Two posts in one day! Look Out!

We all know how much I love to bake, and so far this year I haven’t made too many, especially the creative shaped cakes. So when it came up to my birthday I decided to make my cake, this year’s theme was Tea! Now I don’t know if I need to remind you how obsessed I am with tea at the moment.  A teapot cake is very me and I wanted a bit of a challenge! So I started out with 2 plain vanilla butter cakes, dyed pink and a little extra vanilla added, for the filling and crumb coating I used a vanilla and frangelico butter cream and then for the final layer I used a strawberry frosting. I baked it in the same tin I used to make a boob cake for my partner last year to get it rounded. Once baked I tried both cakes to have the thickest part flat to I could stick them together, as well as one cake was cut down to be a bit shorter to allow to for curved teapot shape with a flat bottom rather than a ball.

teapotserve

I rolled out my fondant and cut a few pieces off to make the handle and the spout. Once I shaped the spout (which was pretty difficult) and the handle I placed them into the freezer to harden. Lifting the fondant carefully, I then covered my cake and smoothed it out as best as I could and cut off the excess. Using toothpicks I attached the handle and the spout and piped on the decorative finishes. I did attempt to make a tea pot lid but it looked awful so I ate it. Instead I piped a circle of strawberry frosting and flooded the circle with some white royal icing and added a blue ball of fondant.

teapotbetter

By this stage I had so much cake left over and heaps of fondant, I decided to try my hand at make a cup and saucer. All I had left of the cake were off cuts, I crumbed the mixture and added a fair amount of frosting and mixed them together, this made a sort of cake-like goo. Using a teacup I moulded the cake-goo to the cup and placed it in the freezer. I took the matching saucer and pressed some fondant around it to get the general shape and placed it in the freezer to harden.

teapot1

One they had hardened, I popped the cake out of the cup and it has set into a really moist looking cake and held it’s shape. That was then covered with fondant leave the top open to pipe in some frosting on top. The saucer didn’t come out the best but it did the job!

teapoteaten

I have never attempted a teapot cake before this by far is my favourite one that I’ve made!

Advertisements

Cheers for Chia!

Image

My mother’s chia pudding

I’ve been meaning to use more chia seeds but somehow have never got around to it. So I’m determined this week to try to include more in my diet, I’ve been looking around online to find different ways to include them so I thought I’d share with you what I have found so far. First of all I’ll give you a bit of an explanation as to what chia seeds are.

Chia seeds are amazing; I don’t know why they’re not used more! Just a tablespoon of chia seeds contain more protein than a glass of milk and is packed full of Omega -3 fatty acids. A serving of chia seeds has 18% of the recommended daily intake for calcium, which puts you well on your way to maintaining bone and oral health, and preventing osteoporosis. There are so many more reasons to include chia into your diet.

Chia is so easy to include into your meals and there are some great recipes out there where chia is the main ingredient. Try adding them to smoothies, porridge and yogurt. You can grind the seeds and mix them into pancake mixture.

To make Chia pudding simply mix with almond, soy or coconut milk, a few raw oats, sultanas, goji berries and vanilla xylitol or other sugar free sweetener.

They don’t have to just be used for sweet foods as well. You can put them in to breads, soups, stews to thicken and mixed into stir fry and pasta dishes.

They’re so versatile; you can add them to pretty much anything. I’m looking forward to experimenting over the next few days to see what I can come up with.

mmm food like products

Image

I was doing some research on portion control and the sizing of dinner plates over the years. I was so shocked at seeing the size difference! In the 60’s the average dinner plate was on average 21.5 cm’s in diameter, to give you some comparison the average dinner plate has grown to a whopping 30.5 cm! That’s a foot! Dinner plates have even turned into a more bowl shape so we can pile more on to it, but it’s not just dinner plates that have grown. Standing drinking glasses and cutlery have also grown. Why has this been happening?

The general consumer is always look for more food for less money and the manufacturers are more than willing to give this to us. So over time as we continue to look for more, companies have been increasing the size of food for less money. Do you know what else is increasing, our waistlines. How can food prices go down when they’re increasing the size, well it usually means nutrition is going down too. So now not only are we getting bigger, but now our food is giving us less nutrients. Companies have to modify the food we eat with chemicals, processing, additives and preservers to bulk out our food and to make it last longer. This is something we all know by now and yet, which I find quite funny, we still consume them because they’re cheap, the problem being is now we’re not consuming food any more but food like products. So while we are stuck in the cycle our food size is going to continue to grow along with our waists.

