Food inspiration

I’ve always been a lover of cookbooks. I buy them. I store them. I read them. I drool over them. But I never bloody cook anything from them. Until now.

I picked up Daniel Green’s The Paleo Diet in January and can now confirm I’ve cooked a total of five recipes from it – with another three in the pipeline for this weekend and next week. It’s a brilliant cookbook as the recipes aren’t too fiddly and the ingredients required cover a lot of the recipes and are easy to find. Meaning you’re not sent on a wild goose chase for a teaspoon measure of Espelette Pepper. Instead you can pick up everything local, and without breaking the budget.

To date, two favourites of mine and the man’s are meatballs in a rich tomato sauce with basil, and sesame steak with broccoli and basil pesto.

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I have already decided this weekend that I’m going to pick up another paleo cookbook to try out further recipes. Potentially Daniel’s second book. It’s becoming a bit of an addiction – searching out paleo recipes. Although, as far as addictions go, it’s certainly not as bad as the two glasses of wine every night of the week habit I was enjoying pre-Christmas!

 

Food inspiration

Perfection

IMG_6308So my lovely new, but old, but new (we’ve tried this dating malarkey before) man absolutely spoiled me this weekend. It was Valentine’s day, but that’s not what our weekend was about. We both chose not to go out and glam up, or buy each other extravagant gifts. Instead we went for simplicity.

Sunday morning we stayed in bed past breakfast, choosing bed based recreational sports over food. By midday we decided it would be a good idea to get out for some fresh air so we hit Greenwich Park for a walk in the sunshine and the brisk wind. After an hour we got back to the house for hot coffee, a very late brunch of bacon, eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes before settling on the sofa to catch up on some telly.

In the afternoon we enjoyed the rugby, he surprised me with roses and then spoiled me by preparing a candlelit roast lamb dinner (with all the trimmings – mint infused gravy, hello!).

I feel like a giddy teenager when I think about it all over again. It was utter perfection.

Perfection

Alcohol

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Whisky in crystal

After eating a paleo and alcohol-free diet for three weeks – I went out last week and enjoyed three glasses of wine. The next morning I felt like death.  It was like I’d had an absolute bender of a night, and I couldn’t get rid of my sluggish, headache all day.

I was proud of myself that I didn’t go full carb-gorge on some hash browns and sausages for breakfast. Instead I controlled myself and indulged on scrambled eggs and mushrooms.

Since then, I still haven’t been in the mood to drink. I was out on the weekend and only managed two vodka + lime + soda’s before I decided to wrap it up and just drink soda + (fresh) lime.

I think I’ve finally grown up, or my liver has died, but I’m not keen to drink like I used to and much prefer a cup of tea. Even the fact that I can escape the office for a sneaky pint or a glass of wine is not appealing and I’d rather get on with my work and sip my fruit infuser bottle.

The only tipple I actually am enjoying right now is whisky. With a splash of water in my new crystal glasses, it just can’t be beat.

Alcohol

Romance can blossom twice, or thrice…

So back in May, you may recall that I wrote an open passive-aggressive letter to my ex boyfriend. After three weeks travelling together in New Zealand and having an amazing time, and constant time together as we still live in the same house – things have changed.

He told me quite confidently that he knew I would come around and he was just leaving me to get on with things. I have to admit I was a little excited by how cocky and confident he stated he was – always a good trait in a man. He’s changed and matured (and grown facial hair… pwhoooar!) a lot in the last nine months. So much so that I noticed I missed him and wanted to spend real time with him. I think it was the NZ trip where we spent every day together (plus 36 hours on a plane each way not killing each other) that made me wake up and smell the coffee.

He’s the person I go to for everything.  In all honesty he has been that person for a couple of years now. When I was homesick from eating Vegemite on toast and kept bursting into tears he was there to cuddle me. When I need to bounce ideas off someone about my job or my professional development or the fact I’m sick of taking the tube for my morning commute – he’s there. He’s the person I can be completely comfortable, irritable, silly and emotional around, and he doesn’t run away!

Over the past week we’ve shared dinner and whisky together, cuddled on the couch and even moved to PG13 kissing. Things are blossoming again nicely and I’m happy and I’m excited to see him each night. We’re taking it slow, even though we both have the same end goal of moving to the Southern Hemisphere in the next year or two – he’s bursting to go!

We’re planning a trip away at Easter, so as long as we don’t have a wobble I’m sure we’ll be set. Regardless, he’s convinced we’ll be married one day. Such confidence! And what has he put himself forward for…?

Romance can blossom twice, or thrice…

I feel fantastic.

So it’s been about three weeks now that I’ve been on a paleo-based diet. I’ve not been completely ruthless with myself and will enjoy the odd vodka or whisky or square of dark chocolate. But my overall wellbeing has improved tenfold.

