New food for September: gammon

It’s taken me quite a while to get round to writing this post. I was slightly delayed as, feel free to laugh, I had to check with my Mum whether I had actually tried gammon before. Apparently growing up, although my Dad had it a lot, I always refused to try it, or took one mouthful and stubboIMG_1180rnly said I didn’t like it and refused to try anymore. I can’t help being stubborn!

Although I ate the majority of this huge meal (pictured – and very calorie heavy!), I did find this gammon a bit too smokey (I prefer non-smoked bacon too). It was nice getting to try the whole experience of having it with fried egg and pineapple – I did have to laugh that it was actually a slice of pineapple and not a pineapple ring like I’ve always seen.

I wouldn’t refuse to eat it again, as like everyone has always told me, it is very much like bacon – which I do absolutely love!

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Register at a Dentist

Registering at a dentist is something that I’ve put off since moving to Bristol four years ago. Last time I went to the dentistIMG_1172 I was registered at in Trowbridge, the dentist was that mean to me, he made me cry. No joke. That combined with years of painful braces made me more than a little scared to actually head out there and register at a dentist. Adding the registering and going to my 3o before 30 really was the kick up the arse I needed, and within less than a week of registering at East Street Dental Surgery, I found myself sat in the dentist chair with shaky hands while the dentist examined my teeth. Minutes later I discovered after years of putting the trip off, all I needed was a quick clean behind my bottom teeth (I have a wire left over from my braces in an attempt to keep my teeth straight) and I would be sent on my way.

A few painful moments that I winced my way through and £18.80 later, I was sent on my way and told they would see me in 6 months time for another check up. Thank God that was over! My teeth still hurt for days after, but at least I faced my fear and went; Liam even went a few days later and it was even longer since he had been!

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Sort my CV

My CV is all updated and ready to go. I got help from my auntie and her friend to edit it to ‘sell’ myself better. It turns out my CV was all wrong so it helps to set a target of sitting down and sorting it properly. You never know when you will need an updated CV – especially as my job is via an agency.

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A Little Update

I did a little update the other week and I said my aim was to pamper myself more. I’ve got myself slightly into a routine of using different moisturisers each night; I’ve been leaving them on the side to make sure I remember – it’s kind of working.

I managed to keepIMG_0794 my food and weight diary going for just over a week and could still not figure out what is the cause of me putting weight on. If I ate pasta and drank cider, it didn’t seem to play any part in the couple of extra pounds gained. I’m still making sure I’m eating plenty of vegetables and salad while it’s just me here. I am finding I’m missing having the vegetable boxes delivered (pictured) so I’ve been making sure I’ve been going out and buying more – you just can’t beat the taste of fresh tomatoes from a fruit and veg shop, they have so much flavour compared to tomatoes bought in a supermarket!

On the exercise front, I am still failing badly. I truly only have myself to blame on this one as I’m too tired at the moment, but know that if you do more exercise you do have more energy. My friend Paula has told me about a zumba class her and her sister are going to on a Tuesday night that is pretty much on my doorstep and said I ought to go. This will really be challenging myself as I have no rhythm what so ever when it comes to things like this. I think I’m more worried about embarrassing myself than anything.

So that leaves me with the writing. I’ve actually edited 12 chapters now and they have been sent to two friends to have a look at. One friend just likes reading and is happy to point out any obvious mistakes, the other friend I did Creative Writing with at Bath Spa, so I’ve asked her to pick apart and comment on anything she wants. It’s not her normal style of writing with it being chick lit, so I hope she’s not hating me too much for this!

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New food for August: different beans

It sounds very odd to to title this post ‘different beans’, but that’s exactly what it was as I don’t have a clue what I ate. I was out with my familIMG_0956y for a meal in Bradford-on-Avon on Saturday night and we went to the Barge Inn down on the canal. There, I had tuna steak with a chorizo, pepper and bean salad of their specials board; I’ve tried tuna steak only once so I thought I’d be brave and try it again – it was cooked differently this time, not as flaky as when I had it previously. Anyway, I’m skipping over my point, the bean salad had various beans in it I hadn’t tried – I’m just not entirely sure what these different beans were; there’s a possibility one was cannellini beans.