By now you should get the gist of why things have increased. We also eat with our eyes, our appetite is easily stimulated by looking at delicious tasty food with lots of colour and freshness and by filling our plate we feel compelled to eat it and finish it. Did you know that using a smaller plate you’d feel just as satisfied and you’d also put less on your plate.

The correct portion size is pretty easy to remember. A piece of protein should be about the size of a deck of cards, starchy vegetables and food likes pasta and rice should be about the size of a tennis ball. I’ve been using The Waitplate Systems which includes the perfect size portion templates. It has a protein template, bread, pizza, cake, starchy carbs and dressing, fats and oils. This has been helping me to take the guess work out and giving me back control of the amount of food I’m eating.

The templates along with the portion control plate and cutlery, which have also been made smaller, give you complete control. The portion control all works in conjunction with the unique chew timer which aims to slow down your eating and how quickly you chew.

I was going through a few forums online where people were talking about the changes in size on crockery and I came across and excellent saying, “To be a 1960’s size you must use 1960’s crockery!” I love it and I personally plan to adapt this! It finally means I can use all my antique china that I have collected. Another person made an excellent point, special occasion meals were served on larger plates, so at one point in time we’ve adapted special occasion portions for every day. Finally food was never piled to the edge of the plate, the rim of the plate is supposed to clear of food; this is why chefs wipe the edges clean.  However, I agree with what one woman posted saying that in days gone by, it was probably because the masters of the house didn’t want their servant’s fingers in their food!

Time to look in the mirror

Image

visit http://www.waitplate.com for your lifestyle change

How do you feel when you hear “you’re going on a diet”? What feelings does this invoke in you and be honest. Can you hear that little voice saying in panic “I’m going to starve, I’ll be deprived, I can’t do it, I’ll still be hungry, I don’t want to go without”. I know you hear this because I hear it to. That mean little inner voice is screaming NO NO NO! What if I tell you diets don’t work for most people in the long run and I don’t want you to go on diet? Does that make you feel better, relieved even? Diet is a scary word, it has the word “die” in it, and of course we’re going to be afraid of it. What if I tell you the anxiety you feel when it comes to food can be changed, will that help? It can be changed and your relationship with food can be changed.

Let me tell you about my experiences with food. I eat when I’m stressed and emotional, that’s not a surprise most people do. However, the emotions I felt when eating were worse than what I felt before the food. I often would eat to squash an emotion, and as I ate I felt even more ashamed and frankly embarrassed by myself. So I ate more. The more I ate the more I focused on becoming full, overfull, and the quicker I ate the more full I could become. It got me thinking about why I turn to food and my relationship with food. I’ve had body image issues for a very long time; this seems to be happening to more and more people at very young ages. We criticise and scrutinise ourselves until we feel so bad about ourselves that we look to something to make ourselves feel better.

The first time I really criticised myself, and I remember exactly when I first doubted myself, my parents are divorced and I lived with my mother, on a visitation to my father he said to me “Why are you so fat? Doesn’t your mother know anything about nutrition?” I was no more than 6 or 7 years old. This cut me to my core, not so much about me being fat, but criticising the person I love more than anything in this world, my mother. I felt like I was an embarrassment to her because I was fat and people would think she was a bad mother. She wasn’t a bad mother at all. She’s the most amazing person in the world and I wasn’t fat at all. But someone had forced their opinion of what I should look like on me because they have their own issues with themselves. This is the worst thing we can do for each other, but it doesn’t stop people from doing it. During high school I remember overhearing people talking about how fat I was. Once again I wasn’t fat at all. I was very tall, taller than most girls, with broad shoulders but because I didn’t look like the other girls and I was different, I was instantly fat. Once again someone else was forcing their opinion into my mind.

No matter how many times people tell you not to listen to others, it still affects you and deep down. It’s ok to feel these things; sometimes you just can’t help it. The choice though you need to make is whether to keep letting it bother you or not. Be really honest with yourself and let your vain side show, look in the mirror and what do you see? I know there is a very small voice in there that is saying something positive. Sometimes you really have to listen hard, but when you find it turn the volume all the way up. Can you hear that voice telling you you’re too fat? Turn it down and become aware of what you see, remove yourself from your body so to speak and look at your body and let’s make some realisations.

