I am going to do some accounting today. I have decided that it is going to be cod for supper. What I have left is not going to zizz up the meal enough. It is important to enjoy food. It’s a dull life agonising over calories and the science of nutrition. I could have had the fish with the broccoli and perhaps an egg in a sauce. That would have been good. But I am thinking of a bit more colour and change of flavour. If you get bored on any diet, then it’s not going to be sustainable. So, I’m going to trade the cod for some veg. That is going to mean a slight reduction in protein and energy, but I think the energy allowance of 2000 calories is a bit high for me personally.
Everyone has different energy requirements but, as long as my weight is okay, I don’t worry about calories because energy needs can change for an individual if their lifestyle changes. I discovered this some time ago while doing a long-distance run. I managed to run 730 miles in five weeks. I did lose weight. I lost weight in the first three weeks, but it stabilised for the rest of the time. I had become adapted to my new lifestyle. I was eating freely, and I felt good. Even though I was consuming fewer than the recommended calories, it was about twice of my amount before the trip. But, I never felt I lacked energy. So, my ‘office lifestyle’ was lived on x calories, and x weight resulted. My running lifestyle used a different number of calories to match the activity. It was just as healthy. We adapt to our environment. I blogged about it. I was surprised by it at the time.
I have bought some peppers and courgettes and have put aside two-thirds of the cod. That’s in the freezer for another time. I spent 40p on a courgette and 90p on two peppers. One for tonight and one for the last day. And you know what? So focussed was I on the product that I completely forgot country of origin. It is so natural to assume that I can have any food at any time. Of course, that is possible. But it makes sense to go local. Anyway, I have lost 55 calories of cod and 11.5 g of protein. I have saved £2.40 and spent £1.30. So, I am now just over £28 for the whole week. Not bad at all.
There is now a very slight reduction in the macronutrient balance, but I can afford that. I have, though, added some flavour and colour. Plus, all of those fabled phytonutrients, especially in the peppers. I’m not sure if they are right for me personally, everyone is different. Some people advise against food from the nightshade family. That’s’ peppers, potatoes, aubergines, paprika, and cayenne pepper. They contain chemicals called solanines ( named after the genus solanum, which these plants come from). How solanines act is not well understood. There are suggestions that solanines cause enzyme inhibition. This is a standard mode of action for toxins. Some people have put forward the idea of interference with the energy pathways in the cell through their effect on mitochondria. When making a judgement on these matters it is important to balance the toxicity with the benefits. Peppers are packed with vitamins and antioxidant chemicals. I’ve had no major issues before. So, I’m going for it.
For lunch, it is a mug of chicken soup. It is the last day I can keep this chicken thing going. I am going to freeze the other mug for another day. It won’t keep in the fridge any longer. Add a strawberry with double cream, and the meal is complete and finished with a small square of choc and nut. Half of what I cut up, so only 1g of carb. Manageable.
The main course tonight is another easy to prepare meal—Cod with Mediterranean vegetables. I intended to roast the vegetables in the oven for about an hour then add the fish. But I forgot and fried them instead. Either way is fine. The frying probably adds extra taste and a beautiful browned appearance. Cut the pepper into small pieces. Ditto the courgette. Mix and glug on a generous amount of olive oil and some black pepper. Wrap the cod in foil and add a tiny amount of olive oil. Bake in a lowish oven 170° C for around 15 minutes. Fish is tricky. It turns from succulent to dry and tough in minutes. Just-cooked is best. Keep an eye on it.
Those strawberries. I have spent the whole time being suspicious of their size. But in reality, they have been a great purchase. They will allow me to have fruit for almost the entire week. For tonight I am going to make some strawberry ice cream. Now, most of my home-made ice cream sets so hard that it needs something equivalent to a hammer drill to cut it up. For the strawberry ice cream today, I am trying equal amounts of double cream and Greek yogurt, with the last two strawberries. I also added some olive oil as I thought that the unsaturated fat would stay slightly liquid at freezing temperatures. The risk was that olive oil has a peppery aftertaste. It did, and it was noticeable. But luckily not enough to ruin it. I don’t think I would do that again. I found some wild strawberries in a hedgerow and added these as a topping.
There was enough for two ramekins. So, the other will keep for the last day.