A New Way of Eating

This was originally supposed to be a sewing and baking blog so that gives me an excuse to talk about my latest efforts in the kitchen.  Following W’s heart attack (I still find it hard to write that – or say it out loud – without feeling shocked) he knew that some major dietary changes were needed!  He’s well known for having a hearty appetite and apart from five days when he wasn’t allowed to eat after the previous life-threatening incident (I’ll spare you the details) he’s never been known to refuse food!

I’ve got an ‘O’ Level in Food & Nutrition so obviously consider myself to be well qualified to be his dietary advisor but just in case Mrs Jones didn’t cover everything required back in the day we’ve been doing a lot of internet research.  We’ve always eaten reasonably healthily at home but portion control is not W’s forte and when he’s been unsupervised all sorts of bad behaviour has been going on!

His new diet is now carefully monitored (by me) and involves a lot of porridge, vegetables, oily fish and pulses.  It also includes a daily matchbox size piece of cheese as advised by a good friend of ours who had a heart attack last year, a suggestion supported by the cardiac rehab nurse. This is a small matchbox and not a box of Bryant & May extra long matches as he might have hoped.  He is very determined and there has been absolutely no back-sliding.

However, everyone needs a treat now and again so part of my Googling activity involved investigating healthier, low fat and low sugar alternatives to cake!  I’m reluctant to get on the bandwagon and use coconut oil as it contains an enormous amount of saturated fat and I’m not sure that its apparent benefits make up for this.  I have tried it in the past and am not that keen on everything having a background flavour of coconut!

I was also trying to avoid the addition of alternatives to refined sugar which crop up in many recipes – maple syrup (an old favourite on porridge), agave syrup, honey, etc. which are still sugar at the end of the day.  I’m also not sure about Stevia which is apparently 200 times sweeter than sugar and has no calories, particularly as it has been found to lower blood pressure and W’s is already being kept low with medication.

I finally found a recipe for a fat, egg and sugar free carrot cake here.  The sweetness is derived from dried fruit which is high in fruit sugars so not for excessive consumption but OK for a weekend treat.  I adapted the recipe by using spelt flour because (a) I already had some and (b) I think it has a more interesting flavour than wheat flour and is apparently more easily digested.  I also decided to bake the mixture in individual muffin tins which dealt with portion control.  I did find I had to add extra carrot juice, a least three times the amount stated, to achieve the right consistency.

I really wasn’t convinced this recipe would work but I was wrong!  The ‘muffins’ were delicious warm and cold and will hopefully still be good after being in the freezer which is where the bulk of them are stored. The best compliment was my sister eating a whole one as she very rarely eats cake/puddings/biscuits.

I now have plans for variations on this theme involving other vegetables, nuts and dried fruit and will report any successes here.  Following a comment from Linda at RemakeRemodelRecycle on my last post suggesting I feature healthy meals and tasty salad ideas from the new regime I may just do that too.

I’m also tempted to report regularly on W’s progress in terms of weight and inches lost – just to encourage him in public.  As of 13 July the statistics are as follows :

  • Inches lost (waist) : 2.5
  • Kilos lost : 7

Pretty impressive, even if it does sound a bit like an entry from Bridget Jones’ Diary (and I’ve mixed up Imperial and metric measurements).  I’m very proud of him and he is looking more handsome than ever!



14 thoughts on “A New Way of Eating

  1. I love this Janey and will eagerly read these posts. My love has had major heart valve reconstruction due to a congenital defect that was left undetected too long and so I worry about him constantly. Fortunately he has an excellent diet (in fact applies much more rigour in general than I do). That said in spite of this he puts on weight easily and keeps it and so we are working together to keep this in check so that his medication doesn’t have to do too much work. I know what you mean about saying it out loud; I don’t like to speak this out loud much myself.

    I generally eat healthy food but am inconsistent about eating generally and so interesting recipes are a must. I don’t know if you will find anything of interest there but a site I like for recipes is Green Kitchen Stories, if only for the luscious photography!

    PS I find the taste of coconut oil overpowering and so don’t use it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do follow Green Kitchen Stories – you’re right, it is worth it for the photography! It is all such a worry isn’t it but I feel better knowing that we are doing everything we can to prevent it happening again. I’m glad I’m not the only one who isn’t keen on coconut oil.


  2. Oh poor W – all those people knowing his intimate statistics – let’s hope there’s no backsliding! I also did Food and Nutrition O level – we had the wonderful Mrs Goodman and I still do things exactly the wY she taught me e.g. a roux. Such a shame they don’t do cookery anymore – food tech is quite different.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t worry, he loves all the attention! We must have a discussion about our Food & Nutrition O Level one day. It was one of my favourite subjects, Mrs Jones was a brilliant teacher and some of the recipes became family favourites.


  3. Excellent! As long as he doesn’t mind his vital statistics being public knowledge!
    I have porridge for breakfast all weather and stopped the muesli…indigestion. I can’t eat cheddar cheese..indigestion again and I miss my toasties. But I can eat goats cheese and have it with beetroot tomatoes, lettuce and a touch of balsamic vinegar. That’s my most exciting salad?
    Could you use bananas for the cakes??
    My son switched to almond milk. He does chemical engineering and says it’s chemically better for you but I have no idea why? He sent a picture of his tea once and it looked like macaroni cheese but the sauce was blended red peppers and something, all vegan. That’s all I know but I look forward to hearing and trying the salads or anything you might recommend. Happy healthy eating and sewing. Also tell him I feel better without the cheese although I do miss it sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He loves all the attention and it helps keep him motivated if he thinks the eyes of the blogging world are on him! I know several people who can only eat goats cheese and it does go very well with beetroot. Bananas will definitely be a good alternative so I’ll probably try them next. We have used almond milk and also rice and oat milks. I hate cows’ milk – a throwback to the awful school milk we were forced to drink at primary school!

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s brilliant that’s how he sees it and I can certainly understand keeping the motivation going.
        Yes I remember that disgusting school milk. Ours went from solid frozen little glass bottles to paper triangles that the boys used to stamp on!!! I Never drink a glass of milk but I do have it in my porridge!


  4. Avoid the low fat low sugar stuff, read the labels when you buy stuff. Have you tried coconut flour? Very interesting, don’t let the stats scare you off because you will only use 1/3 of three amount in yor recipe at first but give it a whirl and keep us posted. Chin up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think I’ve ever seen coconut flour – I will look out for it. We have a great shop in Chichester – Manuka Wholefoods – and they have an amazing selection of interesting food.


  5. That’s great, I shall follow his progress with interest! If he goes without anything sweet for a week or so, he’ll completely lose the taste for anything sweet and won’t miss it at all. So says the girl who doesn’t even like chocolate as a result of doing the same:)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Experimental Baking | Jane Makes

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