From what I see and I’m being completely honest, I’m a overweight, but I also see, nice hair, nice eyes, I look good in what I’m wearing and what I know for sure, is I’m a good person. I know what I look like physically and rather than attach an emotion like sadness to my negative traits I have removed the emotion and see it for what it is. I focus on the stuff I like about myself and soon everything falls in place. I’m not saying to deny the way you look or your weight, but weight can be changed, you need to change your mind first. Once you start making these positive steps to fixing the way you see yourself then you’ll be in a better place to actually change what you don’t like.

I personally feel no shame in my body, yes I would like to lose weight and have a nice body, but I’m not ashamed. I don’t want to attach those sorts of negative words to myself, so I removed them. It takes a bit of persistence but it’s worth doing.  As the commercials say “You’re worth it”, because you are. Work on focusing on those good things about yourself, you may only find one thing at first, eventually you’ll find more and more.

So what’s the next step? Let’s look at change. Change can be hard, difficult and scary, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re even thinking about change, then you probably need it. Listen to that inner voice that speaks your truth, we tend to lose our ability to listen to that voice and it becomes hard to hear but you’ll find it. You’ll know what you need and change is not scary. It’s true what they say “change is as good as a holiday”, maybe not a holiday but it’s still pretty good. You’re reading this because you think you’re overweight, that’s ok a lot of people are, but let’s change this. This is where I sound like infomercial, that’s because I believe so much in this that I know it will work for you.

The Waitplate System is your lifestyle change, it’s my lifestyle change. This system address’s the psychological and physical aspects of eating. It takes the guess work out how much and re-teaches you to eat properly. Don’t think of it as a diet (there’s that word again), it’s not, you won’t be deprived and you won’t miss out. In fact the changes happen almost instantly. The first time you try it you’ll realise you haven’t missed out at all. I promise you, you will still feel satisfied after your very first meal and the next and the next. Take that first step and make the change.

So how does it re-teach me? It’s a whole system, the focus is restoring your hunger/satiety response. Think of this as a reset to default for your body. With assistance you’ll restore this balance and eventually you’ll be able to do it on your own. How does it assist you? The Waitplate comes with a unique chew timer to slow down how fast you eat. It also comes with food templates which show you the correct serving of each food, as well as a portion control plate. The thing that won me over was the cutlery. It’s small. Being small serves a purpose though, it’s help you to put smaller amounts of food into your mouth and it works together with the timer to slow down and reduce how much you eat.

So why not take that first step now to making you feel great.

I’m back!

Image

Now I know I haven’t been around for a while but let me just fill you in on what’s been going on. The last few months have been very tough for me. A few months ago I started feeling just all round crap. I was tired all the time and had no motivation to do anything, let along get out of bed. I was getting severe stomach pains constantly that would only be eased by heat packs and I was getting constant headaches and gaining a lot of weight quickly and constantly bloating. I went and got a blood test and an ultrasound to see what was going. The ultrasound came back fine but the blood test showed some interesting results. My iron levels were severely low and I have an underactive thyroid.

I started getting iron injections and went on some thyroid medication and for a while I started feeling really good again. That all went downhill again. I constantly felt on the verge of tears, I became moody again and the headaches started coming back again. I had taken on a complete doom and gloom view on the world. Going back to the doctor and discussing a few things, turns out my depression has come back in full force. Lucky me right?

I had to sit down and think about what in my life was making me feel this bad. Last time I had it this bad I was in an awful relationship, not this time though. I have a great relationship with Cameron and feel very supported. I took note of when the recent headaches started again and it was always as I was about to go to work. I felt my at my worst at work, I had just had enough. The feeling of dread as I walk in the building was crippling and the depression was manifestoing into physical symptoms. After everything I had going on with my health and then to go to a job I didn’t like, I had come to breaking point.

It’s taken me a few weeks to figure out what I was going to and I have to say these were the most stressful weeks of my life. Do I stay or go? What about money? What do I want to do? It came to decision time on Monday morning when I was dressed in my work uniform and sat on my bed and burst into tears. I couldn’t bring myself to go back, why was I putting myself through this. It’s not worth it. I sat there home alone just crying and crying. I rang work and said I wasn’t coming in today and as I work casually I said not to call me for a few weeks to work. Decision made.

