Supposedly today is the gloomiest day of the year. I remedied that with a half day at work (to bring my boyfriend to the dentist) and used the rest of my day to go on a little adventure. The weather was absolutely beautiful here today, calm, still, blue skies, and cold.
I didn't get out of Belfast until 2:45pm and I drove for almost an hour to get to my destination, Nendrum abbey, a 10th century monastic site on an island in Strangford lough, which is a protected area with lots of wetfowl at this time of year.
I packed my binoculars and road map and set off. I sat around admiring Nendrum (when I eventually negotiated those narrow roads) and then did a spot of birdwatching (curlews, shanks, oystercatchers, brent geese). No pics of the birds, they weren't close enough.
On the way back, I meant to stop at Millview farm, an organic vegetable farm, but I went by a different road and didn't pass it. I got ice-cream on the way back, but it wasn't as good as I thought it was going to be. I have been trying really hard to stay clear of sugary foods and have been eating a lower carb, higher protein diet (think fish, eggs, tofu, yogurt, nuts, leafy vegetables and berries). I have huge weaknesses for ice-cream (dairy and soy), sugary kiddie cereals (can't keep away from them if I know they're in the house) and chocolate biscuits. I need to be stricter about bringing these foods into my house, I tend to put all my reasons for NOT doing so at the back of my mind when I'm in the shop. That said, I have got an awful lot better in the last year, and my taste for sweet things has certainly dropped off somewhat. The thing is, these 'foods' make me feel rubbish and bloated, even when I don't eat a large amount (although I often do eat big portions of these things when I have them).
I am trying to think of ways around this that also supports the makers of decent food- I'm going to try extra hard to shop at farmer's markets and local specialist shops, maybe get another box scheme (although I do so love getting whatever I have a yearning for, although surprise is nice too).
I also need to plan better for the week ahead, some weeks I write down rough ideas for how I'm going to cook what I have in the fridge and cupboards for the week's meals. It's not set in stone, I can jiggle it around and play with flavourings, but it means I have something to start off with, and everything gets used up, preferencing perishable or stuff that needs used up first. It's also a good way to schedule in trying a new recipe (although that usually requires a little planning before I go shopping). I don't do it every week and I totally should, it doesn't take long.
I did it this week, and so far today:
Boiled organic egg, a raspberry, mango, orange juice and yogurt smoothie and lots of green osmanthus tea (I am trying to drink more green tea and less coffee).
Unpictured banana, coffee and a few almonds and seeds.
Lunch, more or less same as yesterday (goat cheese and chutney scone, minestrone soup) but with a much smaller bowl of soup (that pic is from sunday).
3/4 cup ice-cream :O (unpictured, and not planned, a I'm off work treat thing that I actually didn't enjoy as much as I thought I would)
Quorn fillet with loads of lemon juice and parsley, steamed spinach, black rice. I cooked another fillet for tomorrow's breakfast. Quorn is made from tiny mushrooms and free range egg white and is a high protein, low fat fake meat thing. It doesn't have much taste alone, but has plenty of satiety and a good soaker up of flavours.
I had three crappy chocolate biscuits (240 cals of nutrition-void sugar, flour and palm fat) and lots of tea.
Any other ideas for avoiding crap food?