Going bananas

A couple of weeks ago, I journeyed down to Palmerston North for a meeting with a local MP. I had a few errands to run before heading north again, one of which took me to Spotlight for some voile to make my own nut milk bag. The Spotlight shares a car park with New World so I popped in there in search of some of this:

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The Stir It Up line of non-dairy milk powders (almond, coconut, oat and soy) was launched a few weeks prior but had been slow to appear on shelves. My previous supply of coconut milk powder having dried up, I’ve been keen to give it a go.

Anyways, New World had nice big juicy oranges for 99 cents/kg so I mega stocked up; looking back I should have bought twice as much for juicing and freezing. The trouble with juicing oranges is having to peel them all so, being inherently lazy, I googled a solution…which said…peel the oranges…

My quest did lead me to a site – now forgotten –  that listed fruit that could be juiced unpeeled – the short version is most of them less citrus – and extolled the virtues of unpeeled banana…it seems that the lowly banana peel is rich in serotonin which helps keep the demons away of grey winter days…so…

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…remember to take the sticker off – it’s not rich in serotonin – and give the banana a good wash to remove anything unhealthy…hack the ends off and dice the rest up peel and all…

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…slice off and dice up a centimetre ring of pineapple…

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before tossing in a tablespoon of chia seeds – don’t put these in first or they will just glug up at the bottom of the mug – a teaspoon of turmeric (organic from Hardy’s), and four teaspoons of coconut milk powder: this is about the same as a cup of coconut milk. Add filtered water up to the mark, blend, fill to the top with water and blend again.

And that’s half of tomorrow’s lunch done…

I’ve been blending unpeeled bananas for a week or so now with no detrimental side effects…I wouldn’t say that there’s been a big surge of serotonin-based benefits either but it does reduce waste and I am now keen for another crack at banana peel cake, using the kumara cake base from a few weeks ago…

Admiration | The Daily Post

In your response, depict something or someone you admire. Bonus points if you share a paragraph or two on the source of your admiration.

Source: Admiration | The Daily Post

DSCF0057.JPGSo there is life below 90kg…

My green journey never started out as any sort of journey or programme…it simply fell out of a conversation with Bubble in the US, some simple culinary challenges…previously my health binges have all been largely exercise-based, with only secondary attempts at dietary reforms…

The last time that I made a sustained effort towards a change towards a healthier lifestyle was following a posting from a particularly intense role where I was granted, from a great height, certain latitude in my new posting in order to decompress and ‘get my life back’. Then, I averaged 3-4 hours a day cycling, running and in the gym, often with a walk along the river after dinner – it was summer – but still, almost as a point of principle, maintaining my standard ‘eating in the Mess’ profile: big boys breakfast, big boys lunch, bar snacks and big boys dinner. By ‘big boys’ I mean all the courses, and all the options, justifying this as necessary to sustain my exercise programme. Then, with a lot of concerted effort, over three or so months, I got my weight down to around 92kg…

This time, without a great deal of willpower or effort, I’ve broken through the 90kg barrier without even noticing. I never thought to record my weight at the beginning of this journey but I never realised that I was starting any sort of journey other than to try some new ideas in the kitchen…Maybe two months ago, I stumbled (literally) over the scale in the the back pantry and found that I was around 95kg – I’m pretty sure that I was over 100kg when I started…

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Pineapple, coconut and tumeric smoothie

So what have I changed that has rendered this result?

I’ve reduced dairy to almost nothing. I still use butter for cooking and occasionally might have an ice-cream like a Trumpet…

trumper ice cream

…I still have store-bought fish and chips and, when I am travelling, still succumb to the call of the major food groups: KFC, McDs or BK…but not nearly as much as I used to. Where I used to fall back on a big back of chips and/or chocolate bars like Crunchies and Mars Bars if I had the munchies, now I’ll just have a smoothie, a drink of water or just go without…I think there is definitely something to this sugar/salt addiction thing…

I have made an effort – about the only one – to reduce, if not eliminate, as many processed foods from my diet, now buying more raw materials and making my own food…

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Spicy chewie apple cookies

Why bother with store-bought snacks when I can make a dozen or so of these in half an hour…and when two will hit the spot for filling me up…

What I haven’t done is dramatically change my exercise routine. In fact, after injuring my leg in January, I have done less exercise than I would normally and the bulk of that has just been working around the Lodge. It has only been in the last couple of weeks that I have done any serious walking and only today that I got back on the rower…

My advice to anyone thinking of making similar changes is to sort your diet and the rest will take care of itself…

So, in the context of this prompt, I admire Bubble for nudging me in this direction and I admire me for staying the course, although it hasn’t been terribly difficult: not much more than thinking a little differently and not being afraid to try new things…

We normally tend to admire others – and I do – but it is also a sign of good health to be able to admire yourself when you get things right and I really think I have this time…