I spent the day job hunting and am still job hunting. I haven’t quit my job because it’s my safety net in case something goes wrong. Instead I’ve been working with my mum to help launch her new business The Waitplate. The longer I spent working with her and writing articles and researching the more I started discovering my passion for healthy food again. As I’ve gained weight I’ve decided to do a 4 week Waitplate challenge. I’ll be posting as often as I can with how I’m going on it and any hints and tips I’ve come across.

So what’s The Waitplate? It’s not a diet but a whole lifestyle change. I can still eat what I like but using The Waitplate I will re-learn how to eating properly and with proper portions. I’ve already learnt so much in just a few days. My mum writes a blog called Perfect Portions which you can check out as well as the website www.waitplate.com to find out more. Even just reading the articles is fascinating.

This means my blog will be taking a different turn, it will still be about food and will still have recipes but you’ll be following my journey as I learn more each day and feel better each day.

Obese and empty

There is definitely a link between emotions and eating, I know this because I’m an emotional eater. I looked to food when I’m stressed, anxious, depressed and bored. I suffered from depression a few years ago, I had convinced myself that I was eating the amount of food I was because I wanted to. The truth was that while I was eating I didn’t have to think about anything except the food.

I was depressed because of a venomous relationship. I had no friends, was barely allowed to see my family, I worked in a job I hated and had no money. I think the lowest point for me was going to the local fish and chips shop to buy $5 worth of chips for the 5 night in a row and sitting there waiting completely embarrassed, ashamed and on the verge of tears.  I went home and split a huge amount of chips between my ex-partner and I. I just kept eating and eating, because if I just kept putting food in my mouth I wouldn’t cry and he wouldn’t see me and ridicule me.

I stayed this way for a few years. I look back and think “what the hell was I thinking”. I was in my early twenties; I should have been out having fun, socialising with friends and experiencing life. Instead I wasn’t living, I was just existing, going through each day feeling nothing, I had given up. Although I hated my job, I looked forward each day to going to work; at least the people I worked with were nice to me.  It was a vicious cycle because then I would go home to eat some more so I didn’t have to actually think about how miserable my life was and feel how miserable I was.

I often daydreamed about “my second life” that was the life where I was thin, happy and loved. I would lay in bed thinking of different happy scenarios and major life events until I fell asleep hoping I’d dream of them. Mainly they were finding the love of my life, who actually loved me and fought to keep me. They were like a typical cheesy romantic book. You can predict the ending but you still read it anyway. In fact I read tons of them; they were pure escapism for me.  I never left the house because we never did anything and every time I suggested I wanted to start exercising, I was put down and told I couldn’t do it.

Do you remember that feeling you used to get in your chest when you were yelled at by your parents just before you burst into tears? I lived with that feeling each day, always on the verge of tears but I never cried, I ate. Food was my real life escape. The day I finally broke down and told someone was to my old manager, and I hope she reads this. She was the first person I ever told what was really going. Boy did she not expect that! She pulled me into the office again to talk to me about my performance. Of course I knew how bad I was at my job and I have no idea why on earth they kept me for so long.

Talking to someone really helped me. It felt like I had finally admitted that I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t coping, but it brought me back to reality. When I told her, it felt like part of my mind had cleared and I could start to see what I could to do to solve the problem. After the meeting, I excused myself and went to the bathroom to tidy myself up. I looked in the mirror and saw what I really was for the first time. Obese and empty.

I swear that event was a sign from someone telling me change was coming and it was all ending. Not long after that my mum, who is my saving grace, intervened.  The relationship finally ended, I quit my job and I moved back in with my family. For most young people moving back in with mum and dad at 23 would be embarrassing, but it wasn’t, it was the happiest moment of my life so far. I had almost forgotten what it felt like to be loved so much by people all of the time, not just rarely

Obviously I wasn’t completely whole straight away. It took some time for me to heal, and I still haven’t completely, but nearly. I suffered anxiety really badly along with the depression. Slowly though things changed the first was my relationship with food.

Mum’s cooking is amazing, it was nice to not have to think about what I was eating, and instead I sat with my family at dinner and talked, told stories and laughed. These are some of my favourite memories. No one held grudges they just treated me like they always have. It was just what I needed. Within months weight was just melting away.

