Hooray it’s spring!

Well we are lucky to have a few days in a row of warm, calm weather – and boy have I enjoyed it! I like to get into the garden early before I start doing other stuff; this morning it was foggy, damp and cool but in no time at all the sun was out and the layers of clothing came off, it was lovely feeling the gentle sunrays on my arms and face. In no time at all the green bin was full but there was no way I was stopping, I was in the zone pulling out weeds, pruning shrubs and digging to aerate the soil. I pulled out the huge parsley and rocket plants that were going to seed and moved a some mulch around. I decided to cut quite a few fronds off the fan palm, it was encroaching into the vegetable garden and shading it too much. It was surprising just how much the ornamentals have grown over the last few months, I haven’t spent a lot of time in the garden lately but those days are over and the garden is my number one priority to get it ready for the spring plantings. Luckily we still have tons of greens – spinach, silverbeet, kale, lettuce, rocket, sorrel and herbs for salads and cooked meals, surprisingly there are still bullhorn peppers ripening, beet roots and a few carrots.

I haven’t written any food blogs for a while but I’ve been reviewing my cooking from a healthy /nutritional point of view, I decided to try the 5/2 diet as a scientific experiment and so for 5 days I eat normally and I fast for the other 2 days. The fasting days aren’t too difficult as I can eat about 500 calories and if I am clever with my choices it can be satisfying and I don’t feel like I am starving. I am hoping to lower my cholesterol, blood glucose, blood pressure and maybe weight (that is not my main reason for doing this though) before I experience any major health problems. If this system works I am planning on sticking to this regime so I can enjoy my cooking /eating while maintaining a healthy lifestyle, so in 8 weeks I’ll have blood tests done to see if the diet has improved my statistics.

My kids wanted to give me a nutribullet for my birthday but I wasn’t sure if I needed another kitchen gadget, usually I make juices with the juicing attachment on my food processor, the only problem being you lose all the fibre. So now I have a nutribullet and am experimenting with various vegetables/ fruits / nuts and seeds smoothy blends each morning for breakfast. The smoothies aren’t as appetising or pretty as the juice made with beetroot, celery, apple, pomegranate, ginger and carrot in the food processor but apparently they are full of goodness and highly nutritious, I just need to find the right blend for my tastes (the first one I made tasted OK but was brown!). So there you have it, I am trialling the 5/2 day fasting regime and playing with the nutribullet, I will let you know how I go with them over the next few weeks.

Before I go I wanted to tell you about the cooking master class I did with Chef Marty Chichester from Oakdene restaurant. Marty shares his 30 years cooking expertise by way of  a 3 course dinner menu to help develop cooking skills and confidence. The monthly classes fill quickly and the menus are never the same,  this one was based on Thai food which was good for me as I’ve never even had a “proper” Thai meal before. We made a hot /sour soup (YUM), deep fried barramundi with a delightful salad and dressing and a pannacotta (coconut, mango, lychee). We tasted some Oakdene wines with the meal and had a really nice evening, I’ll definitely be doing some more classes with Marty!

I will share with you a Thai pork belly curry recipe a friend gave me (it’s her favourite Thai dish) in my next blog……


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