Friday, 30 August 2013

Diet days

Despite the advances in medical science, I think healthy eating is becoming more difficult than ever. Yes, there are all the unhealthy treats but even foods labelled as healthy rarely are when you read the ingredients. It is also difficult to lose or maintain weight when we are all so busy all the time. Fitting in exercise and (in my case) watching portion sizes when you are tired and hungry and LOVE food is a big challenge.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Dukan or Dukan't

I am not really a fan of diets. I believe in just eating well and exercising regularly. Unfortunately life gets in the way and sometimes the regular exercise falls away leading to a couple of extra kilos that requires a bit more effort. This time last year I went on a calorie control diet to lose a few kilos gained after injuring my back. It worked and I lost 3-4 kilos but had to stop because I always become obsessed with the numbers. I had quite severe anorexia as a teenager. I started on calorie control and eventually cut down to about 500 calories per day. I can recognise those tendencies coming back when I am watching numbers too much.

The Bookworm has been threatening to do the keto diet for a while. He wants to lose a couple of kilos and get match fit for a course he is doing in a few months time. He likes the idea of high protein for muscle growth and I think has mental images of eating plates piled high with cheese and bacon keto-style. I have my concerns about the long-term effect of these high fat diets so I haven't been too encouraging.

I read a column recently about the Dukan Diet. It seems to allow extreme weight loss (not that we need that) but the things I like about it are:
1. High protein
2. Low fat
3. Only a short period at the beginning with any significant vegetable restrictions and then some flexibility after that
4. No counting calories
5. Has a plan for long term achievable results.

So we tried it. On Monday we started a 5-day protein only Attack Phase, I later revised it down to 3 days after entering my data on this is how it went:

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

How Much is That Doggie in the Window?

The life of a pet shop puppy:

You wake in the morning at 5:30am like all good puppies and pull yourself out from under your sister who has fallen asleep on top of you. You climb over your other siblings and the 2 cavoodles they have chucked in your box and do a quick circuit of the perimeter, this takes you about 30 seconds and having decided there is nowhere new to go you do your morning business next to the water bowl that is empty after one of the cavoodles knocked it last night. You are really hungry but the staff won't arrive for another hour or two so you flop unceremoniously back on top of your sister and go back to sleep.

The lights come on. Hooray!!! You scramble to get a pat from the pet shop lady as she opens the magic door and reaches in to scoop out the dirty shredded paper that is your floor and bedding and make sure you are ready to pounce on that food as soon as it arrives. This is the best part of the day! After breakfast you have a bit of a roll about with you brother and the 2 cavoodles and then settle down for a nap. It is hard to sleep under the fluorescent lighting but you are pretty used to that now....zzzzzzzz


Shit, what is that?You wake abruptly and jump up ready to fight. There is a giggling noise and you realise that the noise was just a human tapping on your box. You go over to see if they will give you a pat but the magic door doesn't open and the human just waves at you while you trace their finger movement with your nose.

The rest of the day carries on much like this. You get a quick pat when the magic door opens and one of the cavoodles is taken away but other than that the highlight is when you get dinner just before the lights go out.

Fairly crappy existence right?

Friday, 16 August 2013

Vegan (raw) creamy zucchini 'pasta'

I don't like a food phase to go by without giving it a go and am quite interested in the raw vegan trend at the moment so here is my almost raw recipe (with raw options).

You will need:
1 cup of cashews, soaked in water for about 6-8 hours
1/2-1 cup of non-dairy milk of your choice (or if you aren't vegan then you can use regular milk)
1-2 garlic cloves
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
chopped herbs- I used thyme and parsley because that is what I had in the fridge
2-3 zucchinis depending on size and how much 'pasta' you want.

Serves 3 as a stand-alone dish

Thursday, 15 August 2013

My guide to wine tasting

I spend my days pouring wine for people to taste in the wine store with no wine and I have learned a lot. Mostly about what not to do when tasting wine. So I thought I would share my knowledge because I am certain that I have been guilty of many faux pas over the years.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

What Gatsby?

I watched "The Great Gatsby" and I loved it.

I went by myself towards the end of the run at Palace Cinemas in a tiny little theatre. I didn't intentionally leave it this late, I just always seem to fill my days off with other things. I was expecting it to be an average movie but aesthetically and aurally beautiful. I still remember the experience of seeing Baz Luhrmann's 'Romeo and Juliet'. Those stunning moments of intimate camera angles, soaring music and beautiful people that just stick in your head. Despite having been in 3 productions, playing Juliet for 7 months in one of them, when I think of R&J the first picture in my mind is of Claire Danes dressed as an angel, peeking through the fish tank at Leo. This was why I had to see Gatsby.  I hadn't read many reviews, I tried not to, but the overall impression I got was that it was not a good film, a bit over the top and not true to the book.

That probably helped. You see, 'The Great Gatsby' is the book that high school ruined for me.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Caramelised fennel salad (and beef ragu lasagne)

It is too cold for cold salads at the moment so I am exploring the warm ones.

I found a recipe for a potato and beef ragu lasagne and wanted a salad that would go well with so I went searching for inspiration.

I love fennel so I got some but the tender little baby fennels weren't available so I bought a giant big one and decided to caramelise it a little to make it a bit more tender (and warm:) and went from there.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Casual Philanthropy

 I did a good thing.

About a month ago Oscar's Law and The Paw Project were able to provide enough evidence to the South Australian RSPCA to warrant a raid on an Adelaide Hills puppy farm. Over one hundred dogs and cats were rescued, including pregnant animals and a callout was placed on the Oscar's Law Facebook page for donations of blankets, food, medical supplies etc to assist the foster carers of these animals. Most of the drop-off points were in the outer suburbs and being inner city and wanting to help (and having seen other requests for inner suburbs drop-off points) I offered the shop I work in as a location.

The store was listed as a drop-off location on Thursday about midday, by early Friday afternoon we had this: