27 days of being good – and no pain in my knees!!

It has been nearly 4 weeks since I ditched sugar, alcohol, grains and most of the milk products – and I feel great. I don’t know about loosing weight as I don’t use my bathroom scale anymore (I might do it next week just out of interest) and I don’t really care what numbers it shows, but I feel so much better than month ago. I was actually skipping down to stairs today. It is improvement from staggering and swearing, isn’t it?

I’m always quite curious with new diet trends and look into them, but truth is I always try to stay sensible and I love my food. My house is full of cookbooks and I love cooking to other people. So it’s probably won’t be strict meals all the times but at least I will aim it.

Paleo diet has been under the attack recently, accused to being like some cult or mad Palaeolithic meat eaters movement, whose diet is boring and unhealthy. I can’t say that my meal times are boring. My food is colourful, I’m never hungry, I just stay out of certain things. And if I want I have cream in my coffee I will have it. And after my 33 day challenge I might treat myself with peace of cake or my homemade rye bread. I do what I want and I’m not going to stress about it. But the truth is – cutting out certain things from my diet have made me feel so much better. You should’ve seen my “ace serves” in tennis – I was in fire 🙂

My favourite breakfast at the moment is:

 grated carrot

 garlic glove

2 eggs

Salt, pepper

Breakfast

Grate the carrot and fry on the pan in butter or olive oil, add chopped garlic glove and fry few more minutes, Break 2 eggs on to the top and mix lightly with carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Fry until you have your omelette ready. Serve with salad.

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I usually get it ready before I go to work and back it in the box with me. It fills me up until lunchtime and tastes lovely. And my friend said that in Singapore that is just about a national dish! They use Daikon (or Japanese Radish) instead of carrots, but it is called Carrot Cake. And if they add sweet soya sauce and garlic to the mix it is called Black Carrot Cake.

Another simple breakfast is

Bacon and Egg cups

Line muffin tins with the bacon and break into each cup one egg. Season with salt and pepper and add chopped pepper or onion pn to the top. Bake in the oven until just set.

Breakfast 2 egg muffins

Lent and Paleo

First time ever I decided to give up something for the lent. There wasn’t any religious reasons, but seem that in England it’s very popular to give up something, so I decided to join in. Even children do it and promise not to eat chocolate or sweets. If lucky, they last few weeks 🙂 I’m really proud of my daughter who managed to give up fruit juice for six weeks, she has been addicted to it since she was baby and unfortunately most juices you get nowadays have added sugar and lots of it. Now I buy only pressed fruit juice, it is more expensive so I don’t get it as often, but it’s so much nicer. As I said rather have real stuff!

I think I was at stage, where I needed some change in my life. I felt tired, always rushing somewhere, no time to myself. Wednesday 5th of March I gave up alcohol, coffee, sweets and everything else containing sugar (I kept fruit), white flour and TV.  It also helped that group of people in FB decided to go through with the detox, so it was interesting to follow people, who were in the same boat.

After few weeks I came across with Paleo diet. I’m very sceptical of all sorts of diets and I’m firm believer of balanced diet and eating real thing, not diet products and low fat rubbish, which are full of sugars and sweeteners. I have been going to WW meetings for the year now and I really like the system, it isn’t really diet but lifestyle. Even I don’t like their products and I don’t agree concentrating low fat menus, but I like their meetings and it helps me keep under the control. Especially, when you know that meeting coming up so you don’t want to be disappointed with the numbers on the scale display.

Anyway reading about Paleo I decided have a go on their 30 day challenge I found on their Estonian webpage http://paleo.ee/2013/01/paleo-30-paeva-valjakutse/ Basically you don’t eat any grains, no milk products, no beans (including soya beans), no sweets and sugars, but you can have organic honey, no processed meat. In English there is really good webpage, which helps you find out which food is Paleo http://eatdrinkpaleo.com.au/.

