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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Food: New Food Changes

I'm off to Egypt in a couple of weeks. Martin's parents are kindly taking us with them, together with his newly married brother Chris and his wife, Rachel. In addition to lots of sun (finally!), it also means the dreaded bikini. Depending on how I'm feeling this thought can either make me feel ok or completely panicked. Although my recent gym going has led to increased tone, I feel like the effect it's having has plateaued. I was talking to Amisah who works at my local gym and he said that I need to make changes to my diet to see further improvements. My aim isn't to lose weight, it's to just get a bit healthier. Especially as I'm not someone who can just cut whole food groups out, because I end up craving them more than ever. The thought of Atkins, Dukan, Weight Watchers etc fills me with dread. I also love eating out, so I'm not about to start a diet which really restricts where I can go.

Most of my meals are relatively low in fat, but the problem I have is the number of carbs and snacks I eat. I will quite happily eat spaghetti bolognese and eat all the spaghetti and none of the sauce. Martin thinks I'm mad. I'll also finish my dinner and then five minutes later I'll be rooting around for the next thing to eat. I'm terrible with obvious things like chocolate and biscuits, but it's also more bizarre things like endless bowls of cereal (as many as 10 bowls in a day). I don't intend to cut out 'bad things' altogether. It's more that I'll be choosing more carefully what unhealthy things I put into my body. This means eating fewer Percy Pigs and Haribo and more homecooked carrot cake and flapjacks which is great as I love any excuse to bake.

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to firstly try to reduce my carbohydrate intake and secondly, the carbs that I do eat, will hopefully be of the wholegrain variety. This means wholemeal pitta bread, sweet potatoes, quinoa (I've just learned how to pronounce it properly - it's keen-wah), and brown rice. Unfortunately my local supermarket is thwarting my efforts slightly. I have so far tried and failed to hunt down quinoa, edamame beans and agave syrup. I also intend to up my protein intake. I tried cottage cheese for the first time yesterday, which was happily surprisingly yummy (like lumpy yoghurt). I think I have been put off it previously due its name and links to diet. I'm not sure if I'll venture into protein powder; they sound quite alarming. I will, however, be on the hunt for naturally protein-rich foods. This means lots of pulses and beans. I'm hoping that these new foods will open up my mind to a new way of cooking too. I recently ate at the most amazing vegetarian cafe (a review to follow shortly), and the kind lady there recommended me the World Food Cafe cookbook which she uses for inspiration for all her recipes. I'm just waiting for it to arrive from Amazon. I can't wait!

What sorts of foods do you recommend? Have you got any particular favourite healthy recipes?

World Food Cafe Cookbook

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