Apologies for the picture of the half-eaten food, it was only when I was part way through my food that I realised I was actually eating a new food, so took a quick snap then. If anyone recognises any of the beans in the picture, please enlighten me to what I actually ate on Saturday night!

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Aims for the week

Saying one of my goals is to Blog more, I’m doing a totally shoddy job. So in an attempt to make an effort, here’s what I plan to do this week……

One thing I said I would do is pamper myself more, so this week is about me – seems a little selfish I know. I started today by getting rid of my roots  (finally) and redying my hair red and just having a totally chilled out day – much needed I should add. Another thing I started was a food diary; I’ve put on more weight than I’m happy with lately and as I’ve actually been eating better, I want to try and work out what is causing me to pile on the pounds. I think the plan is also going to be thinking about the fact that other than walking, I am completely failing on the exercise front – I need routine. Wish me luck!

I’m also hoping to get a bit more writing done this week, but on that front I really don’t want to make empty promises – not good I know!

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Go for a walk up Ashton Court and play frisbee golf

I’m cheating and combining two activities into one here….

It may not have been the longest of walks, but on Saturday Liam and myself headed up to Ashton Court for a couple of hours to have an explore, play some frisbee golf, hunt out the two Shaun’s up t253here and dodge the building work for the Balloon Fiesta.

I’ve done loads of walking for work in the last few weeks so I thought I may as well carry the theme on with a walk around Ashton Court and get some fresh air and exercise while it was a dry day. This also meant I could try my hand at frisbee golf.

Liam had told me about playing frisbee golf at Ashton Court and I thought it sounded fun so wanted to have a go. Providing you don’t take it too seriously and don’t want to keep score (sorry Liam), it is really fun! I’m sure you can have loads of fun keeping score, but as I knew I would be no match for Liam who has played loads, I wasn’t interested in playing to keep count. I have a crap aim when it comes to anything, so there was no way on earth I was going to get a frisbee straight into a basket – or even manage it in one shot – six or seven shots maybe….255

We couldn’t play properly because of the set up for the Balloon Fiesta, but as we walked round, Liam got me to try a couple of the baskets and I enjoyed trying my hand at something new. It would be great to be able to go up there again and play all the holes – or baskets – and see if my aim and sense of direct does improve! It’s the sort of activity you can play on your own, or in pairs and groups. Maybe it’s an idea to sneak up on your own and get some practice in?

So other than frisbee golf, I got to see the deer and discover the rose garden at Ashton Court. I must remember when roses are actually out and go again as they’re one of my favourite flowers (and my middle name) and I would love to see the garden in full bloom. I got to walk up plenty o246f hills and eat strawberry ice cream (always a bonus). And I got to discover there was a golf course up there – in the hunt for the second Shaun of course!

For the cheap price of £1.20 parking, you can spend hours up at Ashton Court walking round (and almost tripping over loads in my case) and relaxing. It’s so peaceful up there that you forget that you’re actually in Bristol. I’ll have to take myself back up there for a walk – it’s another way of getting in shape walking loads.

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New food for July: Sushi

In a shocking turn for me, in July I actually tried three new foods! If I was being clever I would have spread these out over three months and then I wouldn’t spend each month racking my brain trying to think of what new food to try. Own brain fail!IMG_0679

What did I try in July? Well, I tried sushi, sea bass and marrow in the space of one month. But the food I tried first was sushi, so we’ll count that as July’s food (I didn’t have my phone or camera with me when I tried sea bass in champagne sauce on holiday and I didn’t even think of taking a picture with the fried marrow we had with dinner one night and saying it was the food for August!). So after seeing a selection of sushi next to the till in the kiosk in Asda, I decided to be brave and try it. I opted for a selection of fish and vegetable rolls to try different bits and push my own boundaries as sushi has never appealed to me previously – in fact, I’ve turned my nose up at the idea of it before when it’s been suggested to me. The selection I tried contained tuna and cucumber, salmon, and sweet pepper and prawn – so a very fishy selection for someone who is only just getting used to eating more fish.

