Mood-reflecting porridge, leftovers and dropping eggs…
Been feeling pretty low on energy all day. I think maybe I’ve hit a mid-challenge slump. Maybe it’s staring at the rapidly dwindling pile of food in the kitchen. Careful rearranging isn’t making it look any bigger or more exciting. Maybe it’s knowing there’s nothing left in the kitty to vary my meals over the next few days – or even just to treat myself. I don’t think I’ve been drinking enough water either, so I need to be more careful to stay hydrated.
One thing that I’ve noticed is making me feel better though is the almost complete lack of sugar in my diet over the past few days. There’s some in the peanut butter, and natural sweetness in the fruit – but that’s about it. And I definitely feel better for it. I never thought I ate that much sugar (I don’t have it in drinks or on cereals) but as we’ve been hearing quite a bit lately, there are absolutely insane amounts of hidden sugars in so many foods. Cutting those out of my diet seems to have made a difference in a really short space of time.
Breakfast: Banana and apple porridge (25.4p per portion)
I found myself delaying breakfast as long as I could so that I wouldn’t be tempted to tuck into my lunch mid morning. My days are definitely starting to revolve around meals – planning them, preparing them, eating them, but most of all waiting for the next one.
After yesterday’s smoothie debacle, the porridge made a welcome return this morning. Sam (the Marmite thief) came downstairs to find me slicing up half a banana to make this face, shook his head in disbelief and quickly retreated to the safety of his room. Maybe he’s right, and I am cracking up… but it made me smile. Little things, eh?
Lunch: Mushroom and ‘spinach’ bolognese (43.6p per portion)
I actually whooped with delight at lunchtime when I remembered that I had an extra portion of yesterday’s amazing mushroom mince creation leftover. When I was planning for the challenge, one aim I set myself was to try and keep as much variety as possible and not eat the same meal on two successive days. But the bolognese was so good that I didn’t even care and so, like a woman on a mission, I headed for the fridge. As I heated it up in the microwave, the smell even tempted Sam back down from his room where he proceeded to try and bargain with me – a piece of marmite toast in exchange for half my pasta. Er, nice try sunshine, but no dice. Mine, all mine.
Dinner: Feel-good fishcakes, healthy chips and mushy peas (41.3p per portion)
My one non-veggie day of the week! This recipe was taken from the BBC Good Food website, which I use an awful lot when cooking for FoodCycle – and at home too, for that matter. I adapted it slightly – my sardines came in a tomato sauce (hence the colour) and I also decided to use the (now stale) leftover yoghurt scones, grinding them up into breadcrumbs to coat the fishcakes. I think I’d prefer them with a different fish, but I agree with Sam’s verdict. Definitely ‘not disgusting’.
Just about held it together too, when I spilled half the beaten egg on the kitchen floor…
The peas were crying out for some butter and mint, but were surprisingly good – although there’s no way they were proper mushy peas. I also sat for a full five minutes looking at a jar of capers leftover from my FoodCycle 2015 conference goody bag, and was almost tempted to try and use them and some of the yoghurt to make a version of a tartare sauce. I put them back in the pantry in the end, but it wasn’t without a backwards glance.
All in all, I think I’ve eaten pretty well today. I perked up a bit by dinner time, but haven’t felt able to get a whole heap done (I’m not working this week, which I’m quite glad of). And I’ve not let a single cup of tea go cold. I’ll take my wins where I can get them.
A postscript and a thank you…
As I was writing this post, I spotted this message on Twitter from someone who came to dinner yesterday. What they said backs up everything I was talking about yesterday. Sure, FoodCycle tackles food waste. We provide food for people hit by food poverty as well. But the food that we provide isn’t just basic, boring fuel – it’s a good, nutritious meal, with the bonus of a feeling of community. Basically, the kind of food that everyone should have access to, without having to pay through the nose for it.
If you’d like to support FoodCycle’s work, find out how you can help here.