Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sarah Discovers How to Eat – Progress Report #4 [September]

I’ve been asked if I’m sick of Nigella recipes yet – and the answer is no. I do often (like I said last month) look wistfully at Bill Granger, Delicious, Australian Gourmet Traveller, or even Nigella’s non-How to Eat recipes, but because the recipes in How to Eat are consistently satisfying, I’m certainly not tempted to throw in the towel.

What’s more, I’m not exclusively eating Nigella-food for every meal – because of my hectic schedule, I often have to eat out. (There’s a Nando’s right opposite the cinema where I work – SWEET! And it’s healthy if you don’t order the chips!) Also, sometimes I’m just too buggered to cook, so Mum or Dad take care of dinner.

Facts & Figures

By September 30th, 122 days into my project, I’ve done 135 recipes and gained about 5 kilos. I’m going at a rate of 1.10 recipes a day, which means I’m still ahead of schedule – but only just.

Marsala Muscovado Custard (Dinner)
Muskily Spiced Prunes (Dinner)
Minestrone (Weekend Lunch)
Stem-Ginger Gingerbread (Cooking in Advance)
Mushroom Risotto (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
The World's Best Chocolate Ice-cream (Basics etc.)
Lemon linguine (Weekend Lunch)
Irish Tarte Tatin (Weekend Lunch)
Blakean Fish Pie (Dinner)
Steak au Poivre (One & Two)
Pea Soufflé (One & Two)
Marinated Chicken Drumsticks (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
Macaroni Cheese (Feeding Babies and Small Children)
Pea Soufflé (One & Two)
The Biscuits (Feeding Babies and Small Children)

Children’s Chocolate Mousse
– really, it was the snot-like texture. I think it definitely needs whipped cream in it.
Rhubarb Crumble – but only because Nigella said to cut them in 5cm pieces… and half of them ended up still uncooked once the crumble topping was browned.

My Progress

So this month has seen me draw a lot from the kids’ chapter, and do many stand-alone recipes (i.e. not doing suggested menus in their entirety; making biscuits/cupcakes as gifts etc.) I’m just fitting in cooking wherever I can – I’m generally getting five shifts a week, on top of three days a week of class. So basically, whenever a pocket of free time becomes available I’m whipping out How to Eat and trying to make something which doesn’t involve lots of thinking or shopping (hence very few Cooking in Advance recipes). I can’t wait for this semester to be over!

I’ve also been avoiding the suggested menus because I’m sick of doing so many bloody puddings. This is partly because of vanity, and partly because I’m just a bit over unhealthy food right now. It’s been mega junk-food overload for me this past month – what with assignments, stress, and yet another job where we can try out our food. And when I say “can try out”, I obviously mean “compulsively scoff down”. In my section of the cinema, the premium area, we prepare food like chips, chicken strips, gourmet pizzas, greasy kataifi prawns, honey mousse, raspberry cheesecake etc… Of course, the main reason for this pigging out is pure greed – but all these other factors aren’t helping. And because I’m working so much, I’ve hardly been able to go to the gym.

My clothes are tight and I’m feeling really fat right now. For your amused pity, here’s a snippet of a conversation I had with my friend Robbie tonight…

Me: Goddamn, I’ve gotten so fat recently.
Robbie: You’re not fat!
Me: I’m fatter… oh my God, I went clothes shopping today and everything looked like shit! I mean, I’m happy that my boobs are bigger, but…
Robbie: So just draw the attention to that area.
Me: What, ‘cos I don’t do that enough already?

(You can trust me, but check my other blog for random photos of nights out with me wearing crazily boob-a-licious outfits).

Another reason why I'm finding it so hard to restrain myself, even when not cooking from How to Eat is that through this project, I've really adopted the Nigella way - that is, large portions, and a feeling of generosity and abundance when cooking and eating. I love her approach, but this is getting serious – if I don’t stop eating so much crap I am going to end up a big fat ugly blob shopping in the Options Plus section of Target, for whom Miss Sixty dresses and Calvin Klein cropped trousers are but a distant memory… And unfortunately, I am not like Nigella, in that I'm not the type of woman who looks totally stunning no matter how much I weigh. I really have to stop eating fattening foods when they're not directly from How to Eat, and reduce portion size when I do cook from the book.

I know I keep whining about my bad eating habits, and there’s nothing I hate more than those girls who keep complaining about shit like this (“Oh I eat so badly, oh I really should get fit”) but never actually do anything about it. I know I have the willpower to restrain my food intake (I’ve done successful diets before), but all I need now is the desire to do so. I think the main reason for the failure of my so-called “Low-Fat August” was that I really didn’t care about losing weight, as I was still looking decent in all my clothes. But now that my clothes are tighter and the scales are actually UP, I think I have the motivation. I hope.

I ate healthily today… let’s hope I can keep this up for more than a day…

Fruit Salad - 1 orange, 1 kiwi fruit, strawberries, last night's poached apricots, Greek yogurt and pistachios.

I think that fruit salads for breakfast are definitely the way forward - the way I make them, they're full of vitamins, low fat and low carb, keep you filled up for ages (what with all the citrus, yogurt and nuts). This way, I can be content in the knowledge that I started the day right, and not be tempted to slide off the rails (like I have done so many times following a big fatty carby breakfast).

Also people, be proud of me. We had a function at work tonight, which involved taking around plate after plate of delicious canapes around, and we had heaps of leftovers. Usually I'd greedily scoff the lot, but tonight I didn't eat a single thing! After work, I had a nice healthy grilled Nando's 1/4 chicken with some salad. Damn straight I can eat healthy.

Ok, enough self-indulgent moaning. I'm back to focusing on the food... (but still laying off the puddings for the moment)... hmmm... what's for dinner tomorrow night?

xox Sarah

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Very interesting to read the progress report, Sarah -- great job! You're very organized, I admire that. Keep on keepin' on, hermana!