12 months later and I had lost over 30kgs and my whole world had changed. Mum controlled my portions, the food I ate, how often I ate and the quality of food I ate. I wasn’t even mad that I was getting less food. I didn’t care because I no longer ate to stop myself from feeling. Instead I ate because my body needed it and meal times were spent with my family. I’m not perfect now, but I’m extremely happy with my life and myself.

I think the best thing you can ever do when you’re depressed is to tell someone. Sometimes it hard to tell someone who is too close what’s wrong; try telling someone who is not actively involved in your life. There are so many free call numbers you can call who can help you. There is nothing wrong with the way you’re feeling, sometimes you just need to stop and really thinking about what’s going on. You know deep down what is making you feel that way, once you admit it to yourself then you can begin to change things and begin to heal.

Image

Me before, overweight and unhealthy

Image

After, not the best picture but you get my point 😀

Meow!

I’m sitting here with a drink reflecting on an awesome weekend with some great friends, food and drink. Most memorable bit was when Cameron went to light the BBQ and it was out gas (despite me asking a few hours earlier if the gas bottle was full), we could have cooked everything on the stove, but his solution was to take the massive gas cylinder that supplies our stove and hook it up to the BBQ. Problem solved! 😀

I thought I take you through the cake that I made which was a much better improvement than the Oreo cake last year for my friend’s birthday. This year’s theme was Crazy Cat Lady; the room was full of cat decorations. I made a basic vanilla butter cake with a caramel chocolate frosting and then covered in fondant. The actual cake was rainbow and shaped into a couch with a lady sitting on it with lots and lots of cats!

Image

I didn’t take lots of photos of the process because I forgot and I was stressed because I left it to the day of the BBQ to make something I had never done before. For the recipe it’s self just Google a basic butter cake, there are heaps out there and very easy to do. To make it a rainbow cake, I divided the batter between four bowls (One bowl for each colour), I used yellow, red, blue and green food dye. Add the colour two to three drops at a time and mix, keep adding until you reach the desired intensity. Then after all bowls have been coloured, add then to the cake tin and bake as normal. I just poured mine in and where ever it went was where it would stay, however you can use a knife to create a swirl pattern if you like.

Once the cake had cooled completely, I made a caramel, chocolate chip butter cream. To do this I used half a tin of condensed caramel top n fill, 60grams of softened butter and 2 and half cups of sifted icing sugar. I added the caramel and butter to the bowl and used a beater to combine the ingredients, then I added the icing sugar half a cup at a time and placed it in the fridge.

While the frosting was in the fridge I cut up the cake and assembled something that looked vaguely like a couch! I took the frosting out, beat it once more and added in 2 tablespoons of shaved chocolate. I used the frosting as a glue to stick the pieces together and then cover the entire cake with it.

Image

I place it back in the fridge while I rolled out the fondant. I used store bought fondant because I’m not that clever and can’t make it myself yet. Once I rolled my fondant into a large sheet, I took my cake out and carefully laid the fondant over the top and pressed in the corners and edges and smoothed it out.

Using a skewer, I carved some lines in to make it a bit more realistic and used edible pearls to add some more detail. The cushions are just a thin slice of cake covered in fondant.

Image

Then we move onto the final bit, the cat lady and the cats. I made these a few days earlier from bakers clay, which is basically, flour, water, salt and oil. Almost like playdoh. I shaped them into the figurines, baked them and painted them with a base coat of food colouring extended with vodka. I used food colouring and vodka because these parts would touch the cake. I added detail with some non-toxic acrylic paint, those parts didn’t not touch the cake.

Image

Image

It might sound easy enough, but if I could do it all over again I’d use more frosting and fondant and pretty much just slow down and take my time. But considering it was a bit rushed, I think it turned out pretty well. Have you ever tried to make a “fancy cake”? I’d love to know!

You snooze you lose!

Image

Image from 1zoom.net

I turned 27 on Monday and am having a BBQ with friends this coming weekend and it got me thinking of course of the food that I was going to serve. BBQ’s are always easy when it comes to feeding a lot of people, all you really need to do is make a few salads to go with the meat and have some nibbles like chips, crackers, cheese and dips.

