If you’ve kept up with #ThisGirlEats, you’ll know I spent the last month or so keeping a food diary published it for all the world to see 😬
It was all about learning to live a healthier lifestyle. I wore my bad habits like a badge, telling everyone that yes, I can eat a whole pizza on a Tuesday night all tomyself. I can’t say I always wore this badge proudly – but I wore it nonetheless.
It’s easy to munch your way through half a pack of biscuits in front of the telly and not even notice; it’s easy to grab a hot chocolate every lunch break and think you’re just treating yourself. Writing down every morsel I consumed – no matter how embarrassingly gluttonous – forced me to take a look at what I was putting in my body.
Sometimes it was hard. Really hard. But it made me realise I’ve got some serious bad habits that need to be squashed immediately if I want to move forward with a healthier lifestyle.
I learnt loads about myself by doing this, but these are the five main changes I need to make after reflecting on my 30-day food diary.
Cut out the fizzy drinks every. damn. lunch. Choosing the “diet” version isn’t a free pass when it comes to fizzy drinks. I’ve had it in my head that a fizzy drink will make me feel more full or give me more energy for the rest of my shift, but it was getting out of hand. Now I choose squash or water with my lunch at work, and find it easily cuts out five fizzy drinks a week. Five! 😱
Please stop ordering takeaways – for your health and your bank balance!
Throw out the menus. Block Just Eat from all home devices. Delete the Dominos app. Desperate times call for desperate measures and, after logging my eating for just one month, I realise my lack of willpower when it comes to ordering in is getting DIRE. It’s a lethal cocktail of junk food cravings and plain ol’ laziness, but it reeeeeally needs to stop! I can’t afford it, and my body can’t either!
Five-A-Day is a minimum, not an achievement! 🍏
I’m not too bad when it comes to fruit and veg. I pack meals full of vegetables, and I’d say I hit the Five-A-Day target at least 75% of the time. But it’s not something I’m conscious of – if I eat them, I eat them. If I don’t, I don’t. I think I’d really benefit from just being more aware, planning ways to fit at least five portions of fruit or veg in every day – stick an apple in my lunch, throw some salad on the plate, chuck an extra veggie into the pot of chilli con carne. Just something to think about.
Packed lunch isn’t just for the playground, y’unno.
I’m a decent cook. I’m creative. I’m passionate. If I took lunch to work everyday, it’d be more than a dried-up ham sandwich and a pack of ready salted. Pastas, wraps, club sandwiches, salads… There are loads of lunches I can make at home which are tasty and satisfying. I’d save some pennies, and they’d definitely be better for me than whatever I find in the work food court!
For God’s sake, get off your butt and do some exercise!
I am SO BAD AT EXERCISING. Don’t get me wrong, when I go out for a run or do some yoga in my living room I always feel better. Heck, even just going for a long walk every day – which we did in the summer – makes me feel healthier. But the THOUGHT of it? Nah. Sitting on my sofa right now, wrapped in a fluffy blanket with a cuppa, there is literally no part of me that wants to get up, whack on my sports bra and go for a run. I know I should. I know that making the effort to do a little more exercise every day will make probably the biggest difference to my health. I just need to leap over that mental barrier and get some motivation. Any tips?!
10AM: I feel a health kick coming on… They usually don’t last long, but I reckon I can squeeze at least one good day out of it.
11:15AM:YUM. I’m so jumping on the bandwagon here, but I’ve been mega-tempted by these cute little overnight oats jars I keep seeing on recipe pages and food blogs lately, so I decided to give one a go. And I will DEFINITELY be making one again! So easy to just chuck everything in a jar last night and wake up to it being ready-to-go this morning. Lazy breakfast is the only kind of breakfast I do.
