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
Looks Great Belinda
Really enjoying reading your creative ideas, the food looks delicious looking forward to trying them xxx
Thank you for taking the time to share your fast day menus and recipes. Warm regards from Sydney Australia
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!
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 ! 🙂
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.
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 🙂
I’m glad you have found me Pauline. All the best with your 5:2 future 🙂
Having lunch with old friends today, someone mentioned Belinda’s food at Soboba in the 70s, and I wonder if you are that Belinda.
No, that wasn’t me. In those days it would have been “Out to Lunch”, on location….