I love making dips, they’re so easy do to and most of the time, work out much cheaper and healthy than buying the ones from the supermarket no matter how tasty they are. Have you ever had one of those spur of the moment get togethers, where people come round in the afternoon for a few drinks? Most of the time you don’t have time to get to the supermarket to grab some food and tidy the house.  You’ve got two choices here, you can go to the supermarket, get some food, whip it out of the packets so it’s ready to serve and then do the embarrassed apology “Excuse the house, ran out of time.” With an awkward giggle and you know they are secretly thinking “Wow it is a mess” and then go on to enjoy yourself.

Or you can quickly tidy the house (by tidy I mean grab everything and shove it in an unused room or cupboard). Then using the food that you already have, quickly whip up some super delicious dips! I always keep tins of chickpeas, broad beans or four bean mixes in the cupboard. Using a handheld blender, I blend these into a paste with a little bit oil, and then throw in a glove of garlic, a tomato, capsicum, ground turmeric and salt and pepper. You can even add a bit of plain Greek yogurt to make it extra creamy. If you don’t have any beans don’t stress! Blend a tomato, onion, garlic, baby spinach, parsley and capsicum, if you do want it creamy try putting in an avocado.

The best thing about these dips is you can pretty much use any vegetables that you have. As long as you season them then you can’t really go wrong. So you’ve made your dip, what are you going to have them with?  Chop up some carrots and celery to dip with, or if you have bread, squash a couple of slices flat and cut into quarters, drizzle some oil and add a bit of salt and pepper and place under the grill until golden and crunchy! Super easy and super quick!

My favourite homemade dip, which my mother makes the best, is cream cheese and hot smoked salmon. All you do is blend these two together to make the dip; if you want to get fancy you can even add some dill! Whenever my mum makes it, I make sure I place myself right in front of it and pretty much it’s a “you snooze you lose” situation. I’m eating it!

Now you can sit back and relax with your friends and have drink, hoping they don’t see the massive pile of stuff threatening to burst out of the cupboard! Do you have any recipes for homemade dips that are always a hit? I’d love to hear them!

Baby food taste test

I was at work the other day preparing food for a baby, as I opened the jar and tipped out the food into a bowl, I watched this gelatinous mush plop into the bowl. It literally plopped in, I thought to myself “ Eww that looks foul, I wonder what it tastes like.” Then it occurred to me that I should do a taste test of baby food and see what we’re actually feeding these kids. I didn’t try her food, I thought I would wait.

So I enlisted the help of my friend Amanda (She didn’t know what she had coming!), I went out and selected 6 jars of baby food. I didn’t spend much time looking at the ingredients because I wanted it to be a relatively blind taste test. I covered the labels and named them 1-6. We looked at the texture, smell and of course taste. Well we were definitely surprised, maybe not pleasantly..

Image

So here’s how it went.

Number 1: Pumpkin, Potato and Beef by Only Organic

Opening the jar we saw an orange mash that had a film of oil on top. The smell of the food was the first thing that hit us, it was like a mixture of rotten egg and a really bad fart. We braved the smell and tasted. It was awful! We picked up a strong potato taste, herbs, rice and some sort of meat. We couldn’t pick the meat but it seemed to have a fishy after taste. The texture was bad as well, it was watery and lumpy, it sounds crazy but you could definitely taste a processed flavour. We both were expecting a home cooked flavour but ended up with something that smelled like a rotten egg fart and dog food. Neither of us would feed that to another human! Rating: *

Image

Number 2: Pumpkin, Potato and Beef by Heinz 100% Natural

When we opened this jar, luckily there was no oily film but it also had that same smell of dog food. Needless to say after the first one we were very reluctant to try it. It had a much smoother texture and slightly sweeter. We could taste sweet potato and a meaty taste. It was palatable and in an emergency we would feed it to a baby. It wasn’t good but it was ok. Rating ***

Image

Number 3: Peas and Zucchini by Heinz 100% Natural

Once again this one smelled like the previous two, Amanda and I weren’t looking forward to this watery green looking one. Straight away we picked the taste of peas but could not identify the other flavours. We tossed around basil or herbs but couldn’t pick it. Neither of us tasted any meat. It was still pretty horrible and would not feed it to a baby. Rating **

Image

Number 4: Pasta Bolognese by Baby Macro

This one came in a squeeze packet, I think the best part of this one was when Amanda tried to smell it and wasn’t expecting anything to come out when she lightly squeezed it which resulted in smearing of food on her clothes.  This one had a strong smell of tomatoes and herbs. Straight away we picked up a Bolognese taste. The texture was ok and in an emergency we would feed it to a baby. Rating ***

