Carving A New Life

It’s funny how people are often very enthusiastic about the prospect of something but then when it comes down to it, things kind of fizzle out. Everyone does it, myself included. My belief is that you invest so much energy into being excited over an idea that you then don’t have the energy to beat down the inevitable nervoiusness of a fight or flight response.

This is the stage I’m coming to now. With the prospect of trying to carve a new life for my husband and I out of thin air I’m faced by all the doubts and the constant barrage ‘what if’. What if things don’t work out the way we want? What if it puts a strain on our relationship? What if I miss my family too much? What if no one likes us there?

And so on and so forth.

This step we are planning to take is a massive one and we have been inching towards it for 4 months now but it feels like a year!

The biggest issue is that if we do this (And yes, for now it’s being kept on a bit of a hush-hush) … then I will have to become … a grown-up.

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Forgetful With Success

I am quite familiar with having to ‘wing it’ as far as cooking goes, normally to my lack of preparation when it comes to ingredients. Last week I pulled a gammon joint out of the freezer and set it defrosting in the fridge however I promptly forgot about it until the day I had planned to make it.

When I saw “slow-cooked gammon” on my kitchen chalk board (The only way I can actually stick to a meal-plan) I rolled my eyes at myself as at 4pm on a Sunday with the shops shut there was no time to amend a recipe let alone actually use the 8 hour cooking recipe I had intended (add gammon to slow cooker, pour in contents of can of chopped pineapple and let it have at it).

So, with the need to cook the darn thing anyway I popped it into a pot of water and decided to settle for boiled ham. This particular joint didn’t have any skin to make crackling, neither did we have any honey for a glaze … *sigh*

Once it was cooked and I began on the other accompaniments, the Husbat flowed into the kitchen as some kind of culinary savior and started rummaging in the fridge and pulled out … a jar of sweet chili jam!

Yes, sweet chili JAM!

(Well … it is described as jelly but the seems to be to cater to international visitors … for me jelly goes with ice cream, not gammon)

I had purchased this from a National Trust gift shop at a castle we went to on a trip down south last summer (which I still need to post about here at some point!) but had completely forgotten about it, as with so many other things I buy. It was very nice and I am pleased that it can be purchased online from the National Trust web-shop.

Hubby then proceeds to score the top of the joint, grab a spoon from the drawer and empty half of the jar onto the unsuspecting lump of gammon! Needless to say I was bit surprised. My husband, while able to follow a recipe to the letter to create really nice meals, is not normally comfortable when I go off spec so this was something very new!

Into the oven it went for 20 or so minutes while I finished the rest of the meal. After removing the meat and letting it rest we took a tentative sample of the sweet chili glazed gammon … and it is quite possibly the nicest piece of gammon I have ever tried in my life!

The saltiness of the meat took away countered just enough of the sweetness in the chili so that it wasn’t overpowering and the slight heat from the chili worked amazingly well. Add in top a couple of slices of seared pineapple and it was quite possibly one of the best meals we have ever come up with! We at the whole thing between the two of us (which meant I have no leftovers for my lunch today, but oh well)!

The problem …

I forgot to take a photo.

*sigh*

 

 

The Last Of The Freezer Meals!

We are now on week 3 of Operation Use-What-We-Have-In-The-Freezer and the light is finally at the end of the tunnel. Most of the ‘main meal’ type things such as the endless number of chicken goujons, the beef burgers, the dices meats and bags after bags of potato products have all been consumed resulting a lot of nicely usable (and reorganisable) freezer space. The “sides” drawer is still full and the frozen veg has been topped up but pother than that it seems to be a success. On the cards this week is …

Monday:

Yesterday we had roast lamb joint with new potatoes and fine beans with a mint gravy. Now … it seems lamb and I do not get on and it was an over-cooked stringy monstrosity which meant that, as the meal was one of my husbands favorites and was supposed to be a cheer-up-glum-husband meal, it crashed and burned spectacularly. I think in the future I will stick to lamb shanks that you cook in a bag … Oh well.. onward and upwards

Tuesday:

Today I have Zumba class after work so I know I’m not going to have a massive appetite but will still want something to help recover from the energy drain. It may not be the healthiest of summer meals but tonight is a smoked bacon Quiche Loraine with a side salad and crusty bread. I’m avoiding having chips with it this time to try and keep fat levels down even a little bit.

