Saturday, 25 June 2011

Signing Off...

...for the next while at least, and when I come back it'll be probably under a different vibe. I feel the blog was very much about my journey to finding a solution to my problems that I could live with everyday, and I'm there now, so the journey bit is done. Secondly, and more importantly, I no longer have time to blog. I'm studying for another undergrad (this time biological sciences) as well as working full time in an increasingly busy job. I'm trying to minimise commitments beyond the essential studying and earning, and blog writing will be a victim of the cull. I still have time to skim read lots of blogs most days, and try to comment when I can. I do love blogging and I really want to be out here in blogland contributing, but it's just not possible right now. Hopefully when I have a bit more of a grounding in the sciencey stuff I will come back to make a slightly more valuable contribution to all this discussion about optimum health.
Lots of love to all who have read here at any point:)
Eimear x

Monday, 6 June 2011

Diminishing cravings

It occurred to be in the last few days just how much my tendency to overeat and especially junk stuff (cake, ice-cream, chocolate. biscuits) has gone down and down over the last few weeks. While every now and again (especially if my blood sugar gets low) I do experience a hankering for something processed, most of the time now revulsion of factory food turns me away, and I've gotten better at finding healthier meals on the hoof- I now reach for a hard boiled egg, a banana, tinned (no salt) fish or a plain yogurt if I get really hungry, and most evening I don't even have dessert (I used to eat dessert pretty much every evening). The food I eat now is enjoyable enough and satisfying that I don't feel I need to eat chocolate just because it's there in case it's not tomorrow, if I don't get a bit, good. Eating whole foods, primal, ancestral, paleo, whatever you want to call it, has quietly chipped away at my tendencies to binge, crave and obsess over comfort food (not that they were very dominant tendencies, but it's good they've dropped off somewhat, and I don't turn to them for stress relief). It's like good food 'protects' me from poor choices. I have to say, though, although it may be a less rewarding diet a la Stephan Guyenet's current theorising over at Whole Health Source, it's more than tasty enough for me. In fact, the junk is kind of hyper tasty (or 'hyperpalatability, as Melissa McEwen has dubbed it) and while those foods do cause a tendency to eat more of them compared with more 'plain' fare, I definitely seem to find them sickening. Finally, enough knowledge about these things cultivates intellectual disgust strong enough to overcome the 'hardwired' cravings for energy as dense as possible (originally essential for survival, but now positively dangerous in our comfortable developed world). Just some thoughts, anyway.
Recent plates:

Lazy saturday morning: other half of friday night's sirloin steak, a bit of lip smacking cheddar and some chilli jelly

Two boiled eggs for breakfast, a bit of romaine that I was chopping for lunch. I got hungry two hours later and had a banana at work.

Tonight: beef stew- just browned off some braising steak, added into two roughly chopped onions, couple of sticks of celery, some lonely half used veg (half a green pepper and half a courgette) herbs de provence, a bit of sea salt, water (maybe 2 cups). Two hours in the oven= dinner for a wet evening, and no need for dessert.

Friday, 3 June 2011


I've been learning so much about the paleo diet/lifestyle recently, thanks mostly to Robb Wolf and Chris Kresser's podcasts, and some more blogs I've found. It's really encouraged me to stick to the diet because it's got the most solid arguments I've found in nutrition to date. Since I started doing paleo, I suppose for about only 2 months now, I've made a few tweaks- I started off eating nuts everyday but I've cut way way back on this. I've also learnt about being more choosy with my protein sources with better omega 6:3 ratios, so I'm going to be eating less poultry and mostly organic beef and oily fish. My meals are usually eggs and/or fish for breakfast, leftover dinner or a fish salad, maybe an avocado, for lunch, and usually some beef and veggies for dinner. I try to keep fruit to a minimum; berries, apple or banana every other day.
The only problem is, every few days I give into something non-paleo, almost always chocolate or ice-cream. Anyway, I'm working on it. I wish I'd more time to expand and the whys and a bit of more info on what I've learnt, maybe there'll be some time over the weekend.
Here's a selection of this week's meals:

Turkey breast and collard scramble (breakfast). Coffee in a cut mug my mum bought me:)

Turkey breast salad with avocado. Yum, finally I've come to love them.

More turkey, a salmon fishcake (homemade, with tinned salmon and some leftover boiled potato) and top of courgette ribbons in tomato sauce (onion, garlic, oregano, chilli powder and passata).

Half a sirloin steak, a big pile of butterhead lettuce with olive oil and balsamic, and a big spoon of Dijon mustard with herbs de provence.

