Thursday, 30 April 2015

You've got to be joking ... a waiting list .... for a spiralizer???

When I went in to my local cookery shop last week to buy whatever gadget it was I needed to try out the new courgetti "fad", I thought the shop assistant was joking when the she told me that they had sold out and I'd have to join the waiting list.

The last time I joined a waiting list to buy something was in 1995! It was for Chanel's Rouge Noir super-vampy nail varnish which hit the big time when Uma Thurman's character wore it in Pulp Fiction. Oh how times have changed.

After putting on nearly 2 stone since running the Berlin Marathon last year, I'm so ready to expand my very basic and mostly unhealthy culinary repertoire, that I duly handed over my details and agreed that I would be willing to settle for a green one, rather than holding out for a black one, which are as rare as gold dust apparently!

The shop called me on Tuesday, but I'd kind of gotten over the fad excitement by then, so didn't race down to the shop to collect it. Instead, I picked it up when I was passing today, and with a nagging feeling that it would end up being a complete waste of money.

I'd actually googled spiralizers earlier in the day and seen pretty mixed reviews. What I read didn't leave me overly excited, to be honest. The small hand held gadget that I'd bought was only scoring a 3/5 and not doing very well on the ease of use scales.

Thankfully, I was rather pleasantly surprised and found it extremely easy to use. Within 5 minutes I had a good sized bowl of green courgette spaghetti. Hurrah!

To go with it, I heated some bran oil in a non-stick pan and added shallots, diced pancetta, mushrooms and sliced garlic. I fried it all on a medium heat until the mushrooms and onions were nice and soft and then added a knob of butter. Once that had melted, I tipped it all in with the courgetti and topped with a bit of grated parmesan.

Wow! Amazingly delicious ....

... and almost just like eating a bowl of spaghetti ....

... but much much better ...

... unbelievably satisfying but without feeling like a sack of potatoes afterwards ...

I really can't believe how impressed I am with the whole thing.

I know it doesn't look like much, but I'm not much of a photographer. This was one seriously gorgeous plate of food.

Courgetti Recipe
Seriously delicious courgetti!

Can't wait to try out some other sauce ideas in readiness for my first crop of home-grown courgettes!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Burn 50 calories an hour just by standing

It's spring and I'm back to my home-made standing desk by the kitchen door, looking out onto the walled patio garden.

The research shows that we burn an extra 50 calories standing compared with sitting, so if I stand for 3 hours per day, I could burn off an extra 750 calories a week.

Not only that, it will apparently help keep blood sugar levels steady, so I should feel a bit more steadily energetic and a bit less sleepy mid-afternoon.

I've already clocked up 3 hours standing today, maybe that's another reason I've been getting more done!

Getting more done, 10 minutes at a time

In my post last week "From anxious overwhelm to optimistic excitement in 10 minute blasts" I came up with an experiment to get things done without getting stressy by just doing 10 minutes at a time.

I'd managed to train for and complete a marathon by running just 3 minutes at a time, so it seemed entirely possible that it would work for my day job and home admin too.

This morning, in an article on Fast Company, they covered this very subject in "Why Saying This Four -Letter Word Can Transform Your Productivity".

How timely!

So, from now on, I will not only be working in 10 minute bursts, I will also be shouting "Done" every time I complete something on my list.

This sounds like a sure-fire way to activate my brain's reward system to get a buzz from doing something real, instead of something pretend.

I've had 10 "Done"s so far today and some of those things even took longer than 10 minutes. 

What a start to the week.