Back into the rhythm

So, my MiL has gone home, and we are ready to relax back into the gentle rhythm of our lives here in St Just. The Fete Patronale is this weekend, an event which, in the past, has caused some conflict and upset, as the travelling fair sets up in the car park just across the road from us. The upset has been less  this year, as the enormous Casino (that is Casino, as in slot machines, not Casino as in the supermarket) lorry which is usually parked outside our house has not made an appearance this year. There are the two sets of dodgems - small for the younger clientele, and big bumper cars for the youf - although last year the youf were more interested in getting rat arsed at the bar at the free dance than playing on the bumper cars. The constant music is a bit annoying (not that it's started yet...the damp grey weather has put people off) but I can live with that. We won't be kept awake (as has been the case in the past) as we are going to a friends' for a party and we're staying over night: it seemed the best solution.

While in the UK, I bought a copy of "Good Housekeeping", which had a whole month of recipes based on the Mediterranean diet. I'm sure you're aware of the studies that show that people in the Mediterranean countries live longer and more healthily,  as the basic diet that they eat can protect against heart disease, as well as guard against putting on weight. A diet rich in fruit, vegetables, pulses, fish and olive oil has been shown to help improve health.
The basic "rules" are:
  • 2 portions (2 tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 portion (25g) walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts
  • 7+ portions (80-100g) fruit & veg
  • 1-3 portions (150ml) dairy
  • 3-6 portions (25g) wholegrain bread, rice, pasta or other grains
  • 1 small glass (125ml) wine - optional 
  •  2-3 portions (100-150g) fish/seafood
  • 3+ portions (150g cooked weight) pulses
  • 1-2 portions (100-150g) poultry
  •  Up to 4 portions (85-125g) red meat
I'm not sure if I'm going to follow this to the letter, as I think Mr FD (and me, too!) might feel the lack of red meat a bit too much...and I'm not that struck on fish... but I'm certainly going to be using some of the recipes in my meal planning.

I also bought  (at half price!) "The 5:2 Fasting Cookbook" which gives some delicious sounding recipes which I can use for our fasting days, as we're going to continue with the 5:2 as well. I put on quite a lot when I was in the UK, as the food at Summer School was very good, and some of the desserts difficult to resist. As well as the chips, the onion rings, the calimari, the bacon sandwiches... too much! too much!! I tried, but I didn't always manage it!!

One afternoon, while staying at MiL's, I spent a couple of hours going through these recipes and planning meals for the next month! They don't entirely fit the rules of the Mediterranean diet, but at least I'm making an effort to continue eating well. One thing that I think we must look at is bread consumption - with French baguettes and flutes it is difficult, but having discovered that there are about 280 calories in 100g of baguette (and I promise you, that's not much baguette for your calories!) we really need to be more aware of what we're eating.
Basically, one flute is 1,136 calories. So, for that reason, I'm trying to plan our lunches more carefully, rather than just "bread and stuff" - but it's difficult to be inspired with ideas, AND  motivated to make lunch as well as dinner!! But if we're going to cut down on bread I think that's what I need to try to do! The bakery does (sometimes) make pain aux ceréals and pain au mais (corn bread) which are denser, so I'll get these too, more than the usual flutes.

Here are next week's planned menus:
SUNDAY: Chestnut, mushroom & walnut soup/ scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast.
Veal casserole, pasta, purple cauliflower (I found this in the market!)
The veal casserole is from the Good Housekeeping recipes - I'll post it separately, maybe tomorrow

MONDAY: Fasting: Carnival Chicken (300 cals) will make up our main meal, with the rest in cuppasoup & Ryvita! The recipe includes Angostura bitters, which I haven't got; I'm not sure what taste they bring to the carnival, but whatever it is, it's going to be missing!

TUESDAY: Home-made houmous, HM tzatziki (3 tbsp of each), crudités, avocado, wholegrain bread
Salmon tray bake

WEDNESDAY: As yesterday.
Squash & pepper risotto, green salad, tomato salad. Here is the recipe - except the GH recipe uses pearl barley - to be a serving of pulses, I guess. I'm not sure I've seen pearl barley in France, so we'll just go with risotto rice!

THURSDAY: Small baked potato with tuna mayo/ cheese & bacon (Mr FD)
HM vegetable pizza & salad

FRIDAY Fasting: Sesame crusted salmon with soy vegetables (324 calories)

SATURDAY: Tuna mayo mix (me)/ spicy salmon (Mr FD) + salad + wholegrain bread.
Basil & courgette pasta

Mr FD cycles a lot, and, to be fair,  works off a goodly number of calories - cycling at 25kph for 3 hours uses 3,240 calories, and I'm pretty sure he has a slightly higher average speed than that - so on his cycling days, I suppose he needs to take in that number of calories...But maybe the carb:protein:fat ratio needs to be considered more. Perhaps I should be giving him a proper pasta-and-protein lunch, to set him up for his rides.  I'm not sure - does anybody else know?! 


  1. Hi Mouse! I do feel so much more agile when I don't overdo on bread. Grains also make me feel weird, so for more energy: fruits, veggies, eggs, and very little cheese.
    I haven't checked out the UK Good Housekeeping. I will!
    Take care, good friend!


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