I truly enjoyed this 4 weeks, I felt so in control and I tried lots of new recipes. I didn’t count how much I ate just had foods which were aloud – lots of fruit and veg, meat, fish and nuts.

My favourites are home made mayonnaise, ice-cream from banana and mango and coconut milk, no oats porridge was absolute divine. I managed Ok with feeding my family – I just had meat and veg, when they had maybe pasta or rice as well.

By end of the week 4 I felt bit sorry that it was over. I’m definitely will try to follow it in the future maybe 70 % of the time. I can’t do it all the time -then all my cookbooks would go to waste and all those lovely food blogs I follow would be bit useless 🙂 What I like about Paleo, was I didn’t’ feel like snacking all the time and I wasn’t hungry at all.

I did get bit addicted to those:nakd-raw-chocolate-1

They only include nuts, dried fruit and bit of cocoa and they are LOVELY!!!!

Here is on typical Paleo side dish I had – beetroot with salt and pepper and olive oil, I couldn’t take picture of full plate as it disappears too quickly but look at the colours!

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Ad here is the recipe for the no grain porridge, I have to confess I had 2 portions and would’ve have 3rd one – not so good if you try to loose some weight 🙂

Paleo porridge

Handful walnuts

handful pecans

2sp linseed

0.5tsp cinnamon

ground nutmeg

ground ginger

1sp almond butter ( I used ordinary butter)

1 mashed banana

3 eggs

60 ml almond milk ( can be more, it depends how you like your porridge)

to serve: 2tsp pumpkin seeds, goji berries or any other berries, desiccated coconut or anything else you like, I had bit honey.

Put all nuts and seeds to  the food processor and grind ( not too fine).

Beat the eggs and almond milk add mashed banana and butter and blend all together. you can make those two mixes night before as mornings are rush anyway.

Add nuts to egg mixture in the saucepan and heat it slowly, mixing all the time until porridge is how you like it.

Serve with berries, seeds, almond milk and honey. Nammmm!!

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Dish a day 2. Spelt Flour Cinnamon Pancakes

Here the second day of the challenge and I need use up some spelt flour. Spelt is very similar to the wheat but it has so much more taste and it’s healthier. You can substitute wheat flour in most of the recipes with the spelt and it has such a lovely nutty taste. Even so I could go on about spelt health benefits; my family didn’t think much of it mostly because of cinnamon. I have grown up with cinnamon and it was added almost to any pudding. I had semolina porridge with sugar and cinnamon, apple cakes sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, “kringel” made with cocoa and cinnamon and so on. So I love the smell and taste of it, but not my family 🙁  My husband said he grow to hate it when he was in America at summer camp, children aren’t just not very eager to get know new tastes but I enjoyed them with all my heart and felt like being back in my childhood.

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The recepie idea comes from Signe Johansen book “Scandilicious”.

Spelt Flour Cinnamon Pancakes

350 g spelt flour ( or 250 g wholemeal spelt flour and 150 refined spelt flour)

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp golden caster sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

350 ml milk

50 ml soured cream (or plain yogurt)

50 g melted butter

2 eggs

butter and vegetable oil for frying

Stir all dry ingredients together. make a well in the middle, add all the liquid ingredients and stir all together. Set aside for 30 minutes – it allows flour to expand and helps to make thicker pancakes.

Preheat oven to the lowest temperature so you could keep pancakes warm.

Melt 1 tsp butter and 1 tsp vegetable oil together in a large frying pan. Once it’s hot, put small ladleful of batter in the centre of the pan and then fry them over the medium heat. The batter will be quite thick and bubbly. Flip it over, when it starts to turn golden.

Serve them with some crème fraiche and fruit compote, or Greek yogurt and blueberries, golden syrup or with your favourite jam (thanks Peter for your wonderful Wild Plum Jam).

Unfortunately they won’t be made in this household very often, but do try if you up for healthier version and bit of a difference.

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