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Saturday, January 02, 2016

Dead Sirts and Blender Traumas

A huge bag of kale confronts me balefully when I open the fridge.  It's Jan 2 and the healthy eating programme has resumed.

Sirtfoods
photo: mediterrasian.com
I say "resumed" but unfortunately it was on hold for most of 2015 so a few pounds have crept on.

Just two and a half days into my programme, I have already lost the aches and pains and the "sugar face" that you get from eating too many chocolates. It really is amazing the difference that lots of fruit and veg, lean protein, low sugar and carbs can make.

I'm whipping up soups and adding a scoop of Nutri Shape & Shake flavourless protein powder to each serving. This makes it more filling and so I can survive on it until the next meal without climbing the walls. Soup is so nutritious, it's a great way of getting your five a day in one hit. Today I made a spinach and broccoli soup. I had sore misgivings but actually it was fine. Very important for a good soup:  use a decent stock. Those Oxo cubes and Marigold bouillon powders aren't great because they're full of salt.

The kale was bought along with some frozen fruit and berries because I planned to have a smoothie for breakfast. But I was traumatised last time I used the Nutribullet, the latest "white elephant" gadget to be consigned to the cupboard with all the other fads. I just can't face it. I can't be weaned off my daily poached eggs with one slice of seeded wholemeal toast.

So I'm having eggs for breakfast, soup for lunch and for dinner a piece of lean protein (eg chicken breast) or prawns or fish with vegetables / salad and healthy grains like quinoa or spelt.  Plus a couple of satsumas as a snack and maybe a banana if I get desperate.  I'm also throwing in as many sirtfoods as possible - all the rage - but I haven't seen "lovage" yet in the supermarkets, which is on the list of dead sirts.

As for New Year's Resolutions, today I read that it's more helpful if you ask yourself a question rather than make a statement. For example:  "will I exercise more this year?" is more effective than "I will exercise more this year."  And the answer to my qustion is yes: I have signed up for the Great Newham 10k, which involves a couple of laps of the Olympic Park. I did a 5k last year but it was a bit of a struggle. So let's see.

Here's my recipe for my favourite soup, Carrot & Almond, which even J finds acceptable:

For 2 large servings:
4 teaspoons olive or rice bran oil 
3 large carrots
50g ground almonds
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 sticks of celery
Turmeric - doesn't add flavour but is a great anti-inflammatory
500ml stock  (the Essential chicken stock from Waitrose is excellent)
200ml water
Teaspoon ginger powder

Method:
In  a large pan gently sweat the chopped onion; add the garlic, celery and chopped carrots. Add the spices. Pour in the stock and water; season. Bring to boil then simmer for 25 mins. Blend; add the ground almonds and blend again. Enjoy.






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