Fresh Eating

Although I love sharing recipes with you all, this is a little bit of a different post…

Just a little over a year ago Alex and I wed in one of the most beautiful places in the world (I may be a little biased) … on a vineyard in Tulbagh in the western cape, South Africa. And much to my dismay the old adage is true…wedding cake is the most fattening food you’ll ever eat!

 

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*  Photography by Jan Dorfling  *

After having been crazed with exercising to fit into my wedding dress, the post wedding and honeymoon blues drove me into a (excuse the French) “Fuck it” phase. Where I was just not keen to put those running shoes back on, or subject my derrière to another bicycle ride! So I gained a few kilos…then when my favourite skinny jeans no longer French women don't get fatfitted I thought, ok time to dust off those shoes, but alas, it was not to be. Two weeks in I’d  pulled a hamstring and for the past 6 months have endured an up and down of physio, bio kinetics and chiropractic therapies until eventually those skinny jeans will not even go over my thighs! While I am now finally allowed to go back to the gym, I am limited in what I can do. So to lose the weight, I have had to take a long hard look at my eating habits, which I was dismayed to find were not as good and clean as I thought. This is where Mireille Guiliano’s book “French Women Don’t Get Fat”comes in.

To start, I can’t diet, I hate deprivation and I love food. So telling me to cut out all bread  forever is just a no-no. I end up cutting it out for three days then smashing as much freshly baked goodness in my face on day four…but Mireille’s book is a promise that she’ll reintroduce you to the love of food, fresh ingredients, amazing combinations and the odd delicious pastry. Also she promises I wont have to give up wine. One of my most favourite things in the world, is a spectacular wine!

Mireille recommends savouring every mouth full, never eating on the run, and a bunch of other gems (which you should buy her book to read about), which if I’m honest I always used to do, but somewhere in the wedding and injury haze I lost the plot…

And so, after a girls weekend of eating and drinking badly on Monday this week I started…with the first of the (thankfully) only two (in her words) “tough” days, where one has to suffer through eating only this magical leek soup, and drinking water.

leek 'soup'on the boil
Leeks on the boil

What she fails to mention (bless her if she had I wouldn’t have done it) is that this magical elixir is really more an oniony broth, with meals of chewing on lightly flavoured leeks in between… after this torment, she then prescribes for dinner on day two 150g of fish and steamed veg with a piece of fruit for desert.

My will power, and my long suffering fabulous husband got me through the torture, until 3pm on day two, when the smell of the leeks made my stomach turn and I felt like a walking human green sick emoji! I caved and had my piece of fruit before happily skipping to the shops to pick my fish and fresh vegetables…

Apple
Possibly the best apple I’ve ever had in my whole life…tasted so sweet, so crisp, so juicy…I salivate thinking about this moment! My starved face above shows you how badly I didn’t want to put one more freaking leek in my mouth!!

Day two’s dinner, as Mireille suggests…I experimented! I wouldn’t allow myself to buy a single thing pre-prepared and forced myself to buy a fish I’d never heard of… and this was the result:

Yellow Tail & Roasted Veg
150g of Yellow-Tail – baked in the oven with a dash of olive oil, fresh thyme and basil, and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper

The vegetables were amazing, woolworths has this new section (ok maybe its not new and was always there but I’ve only just noticed it on my hunt for all things fresh), where they have the vegetables almost as if they were pulled from the ground yesterday, no packaging, and a lot of them still covered with a bit of soil – naturally to prove their freshness! Here I discovered that I actually don’t hate beetroots, I just hate beetroots that come in a jar! Roasted fresh beetroot, radishes, baby tomatoes and carrots, all in season I might add and so all on special, with some pepper, thyme and a dash of olive oil…

And I ate it slowly, one bite at a time, savouring each flavour, each squirt of tomato juices combined with the yellow tail, I was in heaven! This, I thought to myself while chewing, is my kind of diet! All about flavours, recipes, experimenting with food and eating in season and fresh, with a good glass of sauvignon blanc on hand.
So I’ve dropped 2kgs, reset my pallet and proceeded on to stage two of the “recasting”, as she calls it, and I can’t wait to share some of these recipes and finds with you… stay tuned for a full chapter of fresh, clean eating!

P.S. For those of you living in South Africa here’s a list of fruit and veg in season in winter: 

Winter – June, July, August

Fruit:

Apples
Avocados
Dates
Grapefruit
Lemons
Limes
Melon
Naartjies
Oranges
Pawpaws or Papayas
Pears
Pineapples

Vegetables:

Asparagus
Beetroot
Broad beans
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Fennel
Jerusalem artichokes
Kale spinach
Parsnips
Pumpkin
Radishes
Turnips
Watercress

 

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