PORRIDGE!!

Screen shot 2014-09-05 at 11.45.45

This is going to be mainly a food-porn post, in which I indulge myself with all the beautiful pictures I took of porridge whilst I was in America.

Porridge is one of my favourite breakfast foods, and possibly ranks in my top 10 foods of all time. Whilst out in the Hamptons, I was using classic Quaker Oats, with semi-skimmed milk and water, then adding a splash of milk on top after the porridge was cooked. New technique, but I loved it. Toppings included a variety of seeds and fruit and jams.

Enjoy the photos:

Blueberries and flax seeds –

 foodfighttime flax

Peach, roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds, drizzled honey –

foodfighttime peach2

Raspberries, flax seeds and strawberry jam –

foodfighttime rasp

Blueberries and apricot jam –

foodfighttime blueberry

Strawberries, blueberries, flax seeds and strawberry jam –foodfighttime white bowl foodfighttime side 

For more unusual porridge, please check out my absolutely delightful carrot-cake oatmeal.

Advertisements

3 Ways to Help Yourself Behave

I’ve recently been trying to slim down a tiny bit again. All the usual things: summer is round the corner, my birthday is next month, I’m going to a wedding on Saturday etc etc. Anyway, I’ve found a few things that have really helped me stay on track – steering me away from the chips and dips, and towards the home-made soups and kale!


 

1. Fit-spiration

Many of you may have heard of the evil twin sister to this motivational technique – “thin-spiration”. Thin-spiration is a hideous hideous thing. It’s a word generally used by people suffering from eating disorders to describe the reams of photographs they look at of un-naturally skinny other people, whether they be celebrities or just other fellow anorexics. It is a distinctly un-healthy idea, but the need for inspiration to achieve our goals is a common one. I recently heard someone talk about “fit-spiration” and thought that sounded wonderful. Find a picture of somebody who is in excellent shape – slim but healthy. Somebody who is fit and strong. Make that your goal. I stumbled across this picture when I was shopping online for a new sports bra, and it’s stayed on my laptop desktop ever since!

Image

 

2. Health food blogs

I’ve previously talked about my favourite food porn website: http://beautifulpicturesofhealthyfood.tumblr.com/

But I’ve now got a new favourite health-food blog, and it’s all vegan. Readers, meet Deliciously Ella. Deliciously Ella, meet my readers. Once you find a brilliant health food blog, it’s easy to stay healthy yourself, because you crave their recipes. You want to make what they make, you want to eat what they eat. Gone are the desires for a Dominos pizza with burgers in the crust, and here come the impulses to make a vat of quinoa every weekend, just to add to all my dishes during the week. I want to make this, and this… and most of all these. Get a healthy obsession, and suddenly being good isn’t a chore.

3. Fruit and Veg Challenge

Recent research has found that our ideas of 5-a-day are way under what we really should be consuming. Apparently it’s more like 7-a-day. But let’s be honest, we all knew that the more fruit and vegetables we ate, the healthier and happier we’d be; There isn’t a limit. I’ve recently set myself challenges – every now and then I say, “let’s eat solely fruit and veg today”. It’s easier than you think. I eat fruit all morning, have a salad dressed with lemon juice and plenty of herbs for lunch, more fruit in the afternoon and then a home-made soup for dinner, or a mound of all my favourite vegetables: Green beans, cauliflower, aspargaus, mushrooms. Challenge yourself to eat 7 portions of fruit and veg today, and just see how much the bad stuff you consume goes down.

ImageImage

San Francisco – My healthy recommendations

I am currently in the magnificent US of A again. I can’t get enough of this country!

Image

Me and Helen at a particularly extravagant buffet in Dubai last year

This time I’m in California visiting a very good friend of mine. Helen and I were at school together, then both went to Cambridge before finally following each other to London post-university. We’ve followed each other around for over a decade. As a result, I found it very sad when she revealed to me last year that she was going to move to San Francisco indefinitely. I promised to visit before the year was out, and so here I am.

I have been to San Francisco many times before with my family, but always as a tourist. As a result I’ve always liked the city but never loved it, because it’s hard to really get to know a place when you’re doing all the things the locals don’t do and none of the things that they do! Within a couple of hours of landing in San Francisco this time, and trundling my suitcase from the BART station to my friend’s house, I had fallen more in love with the city than I could ever have imagined. And I love it even more now that I have a better appreciation of health and fitness, because it has got to be one of the healthiest seeming cities in America. Last time I was here I was still at university, and eating family packs of crisps as a mid-morning snack! Suddenly I’m incredibly aware of all the joggers out with their dogs, all the amazing omelette options at brunch, and all the lovely organic deli shops on every street corner! Of course it’s always easy to be unhealthy, but in this city it seems that it’s also easy to be healthy and love it.

I am now on my way to LA (healthy and unhealthy in very different ways), and then I will be moving on to Vegas on Friday (hideously unhealthy) but my short time in San Francisco over the last week has changed my opinion of the city forever. As my bus pulled out of the city over Bay Bridge, I felt incredibly sad that I would only be returning a day before flying home to England. In my brief time here with Helen, I already have a few recommendations for the healthy foodies out there who are lucky enough to live in/visit San Francisco.

1.  Judy’s on Union Street for brunch. Get one of their omelette’s – it’s basically a pile of delicious food with a lid of omelette on it – like a literal egg pie. And if you have the choice of what bread to get on the side, have their home-made pumpkin loaf. It’s melt in the mouth good.

2. Go and help yourself to a sold-by-weight salad bar at the Wildflower Cafe near the famous TransAmerica building. I met Helen for lunch one day and she took me here. I’d like to publicly apologise online to her for not engaging in any conversation properly because I was constantly making sounds of delicious approval and pointing out that the eggplant salad/chillied broccoli/green bean salad/curried chicken/vietnamese noodles/beetroot wedges were to die for. If you want to fill your plate high though, do prepare yourself for the salad to come to over $10. Absolutely worth it though.

3. If you are a porridge lover, which I am to a dangerous level, and you need some food on the go, head to Blue Fog market and get their Oh! Meal! It’s porridge cooked with honey, ginger, lemon juice and a bit of cream cheese, and it’s honestly got to be the best porridge I’ve ever tasted. Again my enjoyment of the porridge rendered me incapable of conversation with Helen as we walked back to her flat. Sprinkle complimentary granola or blueberries on top to add the final touch.

4. Make sure you check out the farmers’ market at the Ferry Building. It’s open on Sundays and Tuesdays, and you have to hunt down the man selling home-made dips – houmous, babaganoush, pesto, aubergine dip. He will continue to ply you with samples of chunks of gluten-free falafel until you prize yourself away.

That’s all from me for now. Time for a little mid-journey snack – a fresh Californian orange and a packet of addictive lime and chilli flavoured pumpkin seeds. Wherever you are in the world, enjoy the rest of your week.

Image