😍 Overnight oats (porridge oats, fat-free yoghurt, mixed berries, sliced banana, drizzle of honey)
😍 Green tea
😍 Wholewheat pasta with pesto, fresh tomatoes and a sprinkling of low-fat grated cheese
😍 850ml water
😍 500ml summer fruit squash
😍 Two low-fat sausages in a part-baked baguette with cooked onions and ketchup
😍 Cup of lemon and ginger tea
8:40PM: This dessert is amazing. I mean, I know I say lots of food is amazing, but this one really is. We’re out for dinner this evening for a birthday and are talked into having this particular dessert by someone who swears by it and, to be honest, I’m not exactly going to put up much of a fight. Chocolate? Tick. Ice cream? Tick. Gooey sauce? Tick. But then it comes out looking like this…
And it tastes EVEN BETTER than it looks. Try to imagine that! You can’t. The only way you can truly understand the pure indulgence of this gorgeous dessert is to go have some for yourself. Believe me, this is not a dessert you’ll want to share…
🌺 Cup of green tea
🌺 Strawberry jam on toast
🌺 EAT. – Firecracker chicken toastie, salt and vinegar crisps, Diet Coke
🌺 Out for a birthday meal at ASK Italian – Penne al Pollo Della Casa (oven baked chicken and mushroom pasta) with shared Parmesan Garlic Chips ; Chocolate Etna for dessert (chocolate dome with melted toffee sauced over the top and vanilla ice cream inside)
🌺 White wine spritzer
3:30PM: You know sometimes you just really fancy something? Like pizza (always) or Channing Tatum (never – like, I just don’t get it). Well today I got a real craving for Nando’s. I’m not obsessed with the Peri-Peri chicken chain or anything, but sometimes there’s a kind of hunger that only a chicken wrap can solve – and yes, I’m a lemon and herb. Fight me.
4:15PM: I’ve convinced the work lot to come to Nando’s with me for lunch. Win.
🍗 Green tea
🍗 Cheese, onion and mushroom omelette
🍗 Nando’s chicken wrap with avocado and halloumi, with Peri-salted chips
🍗 Diet Coke
11AM: Sometimes you just feel like you need a decent meal to see you through the day. When you know you’re going to be working until 9PM almost every night this week (yep, that’s right…) that sort of pushes you to feel like it’s one of those times. Because of that, I’ve opted to have my main meal of the day right now – a fry up. YUM. Meal of champions.
4:25PM: This wrap is gross. I don’t think that’s a sentence I’ve ever said before… 😦 To be fair, it wasn’t the delicious wholemeal tortilla’s fault – it’s because I tried to use up what was leftover in the fridge before it went off, and turns out that’s too much processed meat for one day. For me, anyways.
🥓 Cup of green tea
🥓 An (almost full) English breakfast – two slices of bacon (fat cut off), two pork and apple sausages, one fried egg, baked beans and wholemeal toast
🥓 Sausage, bacon and salad wholemeal wrap (not good, got thrown away)
🥓 Walkers Honey BBQ Sunbites
🥓 Fibre One brownie bite
🥓 Bottle of Diet Coke
🥓 850ml water
🥓 Dairy Milk bar
2PM: The nurse at my appointment today told me I’d lost weight since the last time I saw her when I hopped off the scales *internal happy dance*. I decided to take that as “You’ve lost a few pounds since last time, good on ya!” 👍 rather than “You’re not as fat as the last time you were here.” 😬
3PM: Followed the successful trip to the doctor’s up with a slice of cake. Obviously. But it was gluten-free so that makes it healthy, right? Well, no. Actually, lots of gluten-free food is loaded with hefty doses of sugar, fats and other naughty things to make it taste less, well, gross. This tasted quite nice, as it goes.
8:45PM: This dinner was WELL worth the wait. Ever since our trip to Prague last January (as you can see from this blog’s lead photo, we had a great time) I’ve fallen in love with Czech food and goulash is my favourite thing to make from my Czech & Slovak cookbook, especially with the helping hand of the slow cooker. Easy peasy.
🍲 Cup of green tea
🍲 Cheesy beans on toast
🍲 Glass of orange squash
🍲 Small Diet Coke
🍲 Small slice of gluten-free Victoria sponge
🍲 500ml water
🍲 Slow cooked beef goulash with garlic bread
🍲 Small pot of chocolate mousse
🍲 Glass of orange squash
1:30PM: I’m not really a big fan of honey 🍯 – my body is probably so used to processed sugar it gets all confused when something naturally sweet rears its head – but I’ve started eating this combo of fat-free Greek yogurt and mixed chopped fruit with just a drizzle of honey over the top, and it’s SO GOOD. Honestly, yum.
2:40PM:I HEARD RUSTLING IN THE FLAT, THE DAMN MOUSE IS STILL HERE SOMEWHERE. Oh God help me.
5:30PM: I brought home my very first car today, and now I’ve got a cute little car all of my own. This has nothing to do with food or anything but it’s still a pretty big deal so I thought you all should know.
6:45PM: Chilli is, like, the best meal. It doesn’t even need the meat, it’s just as good with Quorn mince – as long as you make it spicy, of course.
