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This year I put on five kilos. It doesn’t seem much but it’s difficult not to notice the jeans that used to gape at the back don’t anymore. The shorts I’ve worn for the past three summers are now awkwardly pulling across my hips. And the tight, short skirt I love but always think twice about wearing is sooo¬†out of the picture right now.

Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t happen all of a sudden. I knew the scales were showing a higher number each couple of weeks. It was a long and slow process piling on the kilos- a weekly one of rushed morning muffins and Friday blueberry bagels on the way to work. It was my Friday treat of Thai for lunch. It was my new reality of sitting for more than 10 hours a day.

At the end of September I knew it was time to do something.

I’m not a huge fan of fad diets, the latest being Paleo, but I knew I had to do something otherwise next year would just be another five. I looked into a few diets and just as I like to cook, I combined a few that worked for me. I haven’t cut out sugar or gluten or foods not eaten by my Paleolithic ancestors. I just cut down. For a month now I’ve eaten 1200 calories a day (give or take the odd day where I’ve blown out big time!)

It’s hard. I’ve had to change almost every meal I eat: portions, types of food and frequency. It’s also great. In tracking exactly what goes in my body, I’m accountable for the bloating, the aches from ignoring my lactose-intolerant stomach and my conditioning to need sweet after every savoury. After a month, I know what calories are wasteful, I know what foods will stop my stomach from growling at my 11am meeting and I know what foods I can snack on to my hearts content. The daily nutritional report makes me think through recommended daily intake of vitamins and my consistent lack of iron.

It’s going great. In cutting most store-bought processed foods and going back to basics, I’m sleeping better, I can concentrate longer and I’m losing some of the five kilos. In fact, two and a half kilos in four weeks.

I read earlier this year in one of those classic click-bait articles 10 things you should get under control by the time your 30. One of them was healthy eating. I’m realising why – healthy eating has huge benefits.

Alas, enough about weightloss, I’m actually keen to share my latest new favourite breakfast/lunch/dinner food – corn fritters. Their versatility is amazing. A bit of avocado on top is great for breakfast, broken up and in a salad at lunch, or served with a delicious salsa a great summer dinner.

I tried one recipe a few weeks back, but today I decided to mix things up.

Corn, zucchini and quinoa fritters with avocado, tomato and capsicum salsa

Fritters:

1 can of cornThe kernels of 1 husk of fresh corn
1/2 of creamed corn
1 zucchini, grated
1/3 red capsicum, diced
1/4 cup raw = 1/2 cooked quinoa
1/4 cup milk (I used Lidell’s new hi calcium, low fat lactose free milk)
3/4 cup self-raising flour (would have used whole meal but didn’t have any)
2 eggs (I’ll probably scrap one of the yolks next time)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Fresh parsley
Fresh spring onion
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Add extra milk or flour until the consistency is like a pancake. Lightly spray a fry pan with vegetable spray and cook at test fritter. Taste. Adjust any flavours or consistency. Cook the remainder.

Makes 24 x 8cm fritters
101 calories per serve (2 fritters)

 

Salsa:

1.5 avocados, diced
1/2 tomato, diced
1/4 capsicum, diced
1/8 red onion, small dice
Juice of half a lime
Fresh coriander and parsley

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Done!

Serves 4
68 calories per serve

It’s always amusing to see the end result of my cooking – and it’s not the food.

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