Monday, 30 May 2011

Beng Green Away frrom Home

I went away to a writer's retreat at the weekend and found out that being green doesn't necessarily mean the 3 r's. It also means eating locally fresh produce, which I think I ate lots of as I ate foods that I don't have normally. They offered Fairtrade wine, not that I had any of that as I can't drink alchohol. Over the weekend I had a curry with cauliflower in with tomatoes and beetroot. The beetroot must've been fresh as it was cubed unlike the sliced sort you get in jars. I also had butternut squash, I think, and they served courgettes with it which I didn't have, and aubergine and peppers. I ate the peppers but not the aubergines as I don't like them. I also had new potatoes with carrots and peas, which were fresh as they taste different to the frozen ones I normally have here at home. Yesterday we had roast chicken for lunch and with it I had parnsips, which were really nice and tasted like sweet potatoes to me. I think I will have that again sometime. There were other foods I had that I've not had before like couscous. That was nice and wouldn't mind trying that again, coconut rice pudding which was yummy and yesterday I had baked apple with sultanas in the middle with cinnamon, that was gorgeous. I think there is a farmer's market and other places near the house I stayed in that grow these foods, and I am all for eating local foods to save the carbon footprint.

So as well as learning and writing lots (which I will tell you about in my other blog), I tasted lots of new foods and will have again. Because of this my weight has gone up even more and now need to do more exercise.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Recycling at home

This week will be all about recycling (the green part of this blog), and today I am going to talk about what you can recycle at home, esp in Lewisham my borough.

Of course, there are the basics: paper, card, tin, glass, and plastic bottles. I envy borough of Bromley because they can recycle more plastics at home than Lewisham can. As well as these basics, there are other things you can recycle. Labels off cans, preferably taken off as told to me by the council, empty stamp booklets and jar lids. So all these I add to our weekly recycling, although my mum still doesn't believe in recycling the shiny stuff. There are batteries, as our council has given the residents little bags to put them in once we have enought to fill it, but we still take ours to Sainsbury's. You cannot recycle shredded paper as this is too fine for recycling purposes, so here are couple of suggestions: if you have a compost bin put it in there, or if you have pet gerbils or hamsters or a pet in a cage, then it can be used for bedding, or you can keep it for packaging goods to other people.

Talking of compost, we have 2 bins in our garden. Whilst one is breaking down, we fill the other up with fruit and veg bits, paper, card, egg shells (when not putting it on garden to stop beasties nibbling plants). We have a compost caddy in our kitchen and Mum empties it when it either fills up or gets too smelly.

I think that is all I can think of for now. Next time will be all about what else you can have in your house that can be recycled outside the home eg in banks locally.

Here is a challenge for you. See how much you can recycle at home in a week's time and let me know.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

My wheat-free week

So how did I do? V well actually, with no wheat at all. So why wheat? Wheat is in lots of things and for me it was the easiest to go without. Oat milk is the only milk I can have with my breakfast as all other milks don't agree with me, and I am intolerant to wheat so I wanted to see how I went without it.

I even managed it on Tuesday when I went out for a meal. I had pan-fried chicken with roast new potatoes and green beans, which I really liked. For toast during the week I tried Genius brown bread which was quite nice, I had a Sainsbury's white seeded roll and that was nice too. Yesterday I had Genius white bread and I have to say I prefer that than the brown version. I have already tried, Warburtons which had seeds in but that upset me as I had it for breakfast and my stomach can't take seedy stuff that time of day. I also tried Sainsbury's Freefrom white rolls and they are the best. V floury on top but very soft and melt in the mouth. Next to try will be Genius rolls with seeds on, that get everyone on the surfaces and the floor. I have already tried Sainsbury's Freefrom spaghetti, which is made from potato flour I think. That was nice and didn't upset me, which normal spaghetti did. Will be having that again tomorrow with spal Bol. Oh yes, I tried gluten-free cornflakes by Kallo Whole Earth for breakfast this morning and really liked them, prefer them to normal cornflakes now, which upset me last time I ate them on their own. Mum likes them too, and bougth 4 boxes from Sainsbury's this morning.
So where do you buy these from? Both Sainsbury's and Tescos' do the Genius and Warburton bread and rolls, and Sainsbury's and Holland & Barrets (although dearer than S'bury's) for the cornflakes and S'bury's for the spaghetti.

Overall I really like the rolls and bread and pasta I have tried, and once I have eaten up all the wheat bread and pasta that we have in house, I will go on to the gluten-free ones and stay with them, although they are at least a pound dearer than normal wheat varieties. If I try anything else wheat-free I will post it here.

Next week's posts are all about living greenly and recycling.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Coelic Disease

This week is Coeliac Disease Awareness Week. So what is Coeliac Disease? It is a severe reaction to all grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt). Gluten is the protein and the glue in the grains that sticks the food together. Reactions can be severe weight loss or bad diarrhoea. 1 in 100 Brits have it, and of those inc my mum, one of her sisters and her brother, which is why I have decided to highlight here under healthy eating. Wheat is the main grain you can find gluten in, and as I have found out, is in a hell of a lot of foods from the obvious ones eg bread, to things like pastes. Fortunately there are a lot of gluten-free alternatives to these and I will explore these later on this week.

So what am I going to do about it? Personally I have decided to try to go wheat free this week. I can't do without rye and oats and I eat ryvitas and I love my oatcakes, but I can do without wheat as I've done it before. So that is what I am doing and will let you know the results later in the week when I will tell you about what alternatives there are, where to get them and how much they are and what they taste like.

So I shall see you then. I challenge you to go wheat free this week and see how you find it.

Saturday, 14 May 2011


Welcome to my new blog. As mentioned on my website, as well as writing for adult and children, I am also passionate about healthy eating (as shown in my children's book Rosie and the Sick School), natural health and green issues. This new blog will be exploring those passions further on a weekly rota. I will be talking about what healthy foods are out there and where you can buy them, locally and nationally, what natural health products are out there, what I've tried and liked and hated, where you can buy then and this can be merged with the green issues as I will be mentioning if their containers are recycleable or not and if I have found out if they are, and green issues will be all about reducing, reusing and recycling and where and what you can recycle things.

Next week will be my first entry to this new blog and I will be writing about Coeliac Disease as it is going to be Coeliac Disease Awareness week from 16 -22 May.

I hope you will join me on this new venture and journey and find what I have to say useful/