Let's talk food...

April 23, 2015

I've owed an Instagram friend - Little Gem - this post for a while now. I like it when you guys request blog posts, I mean ultimately this blog is a kind of diary for me to look back on but you are my readers so I want to know what you like me writing about. Today is food and healthy dinner inspiration.

I've written all about running and workouts in this post, but food is another big thing to discuss. I did, for a few years suffer from anorexia which then led to bulimia. I was stick thin and not healthy. Since then, I've been a healthy size 8/10 {sometimes still a 6, thanks Next and Boden for making your clothes so big} for the past five years or so, I still fit into the same size clothes as I did when I was 16/17! Bonus! This is partly down to the running but a big part of it is diet I think. And let me stress that I do not diet. I believe that every woman has certain food rules that they follow, right? But I actually eat a hell of a lot, I think from being so active that I'm always hungry. Although Ben eats about twice what I do in a day and never puts on any weight!! While I try and eat super healthily 90% of the time, I do have a huge sweet tooth!

So, this is my personal food philosophy: Since having my eating disorders my taste for a lot of foods has changed. Eating fried foods or anything potato based/chips/mash/roasties makes me feel sick, I simply can't do it. Likewise for very buttery things, excessively oily things, pastry, creamy things {apart from ice cream}. full fat milk, white bread, fizzy drinks, caffeine and alcohol. I genuinely don't like them which is good for eating healthily as it doesn't feel like I'm missing out. {side note - A lot of people ask why I don't drink alcohol and there's a mixture of reasons, a) it's empty calories, I'd rather eat something than have a drink, b) I don't like the taste c) I have an addictive personality and have seen how alcohol has a negative effect on lots of people and they can't control it, d) hangovers mean that your body has been poisoned, no thank you, e) I love getting up early so don't want to wake up feeling rubbish. I don't have a problem with anyone who drinks alcohol, Ben doesn't for similar reasons which suits us both well. However we still go out with our friends and family who all drink alcohol and have a good time. With caffeine I've never liked the taste of tea or coffee and have never got into them so thought it was best not to start now or I'll get addicted, likewise with Ben. If I ever do have caffeine in a hot chocolate or something it gives me a headache so again I don't think it's good for your body}

I guess if you're going to categorise my way of eating it would be like a low GI diet. I don't exclude carbs at all because I need them for energy, but if I do have carbs they have to be brown and in their lowest glycemic index possible with fibre to keep you full. So I will always always choose brown rice, brown pasta, brown bread or sweet potatoes. White food has been stripped of all it's goodness and reacts like sugar in the body which will actually make you hungrier after eating them. I eat lots of meat and fish for protein which again helps to keep you full and I try and include vegetables as much as possible, they mostly have no calories yet fill you up and bulk out meals, and obviously count towards your five a day/vitamins/nutrients etc etc.  I also genuinely really love the taste of nearly all vegetables so eating them isn't a chore. We try and eat organically as much as possible, without being obsessive about it but I do believe it is better for you not to have added hormones and chemical pesticides on your food. Having an allotment is good for this too to control how everything is grown.

All of that being said I never really deprive myself of anything, moderation is key. And I nearly always have a pudding of some description, as soon as I finish dinner my sweet tooth kicks in and needs something. Terrible habit I know and if I cut out sugar I'd probably be a size 4 but miserable with it. Everybody needs a vice of some kind and life is too short not to have a bit {or sometimes a lot} of what you fancy. Ice cream is my biggest weakness!

A typical day of eating would be this for me - Breakfast every single day without fail, I'm simply too hungry not to eat breakfast. It changes between overnight oats with raspberries, yogurt and chia seeds {super yummy}, porridge, sometimes peanut butter on toast with a green smoothie made in the vitamix, nutella on toast if I'm feeling naughty at a weekend or boiled/scrambled eggs on avocado toast if we have more time on a Saturday or Sunday.

Lunches in the winter are nearly always some type of soup or beans on toast then as the springtime rolls around I'm loving ham salad pitta breads at the moment with sunbites or turkey and beetroot thins {the warbuton wholemeal thin flat bread things} with salad and sunbites. Sometimes I'll make some deliciously ella recipes for lunch like the bowls but I tend to fall into a boredom trap with with lunches. Then a yogurt/ice lolly/fruit and a little something chocolatey - a nakd bar if I'm feeling good. If I get starving mid afternoon I'll have some skinny popcorn or fruit or nuts or a biscuit for a snack. Then we always try and eat fairly early, by 6pm as we're always hungry! Eating earlier means you sleep better too and end up needing less food, if we ate at 7/8pm I'd need another snack about 5pm!

Another thing to note is how much water I drink in the day, probably 3 litres at least everyday. People call me Sharky. I think this is partly from exercise needing to hydrate but it also keeps you full and is so good for your skin. I take a water bottle wherever I go.

