Week 2:Day 7
I have plenty of food left. There is a shortage of fresh fruit because it was used to make ice cream. Some extra fresh veg would be nice, too. Nevertheless, I have plenty of food. The items I bought have given me more than enough nutrients and energy for my needs. Two weeks is an excellent time to assess personal needs for food. If your weight is going up or down unintentionally, perhaps an adjustment to the quantities might be needed. Everyone has to find their own way. This fortnight was an exercise in supermarket shopping on a budget. And I have stuck to the task.
So, what is there in the cupboards today? I have some Pork and Vegetable Stew, which I intend to have as an evening meal. It doesn’t sound like a meal, a soup. But it is packed with calories and nutrition. With this keto lifestyle, I don’t need to have my stomach muscles stretched to the maximum to feel full. I used to. When I was carb addicted, I needed food regularly. Coffee in the morning was usually with a biscuit because I needed it. And of course, carb foraging is a psychological issue. Hunting down carbs becomes the immediate priority. I have found over time that a keto diet rarely makes me feel hungry. But stress is a trigger for snacking. No amount of food fills me up in those situations.
There are some mixed nuts still left over. And there is a small amount of chocolate, plus some Coconut and Strawberry Ice Cream that I need to take out an hour before. I will probably use those snacky foods around meal times when I prepare the food and afterwards.
I have saved enough ingredients to make a Salad of Cheese, Egg, Cucumber, and Mixed Nuts. That has become a nice refreshing meal over the past fortnight. It is an early summer menu, so I should be able to use variations of this through the summer. You know the preparation by now. Dice the cheese and cucumber, mix with the nuts, and chopped boiled egg. Add mayo and Olive Oil as needed and season with black pepper to taste.
The evening meal was going to be Cod with Mediterranean Vegetables—a repeat of one of my last week’s meals but very appropriate for the time of year.
Chop the pepper, mushrooms and courgette, fry in olive oil, and season as needed. Oven bake the cod at 160°C for around 15 minutes until just cooked and succulent. When the tomatoes become available, a couple of cherry tomatoes would enhance this dish in many ways, both visual appeal and taste. It is nice to think of simple additions and alterations.
Kick back with a cup of black coffee and reflect on a fun fortnight. It should be fun over the next few weeks. Routines can be changed with a short period of dedication to the cause. I will be repeating the purchase of many of these ingredients as they are the most common keto foods. However, within these broad categories, there are many variations. Think of the dozens of varieties of cheeses, nuts, vegetables. I will be more adventurous with my meat. Offal is ridiculously cheap for the nutritional value. It is like getting solid gold at gold-plate prices. The budget for the fortnight has been way under the national average spend on food. There might be scope within an individual’s budget to explore more expensive foods. Even some wine. Or gin for that coconut cocktail. Or go to local organic suppliers of meat and vegetables who might be slightly more costly for some items, but will offer locally sourced food. When the staff get to know you, you will be well looked after, I can assure you. Or you might be happy with your supermarket. They do provide excellent, ethically-sourced food when you know where to find it. Most people shop at a mixture of different shops to get what they need. I don’t usually look round supermarkets, but some of the cheap items are fantastic value. The Aldi Italian Coffee stands out as a bargain. When searching for cod, I came across Pollock at around half the price. It would be fine in a pie, but possibly not so good for a fish steak as the main item on the menu. If I shopped around, I think I could have got this of equal quality for 2-3 pounds less than I paid.
Next week there are going to be garden fruit and vegetables in my recipes. Last year I decided to dig up some of the lawn and grow veg. The time is right for me. But ten years ago, footballs were flying around, and the space was best used for other things. It would have been hopeless to have tried to grow my own. The autumn would be an excellent time to hunt down some fruit bushes. Blueberries, blackberries( you need a fence for these), raspberries, and strawberries. They can all go into pots or a small area in a garden. I am going to get some lemongrass and try planting a ginger root. From a 60cm raised bed, I can get all the lettuce I need. I can get a cherry tomato and some basil in another tub. I won’t be self-sufficient by any means with four containers or a patch of ground the same size. I am likely to use the land because watering and feeding pots are well beyond my ability to remember to maintain them. Pots and tubs need feeding and watering regularly. Never trust a doctor whose office plants are dead! But I will be starting to get back in touch with soil and the source of my food.