Friday, 29 June 2012

Experimental Mania

Some John West Salmon strips for dinner?
 I've been experimenting over the past month or so, scrapping my old diet and trying a lot of different foods. Here is a collection of simple meal ideas, all of which avoid wheat and were made in minimum time and with little effort. More detailed posts are coming soon, along with focused posts on specific foods/meals.

I'm not usually a prawn eater

Stir-fried beef with onions, plus some salad. Relatively simple
Not simple enough: I think this was cottage cheese, seeds, and a sprinkle of herbs

Fairly simple: two gluten free Mrs Crimble's corn cakes, a couple of brazil nuts (these are high in selenium. While this is good, apparently you shouldn't have more than one at a time. Okay).

Cottage cheese, seeds, a few nuts, and there's a couple of coconut chips there. Not simple enough.

Yoghurt and Tesco's Free From Pure Oat Fruit Muesli: yum. And highly addictive.

Yoghurt, banana pieces (max half a banana, and Tesco's Free From Pure Oat Fruit Muesli

My standard mid-morning snack on my old and new routine: freshly chopped strawberries and blueberries along with a handful of dried berries if available (cranberries, blueberries, or goji berries). This is a high Vitamin-C, high antitoxant, nicely packed tub of sugar, and easy to digest snack. Frozen fruit works okay too, but the liquid in it leaks through tuppaware, and fresh fruit is nicer and less sweet. The problem is keeping stocked-up on fresh fruit, and ensuring it doesn't go out of date.

As above

Quite crackers: The Food Doctor wholegrain Spelt crackers with a mixture of fresh and frozen veg and kidney beans. There's also one Mrs Crimble corn cake there. This was okay, but as you can tell from the sheer number of crackers, I was more interested in the carbohydrate factor. Those crackers are also quite addictive.

Tuna and kidney beans. Meh.

Munchy Seeds Omega Sprinkle and salad. As you can see, I had a preference for the seeds.

Stir fry: chicken with a mixture of fresh and frozen veg. Flavourings mostly came from lemon and sprinkles of herbs, but there may have been a few drops of sweet and sour sauce. Fried in olive oil. It was yum, but a bowl full on this routine is far too much food.

Leftovers in a pot. Too complex for my stomach.

Leftovers with almonds, and half a Mrs Crimble corn cake.

Salad with sunflower seeds.

Tinned tuna, chopped tomatoes, sweetcorn, and almonds. I had a thing for the almonds and scavenged for more later. Not the best snack/meal here.

Another salad with seeds and almonds.

A warm tuna salad with tuna, veg, chopped tomato, probably a few almonds, herbs, a squeezed lemon (or the juice from tinned lemon), and one Mrs Crimble corn cake, in little bits. Fairly good, though not 100% on the digestion factor.

Mid-morning snack alternative, after a morning cycle and trip to the gym: fresh fruit, crushed, and water. Give it a shake. You don't need a shaker. The seeds from the fruit simply collects on the sides of the bottle. But it's all the better if you eat them too.

More of Tesco's Free From Pure Oat Fruit Muesli, with some yoghurt. Just couldn't stop buying the muesli.

Frozen fruit mix from Tesco's, waiting to defrost.

Tesco Summer Fruits with an orange.

A big breakfast: yoghurt, strawberries, blueberries, and corn flakes. Making a breakfast of this size is unlike me. It was very nice, but too much.

An even bigger breakfast with less yoghurt, but a few dates. Yum, but sickening.

Plain times: corn flakes, freshly chopped stawberries, blueberries, and a couple of blackberries from frozen.

Yum. Two John West salmon fillets, and two Ryvita pumkin seeds and oats crisbread. These crispbreads are made from rye, not wheat, but many other products in the Ryvita range do have wheat flour in them. I can't find a link to the salmon, but I brought the product from the Co-Operative store.

Corn flakes, yoghurt, and half a Nature Valley Granola Bars Oat and Honey. This is what I call a "crash" snack...or what I have when I'm short of other ingredients, or time.

Another stir fry, with chicken and frozen veg as before, but also garlic and onions, as well as one Ryvita pumpkin seed and oats crispbread

Breakfast. I know, it's amazing. Salmon fillets and frozen veg. Simple, nice, and it didn't feel weird to eat this for breakfast once it was on my plate. The only question is how long it takes to digest.