And after that, I had this delicious concoction for dessert: two very ripe bananas mushed up and vanilla extract stirred into a tub of Fage yogurt and frozen.

So delicious, and satisfied my ice-cream cravings far better than any actual ice-cream, much creamier, tart and less sweet. I'm trying to keep dairy low, but this makes a nice treat and is healthier than regular ice-cream, which is by far my biggest weakness!

Oh, and before I go, a final piece of news- starting in the autumn, I'm starting another degree, this time in biology. It'll be by distance learning while I work, and I thought it would be the most enjoyable way to begin training for a career related to nutrition. I almost began a nutrition course a while ago, until I found out the organisation running it were quacks. I feel a strong scientific foundation will be the most insightful and give me a broad base and range of choices as to what direction to pursue after the course.

Friday, 27 May 2011

The Sizzle

Thanks to Niall and Kelly at the lovely Belfast food blog Chilli and Chocolate, I won tickets to the May Bank holiday food festival in Botanic Gardens, called The Sizzle. We walk through Botanic going to and from work everyday so we decided to go to the festival straight after work. It was another weary week so cooking was not going to be on the agenda tonight anyway!
Unfortunately, it really wasn't a pleasant evening for sitting around outside, and consequently it was very quiet at the festival, but it was only the first evening, so hopefully it will get busier over the course of the weekend, because of the food was excellent. Rather selfish of me I know, but it was quite nice not having to queue for ages for the food and had our choice of seats so we kept out of the rain. We started at the Balloo House stand- I had pork and celeriac slaw 'bruschetta' and my boyfriend had the salmon and guacamole tortilla.

I then tried BBQ chicken with curry mayo and cucumber on pitta from The Lost Society and the Mr tried the halloumi and veggie skewer with bean salad from Uluru.

Dessert was a sugar feast of of butterscotch cupcake and ice-cream from The Loft in Moygashel (we used the last of our 'food vouchers' to take home a chocolate cupcake each), his was a delicious rhubarb and custard cheesecake from The Barking Dog- we also got a very nice 10% off voucher, so hopefully we'll get to go there again soon- it's always been really tasty.

We finished up with a hot drink (coffee for me, hot chocolate for him) as it was getting pretty chilly! We had a fun evening and for marquee found it was really delicious. It was actually sad to see such a small turnout because the chefs had obviously put a lot of thought into the food and I'd hoped more people would come out to support Northern Irish food producers and chefs, maybe over the rest of the weekend.

So if you're in Belfast over the weekend, grab a warm fleece, a raincoat and wellies and head to the The Sizzle!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Not Dead!

I've just been so busy this month, every time I had 'free' time I used it to work out, cook nice food or curl up with a book or in front of the TV. Yeh, I've been too busy living to blog, but I miss blogging:( I especially miss having time to comment on everyone's blogs, but I've been keeping up to date with a speed read while sipping my coffee and drying my hair in the am.
Workout wise, I'm walking an hour a day, running twice a week just to switch it up (about 3 miles at a go) and of course following My diet has remained paleo-style, but I've had more cheat meals/desserts this month, probably because I've been so stressed with work. It hasn't relly affected me too much, other than I skip the odd meal because I'm still full from the last dessert, and then end up a bit shakey because I didn't eat when I had time to eat. The last couple of days I've sorted it out by eating a healthy meat or eggs and veggies breakfast as soon as I get into work to keep me going through the first part of the day. A high protein breakfast keeps me going so long, sometimes I'm not even remotely hungry when lunchtime rolls round, but I eat anyway.

Here's a selection of recent eats:

Turkey, goat cheese, avocado and romaine lettuce salad

Pastrami, apple, olive and rocket salad with chilli aioli (eaten as a late saturday morning breakfast)

Sauteed peppers and collards with roast tomato chicken breast (chicken breast smeared with tomato paste, chilli powder and a little cheese before baking)

My current quick meal: ground meat (lamb this time, with za'atar) on a bed of greens. Topped with some grated hard goat cheese

Pastrami again: this time with romaine lettuce and some onion and pepper scramble and hot sauce

Smoked mackerel, mixed with a little natural yogurt, a heap of romaine, a few roasty potatoes and some grated organic double gloucester cheese

An unadulterated mackerel fillet and an egg- a fairly typical at home breakfast these days

Collards topped with ground pork and pepper chilli

Another pastrami and apple salad

More ground meat (beef this time, with onion, peppers and collards and herbs de provence)

