The ‘Get You Through the Day’ shake.

Sometime back in December 2019 I decided that 2020 was gonna be different for me. I was going to lose weight and get healthier. Most of 2018 and 2019 was spent consuming a lot of food and even larger quantities of alcohol and I somehow had crept up to 91kgs – which might not sound like much but I am pretty short.

2020 I vowed to not drink any alcohol and was going to lose 20kgs. 125 days into 2020 I haven’t touched a drop. I have also lost 20kgs. Now I weigh 71kgs. Yay for me!

Anyone that has known me for any length of time will know that I am a semi-professional yo-yo dieter and will inevitably put weight back on – but so far so good.

These people that know me will also know I am a bit obsessive and when I say I am going to do something I do it!

My new regime, with a few exceptions, is this shake for breakfast and nothing else until 7pm when we have dinner. Lately 100+ days in I have had the odd sausage sandwich for breakfast; especially if we have some bread that has seen better days, but as a rule this shake is all I need.

There are slight variations, but generally, get the big Nutribullet cup, 1/3 fill with frozen dark fruits (it must be frozen), add a banana, a peeled orange (or grapefruit, once I did 3 limes), a scoop of Protein Works, and a small amount of water. Then blitz!

Sometimes I add a frozen spinach puck, sometimes I add a splash of Vimto or Ribena, and when there are vegetables in the fridge crying for the compost bin, they go in too. I rarely throw stuff away.

I used to add milk instead of water – but it really isn’t worth the calories or the potential to miss out on cups of tea – especially during lockdown where you only get milk every 2 weeks!

This can keep me going all day. I never get tempted to snack, and just go about my day without a thought for more food – until dinner time, where I just eat a regular meal.

I’m not suggesting anyone else does this. But this worked for me, and has changed the way I now eat.

Baked Eggs with Feta, Harissa and Tomato Sauce & Coriander

Baked Eggs with Harissa, Tomato Sauce and Coriander

Another amazing dish from Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour. We had this before we went to Morocco; part of a week where we thought we’d try out the types of food we were likely to eat while we were on holiday. Sadly stuff like this was nowhere to be found.

It’s an incredibly tasty dish and, although it is supposedly what people eat for breakfast, it was a main meal for us. I should knock one of these up the morning before our next Monopoly Board Pub Crawl (we are well over half way !).

Our local Syrian supermarket has fresh feta. Its far superior to the stuff you get in packets, much smoother and it matures if you keep it a couple of days. We buy it a lot and it often ends up in this recipe (as well as the pistachio dip) – I’ve made them both many times.

It’s very simple to make but does take a while if you want your sauce to be rich and your eggs well baked.

The sauce isn’t unlike most tomato based curry sauces. You fry some red onions, add lots of garlic, stir in turmeric, cumin, coriander and cinnamon and then the harissa paste. Once the onions are well coated add both tinned and fresh tomatoes, and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Very simple.

Pour this sauce into a shallow ovenproof dish and break chunks of feta into the sauce, and stir in lots of coriander.

Then make four wells in the sauce, crack eggs into the wells, season with pepper and bake in the oven until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

I like recipes like this because you don’t have to paw over them for ages. It can be a one pot creation if you start your sauce in the right dish. First time round I doubled my washing up by not planning properly.

The recipe recommends eating this with flatbreads, which we did. Mopping up that awesome tomato sauce was very satisfying.

Green Smoothie – Green Love


According to Honestly Healthy for Life ‘there is no better way to start the day than with an alkalising green smoothie’. I beg to differ – I can name several things; who doesn’t like a brew in the morning!

There’s something weird about drinking green stuff. Especially when that green stuff is spinach and parsley. In fairness it is also blended with mango, an apple, chia seeds and coconut water.

It’s very thick. I think it weirded Freya out – especially when I took a big gulp and it all got stuck in my beard and moustache! I guess you could add more coconut water to make it thinner!

You can certainly taste the parsley, and smell it.

I’ve already drunk mine and am on a second glass. It’s supposed to keep your blood sugar levels up – which is good to know!

There are four variations of smoothie in the book, five if you include swapping out the spinach in our one for kale. This one was called ‘Green Love’. They are all quite different. If I ever make them I’ll be sure to review them.

