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Culinary experiments

It’s Monday again, how did that happen?! I’m finally feeling human again, and managed to do things over the weekend rather than just sit around, so that’s nice. Among other things, I cleaned the house (with the help of the lovely husband), had lunch with the in-laws (and learned how to make Irish stew with my mother-in-law!) and experimented in the kitchen.

Experiment number one: flapjack with almonds and cinnamon.

Pretty much what it says on the tin, it’s my normal flapjack recipe (my mum’s flapjack recipe) but I ran out of oats so substituted the last wee bit for flaked almonds, a few chocolate chips left over from the husband’s birthday cake (which all melted but still added to the flavour!) and some cinnamon. I’m loving cinnamon at the moment, it’s flavourful and warming and full of antioxidants, yum. So – a success (and 2.5 points per flapjack by my calculations).

Experiment number two: Seeded Flatbread (from a great website I’ve been dabbling in called 101 Cookbooks)

Not so successful I’m afraid – I think I used the wrong kind of yeast, I used some stuff in a pot rather than a sachet so it turned out as a very nice but rather disappointing kind of cooked dough…I love the idea though, and today went and bought some proper yeast, so I will try again!

Experiment number three: Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes

One of the blogs I read regularly (thank you Dietgirl) linked to this recipe which we tried for breakfast on Sunday. Success! These pancakes were awesome – oaty and just the right amount of sweetness. I reduced the sugar and butter a bit and packed it full of frozen blueberries, and we ate them with sliced bananas and a bit of maple syrup – delicious! Will definitely be making these again. It does kind of depend on whether our local supermarket stocks buttermilk, but they were filling and satisfying and actually reasonably healthy, plus with all the blueberries and banana counted as 2 of my 5-a-day.

Felt like a lot of cooking! Just to top it off, today I made some wholemeal seeded bread, which is in the oven as I type!

I’m working overnight this week, and rumour has it that I might even get to sleep a bit, so I’m hoping I’ll manage to do some fun stuff this week rather than just work and sleep, as is the usual night-shift pattern.

Lastly, this week’s weigh-in was not as disastrous as I was expecting – because I was ill, I basically sat around a lot and ate whatever I fancied and whatever was not too hard on my sore throat (ice-cream!) so I was expecting a gain, but in fact it was exactly the same as last week, so that’s a relief. I weighed again today just to check, and was down a pound, though I’m not tracking that because it wasn’t Sunday Weigh Day!

Wish me luck with the shift tonight, hopefully all will be peaceful and I’ll get some rest!

I’ve been off work this week with ‘real’ flu. Great start to a healthy living blog, huh?! In my defense, I haven’t been ill for almost a year, so I feel I’m doing ok…the point is, I’ve had rather a lot of time to think, amid all the tissues and paracetamol, and I’ve started to realise some things.

Firstly, I really like my life. No, I really like my life. My husband is incredible, I (mostly) love my job, my family are great, my in-laws are also great, we have a great house, and things are good.

But we could be healthier. In body, mind and spirit. I want to grow old with my husband, to see my nieces and nephews grow up (and maybe my own kids one day?!), to be able to live as full and helpful a life as possible. And to do this I need to change a few things. I read this article today, which got me thinking…

I need to lose some weight. Actually, a fair bit of weight. I need to exercise more – I love some kinds of exercise (swimming, boxing, weights…) and loathe others (running! – but I’d like to be good at it) but I’m rubbish at making time for it, and since I’ve recently moved jobs to one with decent hours I should really suck it up and make time.

I could eat better. In general, we eat really healthy meals – lots of veg, lean meat and wholegrains – but the whole thing is kind of undone if you then eat marshmallows and chocolate between meals!

I am bad at switching off from work. I am the queen of at-home worrying, I am very good at stressing about the smallest things, and it can’t be good for my longevity.

I could use my time better. Less time on trash, more quality time with the husband, more time on healthy habits.

I’m sure there are more thoughts, but that’ll do for now.

So, I’m starting to do something about it, and create a few more healthy habits. I’ve joined the dreaded Weight Watchers (yes, I know, but I need the structure), I’ve started going to a BodyAttack class on a Monday evening, and am trying to fit in a BodyPump class too. The husband and I are doing a marriage course, and are trying to build in quality time each week to spend together, and as soon as the clocks go forward and this miserable winter is over (only a few weeks to go!) we are going to try to do more walking and cycling and other fresh-air things in the evenings.

So I’m going to use this blog to update on these habits, and as some accountability as I try to get healthy. Of course I have to get over this darn ‘flu first, but hopefully it won’t take too long. Wish me luck!