The last of the above ground beef veggies mix, scrambled up with 2 beaten eggs and some grated very mature cheddar yum yum)

The best bits of this month's munching have been:
Apple in my salads
Paprika coated pastrami
Za'atar + lamb
Guilt free but admittedly gluttonous ice-cream consumption...!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Efficient cooking

This week I started off by roasting a big butternut squash, 'steamfrying' onion, a couple of red peppers and a massive bunch of collard greens. I then fried some steak pieces and stuck them in the oven covered in tomato passata for an hour, while I baked some salmon fillets spread with tomato paste in foil. The oven was on for about an hour, and I had a couple of meals good to go. I had one of the salmon fillets and some of the veggies for dinner that evening, along with some peeled, boiled and crushed potatoes (mash, but without anything added to the potatoes).

The next morning I had another salmon fillet for breakfast with the veggies and ate two small helpings with the tomatoey steak pieces and baked butternut for lunch and dinner. One evening, I had this little helping for supper:

Plain yogurt, frozen blueberries, a sprinkling of nuts and seeds and shredded coconut.

Yesterday evening I mixed some ground organic beef with spices and an egg and shaped into little meatballs, which I had with the squash for dinner last night, lunch today with salad, and reheated for an hour in the oven tonight with tomato passata and the last of the squash mashed up and spread on top, like a mini shepherds pie. And this morning I had the last of the collards and peppers in a breakfast scramble. Three days of meals from one hour's oven cooking has meant much short prep time (although without a microwave reheating in the oven takes a while, but with much less active cooking time and even better, less dishes).

Before the epic cooking session, I made a broth with leek and carrot and had it on top of chopped up baked chicken thighs.

Another bfast scramble: onion, red pepper, 2 eggs, topped with half an avocado and hot sauce.

It's been another hideously busy week in work, so I was glad I had the foresight to do a little prep on Monday. I must get into the habit more often:)

Oh, by the way, steamfrying is when I heat up a little oil in a skillet, add the veggies and then add a little hot water from the kettle (very small amount, at most about 1/3 cup).

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Morning Salads

I have recovered from my chocolate binge, with a little help from these beauties- morning salads (breakfast doesn't sound right?):

Turkey, walnut, green pepper and apple salad with a delicious drizzle of evoo. Nothing like protein+veggies to keep nasty carb cravings at bay.

Trout, leek and cheddar salad

Soft boiled egg and walnut salad- super hot sauce to boot, love it in the morning.

And a non salad morning meal of leftover roast beef in spinach 'flatbread' (steamed spinach blended with 2 eggs and herbes de provence and sauteed in coconut oil, then put in the oven)

Two fish suppers (in the UK, a fish supper is deep fried fish and chips, yuk);

Trout, tarragon and leeks (put in a foil parcel and baked in the oven for 25 mins), tomato passata, turnip mashed with rehydrated dessicated coconut, thai spice mix, cabbage, leek and smoked paprika.

Foil parcel cooked salmon with leek and tarragon, big pile of broccoli and a rooster potato. Mmm, love salmon. I cooked four salmon fillets so there was leftovers enough for the both of us for lunch today.

Evening treat- tablespoon of coconut cream (like super thick coconut milk) blended with a teaspoon of cocoa and a cup of hot water. 'Paleo' cocoa!

And a supper salad:

Chicken thigh fillets, orange, a little splodge of hummus (first bit in *months*), salad leaves (and a few carrot sticks)
The other two chicken thigh fillets will be brunch tomorrow with an avocado and an orange, I'm planning on one decent sized mid morning meal rather than breakfast and lunch to get myself really hungry for a big feast tomorrow night- I'm going away for the weekend with my family! So excited:)

Then my strict paleo challenge starts- in May I'll be completely cutting sugar (for me this will really mean no chocolate and ice-cream, as they're the only things I currently eat with sugar in 'em), salt, alcohol, dairy, grains and legumes. Grains and legumes won't be a challenge, at the moment I eat something with grain and pulses maybe once a month. I suppose the only real change I'll see there is making up my own hot sauce as the current one contains corn starch. Dairy might be tough, I currently eat yogurt and cheese a few times of week, but I intend to sub with coconut and avocado when I want something creamy. At the moment I'm looking forward to the month ahead as much as the weekend, but I'm sure there will be hard parts! Still, I need to break my attachment to the last unhealthy bits of my diet, with the intention of continuing to enjoy them in the future, but less frequently.

