who says romance is dead? Great day but I do feel rather full now.

As you can tell the diet has left the building…

To be continued…

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Supporting Your Aims – Becoming Lighter Series (5)

Now you’ve decided on your aims, planned them and finding ways of pursuing them the next stage is all about how you can support yourself and the aims. You could reveal your aims to family, friends or even colleagues. This suits some, but not others and it depends on what the aim is. For me, it encourages motivation, but suggest divulging aims only to trusted peers, especially if it is a tough aim.

Reminding yourself about the benefits of the aim. List the benefits in a journal and read it when you are struggling. This may reinforce some positive thinking and encourage you to be proactive and continue with the process. Well, we can hope can’t we?

It is always wise to think about the good aspects of what you are doing. If you don’t feel like exercising then remember how you feel afterwards. Same with cleaning, decluttering or cooking a fancy meal. Pocket the emotion. Oooooh must take some of this advice as I’m struggling with going to the gym during the cold, dark weather.

To sum up…

Discuss your life aims with trusted peers

Remind yourself of the benefits of the aims

Write a to do list or journal

Pocket the good feeling you acquire after achieving new aims

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Dinner and #BoardCooking

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Sunday, 8 Jan – Well, after a socialable day yesterday, woke up feeling a bit flat today. Luckily, the family felt the same and suggested we go out for a posh sandwich and a wander around the old part of town nearby.

Must say after the usual problems of parking (now can’t park on the single yellow line), we rebelliously parked out of town and walked in thus saving paying to park on a Sunday. Not surprised people shop online. Not for me though.

Anyway, it was great to get out and about and chat with family and wander around the shops. Popped into a new pub/restaurant and had a quick drink too. Surprisingly, we’ve had a few new establishments arrive locally, which, as so many pubs are closing down, is encouraging.

This evening I decided to finish up yesterday’s leftovers. Bought some seabass so chopped up courgettes, mushrooms, onions and garlic. Also, added herbs, paprika, cream cheese and wine. Cooked the fish and removed the skin, then cooked the veggie mix, added cheese and wine and after a few minutes threw in the spaghetti.

Have to say, although it looks a mess, it was delicious and I’ve managed to get rid of a few leftovers. Called it board cooking because all the ingredients are prepared on a board and then tossed in a pan. Easy, quick and yummy.

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