Image

For some reason this one kept uploading upside down

Number 5: Fruit Muesli by Only Organic

This one smelt straight away of apples and cinnamon, however it looked like ground garlic! We had a slight difference on opinion on this one. We both picked up the taste of apples and cinnamon; however it took us a few minutes to pin down another flavour. The only thing we could come up with was under ripe banana. I found it had an odd after taste of plants. It had a smooth texture but had apple chunks. Neither of us picked up that there was muesli in it. Rating: Me: ** Amanda ***

Image

Number 6: Apple, Banana and Peach by Rafferty’s Garden

This one looked like custard and smelt like pears. We were so surprised with it flavour. It was divine. It has a silky smooth texture and we could taste the banana and couldn’t decide between apple or pear. Turns out it was the peach that was throwing us off. This was only one we actually finished and came to the conclusion that we would buy this for ourselves as well as any future child. Rating *****

Image

I can’t show you what it looked like because we ate it all

What did we achieve by this taste test? Having never actually tried baby food as an adult I was so curious to know what they tasted like. Would I do it again? No way! When a baby comes into my life I think I’ll be making my own food. I know people can run out of time to make it, but it works out much cheaper than buying jars of it, and frankly if I wouldn’t eat it then I’m certainly not feeding it to my child.

A huge THANK YOU to Amanda for helping me today, I think you deserve a drink! Now I know I can call on you to try all sorts of weird or wonderful foods (insert evil laugh here)! Let me know if you have any suggestions for foods that you would like me to taste test!

Mmmm bleached cotton balls

Photo by Shutterstock.

“My diet starts as of Monday!” How many of us say this on a regular basis? I’m guilty of saying every week. I think I say it now so I can gorge myself on food over the weekend, not that I ever start the diet at all.

We’ve all been guilty of dieting, mine start out all well and good and by lunch the next day I’m starving and give up.  I know I don’t stick to them because I know deep down that fad diets don’t work in the long run. They might for a little while, but rapid weight losses from these diets usually result in water loss.  Our bodies go into starvation mood when it’s denied proper nutrition and portions. This has been happening for centuries.

Back when we roamed the land to hunt for our food, food would be scarce so our bodies would go into starvation mood, which meant that it stored as much of the food as it could as fat for our bodies to feed off during famine. The problem with modern day is that we have an abundance of food in the western world yet we diet and cause this to happen. Our bodies are doing what just comes naturally to them.  When you restrict your food your body will feed off fat reserves, but when you start eating again it will replenish the fat reserves to prepare for the next famine.

This got me thinking about some of those crazy diets fads that are out there. They actually aren’t that hard to find.  The first one I found was the cotton ball diet.

Apparently you eat them before each meal as they’re meant to be high in fibre, curb cravings and prevent over eating….Seriously?  I think you have a screw lose if you think this is a viable option for dieting. I wonder about the person who tried this, did they think “mmm those bleached cotton balls are looking mighty tasty” Can you just image all the digestive issues this would cause, as well as blocking of essential nutrients being absorbed into our bodies. What about what happens when they come back out! I know I wasn’t the only one who had that thought pop into their head!

This one we’ve all heard of, The Tapeworm diet! Let’s all ingest beef tapeworm eggs so we can have a parasite growing in us to eat all the food we eat and then it can poop it back out again inside our digestive track! This one has been around since early 1900s, apparently when you’ve lost the desired amount of weight you can just take a medicine to kill the tape worm. Not only does this lead to all sorts of deficiencies but what goes in must come out. Some of these tapeworms can get to massive lengths and you’re going to have to poop that thing out!

Any sort of diet that requires long term liquid only. Seriously? Not only does it cause extra unnecessary bowel movement, but you’re going to be really hungry. Once again these work for a short period only; once you start ingesting food again it’s going to come to back.

The sleeping beauty diet, while technically we do lose weight while we sleep, I sure as hell don’t want to be heavily sedated for a few days just for the sake of losing a few kilos. All this achieves is starvation.

When looking around the net for these diets, I was quite shocked at the amount of fad diets. At the end of the day fad diets are not going to work and a majority of them are bad for you in the long run. Rather than jump on the bandwagon of the latest diet, what we need is a lifestyle change not appetite suppressants and laxatives!