There were many a time when I’d think of 18 December and wonder if this day ever going to arrive. It was the long days. The days clients would ignore your consultation, the days they’d have just another small (read: at least 10) change to the publication due to print 3 days ago and the days you just wanted a sleep in. Today is the day. From tomorrow I have 18 mornings to sleep in (past 6am!) and go to bed late (after 10pm). Eighteen full days before I need to wake up, wash my hair, dry it, slap makeup on my face, concealer under my eyes and wear proper clothes and make the hour commute to work again. It’s the longest break I’ve had since, well, 12 months ago! Earlier this week I received some Hershey’s kisses as part of my ‘Brainchild Award’ for the office decorating competition. I put them in my bag in the afternoon much to the dismay of my colleagues. I assured them to I’d return them in a different form. They rolled their eyes. Today I arrived with Christmas superfood cookies. They were happy. My team pod has been overly concerned about nutrition of late so I assured them they were a superfood in an email to my larger team. I’d love to share the recipe with with you but I kind of made it up… Here it is in loose terms: 140g butter, softened 1 egg 1 cup icing sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence Beat until fluffy. Add: 1 1/2 cup plain flour 1 teaspoon baking powder Sift into the butter mixture and mix. Meanwhile, unwrap a handful of candy canes. Throw in food processor or get out a trusty rolling pin. Crush/process into fine dust. Add most to to cookie mix. Roll into inch wide balls. Roll in fine excess candy cane dust. Bake for 10 mins on 180 degrees. Push a Hershey kiss in each cookie immediately upon removal from oven. Put cookies in freezer ASAP to prevent the kiss melting. Give to someone to enjoy!   Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)
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.   Care to share?Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)