I have more energy. I’m happier. I don’t feel hungry. I’m not having the highs and lows of sugar cravings. I don’t find mornings a struggle (mostly helped my the lack of alcohol involved), and I feel more positive on my outlook on life.

I’m still drinking four litres of water a day which I’ve been told is doing wonders for my skin as everyone keeps commenting on it.

I even bought some exercise outfits to get out and hit the hills of Greenwich Park again, as well as some new goggles and a swimming cap to plunge in the pool at the bottom of my road.

Today is February 1st, and I’m feeling in a much better place than I was two months ago when the thought of exercise or healthy eating never even crossed my mind.

I feel fantastic.

Paleo prep

The only way to stick to a healthy lifestyle is to prepare. So today I made egg, bacon and veggie muffins for breakfast this week as well as roasted some vegetables to add to a salad for lunches.

Now I’m relaxing, watching a film and sipping water from my fruit infused (lemon and orange) bottle and feeling very smug.

I picked up a paleo cookbook this weekend to inspire me further and give me more ideas for paleo recipes. I’m extremely excited to try the lemon pound cake recipe. Reading through the book the author, Daniel Green, says you should start off with 10 days in a row without cheating or breaking the paleo diet, then you’ll be more likely to stick at it long term. I like this, 10 days is achievable and not too daunting.

Monday is day one, food is prepared. Wish me luck!

Paleo prep

Day one success

Oaa3d6833a135d41c8393005c26773d2fn Sunday I kicked off my 2016 healthy living by doing a proper grocery shop and buying all things good for me.

I stocked up on vegetables, fruit, lean protein and almond milk (I can’t handle black tea, only black coffee).

I’ve completed day one, Monday, and managed to stick to an alcohol and sugar and dairy-free day, while also drinking two litres of water. Twenty more days and I will have broken the habit and be an absolute star.

I’m determined this year to drop the kilos, and cutting out alcohol in the short term will make a huge difference. Of course I’m not saying I will be off alcohol for the year – that would be an unreasonable plan – but the first couple of months will set me in good stead. I even went out for an agency catch up today, and refused a free glass of wine… Progress!

Day one success

2016 goal setting

I’ve just returned to London from the most spectacular and amazing family-filled holiday in New Zealand, and I’m feeling terribly homesick. I told anyone and everyone who would listen that I would always like in the UK and that New Zealand would never again be home for me. But this recent holiday back made me realise how wrong I was. Visiting all my favourite haunts, seeing my sisters and parents daily, bumping into friends just about every day and absorbing the lifestyle I used to take for granted made me come to terms with the fact that it really is home.

So, for this year while I’m still based in London, I’ve decided I need to make a plan and a set of goals for 2016 (I haven’t set a date, but am envisaging making a move in the next 12-18 months).

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  • Eat a Paleo diet
  • Drink more water
  • Bulk up my savings account
  • Get more exercise
  • Swear less
  • Drink far less alcohol
  • Stress less

 

2016 goal setting

Absolutely swimmingly

Things are incredibly happy and going extremely well with my new man. We became “official” on the 9th of this month, exactly a month since we met. Ooooooh. I feel like a teenager again.

Last weekend we spent the whole weekend together, Friday through Sunday. It was magic. I always think that’s a good test as to whether you can put up with each other for a long period or if one person feels awkward and wants space. Especially as in a 36 hour period you need to poop, brush your teeth multiple times, re-apply make up (which I didn’t, and it didn’t scare him “eyes and smile”…) and barely get any sleep. I’m not being dirty here, I’m meaning that whole new period of learning to sleep with someone new in your bed. It’s touch and go as to whether it works or not, or if you both just end up shattered because neither of you can completely relax to sleep properly. I find 36 hours a good test, you can’t hide anything!

So last week, after our 36 hour trial, we had our first sleepover on a school night. Amazing. His house is much closer to work than mine (20 minute bus ride – FTW), so after enjoying a sleep in (and that, yes), we were up, showered, suited and booted, make up on (just me) and out the door for a walk to his local coffee shop in his quaint part of the village. It was the most serene and romantic commute I have ever done.

After another couple days together this weekend, before he had to head to York to see his parents and for work early next week, he’s requested another school night sleepover. I am so looking forward to it.

He owns his place, and his friend/housemate that has been staying is actually moving out in a month. It’s way, way, way too soon, but the crazy girl inside me (we all have one) is thrilled at the possibility of moving in with him one day. Yes, I said it (not to him). I only think it, because I’ve never had a relationship move so fluidly and quickly as this one. I’m not going to mention it, and I’m sure he won’t for 6-18 months, but the rosy bubble our relationship is in right now makes me dream.

If he ever found this post, he’d probably freak out. Although he didn’t when he found my Tuscan Wedding board on Pinterest…

Absolutely swimmingly