Microwave Experiment – Update

I’m pleased to say that after 3 months, 2 of them being Winter we have survived as a non-microwave family! Initially, I wasn’t sure how we would cope with quick Winter meals, heating up last nights left overs or defrosting chicken quickly before dinner when I’ve forgot to leave it out to thaw. But, I think we haven’t just survived, we’ve prospered.
Apart from the major plus of us having a heap more bench space to cut, mix, blend, juice and whisk our healthy meals, I’ve also learnt how our grand-parents used to cook, in a time where there was a lot less cancer and disease in general present. Something to consider.

Things I’ve learnt:
1. To thaw meat, fill a bowl with hot but not boiling water and place meat in plastic wrapping in. Leave for 10 minutes. Pour water out and repeat with more fresh hot water until meat begins to thaw. Gradually move the meat a bit and then just keep repeating for as long as you need.
2. Leftover dinner of any combination of vegetables, quinoa, rice etc can be made into a delicious next day meal by cracking an egg and whisking it up, tossing the left over dinner through it and then cooking the new mix together in a fry pan, so it becomes halfway between and omelet and scrambled eggs. A perfect protein packed lunch.
3. Porridge tastes better made on the stove. With coconut cream, frozen blueberries and cinnamon sprinkled on top- breakfast never tasted so good.
4. Asparagus on the grill plate in a bit of coconut oil and chill flakes instead of quickly ‘zapped’ for 30 seconds is a perfect accompaniment for any meal, or a quick and easy snack.
5. Papadums can be cooked on the stove but aren’t good for you anyway. Crunch with curries can be added with roasted cashew nuts or toasted pepitas.
6. Re-heating left over chicken isn’t that good for you anyway. “Zapping” away the salmonella in the microwave was never a good idea!
7. There is a little bit more cleanup with no microwave, but the taste and feeling of not eating food that has been ‘damaged’ makes you feel great!

I wonder if you have adopted this practice as well or if you think I am just plain nuts?!

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I quit Sugar!

About 6 months ago I read Sarah Wilson’s eBook- I Quit sugar. It made a lot of sense. I’d heard a lot about giving sugar the flick, and knew about how we are all eating far too much of it, and Sarah’s book explained it simply and succinctly. I had not known that sugar was the only molecule that did not have a corresponding appetite hormone. And that it is added to so many things (like low-fat yoghurt/ milk). Following my reading of this, I paired back my sugar a lot. I was a lot more ‘aware’. Suddenly I noticed sugar everywhere and creeping into everything I ate. Honey. Tomato chutney. Fish sauce. Curry paste. Some obvious, some not.  But I didn’t entirely quit. I didn’t think  I ate too many sugary things, and when I did it was fresh fruit, dried fruit in muesli and sometimes couple of pieces of dark chocolate after dinner. But if we were out at a great restaurant and there was a great desert (like a chocolate torte or similar!) 50% of the time, I’d ask my husband if he’d like to ‘share’ with me. Which, luckily for me, was never a struggle for him! Slowly I’ve been more aware of sugar and have cut it out where I can. I will choose eggs on toast for breakfast rather than ‘healthy’ muesli, or a have a piece of goats cheese for a snack instead of a banana which I would have done in the past. (Banana’s are 40% fructose – Fructose is the enemy per se, not sugar).
But then just as you think you have your sugar consumption under control, something else happens. One Saturday I went out for lunch with a really fun group of girlfriends, and at the end of a fabulous lunch they all ordered this ‘infamous’ peanut butter chocolate parfait for dessert and I knew I shouldn’t have taken one bite, but I went along with it. And boy did I pay for it!! I had the worst headache after eating that dessert. I know it wasn’t the wine, I only had 1 glass. Within 15 minutes of ingesting this dessert, I could feel the sugar in my system. And I could feel my blood sugar spike and then slump. I had to nap on the couch in the afternoon. And went into food cravings on and off all evening trying to find that ‘high’ again. Oh dear. It took me about 18 hours to feel better. I drank lots of water and went to sleep, feeling very amazed it could affect me so quickly. At least tomorrow is a new day, I told myself. The next day, I caught up with a friend who I hadn’t caught up with in a while and she was looking just fantastic. She wasn’t looking bad before, but her tummy was definitely flatter, and she had certainly lost a few kgs. Her skin was clear and her eyes were sparkling. “Whatever have you done?” I inquired,  “I’ve quit sugar- thanks to you”! I’d given her a copy of Sarah’s book some months back, not realising the impact it would have.

So all these signs, I said to myself why haven’t I done this for real myself?! So that’s it. I’m quitting sugar. For now anyway. My husband is doing it with me. We’re officially doing Sarah’s 8 week plan. Wine is OK. No tonic water for a G&T.  But cheese, you will be our friend. I will let you know how we get on, and hopefully I can share some delicious new sugar free recipes and ways of eating with you!