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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 11:51pm on 17/03/2014 under
We're trying to keep expenditure down -- the usual start-of-the-year problem of lots of annual bills to pay and not quite enough money to cover them. Anyway, last weekend we didn't do a supermarket shop; instead, I went shopping in our freezer and cupboards. It worked really well, with a nice bonus of making meals outside our usual repertoire.

So we had pasta with creamed chard (from the allotment!), beef stroganoff, Moroccan chick peas with minted couscous, butternut squash risotto, ham-sweetcorn-potato-and-cheese pie, chili with guacamole and flatbreads. River disliked the stroganoff and chili (chunks of beef instead of mince). I can remember hating the texture of beef when I was little. She tried it, at least, so I was happy. The nicest meal, by unanimous agreement, was the chick peas. I did put a lot of apricots in there...

Scavenging in the freezer worked so well that I did it again this weekend. On Saturday we had roast chicken with veg and gravy. Sunday was chicken-and-bacon-salad pittas (and I made 2 litres of stock), and today was chicken broth with crusty bread for dinner and a vegetarian shepherd's pie (made with the leftover mash from Saturday) for tea. For the rest of the week: Tuesday chicken-tomato-and-olive pasta bake, Wednesday chicken curry, Thursday fish-chips-and-peas, Friday Chinese stir-fried beef with noodles. Then on Saturday we'll start the thrifty meaty goodness all over again with a boiled ham.

The freezer's nearly empty now. I only buy meat if it's local/"happy" and on special offer. So, after next weekend, all we'll have left is a packet of chicken legs. I'll have to go hunting in the supermarket again...
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 11:08pm on 03/02/2010 under
We've decided to stop the diet. Not because it was bad, but because it wasn't making us feel loads better -- except for Matt actually sleeping through the night a few times. We've learnt a few things from it: that it's important to get enough omega-3 (so I shall continue to stir flax oil into my yoghurt); that roasting a chicken is actually a very economical thing to do, even if there's just two of you; that fresh fish is incredibly expensive; that bread should be considered a delicious treat and not something to eat at every single meal; that we don't need to eat quite so much cheese; that it's good to eat a lot of fruit.

It's been interesting, and very expensive, and I shall be glad to welcome lentils back into my diet. :D

Yesterday's food

Breakfast: large slice of bacon, salsa (tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper and basil in flax oil and lemon juice dressing)

Snack: coffee cake (colleague brought it into school as a treat for everyone)

Dinner: roast pork, roast parsnip, sauce of leeks, onions, apples and walnuts

Tea: pork, cucumber and chutney baguette, salsa, kiwi-apple-lime smoothie, small piece of chocolate

Various herbal teas

Exercise: none, except wandering up and down school corridor

Feeling: extremely stressed. Actually had a full-on, shouty, slamming-doors, throwing-things row with Matt after dinner, which is something we never normally do.

Today's food

Breakfast: natural yoghurt with banana, apple and walnut stirred in; kiwi-apple-lime smoothie

Snack: chocolate biscuit

Dinner: chestnut soup (onion, leek, carrot, celery, chestnuts cooked in chicken stock, then whizzed in the blender); pork, chutney and mayonnaise baguette; satsuma

Tea: 3-egg omelette with spinach and goats' cheese in it; satsuma

Various herbal teas

Exercise: none. And apparently I should be doing a lot if I don't want to get osteoporosis or dementia. I need more hours in the day.

Feeling: fine. In need of a hot drink!

And that's the end of my boring catalogue of meals. From now on you can assume I'm eating my usual mix of lentil-based soups and rice-and-slop main courses, with the occasional roast chicken thrown in just for fun.
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 06:16pm on 30/01/2010 under ,
I've had a pleasantly busy couple of days, and am now feeling both smug and industrious.

More pictures under the cut! )


I'm finding the whole process of cooking fascinating at the moment. What do you eat when the cheap bulky staples like pasta, bread, rice and potatoes aren't allowed? We're both discovering interesting new meals, and new ways of cooking things. (This is good, because we were getting into a bit of a soup/risotto/pasta rut.)

Food log under the cut. )
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 10:04pm on 28/01/2010 under
I've been thinking that we haven't been eating enough on this diet, so today I tried to rectify that with HUGE meals. As a result we're both incredibly full. Mmmmm.