Breakfast 👏 2 cups of green tea 👏 850ml water
Lunch 👏 2 slices wholemeal toast with Sour Cream Pringles (we had a few crumbs left in the bottom of the tube from the weekend and that’s one of my favourite weird food combos, don’t judge me) 👏 Greek yogurt, mixed fruit and a drizzle of honey
Dinner 👏 Home-made, oven-cooked spiced potato wedges topped with Quorn chilli “con carne” and a sprinkling of low-fat cheese
Snacks 👏 A couple of cubes of Dairy Milk chocolate and a cup of tea – well, it is Great British Bake Off night after all!
5:25PM: We’ve both had a rubbish day, we’re both tired, and we both have no willpower. So when I call the boyfriend after work and ask what he wants for dinner, and he says Chinese takeaway, there was really only one way this was going to go…
7PM: Okay. The food is here. I’m now faced with a dilemma – sink my teeth into my half and hoover up the lot, or take things a spoonful at a time and see how I get on. Hmm…
8PM: I did it! I mean, I’m not saying I deserve a pat on the back or anything because, let’s face it, I’m still full of Chinese food. Oops. BUT, I did take it slowly; I just dished up a little bit at a time for myself, and I didn’t scoff all of it. In fact, I couldn’t quite finish my half and some of it got thrown away (which absolutely sucks btw, wasting food is NOT cool!) So even though today has been quite pants, it’s not all bad.
10:30PM:THERE’S A MOTHERFUCKING MOUSE IN THE FLAT! 🐭
11PM: It ran under the sofa and we can’t find it. I’m now going to bed tonight with a rogue mouse somewhere in my home. What a day.
Breakfast 🎀 Cup of green tea
Lunch 🎀 Boots Meal Deal – Shapers BBQ Chicken Wrap, Walkers Baked Cheese and Onion crisps, small chocolate bar, Diet Coke 🎀 850ml water
Dinner 🎀 Chinese takeaway (no, this is not a personal highlight.) 🎀 Diet Pepsi (I am drinking way too many fizzy drinks right now…) 🎀 Cup of green tea
11:30AM: I’m up early on a Sunday when I’m not working – why, you ask? Well, because I’m off out to stand in a cold, damp field and watch football. Supportive girlfriend points, please 💁
4:30PM: For the first time in our two year relationship, I am the one on the soft drinks 🍼It’s a birthday party, it’s in a pub, and I’m tentatively sipping on two white wine spritzers and what feels like gallons of Diet Coke because for the first time – not only in our relationship but, in fact, my LIFE – I’m the one driving us home. I’m proud of myself, but also a little unsure. Like, is this really worth it? Can’t we just get an Uber home? My cousin is here and she’s not drinking either, but she’s almost six months pregnant which feels like a much more worthwhile excuse…
Anyway, we filled up on a little mini buffet my mum laid out for us before we left in her valiant, but ultimately failed, attempt to stop everyone getting too drunk – except me, of course.
Greek yogurt with mixed fruit and a drizzle of honey
Roasted chicken, vegetable cous cous, roast potato chunks, slice of French stick, handful of black pepper crisps, salad
2 white wine spritzers with lemonade
Several glasses of Diet Coke – oh the newfound perks of being designated driver!
7:45PM: It’s Friday. I’ve worked all week. I’ve got a (rare) weekend off. Should I punish myself for wanting to have a little kick back on a Friday night? No. No, I bloody well shouldn’t – and neither should you! This is all about still eating what you like, when you like, and I think that involves coming home at the end of the week, putting on your comfy pants and helping yourself to a cider or two in front of the new Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 blu-ray you bought the other day.
We’re not ordering in. We’re not stuffing our faces with excessive quantities of greasy takeaway. We’re having a nice, relaxing Friday night in, treating ourselves to a little indulgence along the way, but not gorging until we’re sick and not throwing yet more money at those greedy – if oh-so-tempting – buggers of the takeaway industry.
Breakfast 🌟 Cup of green tea 🌟 One protein-packed, low-calorie Graze snack (I felt peckish this morning)
Lunch 🌟 Boots Meal Deal – Shapers chicken, bacon and avocado club sandwich, Walkers Baked Fusions cheddar and red pepper crisps, small bar of chocolate and a Diet Coke 🌟 850ml water
Post-work snack 🌟 Half a miniature pot of plain Pringles
Dinner 🌟 Half a pizza, potato wedges, baked beans and a few dough balls (like seriously, have you tried those things? That garlic dip is to DIE for…) 🌟 2 small cans of Rekordalig cider
Friday night snacking 🌟 Handful of BBQ Pringles
Exercise 🌟 10 minute walk (you know, outside of running around the shop, on my feet at work all day!)