We need to talk.

You’ve had a few recipes from me now and I thought I would give you a little insight in to my philosophy and why I eat and cook the way I do.

I have always believed in a healthy lifestyle. This was mostly instilled in me from my gorgeous mother. She was always big on vegetables, fruits, pulses, good fats, sunscreen, limited alcohol, no to smoking…you get the message. To say its done her well would be an understatement. At 56 my mother could be in her 40s. She’s healthy, fit and other than a recent surgery lives a very active lifestyle. So Thank You Mum, you’ve got me started on something that I not only enjoy but will hopefully keep me safe and looking as fabulous as you when I am 56.

Down to business.

Being a Vegetabletarian.

As I have already stated I was a vegetarian (but ate fish) as a child. This was a choice made by my parents and we took a lot of stick for it. Don’t get me wrong I am not about to say that “veg prej” is the new racism but for goodness sake if I was called names and had my motives questioned once I had it a million times. We were on a diet of cheese and tomato pizza at friends houses; much to my pizza mad sisters delight.

I am no longer a vegetarian. I can’t really explain why I changed my mind about meat. I still don’t eat a lot of it and to be honest its only chicken, turkey bacon and the previously eaten fish that I eat now. Red meat? I don’t like the taste. However through my occupation ( I am a student nurse) I have  become of something a little more concerning. Have you ever seen the research links between red meat and colorectal cancer? I have and I am sorry, it ain’t pretty. Red meat is a staple of many peoples diets in the Highlands of Scotland and my colleagues locally have often noted the correlations between that and the high rate of colorectal cancer within this area.

Parkin (2011) found that 21% of colorectal cancers attributed to red/processed meat.

 I don’t know about you but thats not odds I fancy my chances with. The NHS provides some information on what the recommended amounts of red meat are now and I have included it at the bottom of the page where I have given you a little reference list….cute eh!

My love affair with Mr Gym

I have said once before that I was a gym enthusiast. I might have made a small understatement there. I love it. If it don’t go to the gym I miss it. I go in feeling crap and come out feeling a million dollars. I do a lot of weight lifting; I have done this for a few years but not to the standard I do now. My boyfriend has been a fantastic help to me with this and I am now in a position to build the body I have wanted for years. Thank You Darling. Basically, I am constructing myself a strong and lean body that can withstand a 12 hr shift, lifting patients and also look damn good in a strapless dress. I have been waiting a long time for results to appear but I have had 3 comments in the last week alone about how my shape is changing and how toned I look, so I am obviously doing something right! Having a functionally strong body is very important to me. I have a bad back for example, but with the improvement of my strength I am not longer as scared about moving certain ways and assisting patients. Gym work takes motivation. If you want your body to look a certain way sitting there doing nothing isn’t going to help. I will give you the same start I had with my body work; meet Jamie Eason http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jamie-eason-livefit-trainer.html. I started with this and went from there.

I love to cook and bake

I find it a productive way to vent frustrations, make something tasty and have the satisfaction of “I did that”. I should point out, I am bad loser in the kitchen and god if something doesn’t go right I am a huffy chef to say the least! But when it goes right, oh its amazing – considering I make most of it up!
That is what all this comes down to at the end of the day – that’s how you found me, how I found my voice and how you may one day eat something I showed you. I love that maybe I could spread the message that cooking doesn’t have to be a drag and healthy doesn’t have to be tasteless or plain. Spices give a dull meal a kick, fruits give a subtle sweetness and lip -smacking sauces compliment that meal you just made beautifully.

My boyfriend once said to me that “when you cook I feel better” – you tell me a better reason to do it!

So go on, forget what you think about healthy food, try something new and make yourself, and someone you love “feel better”

Love, M x

References (don’t show my lecturers; what a mess!)

Parkin DM, Boyd L, Walker LC (2011a) The fraction of cancer attributable to lifestyle and environmental factors in the UK in 2010: summary and conclusions British Journal of Cancer; 105:S77-S81.

NHS Advice page –  http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/red-meat.aspx

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