Monday, 25 April 2011


What an earth would make me want to inflict a month of strict paleo on myself?

Possibly eating one of those in one day, right? (last year's pic, I ate this year's bunny before I had a chance to snap him..)

Really ever since the 10k two weeks ago, my 'treats' have gotten a little out of control, with ice-cream or chocolate almost every day. I'm going away next weekend, so strict paleo (no sugar, dairy etc) would be tricky. For that reason, I won't be doing anything drastic until 2nd May. I need a wee bit of a recalibration but I haven't decided yet how far this is going to go. Certainly it will mean no grains, legumes, no sugar, no alcohol, no chocolate, and while my dairy consumption has been going down since earlier in the year, I'm not sure yet how much I'm going to restrict it. If I cut it completely for a month, then I'll be doing Whole30. However, I'm clinging on to cheese at the moment. It is only 30 days though, it's not like I'd suffer that much, there are people out there with a lot more pressing concerns. So, I will think about it a few days and then blog next sunday about what I'm going to be giving up food wise.

What I did see on the Whole9 site that I loved and thought I need to do, is the 30 day no TV challenge. I waste way too much time watching TV in the evenings, and May is such a nice month here, so I'm going to forego TV, cut way back on my internet time and spend the month of evenings outside reading in the park, getting to bed at a more reasonable hour, and keeping on top of the housework during the week. It probably means I won't be blogging much, but I will check in on my favourite blogs and sites (Bodyrock of course) and do essential stuff (online banking), restricting my total online time to no more than half an hour a day. I'm going to keep an offline diary and will blog the 'highlights' when the month is up.

I love challenging myself- I need to feel like I'm improving myself. And I just started to feel a bit uncomfortable with the amount of time I was wasting and the amount of sugar I'm eating again- I felt so horrible after eating that entire bunny over the course of the day. I think this coming month is going to have its tough moments, but I've chosen a pretty easy time of year to do it.

Do you like challenging yourself and making lots of resolutions? Do you periodically go 'cold turkey' on certain things?
Or do you prefer to implement changes gradually?
Should I do Whole30 properly or be a bit less strict with dairy (i.e., yogurt and cheese twice a week at most or something similar)?

Saturday, 23 April 2011

How I Overcame IBS

Finding a way to manage IBS was actually the reason I started this blog. And over the last few months I've more or less got there. I know there are a lot of people our there who struggle terribly with IBS, so I thought I'd just put it out there what has worked for me, but will just say now that the main thing that worked for me was experimenting, and that what I found that worked mightn't necessarily work for you, but it might be worth trying. Only you can decide that.

The Golden Three

1. First and foremost- get your stress levels sorted. Last year, I didn't really think emotions and stress were involved in my IBS, when any doctor suggested it, I was offended, thinking he/she was suggesting I was a bit flaky, or that it was all in my mind, and I was just making a fus. But I've come to terms with the fact I'm a sensitive soul, and stress does affect my guts. So in the last few months I've made a really conscious effort to get less stressed at work, I don't succeed all the time, but it's a lot better and I'm sure it's made as big a difference as the dietary changes.

2. Don't overeat- especially things like breakfast cereals, chocolate, nut butter, trail mix, or anything beany, like hummus. These foods are often 'moreish' but aren't very nutrient dense, but fairly high in fat and/or carbs and refined at that. If you can't go easy on them, keep them out of the house. For me, the foods I could eat until the cows come home were ice-cream and breakfast cereals. I completely avoid breakfast cereals, and don't even eat sugar free muesli these days, but I do have ice-cream. I avoid overeating it by only buying it by the portion rather than by the pint (or more). Although I adore chocolate, I find it quite easy to limit myself. Instead, have plenty of fruit, vegetables and lean protein- these foods are hard to overeat, you simply get too full. Oh, and don't undereat- it'll probably make you overeat later on anyway, and you're depriving yourself of important vitamins and minerals.

3. Eat slowly. Slow waaay down and chew thoroughly. Nothing is as guaranteed to cause me major discomfort as a rushed meal. If you don't have time to eat slowly, you might need to look at squeezing other constraints on your time instead, because while a skipped meal isn't the end of the world, making time for proper meals will save you so much grief because your IBS will improve drastically. Eat slowly is not just good because your digestive system has less breaking down to do, slower eating also means your stomach has time to tell your head it's full, so you're less likely to overeat as well, which only makes it worse.

