Tag Archives: diet

Returning to healthy eating.


While on holiday we pigged out. It is part of being on holiday isn’t it?

Getting in and out of the swimming pool every day made me realise I have let my good deeds of last year slide so much they were out of sight. Hubby agreed when I said we needed to get back to healthy eating. I also need to get back to exercising – Hubby cycles 15 miles a day so that’s not a problem for him.

Coming home to the Easter weekend, meant there was a lot of chocolate in the house – even though I didn’t get an egg, when I gave Hubby his, he asked if I had bought one for him to give to me!!!! It wouldn’t be fair for the boys to have these delights in front of them and tell them they were unable to eat them, so instead, we have told them they can have a little each day. My theory being once they are gone they are gone, and I wont be buying sweets for in the house, so if they aren’t there they can’t have them!!!

Yesterday I got on the wii-fit for the first time in months and to say it was hard work would be an understatement! At the same time though it felt good too, and I must try to find half an hour a day to do it. I have checked the times of open sessions at the local swimming pool and they have morning sessions most days, so I intend to try to get there at least once a week. I used to swim every morning before work and found it a really invigorating way to start the day.

I have knocked the dust off the myfitnesspal.com app, as I found it really helpful to track what I was eating last year. It is a great app where you can see exactly what food you are taking and the calories from it. It really makes you think about if you need the snack in the evening!!!

Today Hubby is working from home, and so I have gone for a healthy lunch for us. I have made Pea and Herb soup with oat cakes. Now, anyone that knows me, is well aware I don’t do soup, unless in is comes in a tin and is bright orange. I was therefore making the soup for Hubby and Old person, but when I tasted it to check the seasoning I was amazed how lovely it is, and have decided to give it a go – I must be getting brave in my old age!

Pea and Vegetable Soup
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 clove garlic – crushed
480g Frozen peas
1 tbsp. cornflour
500ml vegetable stock
30 g fresh coriander
15 g fresh mint – I didn’t have fresh so used a teaspoon of dried
salt and pepper

Heat the oil and add the garlic and peas. Stir until the peas have defrosted.
Mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp. of cold water and add to the pan.
Slowly add the stock, stirring well.
Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.
Put into a liquidiser with the herbs and seasoning.
Warm through.

115g oatmeal
1/4 tsp salt
pinch of bicarbonate of soda.
1 tbsp. oil
3 tbsp. hot water

Mix dry ingredients.
Add the oil, and half the water. Mix well.
Add more water to form a soft but crumble dough.
Kneed until smooth.
Cut dough into 2 pieces and roll each into a round.
Cut each circle into quarters.
Put into a dry frying pan over a medium low heat. cook for a couple of minutes on each side.

You piece of education for the day is that the quarters are called FARLS. You probably knew this but I didn’t and so thought it was interesting!!!

I will update you in a few weeks about if I keep I the healthy eating, and defiantly if I get back into he exercise but I feel I need to!

Now to go and eat this soup!!!

Favorite Recipes.


As most of you know, I love to cook.

I got my love of cooking from my Mum who always had freshly cooked products for us growing up.      I was jealous of friends who had bought cakes and plastic white bread, because my Mum always made ours.    It wasn’t until I grew up that I realised that we had things that were far less bad for us than the additive filled products – I grew up before we knew a lot of additives were not good for us!       I don’t think I tasted a ready meal until I left home at 20!       My Mum was what I can only describe as a good home cook.   We never had anything fancy, but we ate well.

I studied catering at college, and learned posh stuff.      Give me a paring knife and I could probably still turn a potato, but that doesn’t really fill the need for everyday life.

Playing about in the kitchen is still one of my passions.   It is my domain.    The rest of the house belongs to the family, but the kitchen is my room.      Others can use the room, as long as they put things back in the right place, and keep the work surfaces clean.    However, if I am in there, then you don’t start getting in my way!    The boys love to help, which can often be a double-edged sword.   It’s great they are learning life skills, but when you are wanting potatoes peeled and in the pot quickly it can get a little frustrating.

Being a home cook, means that I know what goes into my families tummy.      It means I can control a lot of the strange things they might otherwise eat.    Now I’m not saying I am not going to let my family eat things that come from the shops, but if I have the time and the ability, then it has to be better for me to create a dish with fresh natural ingredients.    There is so much talk about autism and diet that it is a mine field so I just try for fresh and tasty!

We have a local farm that I order our eggs and veg from –http://www.fernieflattfarm.co.uk/ .    They might be that little bit more expensive than the supermarket, but the veg is so fresh it tastes as if you have just pulled it in the garden.   The eggs are what has me ordering from them though as they are fabulous.    The yolks are so yellow, and so huge!    When you have a boiled egg with one of these, then you’ve had a meal!!!

