Sunday, 23 February 2014

Slim Pickings at Foodie Hall

Location: Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK
Published in Feb/Mar edition of Vale Life Magazine

Feb / Mar edition of Vale Life

With almost four years of marriage, five Christmases, two children and thirty (something) years under our belts, MrF and I have reached that point where we need more than occasional exercise and salads, in order to stay in ok’ish shape.

I’d been warned about this moment, while I was young and carefree, stuffing my face with cream cakes and chocolate. I knew it would happen, but, you know, one day. No need to think about it till it happens right?

But, here we are, it’s THAT time.

MrF and I are probably at our most health-conscious, partly for actual health, partly for vanity, but mostly - like 80% - for the utter fact that if we don't do something about it now, we never will.

For a household obsessed with food, eating healthily does not come easily – especially when our go-to vices are bread and biscuits. We've had to drag our no-longer-twenty-something asses, kicking and screaming, towards a diet filled with lean fish and meats, lentils, bulgar wheat and beansprouts.

I know, I know. Sounds horrific doesn't it! Don't worry though, I've not gone all Gwyneth Paltrow on you, I'm still a believer in a little bit of what you fancy, just a little less of what I fancy than before.

So in a bit to avoid middle aged spread, MrF started triathlon training and I, well I did what I do best, hit the recipe books.

Having trawled my vast collection, along with a couple of my favourite recipe websites, I gradually built up a new repertoire of less hip inflating meals.


While we certainly aren't consigning these to the bin, our previously hearty repertoire of roast dinners, spag bol, chilli, sausage and mash and risotto, has mostly been replaced by a selection of surprisingly filling and tasty healthier options.

Our new family meals consist these days of Thai beef salad, Sicilian fish stew, chicken stew with bulgar wheat, or Thai crab cakes with stir fry veg. And basically, a lot less potatoes and a lot more greens.

I'm starting to sound all preachy and ‘I've found the light’ now though, so I’ll come down of my soapbox and admit to throwing it all out the window at Christmas, partaking in not one, not two, but three family Christmases. As I write this I'm still swimming in trifle, cold cuts and chocolate assortments – but come on… who diets at Christmas?

While the turkey and mince pies are beginning to fade though, I can hand on heart say there is nothing more appealing to me than a cup of mint tea and a low fat salad.

Whad’ya know, maybe I can be healthy after all. Don’t go ruling out the occasional cake though. All for research purposes... obviously.

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