And now for the finer points, and the stuff that mightn't necessarily work for you:

Have a good look at the type of carbs you eat- I think this holds the answer to a lot of IBS issues. Personally, I found the idea of cutting out large groups of these sorts of foods too daunting, and it was only really in the last few months that I started to implement all the stuff I'd read about SCD, paleo diet and FODMAP diet, even though I'd known about them for nearly a year. It's so worth it- my symptoms are non existent when I'm strict and the little bit on inconvenience and expense is worth it to rid yourself of the bloat, discomfort, gas, constipation and/or diarrhoea. I think these diets are all fairly similar, although I now follow a paleo/primal diet, most of what I eat conforms to the SCD and low FODMAP diet too. I believe we all eat too much sugar, even natural sugar, and far too much starch from grains, and everyone, not just IBS sufferers, should go easy on starchy things. Going primal/paleo is basically the dietary solution I found that keeps me IBS free, but it's not for everyone- it's very reliant on animal protein (basically half animal protein, half plants). That said, I think if you're serious about getting your IBS under control, you need to take low FODMAP/SCD seriously. Cutting out grains, pulses and sugar and uncultured dairy worked for me, but you *will* need to experiment with these things. Even if this all sounds just a bit too much- here's a list of things you should try eliminating (one at a time) for a while to see if it helps- pulses, sugar, grains, dairy.

In a related vein, make sure you're not eating too many harsh fibres. The human gut can handle a fair bit of the stuff, but we don't have the guts of herbivores, so go easy. That doesn't mean you can't be vegetarian and IBS free. Just make sure you're not eating massive salads followed up with a couple of apples and lots of rye bread. I'd also suggest giving a low fibre diet a try for a short while (a month or two) and eating very plainly- mashed potato, cooked oats, skinned apples and pears (gently cooked would be even better), banana, yogurt if you can handle dairy, white rice and very little in the way of high fat foods, pulses, fibrous vegetables or whole grains. It's good way to give your gut a rest. I'm not saying it's a healthy diet, but it's only a temporary 'holiday' for your gut. If you get really constipated, try some ground linseeds, and if that doesn't work, then just start adding fibre back very slowly. I did this under the supervision of a dietician last autumn and it made a huge difference, although at the beginning I was really against it because it seemed so low in fibre and vitamins.

Avoid fried foods- I think trans fat is seriously bad, but it's also really harsh on your guts. Give it up completely- there are always better choices when eating out.

Better still, ditch processed food altogether. Clear your cupboards/larder or manufactured factory foods and keep plenty of whole foods instead. These type of foods require you to chew them more and they're very hard to overeat, they have far higher amounts of vitamin and minerals and you won't be hungry an hour later.

What my diet looks like:
I now eat mostly animal protein (meat, fish eggs), vegetables (either raw or lightly cooked), nuts, seeds, some fruit and fermented dairy. I avoid pulses, grains and most added sugar (I eat 85%+ dark chocolate and ice-cream once or twice a week and honey even less frequently). I eat yogurt, fresh goat's and hard cheese but don't drink milk. I do have a weakness for ice-cream, so treat myself once a week, but it does make me bloated. I'm working on this one- I want to get into the way of making my own frozen yogurt or coconut milk ice-cream.
Breakfast is usually eggs or leftover meat from dinner and some salad leaves, or maybe a spinach and pepper omelette. When I want something lighter I have fruit salad (mostly berries) and some plain yogurt.
I snack mostly on nuts- walnuts and almonds or the odd bit of fruit, but not everyday.
Lunch is a big salad- leaves, grated carrot, pepper, cucumber etc and some sort of protein, usually salmon, hard boiled eggs or cold roast chicken. Dressed with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Dinner almost always has cooked greens (collards, kale, broccoli or cabbage, that sort of thing) and some meat or fish or something like a prawn coconut curry with kale instead of rice. Every now and again I have something a bit starchier, like some mashed turnip or potato/sweet potato in the skin. A lot of primal/paleo/crossfit/bodyrock people have these sort of starches after a workout, and although I usually have these foods on a day I've worked out hard, I don't have them after every hard work out, and my recovery is always fine.
I used to have dessert every.single.evening but that's less frequent now. I might have some frozen berries, a little yogurt, maybe some cocoa powder on it and for a treat, a square of dark chocolate (once or twice a week).

To give you an idea of where I've come from, a typical day's food in my IBS days was more like:
porridge with berries or muesli and soya milk for breakfast, snack of cereal bar, apple or banana, hummus and salad sandwich for lunch, chickpea curry with brown rice for dinner, chocolate soya pudding or fruit crumble for dessert. All pretty 'healthy' food, but really uncomfortable for my gut.

