About Me

I’ve been thinking about doing a food blog for ages and now I’ve finally got around to starting it.

In 2008 I published my first cookery book “Focus on Flavour – Recipes inspired by living in South West France”. I did it mainly for myself, to get rid of dozens of book with notes and crossings out and a heap of scribbled pieces of paper with ingredients and recipes. I sold far more copies than I ever expected to, then in 2011 the book became available in electronic format on the Apple store and on Lulu. I’ve used the book myself a huge amount, as the recipes that I chose for it are largely the ones that I created for our guests on Images of France photography courses. I included indicators of whether each of the recipes is wheat-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, low-fat or low-sugar – as I often get asked to cater for special diets.

Now whilst flavour is still hugely important, I particularly want to ensure that the food that I eat and share is healthy. I need to lose some weight and I am keen to keep my blood pressure and cholesterol levels within normal range without taking any medication. So I have made some recent changes to my diet:-

  • I use little or no salt in cooking
  • I rarely use butter when I eat bread and prefer to use olive oil and sunflower oil for cooking and making dressings. I do not use margarine or reduced-fat butter, as these contain additives
  • I don’t use sugar in beverages and use as little as possible with desserts – I’m now of the view that it’s better to use sugar, honey or maple syrup rather than any kind of artificial sweeteners
  • I am increasing the amount of fruits, vegetables, pulses and nuts that we eat and reducing the number of meat-based meals that we have
  • I am limiting my intake of alcohol to within current guidelines or less
  • I am following the 5:2 approach (2 days a week restricted to 1/4 of my daily calorie requirement, i.e approx 400 calories) as explained by Michael Mosley in his book “The Fast Diet

My working relationship with food – growing and cooking it – goes back a long way and certain fundamentals remain:-

  • I prefer to use local, seasonal and organic produce where possible
  • I believe that whole foods are better for you than processed foods
  • I am appalled by over-fishing and the plight of fish stocks globally has radically changed the way that I buy fish
  • The human body can heal itself of many conditions given the right inputs
  • You are what you eat

I think that’s enough of an intro.

Over the coming days/weeks/months/years I hope to build up a collection of great ideas and recipes for healthy eating.

If you wish to contact me, please use the comments box, or you can find me on Twitter @bp_berry

Belinda Berry

11 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hi Belinda, so excited to try the Spanish chicken as I adore Spanish food, however my attempt ended up watery, and didn’t look anything like yours, help!
    Kaye πŸ™‚

    • Hi Kaye, did you drain the butter beans? Then only liquid comes from the tomatoes, which is why I added a little water, to make sure that the chicken wouldn’t be too dry. If you have too much liquid, you could take the lid off and let it reduce for a bit.

      • Hi Belinda, thank you for your reply. yes I did drain my bb’s, but I think the culprit was my courgette, so next time I will use French beans! However it was definately a taste of Spain ! πŸ™‚

  2. Wow, our approach to cooking and life is very similar. Thank you for taking the time to write it all down, and for your stewardship of the 5:2 group on Facebook. I have just spent a happy hour looking through this blog, and hope to return to it many times.

  3. After searching for weeks for information on 5:2 recipes and interesting information I found your site. Its truly a pleasure to read, thank you. I have saved your site in my favourites and subscribed and will request your book for my Birthday next month πŸ™‚
    Warm regards,
    Pauline πŸ™‚