With my ingredients purchased (and mental loins girded) I was all ready to start my new diet come Wednesday. Unfortunately my previously profligate food purchasing had left me with a small stockpile of food which varied from mildly to grossly unhealthy. Now I could have thrown that food out, but that seemed rather wasteful and so instead I decided to push the start of my diet forward one day and finish them off. Thursday dawned bright, fresh and cold – well I’m assuming it did, because I didn’t get up till lunchtime.
Day 01 – Thursday 25/11
Getting up at lunchtime was certainly not the most auspicious way to start my new diet. It throws off the timing of the meals and is generally just a poor idea. However I was determined to start the diet and set out to make my porridge.
To be honest there’s not much to making porridge other than getting the ratio of oats to water and the amount of time to microwave it for correct. By correct I of course mean the ratio and cooking time that produces porridge to my taste. Generally I like my porridge to have a consistency slightly thicker than rice pudding. I find that a ratio of half a cup of oats to a full cup of water microwaved for around two and a half minutes provides more or less perfect porridge. In the good old days I’d fire low fat yoghurt through the porridge and chow down. Unfortunately my budget didn’t allow for that so I went with tinned apricots and some splenda instead. It was decent but apricots are just sort of weird. Still my diet was started and that was something.
As I mentioned above getting up late messes up the time you have your meals at. So when it was coming towards six of the evening clock I decided that I wasn’t really in the mood for a smoothie and that I would move the smoothie to supper and have my planned dinner now. Of course I ended up going out and getting wankered so I had no lunch, supper or smoothie at all.
Dinner: Spicy Sausage Jambalaya
12oz Andouille Turkey Sausage
1 Red Onion
250g Rice (Brown)
1 bunch Spring Onions
1 can Tinned Tomato’s
Notes / Directions
1. Fry sausages for 5 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, pepper, rice, red onion, spices and water.
3. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Mix in spring onions and serve.
Well the first thing that those who read the first part of this series will realise is that I failed to procure the key ingredient of this recipe; the turkey andouille sausage. This was, as it turns out, rather unfortunate. Even more unfortunate was the fact that I had eaten half the smoked german sausage I bought as a replacement. Still I pushed ahead with the recipe and as the steps suggest, it was a piece of piss to throw together. However after ten minutes it was a little more watery than I liked the look of so I decided to let it simmer for another five minutes or so (still below my 30 minute preparation and cooking deadline). This would have been fine if I had added a bit more water.
It turned out fine; it tasted decent, but not great. Which I was a little disappointed with as I had been looking forward to it. The three key problems were, i) the sausage wasn’t spicy enough – the sausage was far too mild, I’m going to have to look for a different replacement for the andouille, ii) the rice was overcooked – fairly straightforward, I let it simmer too long without adding more water and iii) weak flavour – partially caused by the lack of spice in the sausage but also due to a lack of seasoning. I did add some cumin, ginger and salt when I was cooking. But I think I need to add some stronger flavours. I think the next time I’ll add some crushed garlic in with the frying sausage and add a decent amount of black pepper and paprika as well.
I should also point out that the portions above make two meals worth, though if you have leftovers I’d strongly suggest eating them the next day. If you leave them longer than that the rice loses all its gluten and goes a little weird.
Day 02 – Friday 26/11
As I mentioned above I got wankered on Thursday night and on Friday my healthy eating plan paid the price. I can’t think of a single hangover food that’s even mildly healthy. So it was crisp sandwiches for breakfast and a snackbox for dinner. Still I had already planned to “Dine Out” at least once a week so while bad it wasn’t entirely disastrous. Also, in a rather uncharacteristic move, I prepared Saturday’s lunch ahead of time and stored it in my fancy thermos all ready for work.
Day 03 – Saturday 27/11
More than anything work fucks up my diet. Mainly because it more or less forces you into having four meals a day (one before, one during, one as soon as you come home, one later that evening). I think going forward I’m going to switch to five small meals rather than three large ones for Saturday and Sunday. The other thing is that by habit I tend to get out of bed the bare minimum amount of time necessary before work. This of course doesn’t work when you have to eat breakfast. Luckily I wasn’t able to get a lift in so I had to get up early anyway. A few minutes more wouldn’t matter.
