I hope the first week of 2016 has been good for you all (especially the dreaded first full week back at work). I know I’ve been feeling it a little this week and coming home from work a little tired but it’s a good excuse to snuggle up on the sofa wrapped up warm.
Rather than set resolutions this year (I know I can never keep them) I have decided to set myself (and Mr W in some ways) challenges/goals for the year. The main focus for this year is to be healthy through healthy eating and exercise. I’m wanting to make sure that we both get plenty of fruit and veg in our diets so that we are getting all the right nutrients. So, an obvious thing to start doing was to introduce a meat free day. I wanted to do ‘Meat Free Mondays’ but then realised that my job may require me to eat meat on Mondays so Mr W suggested a meat free day a week instead. So this Monday started off with a home-made vegetable soup for lunch that I found in my go to Good Food cookbook recipe here. I did cheat and use dried herbs and it did require a bit of seasoning (and good old Worcester sauce) to lift the flavour. The leftovers went in the freezer ready for this Monday. Tea had some Italian inspiration using gnocchi and butternut squash with a rosemary butter sauce. If anybody has any suggestions for meat free recipes, please leave a comment as inspiration is always needed.
I came to the realisation that during the week I can easily reach and surpass my 5 a day recommendation for fruit and veg (more veg than fruit mind) as it is easy to snack on this at work. But when it comes to the weekend I find that I can struggle to get past 3 servings (and drink my usual 2 litres of water). So, I have decided to make myself smoothies for my weekend breakfast. Last weekend I was on kiwi and spinach smoothies. For those who want to try it, chop up two kiwis and add to a blender with a couple of handfuls of spinach, couple of spoons of natural yogurt and 100ml water, then just blitz together. This weekend I’m on banana, pineapple and kale. So it was half a frozen banana (slightly defrosted), 12 chunks of pineapple, a couple of handfuls of kale and 100ml of water blitzed together. If you’ve never had a smoothie before, these green smoothies do take a while to get your head round (Mr W always has comments on the greenness of it) but I feel like I am adding those extra nutrients into my diet. People can say that smoothies are high in sugar but by making them yourself you can control what goes in. I try to keep the fruit down to the equivalent of 1-1 and half servings then top it up with the greens (low in sugar and fat but have the iron or folic acid).
Exercise….Probably one of the main focuses of resolutions. For a few months now I have been doing some form of exercise for 5-6 times a week. These sessions haven’t been intense, some cardio or strength training to get my heart going in the morning. I think that this could be why I haven’t been ill so far this winter. Doing some exercise each day (along with a healthy diet) keeps the immune system at its best. However, too much exercise can put too much stress on the body and weaken the immune system. So remember, everything in moderation (exercise and diet). So for this year I just want to keep this routine going. It can take up to three weeks for your body to get used to a routine so I’m hoping that now I’m beyond that stage, I can keep it up.
In my last post I mentioned about some healthy baking. This weekend I am going to give the baked doughnuts another go (using my doughnut kit and possibly AirFryer, this is my new toy for the year). I will give an update on this in my next post. Again, any suggestions for uses of the AirFryer (I got a Phillips one after a colleague at work recommended it) please leave a comment. I will be attempting kale crisps in it later today so fingers crossed.