Living in what was a semi rural town – the fields are now being eroded, there is a wealth of fresh meat available.   Our town houses the local abattoir and meat processing factory, and so the meat at their shop couldn’t be much fresher!

So there is no shortage of good food, in the area.

The problem we have is that M in particular is rather restricted with foods he will try.    Anything new has to be sold to him as an idea before being turned into something edible.     I therefore have to keep main course experimentation to a minimum.      I therefore have to play about with cakes and biscuits and the like.

Baking them myself, means I can play with the recipes to find things that can be done in a slightly less unhealthy way.     If you have looked at any of my previous recipes, you know I like to substitute sugar for sweetener, and butter for low-fat alternatives.       It means those of us who aren’t skinny bints, can still enjoy something naughty without too much guilt!

I love reading recipe books, and looking at websites to find new idea, which I read with an eye to tweaking to our benefit.    I do however have the one recipe book that I go back to whenever I am stuck for ideas, and that is The Art of Home Cooking which is a book from Stork – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cooking-Stork-Margarine-Cookery-Service/dp/B0012GSJH2.      It is a book that was first published in the 1950’s, and I remember it was one my Mum often referred to.     My version  from 1994, is well-thumbed and well stained with the use it has had over the years.      As the title suggests, it is plain home cooking.       Like most people, I look at the recipes from whichever celebrity chef is in fashion at the moment, and think something looks good, but I couldn’t be bothered with all of the faffing, and then resort to my favourite book for more sensible ideas.       The recipes are easy to follow, and a lot of the baking does the all in one method, so very limited messing about  involved!

I have a file I was given a few years back that I store my favourite recipes.     It has loads of things written in it, but a recipe only makes it into there, once I have made it and know that it works, so I can refer to it at a much easier time.    I do however have a box file filled with things I have cut out of magazine, or printed from the internet, that I like the look of.     I think I need to make it a new year resolution to work my way through them, either tossing them out or making them and then throwing them out or transferring them to my file!       The problem is for every piece of paper I take out of the box, I seem to put in half a dozen new ones!    One day I will get around to it!

I think the important thing with cooking is to do things you love, experiment a little and enjoy the results.

Diet Update.


I thought it was time for a diet update.

I have been bad!

I am being honest that I have let things slide recently.

I haven’t put on any weight, but I haven’t lost any either!

I think the worry of the heart scan put me off exercising for a while.     It is a ridiculous excuse, but I think it’s quite accurate.      Before the thought of something being wrong with my heart, I had never given it that much thought.    It was something that was there and did its job.    You never think of its functioning, or I never did.   That is until now.      While I understood my weight put extra strain on my organs it was never fore front of my thoughts.

It is silly to think that as a large person, I should be exercising, but by exercising, I have to be careful I am not doing myself internal as well as my external body too much damage!!

I have however decided now my heart has been given the all clear, I must get back to my relationship with my Wii board.     I enjoyed that as part of my morning routine, and while there has been no reason for me to stop, I did, and now I must get back to it.

My diet hasn’t been too bad.    I just have to stop the evening snacking – comfort eating.

I did laugh at the information sheet the doctor gave me about reducing hypertension.      Or rather it was the sneering condescending look that the doctor gave me when we talked through the points.

I have to give up smoking.    I don’t smoke, and while I used to work in a very smoky environment, that was over 20 years ago.

I have to cut down my alcohol consumption.    For all intent and purpose , I am teetotal.   I might have a glass of cider when on holiday, and a port at Christmas, so my total units for the year are about 5!

I have to reduce my sodium intake.     I hate salty food.   I never add salt to cooked food, and when preparing food, I always use lo-salt.    We don’t eat pre-pared foods, so are aware of the salt we are adding.

I have to cut down on fat in my diet.    I am very much the Jack Sprat person, as in I really dislike fatty food.   I will cut all visible fat off meat, including bacon!      We have 1% milk, and low-fat spread.    It there is a reduced fat product for something I eat, I will always choose it.

All these things, the doctor looked at me with the yeah, yeah, look on his face!     Don’t you just love skinny medical professionals!!

The one thing on the list I can do something about is to my stress levels.    The doctor though had no idea how I should do this having 2 ASD boys in the house!

So it’s now onward and upward towards returning to controlling my life again.     Maybe I will finally get around to going swimming, or maybe an exercise class.    Not really sure I’m ready for that just that!