Fish for breakfast, day two: one salmon fillet, warmed in the microwave, with veg from frozen, and one Ryvita pumkin seed and oat crispbread. Lovely, and I may be converted to fish for breakfast, but again the only question is how quickly I can get up and exercise after eating this. Does this food settle quickly enough?

Fozen veg and freshly chopped strawberries.

Evening snack: spinach from frozen, and one Ryvita pumpkin seed and oat crispbread.

Breakfast: one pot of Yeo Valley Natural yoghurt (their fat free version has extra sugar instead of the fat) with a raisin mix (correct product link to be confirmed; this one has vegetable oil listed in the ingredients), a few natural apricots (these brown apricots are high in iron and taste a lot better to the orange-coloured ones), and some freshly chopped strawberries.

On last year's diet I never ate more than half a pot of yoghurt at once. Hmm.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Big Shop. Small Fridge.

It's amazing how excited I was at the fact that I managed to fit it all in.

As a student in a house of five with a standard-sized fridge/freezer between us all, I am quite used to hogging my half a shelf whilst doing my utmost to not intrude on the other half.

Given this, my walk around Tescos is usually accompanied with mild paranoia and frequent squeals by my conscience of 'there's no room! There's no room!' which I end up, on occassion -- like any one put in a good mood by the presence of good food -- ignoring.

Arriving back home, then, following my rule of 'doing my utmost,' usually involves opening all the bags of vegetables, squeezing out the air, and then tieing them tightly with elastic bands; emptying fruit into a single container; ordering everything like a jigsaw puzzle; and when things get really tough....putting everything into tuppaware. No one has ever spent as many minutes unpacking food as I have.

Still, although I may have gone slightly over my half-a-shelf line this time (as you can see from the pot of yoghurt...and the eggs on the shelf above), the tuppaware strategy worked. So my tip? Always buy a big set of tuppaware (for all of a pound from IKEA), and never think you have to buy presized portions of fresh food simply because you are pushed for space.

Now I really hope I don't need that box of salad underneath everything else anytime soon...

Five Stages of Health: Which Are You?

Health-seekers know what they're after, and they know when they've found it. 'It' is good health. 'It' is better health. 'It' is a chance to forget that they were ever seeking something in the first place. I can't think of a single health-seeker who wouldn't jump at the chance of becoming a health freerider. But that, unfortunately, is stage five. Which stage are you at?

THE LOST STAGE OF HEALTH: You have no idea what your alien body is doing, you don't understand your symptoms/condition(s), and you have no idea what to do about it all.

Enter the experimental stage of health: you start testing which foods are making you feel ill (if any); you start working out at which times you have the worst symptoms; you start recording when those symptoms occur; and you start trying different routines, diets, and activities.

You are now on a regimented routine or/and diet, but it's not really working. It requires huge amounts of effort to sustain, you keep having 'crash' afternoons or whole days, you keep getting it wrong, and you keep wanting to detox and start over, and over, and over again.

Your routine/diet is working. You feel good, you have more energy, you are happy with this near-'perfect' routine or diet, and you sit down for a meal out, happily annoucing that you have just swum or run a mile because everything is just so good right now. Your friends are impressed, so you sit there smugly and grin at the waiter: if you eat the 'wrong' food tonight, your stomach/body in general is in such a good place already that you probably won't even notice the mistake. Grin widely.

This is the pinnacle of your health journey: freeriding (symptom-free). You may have had a taste of this for a few days, or a week, or maybe even a month at a time, but now you are finally here and it seems like everything is pretty stable. You don't have to think about your routine or your diet: it seems second-nature to you. Your stomach hasn't rebelled in a long time and that means that you are more able to eat occassional meals out and not feel stressed or lost afterwards. Health freeriders no longer feel like there is a challenge surrounding their health or their diet. Good health...just happens.

Which stage are you at right now?

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Starting to Go Healthy, but Not From the Bottom

My diet avoids the following foods already. This means that if you too are health-crazed, and looking for a way to be more healthy, I won't be telling you to stop eating the following foods. I'll be finding ways to improve diets over and above that first task. If you need to eat little and often but you are fed up of seeing the following foods on the suggestions list, follow along.

  • Chocolate
  • Sweets
  • Wheat
  • Pizza
  • Pasta which is not gluten free
  • Large meals (except on rare occasions...I make an exception for Chinese!)
  • Foods which are high in synthetic fat and/or sugar -- the dessert favourites. 
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Coffee 
  • (etc)