So it came as a shock to me when I did actually like it! Yes, me who has turned my nose up at sushi actually liked it – and have had it again since. My only gripe is the fact that both selections I had contained cucumber – a food that I don’t like (yes I have tried it and have managed to eat in unintentionally on several occasions and still haven’t liked it). The next step for me would be trying a larger selection of items and I’m actually willing to do that. We have a food success!

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21 days of vegetarianism turns into 24

I didn’t quite know how I would get on with doing 21 days of vegetarianism; as I said previously, I’m not a huge meat eater, but I wouldn’t want to give it up completely. Anyway, I completed it – a173nd easier than I thought I would, especially as I’ve eaten out so much. I’ve actually done 24 days in total as I didn’t actually fancy eating any meat – although there is now bacon in the fridge as I do love my bacon.

I may not have been very adventurous with what I’ve eaten, but it has certainly done me good eating a lot more vegetables and salad that I have ever done. I do feel more healthy for being more considerate about what I’m eating. I haven’t actually lost any weight when I stand on the scales (not that I am a big one for going by what it says on the scales due to me being so curvy), but I would say there is certainly less of a ‘bloat’ to my stomach – unfortunately not enough to make me bikini ready for my Turkish adventure! That’s my own fault for that though – I’m not exactly what you call motivated when it comes to exercise (something that does need correcting if I intend to to the 5k that’s on this list).

A favourite I’ve been cooking is doing rice with loads of different vegetables and chopped tomatoes through it. I switched it between adding quorn pieces and adding kidney beans; I cooked it in bulk and freezed it – or had it for lunch the next day adding 196extra bits like feta through. It’s my own version of ready meals when I cook in bulk – there’s always things like pastas, bolognese (often a vegetarian version where I’ve had a sauce to use up) and chili in the freezer.

To bulk out meals a bit I’ve been adding feta and mozzarella through – two cheeses I like anyway – and a huge reason I could never be vegan. One of the meals with feta was adding it with tomatoes to pasta and then putting coleslaw through it – a very filling meal – cheap too.

As I said, I have eaten out quite a bit over the last three or so weeks and have only found once I couldn’t eat anything off the menu as it was all mushroom based – which I don’t like and quorn food – I didn’t see the point in paying for quorn pieces when I had them in the freezer already. Other than that, I found plenty to chose from; from vegetable lasagne, to pasta, salad and jacket potato. I often opt for vegetarian meals when I’m out – especially in pasta and pizzas – I a203lways have preferred vegetarian pizzas to meat pizzas – a way to actually get vegetables into me.

I’ve tried to make sure that I haven’t gone for easy foods all the time – sure nothing I’ve had was complicated, but I’ve certainly chopped more vegetables than I have ever done. Although I am going to go back to eating meat, I do want to do meat free Mondays so that I don’t completely abandon chopping all my veg and create a filling meal that way.  I know that I didn’t create any different recipes, but when you’ve just got in from a long drive, you don’t want to cook properly – which is why roasted veg is pretty good as once you’ve chopped it all up, you just whack it in a dish and you can get on with other things around the house.

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New food for June: persimmon

IMG_0641Finding a new food to try is not as easy as I thought it would be – well not when I’m left to my own devices. With the end of June fast approaching, I knew I was leaving it far too late to find something new to try, so while I was in Lidl doing some food shopping on Thursday, I came across the persimmon. I’d never heard of it before and actually had to Google how to eat it – treat it like an apple basically. The persimmon also goes by the name ‘sharon fruit’, which I can remember coming through the till when I worked in Tesco.

I’ve never been a big one for eating fruit, I hate bananas and any other fruit I buy goes off before I get round to eating it (I bought some plums at the same time as the persimmon – it will be interesting to see if they actually get eaten). I opted for a fruit as I’m still doing my 21 days of being vegetarian. The fruit itself wasn’t bad – crunchy like an apple, with quite a sweet taste. I wasn’t that keen on the skin, so I chopped that off and just ate the inside. I’m not very good at describing foods, so you’re better off Googling if you want an exact description of what it tastes like.

Would I eat it again? Possibly. I don’t think I would go completely out of my way to buy them though!

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