There are plenty of quick fixes out there for weight loss and getting in shape, but the one thing that will stick is a bit of hard work and determination. A natural healthy balance diet while still enjoying treats, along with a decent fitness plan and the determination to succeed was the basis of my last year.
I had put on a lot of weight since my plastering days came to an end and depression kicked in... comfort eating and excess drinking led to me making myself unhappier with myself... a vicious circle.
This is the last post I make on the whole weight loss journey, it had been challenging but fun, and very very worth it. This week last year I decided to change my ways, I was in a dark place, felt and looked like a different person and I knew that the only person that could change that was me.. and the help and encouragement of those around me.
I took the wild notion of running around and through Ireland, you know like any sane person would do. my training was strict and challenging but I done what needed to be done. The run itself was not as successful as I had hoped, I tensed up and a tensed up body + pounding the road for 419 miles = ruptured tendons and broken bones. But I finished as I could between crutches and a lot of hobbling. After the run was finished I didn't train until 2-3 months later and put some of the weight back on... but am happy to say that I am at my target 12.5 stone weight having come down from just over 14 stone.
So that's it, I'm not going to drone on... there was no quick fix for me, it was done naturally and took 12 months, but for those who want to do something similar... start now and think how you will feel in 12 months time!!
As for me I will continue training... I've come this far to stop now. I feel strong, fit and healthy both physically and mentally.
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Beetroot, Black Pudding and Pomegranate Salad
This is epic, the earthy flavours from the beetroot and the black pudding up against the sharpness from the pomegranate along with the tang from the feta cheese… well it works, it works so well.
4-6 pre-cooked baby beetroots
1 small black pudding
1-2 little gem lettuce
Sea salt and black pepper
Cut the pre-cooked beetroots into quarters and slice the black pudding into 1cm slices. Place a medium frying pan on a medium high heat and add a splash of oil, fry the black pudding slices for 2 minutes, turn them over and add in the beetroot, a squeeze of pomegranate juice and a squeeze of lemon juice, cook for a further 3 mins until the pudding slices are cooked and the beets warmed through. Set aside.
In a bowl dress a large handful of rocket with good olive oil. Carefully pull the leaves from the little gem lettuces keeping them intact.
To serve the salad, place 4 little gem lettuce leaves on each plate so they look like little bowls, divide the rocket between all the ‘bowls’ and divide out the pudding and beets on top of the rocket. Tap out the pomegranate seeds over the dish and crumble off little wedges of the feta cheese. Season the salad with a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Avocado, Crispy Bacon and Lime on Toast
Hey… you… yes you reading this… do yourself a favour and make this recipe.
I use this for a breakfast where I can take my time to savour and enjoy! It is also great for a light lunch, I try and use nice fresh rye bread or a spelt and honey loaf. The addition of butter or margarine is not needed on the toast as the avocado it nice and soft and eliminates the need… in my humble opinion. Try and get the bacon nice and crispy and the fatty bits slightly charred for maximum flavour.
2 ripe avocados
Juice of a lime
8 slices of streaky bacon
8 thick slices of rye bread (or similar)
Parsley to garnish
Halve, de-stone and slice the avocado into 1cm slices, remove the skin. Place in a large bowl and drizzle the lime juice over, season will with salt and pepper and give it all a good toss and set aside for 10 mins.
In the meantime grill the streaky bacon until well coloured both sides and set on kitchen paper to crisp up.
Toast the thick bread slices then arrange the avocado slices on top, add the crispy bacon over these and lightly spoon over any remaining juice from the bowl.
Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
I've been so busy lately writing, cooking and photographing for my book, along with starting back into gardening, cake making, everyday household tasks and still some handyman work... that it's easy to set the blog to one side... but I cant do that!!
My whole blog needs a major makeover, I have really stepped up a gear lately with my food that the blog is looking a bit dated, but that makeover definitely wont happen until at least April. So for now I'll keep plugging away and do what I can do... here is a recipe for all to try.
A homemade lemon meringue can seem daunting to some people, all I can say is this… follow this set of instructions and it won’t go wrong. you can buy pastry cases already made or make a simple shortcrust pastry case yourself.
1 9inch bought pastry case (or make your own, see below)
A pinch of salt
250ml boiling water
125ml lemon juice
Zest of 3 lemons grated
2 eggs (1 whole and one yolk)
A teaspoon of butter
3 large egg whites
A pinch of salt
A dash of vanilla extract
115g caster sugar
|Lemon Meringue Pie|
In a large saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornflour and salt. Slowly pour in the boiling water while whisking to make a smooth sauce. Place the saucepan on a medium heat and continue whisking while bringing to the boil, reduce the heat slightly and cook for a further 2 mins without whisking. Remove from the heat.
In a small mixing bowl whisk the lemon juice, zest and 1 egg and 1 egg yolk together. Carefully whisk a little of the cooked hot sauce into the lemon/egg mix then whisk this all back into the cooked hot sauce in the saucepan. Return the saucepan back onto a medium heat and while stirring bring to a simmer, add the butter and continue stirring until it thickens (this can take a while but stick with it). Once thickened remove from the heat and pour into the pastry case and allow to cool so it starts to set.
In the meantime, get to making the meringue. In a clean large mixing bowl add the egg whites. Whisk them until light and frothy then add the salt and vanilla extract, whisk this well in until it forms soft peaks. Add the caster sugar a tablespoon at a time while continually whisking until all the sugar is used and the meringue forms stiff peaks. Using a spatula scrape out the meringue on top of the pie and using a pallet knife gently spread it evenly. Pat the meringue with the pallet knife all over to form peaks.
Place the pie into the oven at 170c and bake for about 15 mins until the peaks have coloured. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before serving. Normally about 2 hours.
Homemade shortcrust pastry:
125g plain flour
A pinch of salt
55g cubed butter
2-3 tablespoons of cold water
Place the flour, salt and butter into the food processor and pulse until the butter is fully mixed through and it looks like fine breadcrumbs. With the motor still running pour the water in bit by bit until it just forms a dough.
Remove it from the mixer and wrap in cling film. Chill for at least 20 mins before rolling out with a rolling pin.
Roll out to suit your dish then blind bake for 20 mins at 180c.
(to blind bake, roll out bigger than your dish so it over hangs all around the dish then line the pastry with parchment paper and pour in ceramic beans to weigh down the pastry, alternatively you can use uncooked rice.)
When cooked trim off the edges.