Today's paleo noms:

Breakfast: chakchouka (leftover ratatouille with eggs kind of fried/poached in it), mango-and-passionfruit smoothie, peppermint tea

Snack: lemon-and-ginger tea, walnuts, dates

Dinner: smoked mackerel fillet, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, coleslaw (cabbage, onion, apple and carrot dressed with lemon juice and flax oil), slice of cheese (not paleo, but nearly all gone now), plum chutney, satsuma, camomile tea

Tea: stew/broth thing of sliced venison sausages, onion, garlic, celery, leek, parsnips and cumin in a sauce thickened with a pureed carrot; natural yoghurt* (with flax oil stirred in) with stewed apple, cinnamon and currants, topped with roasted pecans

Exercise: none yet, but I really am going to do some before I go to bed, once I've stopped feeling so full...

Feeling: full! Also, tired and relaxed.


* I cleared out the fridge this afternoon and found two tubs of natural yoghurt lurking at the back. One was half-empty, and the yoghurt still in there had gone green with mould; I rinsed the carton out and threw it away. The other was apparently best before 20th November 2009! I opened it and had a sniff, and was amazed to discover that it was absolutely fine. What a wondrous invention yoghurt is. It's not really supposed to be part of the paleo diet, but I've decided that its good qualities far out-weigh the bad. Also, you know, tasty.
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 10:04pm on 27/01/2010 under
Today's nearly paleo stuff: banana, apple, lemon-and-ginger tea, digestive biscuit (I was at school. There was a biscuit barrel in the staff kitchen. What can I say? I'm weak), dates, walnuts, smoked salmon steak with spicy ratatouille, peppermint tea, shortbread biscuit (all gone now! Yay!), venison sausage with delicious thick gravy and roasted vegetables (butternut squash, mushrooms, carrot and red pepper), satsuma, camomile tea.

Exercise: None yet...

Feeling: Really tired, actually. Very late night last night, and I woke up at 6.00am and couldn't get back to sleep. Also, it was just a really long day: teaching from 8.50am to 1.15pm, and again from 3.45pm to 8.20pm. Ugh.
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 10:21pm on 26/01/2010 under ,
The recession is apparently over, and all I can think is how much I'll miss the Upshares-Downshares segment during PM on Radio 4. Oh well.

Today's paleo-ish food: apple, boiled egg, walnuts, dates, camomile tea, lemon-and-ginger tea, slices of cold roast pork leg, coleslaw, cheese and plum chutney (not paleo but needs eating up), peppermint tea, wild boar sausage, roasted carrots and parsnips, onion gravy, final crumbs of chocolate cake, small glass of white wine, camomile tea.

Exercise: Press-ups! HA!

Feeling: Tired and relaxed. And relieved that my cold has finally gone away. Huzzah!
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 11:15pm on 25/01/2010 under
Oops. Forgot to post about food over the weekend -- too busy with Viennese balls and epic journeys to collect banana boxes from the deepest wilds in the far north of my rock.

Anyway, Saturday: banana, walnuts, dates, shortbread biscuit, carrot, apple, satsuma, cheese (not paleo, but it needs eating up), pasta (ditto) with garlicky mushrooms and the remains of the stuffing mixture from Thursday's roast chicken, with pesto on top, various herbal teas.

Sunday: half a galia melon with pomegranate seeds scattered over it, smoked salmon steak with spinach salad and a lemony mayonnaise dressing, BLT baguette (not paleo but Matt's dad offered to make it, and you'd be a fool indeed to refuse free food), some kind of chocolate biscuit thing at mum's house (more free food!), and then for tea I opted to make a totally non-paleo meal* of pea-and-parmesan risotto using stock made from Thursday's chicken carcass, and then Matt found a leftover chocolate birthday cake in a box upstairs so we had some of that for pudding, glass of white wine, various herbal teas.

Monday: boiled egg, banana, peppermint tea, lemon-and-ginger tea, roast leg of pork with wilted lemony spinach and a kind of vegetable sauce affair of onion, celery, garlic, apples and courgette all cooked together in white wine and chicken stock (delicious!), peppermint tea, coleslaw (cabbage, carrot, apple, onion, almonds, in lemon juice and flax oil dressing), slice of cold pork, small chunk of chocolate cake, camomile tea.