Wednesday:

Time for the last supplies of an all time favorite – IKEA meatballs and mash with lingonberry sauce and IKEA gravy. It goes down perfectly every time and we have just enough in the freezer to feed the two of us and clear more space without it being too big of a meal.

Thursday:

Sweet chili chicken with jasmine rice. These two things have been sitting in the freezer for weeks now, both purchased from the “still fresh” isle at the supermarket where they have all of the reduced items. that would make this meal an absolute bargain for the both of us, I just hope the flavors compliment each other …

Friday:

Wifey’s day off. This is the day where it’s a take-out or bust! Or at a pinch something like a bung-in-the-oven fresh pizza from the local supermarket, something the husband can cook without too much difficulty.

Weekends are normally a bit of a “wing it” affair as it really does depend on what we have had to do that day as to what we feel like having for tea at the end of the day. All in all this has been a success as we have managed to get a lot of the long term stored food eaten and also saved quite a bit of money while doing so! Success all round I think (except for the lamb).

Small Succsess

Having received my Fitbit on Tuesday last week I have worn it almost constantly (with the only exception being when it made my wrist a bit sore on the first Friday night and then on the Saturday when it was on charge). While wearing ti overnight has taken quite a bit of getting used to, I am finding it amazingly useful!

It is making me so much more aware of exactly how much (or how little) exercise I really am doing! I have an office job in an office which is basically one room with only one other person in it. The door to our office is directly onto the car-park so it’s not even like we are in a larger building that I can roam around on a short break. I take less than 10 steps in any direction and I hit a wall … not very conducive to increasing exercise levels!

However the prompt feature of the fitbit is very useful in that it will tell me how fare off the 250 steps per hour target I am with 10 minutes to go. So if I get a prompt saying that I have below 100 steps to go, up I pop from my chair and pace back and forth like a stressed zoo animal for a couple of minutes. It’s a small step but I feel it is helping.

The ability to use the same program to log my food intake is also extremely useful. I have been using other apps previously but the fact that I am now getting a more accurate estimate on how many calories I am burning during the day, It helps me to control how much I eat. I am also becoming more aware of exactly what I am putting in my body and helps me to steer clear of any naughty snacks during the day!

For example, as I have been able to keep on track with my meal plans this week I have been able to log my breakfast after I have eaten it and then enter what we are going to be having for evening dinner at the same time. This helps me to plan how much I can take in during the day and helps to strengthen my resolve to resist the constant temptation of the Mcdonalds that is less than 5 minute walk from my office door! Especially after I looked up exactly how many calories are in one of their meals … yikes!

So things seem to have been working out with this! Thankfully I am starting to see the physical evidence of this in that since I received my fitbit and logged my starting weight I have lost 5lb!

Now to keep this ball rolling!

Last week I managed to stick with my meal plan as below:

  • Monday: Quiche Loraine with home made curly fries (yay for spiralizer) and salad
  • Tuesday: Smoked gammon steak with whips and vegetables
  • Wednesday: Curry with rice and naan bread (finally getting the hang of sticking to smaller portions of this)
  • Tuesday: chili sausage with roasted vegetables and home made wedges

Friday is as always a take-out night.

Next week will be a bit of a challenge as I have training at work in one of the other offices so for two nights this week I will be getting home late. But hopefully we will be able to stick to this plan:

  • Monday: Cheesy pasta with ham and roast veggies
  • Tuesday: Slow cooker beef and potato gratin (recipe by The Magical Slowcooker)
  • Wednesday: (training day 1) Pizza with garlic focaccia bread
  • Thursday: (training day 2) Fake-Friday takeaway
  • Friday: (bank holiday day off) Roast lamb with mash potato and vegetables

you may be thinking that none of this really looks all that healthy or low fat … well for me it’s not the fat content I am focusing on right now, it is portion size. Traditionally I have piled food high on the plate in order to provide myself and husband with what looks like a sufficient meal, when actually it is twice or three times what we should have. I have always ignored the “serving size” recommendations on the packaging. Now I am finally getting better at limiting what I put on the plate which is already having a great effect on how we feel after we have eaten a meal.

Fingers crossed I can keep this small success going!

(/EndRant)