Anyway all this food philosophising aside. These are some of my favourite dinners to cook, that for the most part are 90% healthy! And they all take around 45 minutes or less. I love cooking but in the evenings when Ben gets home he wants food fast. I don't know which ones you'll be interested in and don't want this to turn into a food blog with all the recipes so I'll simply list them here for now but any you're interested in the full recipes please leave a comment or email/instagram comment me and I will blog whichever ones you like:

- Jamie's Salmon as we call it - a one tray roast of salmon fillets, cherry tomatoes, green beans, anchovies and olives, with wholewheat tagliatelle.
- Turkey chilli with kidney beans, black beans and corn with brown rice and cheese.
- Spiced prawns - basically a healthy and ridiculously easy and quick prawn, tomato, spinach and pea curry with brown rice.
- Griddled tuna steaks with courgettes, peppers, onions and tomatoes served with spelt and quinoa.

- Salmon cooked in foil with ginger and soy with tonnes of stirfried veg, brown rice seaweed noodles and sweet chilli sauce.
- Leon Moroccan meatballs in a harissa tomato sauce with wholewheat giant couscous, smoky aubergine, garlic chilli broccoli and flatbreads.
- Moroccan style vegetable tagine with quinoa {one for the winter months you will boil up when eating it}
- Seeded haddock with sweet potato wedges and green veg
- Beetroot burgers, salad and sweet potato wedges. From Hugh's book Light and Easy.

- Courgette lasagne {for when we have a glut from our allotment}
- Pearl barley risotto with leeks, spinach, smoked haddock, peas and parmesan.
- Regular risotto with chicken, asparagus, butternut squash and peas and parmesan.
- Pesto pasta/tuna pasta/tomatoey courgette pasta/sausage and broccoli pasta. All wholewheat.
- Leon sausage and flagelot stew with kale.
- Deliciously Ella cannelli bean stew with kale
- Deliciously Ella black bean chilli {with loads of cheese, I could never be a full vegan!}
- Parma ham wrapped chicken breasts with courgetti and a tomato pesto sauce plus green veg
- Homemade pizzas with seeded multigrain bases {a Friday favourite if we're at home!}

- Bolognese with spelt spaghetti and kale or courgetti.
- Mexican chicken stew with onions, peppers, black beans in a spicy tomato sauce with brown rice and grated cheese on top. {so yummy}
- An easy midweek, one pan one tray roast chicken with squash, sprouts, leeks and carmargue red rice and peas.
- Our default detox dinner if we've had a heavy food weekend is roasted veg with kale, quinoa and chickpeas with a tomato sauce

- Summer BBQs with grilled meat, salads, corn and rice/pitta breads/couscous.
- Jerk BBQ chicken and homemade healthy slaw with brown rice.
-BBQed kebabs
- Griddled halloumi or Salmon on the BBQ with a superfood salad and couscous

So please let me know if you want any of these blogging in full. I do love cooking and eating yummy but healthy food. Especially now the summertime is coming up and you feel like eating lighter, fresher salads and summer berries.

R <3 xx 

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  1. Ooh I feel so demanding! A brilliant blogpost just for me!! :) love hearing your story and your eating style...so much inspiration!
    Would love to hear about the chicken and squash one tray roast xx

  2. Great recipe ideas and food photos. Thank goodness it's almost lunch time, cause now I am hnugry!!

  3. Yum! They all sound so healthy and vibrant. I'd love the recipes for the pizza and the spiced prawns if possible?

    1. Hi Zoe, thank you for reading! Will be blogging one every couple of weeks when I'm back from my holiday xxx

  4. I love food posts! Thank you for such a lovely honest post & some great meal ideas. I have fallen into a same dinner routine lately.
    I would love recipes for spiced prawns, morrocan meatballs, beetroot burgers, courgettes lasagne, homemade pizza, Mexican chicken stew & jerk chicken! They all sound so good. Do you use turkey mince?
    Where do you buy your wholewheat tagliatelle, seaweed noodles & spelt spaghetti? I've not come across these. And lastly, what's spelt & quinoa? I know the item individually but not serve together?? Thank you x

    1. Hi Sarah, thanks for reading! I will start to gradually post the recipes every couple of weeks once I'm back from my holiday. If you can't wait though and want them now then email me rkedgley@hotmail.co.uk and I'll send some through early. And yes to turkey mince for the chilli, M&S, Waitrose and Sainsburys sell it. Although haven't found an organic version yet.
      And wholewheat tagliatelle is from Sainsburys, the seaweed noodles are from my local health food shop and the spelt spaghetti from Sainsburys.
      Spelt and Quinoa is a ready made pouch you can buy from Sainsburys that you microwave in 2 mins and add to stews/tagines/grilled veggies. It also have chickpeas and bulgar wheat in xx

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