We think that a blob of creme fraiche, some parsley on top, ladled into a bowl, would make a lovely cold soup starter for a nice summer’s day dinner. Or to keep it vegan you could put a garlic and tahini dressing on top. Who knows!

We’re off to the boat today to get some finishing touches applied to a ‘fast approaching finished’ boat.

The sun is out, there’s no wind. There’s no chance of rain. The day is looking good. What’s more, my dizziness has gone so I can get back to normal and stop worrying about having a terminal illness. With all that spinach drink – third glass now – I’m sure to adopt some Popeye super powers in the next few hours.



Chia Seed Porridge with Kuzu and Berry Compote


This is an odd one for breakfast, taken from Honestly Healthy for Life.

Chia seeds are tasteless seeds – and all you do is soak then in milk – we used Almond Milk and Hazelnut Milk  – and a half teaspoon of cinnamon.

This has a completely different texture to an oat based porridge, but you do have to soak the seeds for some time. It says 30 minutes in the recipe – but I’d say a couple of hours might be better. That’s what we did.

The texture is a bit frog-spawny. Freya didn’t like it. I thought it wasn’t too bad.

The compote went really well with the porridge. There was also a sprinkling of almonds.

The compote is made up of raspberries, blackberries, agave syrup, vanilla extract and kuzu. The ingredients are boiled up and simmered and that’s pretty much all you have to do.

Kuzu is one of my ‘special’ ingredients. It’s a gluten free starch made from the kuzu root, which is used for thickening.

Unless we can’t find another use for the Chia Seeds we have I imagine we won’t be making this again. Although it is supposed to be really good for you, it’s relatively tasteless.



I’m not generally one for breakfasts. We usually get up and go to work on just a cup of tea. If we feel like it we might have some ‘free toast’ from work. There is an abundant supply of bread at work – ducks would be in their element.

We’ve decided to start eating breakfasts as we usually struggle to make it to lunch time and end up grazing on things. Steve at work has a jar of sweets that everyone dips into – and by 11am you find yourself scooping out it’s contents to get you through to lunchtime.

So, we’ve done the ‘perfect omelette’ (I usually save omelettes for the weekend when we need some sustenance for boat work) and today we have granola.

I made this last night. It’s not all that time consuming but I think you’ll need at least an hour to make it – and however long it takes for the granola to cool down before you add the apricots.

It’s pretty simple. You roast jumbo oats in agave syrup, cinnamon and sunflower oil. You then add in sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds and keep roasting until it’s all golden. When it’s cold you stir in some chopped dried apricots. 

We had some for breakfast this morning with a handful of raspberrries and blackberries, a sliced apple and a good glug of almond milk. It looked quite nice in my new enamelware pudding basins which double up as breakfast bowls.

Very very tasty and sure to keep us going until lunchtime.

I made rather a lot of this so the rest of it I’ve decanted into a kilner jar (as the recipe suggests) so that should serve us well for several breakfasts to come.

Have a good day !

The ‘Perfect’ Omelette


The Perfect Omelette

I always raise my eyebrows to recipes that say – the perfect this or the best that. You are already setting yourself up for disappointment – because invariably they aren’t perfect or the best.

And what does perfect mean? Is it the author’s perfect omelette? Perfect to me means flipped on both sides rather than folded – and with cheese and chilli. For the author I imagine it means this is the perfectly balanced and healthy omelette to have for breakfast to start the day given that this omelette comes courtesy of Honestly Healthy for Life.

It’s very simple and very very tasty.

We’re usually very lax at breakfast time and either don’t bother having any – or grab a slice of toast at work. But we’ve noticed we don’t feel great when we snack on bread so we thought we’d try this instead.

It’s not obvious from the picture – but this is a two egg omelette which had quite a bit of parsley chopped into the egg. While it is frying in the pan you add some chopped tomato and mushroom (which you’ve previously cooked for a few minutes). You put the filling on one side of the omelette then top with fresh spinach and red chilli (if you want), then fold, cook for a short while and then flip.

You think the spinach won’t fit inside the omelette – and it doesn’t to start with – but it soon wilts – and when you fold it it all fits in nicely.

I thought my perfect omelette was a three egg, mint, pea and feta omelette – but this one really does come close. It was fantastic. And it is clearly more healthy than the one I usually make!