Monday, 31 March 2014

My Body is a Temple....

I am writing this slightly out-of-character post for Debs my personal trainer.
Last year I was fed up trying and failing to diet and exercise and David was feeling unhealthy due to long hours spent at his computer.
 I battle with Fybromyalgia ( I won't say more about it now except that I daren't face an ordinary aerobics class and to add this link ), so we turned to somebody who would come to our house and help us with her knowledge and teach me skills that I am sadly lacking!
Debs has given us unfailing cheerful support and I am now accepting her challenge to follow this especially healthy, three week eating plan. When I first saw what I would have to cut out last summer I was horrified and said " No- Never" but I have gradually been changing my eating habits and so am now ready.
Debs said to me- " Go on Jane, you can do it- just use your imagination"

I have shopped for a veritable rainbow of vegetables-

And filled the kitchen window with herbs.

I have decided to list my most tasty meals and recipes in case they are of use to anybody and as record of this challenge.
The only carbs allowed are the vegetables (no starchy or sweet ones either), eggs, meats and fish and the healthy oils but no dairy, no sugar, spices or alcohol, no tea or coffee and only apples, oranges, lemons and limes for the first week. It's very basic but all good ingredients.
Breakfast is difficult but this was very tasty-

Mash one hard boiled egg with a little hummus, fill Little Gem lettuce leaves and scatter with seeds

I made enough lunch for David and I -

Tuna, with kidney beans, and chopped tomatoes, spring onions, celery and parsley

I added a salad dressing of lemon juice and olive oil and lots of herbs

The second day I had a simple breakfast

 I don't usually peel apples but this was a rather ancient Russet 

I'm always happy to eat an omelette for lunch but I do miss the cheese!

Spring onion, tomato, red pepper and a little ham

Served on a bed of watercress salad

For a treat I bought myself  some Quail's eggs. I love their delicate, nutty, creamy taste!

All they need is a touch of celery salt.

Lunch was Avocado and Butternut Squash dip with salad  and the last of the quail's eggs.

I'm now onto my second week and a few extra foods have been added. Most importantly bananas and nuts!

The above are my little biscuits. They are like oatcakes and made with seeds ground into a rough flour, some ground almond, salt, and enough olive oil and water to mix to a paste. I scoop little blobs of this on a baking tray and cook for about 20 mins. They are very tasty, and one with a hard boiled egg is a lovely breakfast, so I have to be careful not to eat more than a couple a day!

One successful meal was my experiment with baked mushrooms. I usually love them stuffed with cheese and breadcrumbs but today I used tomatoes, spring onions, herbs and seeds.

I served it with thin steaks and a green salad- yummy!

 A roast chicken is a wondrous thing. This one was pot roasted on a bed of parsnips and leeks, with lemon juice and a little olive oil. I love pot roasting, it makes the chicken very moist and flavoursome. I brushed squash and carrots with olive oil and baked them for us and made proper roast potatoes for Sam.

To use the cliche, I didn't feel like I was dieting...

 I love my smaller blue/white plate, it always looks as if I have a mountain of food!

Debs suggested this next recipe which I have adapted. She mentioned that she ate banana and eggs- ' like a pancake'. The one below if made from half a mashed banana, dsrtsp. of ground almonds, tsp. of nut butter, a slosh of orange juice and one large egg. I wouldn't eat this for breakfast everyday but it was delicious, a cross between a pancake and an omelette.

It got a little stuck to the pan...
I have finished the three weeks now and even lost a few pounds. I  prefer having a wider choice of foods but it was a good 'kick start' into a healthier way of eating and I'm glad I took Deb's challenge.

Against all expectations, I have even learned to enjoy my fruit tea every morning!


  1. Dear Jane,
    What never fails to amaze us is the way in which food can play such an enormously important role in one's general health and well being. It is so good that you accepted the challenge and the meals you show here look deliciously appetising. We trust that you feel much better for it all.

    We are lucky to have a market close by to us and so can shop each day for fresh fruit and vegetables. It is sad that many of these markets are lost to the advance of supermarkets.

  2. Dear Jane and Lance,
    I always feel better if I'm eating a lot of vegetables and I almost always cook everything from scratch, so this was a good challenge.
    I do love food shopping and going to a local market has to be one of life's pleasures. Have a happy week. Jane xx

  3. I have to eat gluten free and do not like too much meat, so struggle to get enough variety into my life too. These look lovely dishes, photographed so well too. Love those blue plates by the way! I agree shopping at the market is a pleasure. I love looking at all the beautiful vegetables, subtle colours and shapes. x

    1. I'm lucky not to have any food intolerance, in fact I have an amazing tolerance for all number of bad things! Jane xx

  4. All the food looks beautiful and inviting, Jane. You're brave and I congratulate you for succeeding. I'm sure you learned a lot about food in this 3 weeks. One exception, the quail eggs are so beautiful I would not be able to eat them. We don't have them around here at all. Good luck on your future and thank you for inspiring me. Have a wonderful week. Diane

    1. Thank you Diane, I know what you mean about the quails's eggs, they are so sweet! Jane xx

  5. Your Rainbow of fruit and veg looks so appetizing. Thank you for some good ideas.
    I hope your new regime carries on being so colourful and enjoyable. Good luck!

  6. The most unpretentious and useful blog post on a healthy eating I've ever seen. (OK I don't look at many!) We'll certainly being following these ideas.

    1. Thanks Nilly, what wonderful praise. I did enjoy pitting my wits against the diet! Jane xx

  7. These look absolutely delicious. I couldn't manage without carbs, in fact I think I might be rather addicted to them. But I will substitute some of these. I need to find a way of keeping them printed out and handy. Bookmarked perhaps.

    And good luck with your trainer - you are definitely doing the right thing. I am full of admiration.

    By the way, your posts don't appear in my reader. ANOTHER Blogger glitch.

    1. Bothersome blogger.i'm often having hassles. Glad you like my recipes, I really enjoyed experimenting . But I too do love carbs and cheese... and butter... Jane xx

  8. What delicious inspiration for summer lunches! Thank you for sharing them in a manner that actually invites one to give healthier menus a try.

    One must admire your abstinence from coffee, tea (?!) and alcohol, but there lies the conflict: the planet is a pleasanter place after I've had my medicinal dose of morning coffee. For the sake of my co-workers' health and sanity, I'll refrain from abstaining!

    1. I agree Beth, it was my morning mug of tea that I really missed, along with cheese and oat cakes. it was worthwhile doing because it made me realise that it wasn't unhealthy things I yearned for. Jane xx

  9. Any minute now, I am going to do something similar! I have read the books, I have bought the healthy stuff from the health food shop, I know what I need to do. I just need Debs to give me a little push! It all looks wonderful though - well done.

    1. Thank you Marianne, I'm sending you good wishes and lots of support. Will you be writing about it? I must see how you do! Jane xx