Do you know what’s in your food?

IMG_5282Fresh is best in my book – homegrown if possible, and home cooked if you have the time. I’m also a big fan of batch cooking and freezing when you can. Why? Because I know what’s gone into the food, how it’s been cooked, and therefore it’s down to me to make sure it’s healthy (or naughty if I so wish!).

 

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We’re lucky enough to have an allotment and space in our garden to grow our own fruit and vegetables, and my husband is extremely passionate (and good) at doing so. It means we know that the veg is fresh as soon as we use it, and can grow the stuff we know we’ll use. On the flip side, it also means we can have a glug of vegetables at any one time, and therefore batch-cooking is required. Yesterday I made 1.5 litres of tomato sauce for pasta dishes, and today tomato soup – using up some 2kg of tomatoes I had picked over the past five days. I find it quite therapeutic and satisfying to pick veg and cook with it, then  go to the freezer a few weeks later and use what I have made 🙂  I also know it hasn’t been packed full of sugar and other additives like some supermarket and branded versions.

I read an article at the weekend that highlighted the ‘age’ of some of our foods when we buy them from the supermarket, and I was so shocked! The piece appeared in The Sun newspaper (UK) on Saturday 22 July, and was a real eye-opener. It stated that bread could be 1 year old at purchase – which is really down to part-baked dough that is frozen – and that your tomatoes could be SIX WEEKS old because they have been stored at an optimal temperature. But the one I was really shocked at was potatoes – those roasties you tuck into with your Sunday dinner could be up to a YEAR OLD – because they have been treated with a preserving chemical, particularly at seasonal time to avoid shortages! And don’t get me started on ‘fresh fish’ – there’s a reason it can’t be frozen at home……

So for me, fresh is best, and batch-cooking when I can is the way forward. And the things we can’t grow? Some educated choices when shopping. Life is busy, and we all want convenience, but with good planning and a bit of effort I can be happy I know what’s on my plate.

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The perception people have of your life

Chatting with an old friend last week, she remarked how busy I always seemed to be and asked me how I managed to do so much fitness when I had two small children to look after full time. I found it such an odd comment as I had recently been moaning to my husband that I don’t feel like I am achieving anything daily and that some days were beginning to feel a little ‘groundhog’.

On further discussion, it became apparent that my social media profile was creating this image of my life – my personal accounts were posts and photos of my (frequent) running, fitness activities, love of fresh homegrown vegetables and healthy food. There is no mention of my children, my job, or the mundane aspects of my life.

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It got me thinking about how social media creates a picture of a person, which may be incredibly unbalanced. I choose to post about positive things that make me happy, not to moan or give too much detail away that I want to keep private. It therefore means that people have a certain perception of me and my life. It also means that I build a picture of others in my mind based on their own posts and profiles. So it’s all pretty ‘fake’ for want of a better word.

The danger I suppose, is when people take it all too seriously, and believe that the perfect life, body, happy ever after is out there, without any flaws, and therefore beat themselves up for not measuring up to it. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and be happy in our own skin (that’s a whole other topic for a future post!), and realise that everything you see on social media should be taken with a pinch of salt.

I am busy, I do love my life and the people in it, and I love talking about health and fitness. My dream is to inspire people to make healthy choices, embrace fitness and look for the positives in situations. That’s why I post what I post. If I wanted to bore people senseless with talk about my love of organising my kitchen cupboards and painting the study then I’d post about that too (but I don’t!) 🙂

Be careful what you believe on social media……

Take a minute to think…

Stop

I’m getting ready to go out for a run followed by a game of netball. Normally I would have eaten my dinner around this time, but as I am exercising I have avoided eating, and may do so when I get home later (depending on the time). But for the last hour or so, I have been thinking about all the ‘snacks’ I could just have before I go, that wouldn’t affect my run or game – a biscuit, small piece of chocolate, slice of bread, fruit, the kids’ leftovers  – the list goes on. Anyway, this time I have been strong and managed to avoid it and made myself think about how I’d feel if I did eat something and then ran – and I would feel awful!

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This process made me think about how we quite often ‘just do’ things without even thinking about them – on autopilot – even if they make us feel bad. If we stop to think about what we’re doing (or what we’re about to eat and how it will make us feel), it may change the decision we make. I would have really enjoyed a piece of chocolate, or a biscuit, but I would have felt bloated, sluggish and slow later on. The fact that I was able to have that internal discussion with myself, and be strong enough not to eat, means that I have a better chance of success later, and also in the long run (not creating a snacking habit that will lead to weight issues or self-loathing).

In thinking about it a bit more, I realise that I could apply this to other decisions or actions I make in my daily life. When I start to feel down or stressed about something, I should stop and ask myself ‘why’ and if I can change it.

Why do we let ourselves make bad decisions, even when we know they are bad for us?