Tag Archives: great food

Life Begins at Fifty – Healthy Life #8 Listen to your body – food

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In case you missed it, check out the previous Healthy Life post, #7 Listen to your body – exercise https://wendysteele.com/2019/04/02/life-begins-at-fifty-healthy-life-7-listen-to-your-body-exercise/

I was worried about changing to plant based eating, after having to make so many changes when I became intolerant to wheat and other foods. I’ve had problems with food in the past, using it to control my life when every other aspect was spiralling way out of my control. It was important for me when I knew I had to lose weight, to not feel I was on any kind of restrictive diet.

It’s taken me since 22nd December, the day I downloaded Dr Gregor’s Daily Dozen App to figure it out, but I’m starting to settle into an eating routine that enables me to eat well, feel full, work hard AND lose weight.

I’ve found the formula that works for me, one I can wiggle whenever I need to, depending how much exercise I’ve done or am going to do that day. I’m sharing with you a way that’s working for me at the moment, because everything changes, including our bodies.

After my walk, I start every day with a mug of hot water and a bowl of chopped up fruit. The fruit varies, depending what’s in season, and I’m not too proud to open a tin to add to what I have available fresh. This morning I had half an apple, half a satsuma and three tinned apricots.

About an hour later, I have a small bowl of porridge made with soya milk and with a tablespoon of flax seeds added. I have a teaspoon of brown sugar sprinkled over it and a teaspoon of raisins. I’ve tried blueberries and mixed fruit on it, but I don’t like my fruit messed about with. As a child I hated fruit and custard together, but was happy to eat them in separate bowls, though I’d have been happy to leave the custard! Occasionally I have brunch at this point, beans on toast with mushrooms and tomatoes is one I enjoy, but most days I eat porridge.

Lunch is salad time whenever it is possible and I try to vary them with additions of mini salad pots like potato and pasta salad. I’m trying and testing recipes that work well hot and cold, and The Happy Pear Mexican Beans recipe is delicious with salad. https://wendysteele.com/2019/01/28/plant-based-recipes-2019-1-mexican-beans/

Because I’m intolerant to wheat, I often have Ryvita with my lunch to tick off a grain on my Daily Dozen. Salads are a great place to add seeds and nuts adding texture, flavour and good fats, but measure with a spoon so you’re aware of exactly how much you are eating. A single brazil nut and a walnut provide an enormous amount of goodness, but the two tally up to about 60 calories, so it’s worth being aware of that.

From waking until lunchtime, I’ve consumed three small meals, and if I’m working outside on the land or I’m going to be teaching a two hour bellydance class in the evening, I will have my favourite green smoothie in the afternoon. If I’m having a more sedentary day, I won’t but I’ll be sure to include berries for a supper snack, and aim to get spinach or kale into my evening meal. https://wendysteele.com/2019/03/06/life-begins-at-fifty-healthy-life-4-best-smoothie-ever/

I try to eat my evening meal as early as possible, but as I teach three evenings a week now, I often end up eating between nine and ten at night. For me it’s best I keep this meal no bigger than lunch, and you can find the meals I’m enjoying at the moment by typing ‘plant based’ into the search box on the home page. The recipe for lentil loaf is coming soon, so look out for it! It’s really portable, like the mushroom burgers, and great hot or cold.

I was asked the other day what I have for treats, but all this food is so delicious, I feel like I’m treated all the time. I do enjoy bliss balls though, and I’ll get the recipe up for that too…I’ve been experimenting!

What I eat in a day won’t necessarily suit your body, so make sure you give yourself time to listen. One problem people have had venturing onto a plant based diet for the first time, is their inability to cope with the quantity of fibre, especially if they’ve come straight from a western carniverous diet. Don’t try and change too many things at once. Try swapping first, like wholemeal bread for white bread, wholemeal pasta for white pasta. Enjoy one plant based meal a week, build up your repertoire of recipes you enjoy, and then add a couple more. Start changing the ratios on your plate; 2/3 vegetables and 1/3 protein and carbohydrates.

If you want more information about plant based eating, or anything you want to know about nutrition in general, visit Dr Michael Gregor’s site or Youtube channel https://nutritionfacts.org/

Happy eating!

 

 

 

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Day out for Diwali

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On Sunday we visited St Fagans National Museum of History, where the event for the day was Diwali Mela. Hundreds of families from Cardiff came together to share their special day, the dances they had practised and the food they had cooked.

We were greeted in the foyer of the museum by music, colour, dance and laughter. Music and dance from all over India was showcased from Indian Classical dance to Bollywood, dances from the Punjab and from Indonesia. Foot tapping tunes were followed by exquisite, complicated slow dances where the dancers used every part of their bodies, including their eyes, to tell the story of their dance. Some styles I recognised, others were new, but no less delightful to watch.

After an hour of so, we set off around the museum. Most of the buildings at St Fagans have been dismantled from their original location, and rebuilt in this beautiful area, surrounded by woodland. It’s billed as ‘A walk around Wales – from Celtic times to the present day’, and that’s exactly what the museum is about, preserving the history of the past for all of us today. They almost took our house to be part of the museum, so we were fascinated to discover all we could about the houses they had taken.

From simple miners’ cottages to highly decorated Tudor halls, we walked in and out of the exhibits in glorious sunshine. The houses of stone and clom, similar to ours, were of special interest, and the woven thatch was stunning, completely opposite to our straight, raggedy thatch.

Furnishing the houses brings them to life and I especially loved the row of cottages, Rhyd-y-car Iron Terrace from Merthyr Tydfil, set up to show the typical life of those living in the small community from 1805 to 1985.

The iron age roundhouse is special too. A long walk through glorious golden woodland leads you to the roundhouse. I danced in one in Essex, and felt the urge again here!

There’s a castle with the most stunning grounds and gardens, all of which we didn’t get around. There’s access to the kitchen, always fascinating and luxurious panelled drawing rooms and study.

Oakdale Workmen’s Institute is another fascinating building. Opened in its original location near Caerphilly in 1917, this library and institute served as a focus for social and cultural life within this mining community in south east Wales, financed by a substantial loan from the Tredegar Iron and Coal Company, which was repaid in 1945. This was a place to learn to read and write, as well as come together, and the building was reopened in St Fagans in 1995.

Back in the foyer of the museum, we ate biryani and onion bhajis, while enjoying more music and dance.

I enjoyed my day of history and culture, and though I can’t promise indian dancers for your visit, you can be assured of a warm welcome at St Fagans.

There are a number of cafes and restaurants, and the toilet facilities were adequate. You can take dogs into the museum.

You pay £5 to park your car, but entrance to the museum is free, though a donation is requested. For more about what’s on at St Fagans, visit their website. https://museum.wales/stfagans/