I hope somewhere in this jungle of words there are a few things that will help. In summary I'd say: eat more mindfully, try to overcome comfort eating, sort out your stress levels, and try eliminating pulses, grains, sugar and dairy to see if that helps.
Best of luck!

Busy enjoying spring

At least that's my excuse for not posting for two weeks!
Last time, I was just about to do my first 10k, which was an absolute scorcher of a day. I did the race in 51:29 which I was pretty pleased with in that heat. We have no photos, sorry!

This week has been a bit crazy food wise, too much ice-cream and chocolate! I have had some tasty, healthy food in between.

Pre race dinner:

Salmon, kale, potatoes

Italian desserts made by our friends and sold at the farmer's market (flourless chocolate and rum for me, blueberry olive oil cake for him, plain yogurt)

Pre race brunch- organic sausages, leftover potatoes and kale

Dinner- organic ham hock soup

Roast lemony chicken, turnip mashed with kale and some coconut milk

Salmon and parsley en papillotte with roasty potatoes and steamed cabbage

Goat cheese duck egg omelette with roast broccoli

Homemade organic garlicky herby lamb burgers with collards in balsamic and soy sauce, lots of yummy black olives

Organic rump steak, onion and collard stirfry with the same balsamic+soy sauce combo

We have had lovely weather here, really very warm, like a summer's day in mainland Europe! Speaking of mainland Europe, we've organised our holiday, we're going to Andalucia in Spain for 11 days, but not until early September. Anyway, something to look forward to, and the weather's great here at the moment.
As well as walking, I've been doing lots of bodyrock, and this week I managed my first ever regular chin up! So happy:)

I'll be back later this weekend with a post about IBS and how I got around mine.
I'm away out for a walk in the sun!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Summer is here

We are having our summer here in Northern Ireland! Last year, April was lovely too (although more towards the end of the month). I took yesterday afternoon off work, and spent the entire afternoon out walking along the Lagan river valley. I detoured to pick up our race packs for sunday and to get a wee bit of coconut ice-cream, yum. It's about 20C/68F here from about 11am, so I went out in my running skirt and light technical shirt. Hopefully it will last a good few weeks, although our 'summer' is usually over by July, when the rain comes back!
Today, after an early bodyrock sess, a quick crab cake breakfast:

(tinned crab, an egg, a garlic clove, hot sauce, blitzed and sauteed, osmanthus tea on the side) and feeding our friends' cats (we're keeping an eye on them while they're away for birthday celebrations) we walked into town for the farmer's market, and a bought a beautiful bottle of newly harvested olive oil from Foggia in Italy, the guy told me the olives were still on the tree 8 weeks ago! It's grassy, herby and peppery but not a hint of bitterness (which is what normally makes me avoid grassy olive oils). It's far too good for cooking, but it's going to transform my salads and will make a lovely simple dressing for lightly steamed greens.
I also got some other treats, our friends make Italian desserts so we got a slice each- blueberry olive oil cake for the Mr, flourless chocolate run cake for me.
I also got some salmon fillets for tonight's dinner, a beautiful big bunch of flat leaf parsley,

duck eggs, chicken eggs and a meat deal from a rare breeds farm called Pheasant's Hill Farm out in Comber, Co. Down. They breed Dexters, little tiny cattle. I got a ham hock, dexter steak pieces, mince (ground beef) and natural Tamworth pork sausages all for £10. Let's not forget the veggies, I got a January King cabbage and a big bag of curly kale.

Weekday meals:

Kale, bell pepper and quorn in passata with some pesto and olives

Roast chicken breast on the bone with lots of herbs de provence, sweet potato, onion, carrot and steamed broccoli

Salmon, egg and goat cheese salad

Roast chicken salad (I got four meals out of the one roasting pot)

Fage yogurt with heated up raspberries

Today's lunch: mushroom, spinach and quorn-slices-that-needed-used-up three egg omelette. With oregano, fresh parsley, a little goat cheese and some leftover tomato passata.

It was a pretty huge (and messy once folded over) dish, just want I needed after yesterday's 12 mile walk and before tomorrow's race.
Today we are taking it easy before the race, in fact MrPeskyRunner is a big horse racing fan so we're going to be watching the Grand National. Then it's off to pick up a few groceries (read: carbs and Quorn for Mr, and a few householdy things) and a nice stroll in the sun to wake up an appetite for tonight's salmon and dessert.