Exercise: none. This is terrible. I can't keep on writing "none" here, can I? I'll go and do some press-ups in a minute.

Feeling: fine. I've noticed that since we started this diet last week I haven't felt hungry at all -- very unusual for me. Also noticed that I'm generally sleeping better. Matt has, to his surprise, twice slept through the night without waking up -- which is something I've never known him to do in the nearly-ten years we've been together. My gums have stopped bleeding and my teeth no longer feel loose in my head, something that had been really worrying me over Christmas.

No noticeable surge in energy levels, though. And my skin is not glowing and amazing. In fact, people keep telling me I look ill. Admittedly, I have been ill (the usual post-Christmas cold, which pops up at the start of the school term and hangs around for weeks. It's almost gone now), but it's rather galling that people can see it in my face.

And, as suspected last week, it's going to be an expensive diet to maintain. I estimate that we've spent £45 on food since last Tuesday. Meat is not cheap. And fruit and veg aren't either. I'm beginning to regret giving up the allotment.**

* we don't particularly want to lose weight, so we've opted to keep some of our meals non-paleo -- essentially grain/legume/dairy-rich (so that risotto was the ultimate non-paleo meal, really). But, even with doing that, I seem to have lost 4 or 5 pounds since the start of the year.

** it's just for a year. We're anticipating being too busy with doing up the house, and Matt's dad was very keen to take it on while he's on the waiting list for a more permanent plot for himself.
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 08:51pm on 21/01/2010 under
Today's quasi-paleo food: boiled egg and soldiers (still not a proper paleo breakfast! But that's the last of the bread now so I'll have to get creative tomorrow...), mango-and-passionfruit smoothie, peppermint tea, camomile tea, walnuts and dates, skinless roast chicken with a fancy stuffing (onion, celery, walnuts, currants, apple, bay leaf and red wine), ratatouille (tomatoes, red pepper, courgette, onion), avocado slices dressed with lemon juice and flax oil, banana, shortbread biscuit (from a tin that we received for Christmas and that I just noticed under a pile of books on the floor), cock-a-leekie soup, satsuma, lemon-and-ginger tea.

Exercise: none whatsoever

Feeling: relaxed and mellow
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 11:12pm on 20/01/2010 under
Continuing the almost-Paleo diet, as detailed yesterday.

Today's food: toast and butter (not Paleo, but the bread needs eating up and I didn't have time to cook an egg for breakfast), mango-and-passionfruit smoothie, lemon-and-ginger tea, peppermint tea, walnuts and dates, camomile tea, wild boar sausage with mushroom and onion gravy and spiced roasted butternut squash, banana, peppermint tea, broth made from last night's chicken and ratatouille leftovers, cooked with a head of broccoli florets, and a spoonful of flax oil added at the end (to keep omega-3 levels up), glass of red wine, camomile tea.

Exercise: none, unless you count briskly walking around town to get a handful of chores done.

Feeling: mildly tipsy, tired and relaxed.
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posted by [personal profile] madelinekelly at 11:37pm on 19/01/2010 under
Matt and I are trying an experiment with food. We're going to attempt the "paleo" diet for a couple of weeks, to see if we can notice any difference in our health and mental well-being.

I shall make a note here every day of what I've eaten, and how I feel. (I feel right now like there should be a six-fingered man standing over me, saying, "Remember, this is for posterity...")

Anyway, today's food, in chronological order: banana, toast and butter (not paleo at all but it's all we had in), lemon-and-ginger tea, camomile tea, slice of birthday cake (cake not paleo but etc), venison sausage with fried onions and parsnip-and-carrot mash, walnuts, chicken breast with pesto (pesto not paleo but etc), basic ratatouille of tomatoes, onion, garlic, courgette, red pepper and bay leaf, camomile tea, lemon-and-ginger tea.

Exercise: none, except for walking briskly around town on the hunt for meat and vegetables, and an hour and a half of vigorous dish-washing (we tend to let them pile up until the kitchen's a disaster zone).

Feeling: tired and relaxed.

It's already quite obvious that this diet is going to be expensive. Oh well.


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