I went with apricots again. Unfortunately I underestimated how long porridge takes to cool (I’m really not a fan of super-hot foods) so I ended up trying to eat it as quickly as possible. This is difficult to do when you’re eating oat paste.
1/4 pint Ice Cubes
1 Lemon (80g Apricots)
1/4 pint Soya Milk (Calcium Enriched)
2 shelled walnuts
Notes / Directions
1. Pit/peel/core fruit.
2. Add fruit, ice and milk to blender and blend.
3. Add nuts, wheatgrass, etc. and blend further.
As I mentioned above I actually prepared this Friday night and brought it into work in a flask. It was surprisingly filling and along with some banana’s served to get me through work quite well. The only thing is that using the top of the flask as a cup is a little messy and leads to you having to try and clean it in work which is a pain in the arse.
Anyhow, onto the smoothie itself. The basic idea behind this was to include my entire five a day in one meal so if I didn’t get any fruit and veg in my other meals I’d still be “covered”. That’s the reason some of the fruit is listed in eighty gram measurements. The fruit was selected based on its effects and properties (as per this book), it’s all about what vitamins, antioxidants, etc. it provides rather than what tastes go well together. That’s not to say it tastes horrible, it tastes fine, but honesty would force me to admit, not great.
As I mentioned in my initial post I was unable to get any lemons in Tesco’s and had replaced them in the recipe with apricots before I got to Liddl where lemons abound. As I’m currently using frozen fruit for the various berries I found that the addition of the ice cubes left it a bit too cold and I’ve replaced that with around 100ml of water. Though I do have some green tea there so I may try making some of that and substituting the water for it (my free radicals won’t know what hit them). I decided not to go with wheatgrass because no matter how good it is for you even the smallest amount of it makes the smoothie taste like you’re eating hay. Going forward I may start adding some Wolfberry and Gingko Biloba (or maybe some nootropic’s).
My initial plan was to eat this on Friday evening. But as we saw, that plan got scrapped due to alcohol abuse. That was my second mistake. My first mistake was eating half of the german sausage I was going to put into the original Jambalaya. My third mistake was forgetting to add the spring onions to this. Combined these three mistake’s largely fucked these leftovers. The lack of sausage meant that eating this devolved into a game of “hunt the sausage” and when all of it had met its end upon my fork my interest in the rest of the meal died. Leaving it for two days had let the gluten on the rice entirely deteriorate, added to the inevitable dryness that reheating rice leads to (and yes I did add water when reheating it in the microwave) this made the rice rather unpalatable. Leaving out the spring onions meant that the flavour of the entire thing was rather flat and lacked any kind of dynamism. Though with all that being said it was quite filling and I ended up eating over half of it. As with a lot of the stuff on this list it’s all about learning what works and what doesn’t. I ended up replacing the second half of the meal with some low fat microwave popcorn, choice of kings you know.
Day 04 – Sunday 28/11
Successfully managed to haul myself out of bed early enough to have some breakfast. As I had some leftover I went with pineapple instead of apricots in my porridge and I have to say I greatly prefer it.
I learned from yesterday’s lesson and consumed it using the disposable plastic cups available from the water cooler in work. Unfortunately there was a slight edge to it, which I’m going to attribute to that orange that I thought might not be quite right, but threw in anyway. Sometimes frugality can go too far. To compound my problems I forgot to bring in my fucking bananas. In extremis I turned to the vending machine and making the best of a bad choice went with a Kellog’s nutrigrain. This was where I lost my footing on the slippery slope of restraint.
Unfortunately a quick trip to Tesco’s after work where I came across two chicken and stuffing on brown bread sandwiches reduced to €0.25 each proved rather disastrous for my evening meal plans. “Dinner” as such consisted of the aforementioned sandwiches, a Go Ahead Yoghurt Bar and two packets of Tayto Velvet. This was bad, but far from disastrous. No what was disastrous was when I went back out to my press later looking for something for supper and ended up toasting three errant slices of white bread I found there. If I was actually using points I’d be well out by now.
Listening to: Baader Meinhof - Baader Meinhof