The tell-tale gold wrappers, fake grass and sticky fingerprints may still be around, but most of us are probably glad to see the back of the secular side of Easter. It has been weeks of indulging in hot cross buns, bright yellow Peeps, giant, over-priced choccie eggs and various fat and sugar-laden confections. And that is just the adults.
I used to adore Easter. We were pretty religious so Easter was mainly spent in church from sunrise until almost lunchtime. The passing hours on hard seats, variously genuflecting and standing in 80F + heat, had us kids deliriously day-dreaming about the Easter baskets waiting for us at home. The sermons and lessons might have been enthralling (we had a fantastic priest) but goodness me it was a long stretch for the fidgety amongst us.
Many Brits will be unfamiliar with this ritual but, for American children of my vintage era, the delicious pain of this deferred gratification was all the sweeter when, as soon as you burst through your front door you literally dove into your giant straw basket filled with hay and sweets and didn’t stop eating until you were called for lunch. I shudder to think how many calories we consumed in that one day but somehow, as most of us were skinny 70s kids with energy to spare, we used it up and were seemingly none the worse for it. The next day the basket was empty (with a little help from parents, obviously) and for me it was back to grilled cheese and dill pickles (my fave meal as an 8 year-old). There was none of this 30-day sugar-fest that seems the norm today. Maybe I am seeing this with the proverbial rose-tinted glasses but I really don’t think we had anything approaching the current level of excess that now surrounds us; due to our primitive programming most of us are pretty powerless to escape its sticky, gratuitous grasp.
Although I don’t go in for all the chocolate and hot cross bun stuff, I have been overdoing it on the dining out and wining out. So don’t think this post is aimed at you. This post is aimed squarely at me, and is a public reminder to myself to eat more mindfully and respect my body a bit more. Even just one day of ditching my green things and healthy juices and smoothies and I feel it. So, after a full week (and a bit) of nibbling and sipping with fairly wild abandon I am back on the proverbial wagon. I am making a public vow to cut out the white carbs, the empty calories (goodbye Prosecco, it was great while it lasted), the cheese board and everything else that is making me at this very moment feel like I should never eat again. Which is silly. I just need to eat the way I know feels right for me.
To get me back on track I have had a wee nosey around some delicious and health-oriented blogs to inspire me; I know they will inspire you too. I have also revisited some of my older posts and been surprised at some of the tasty recipes I have forgotten about over the years (a bit of a hazard of recipe development). I’m sharing those too.
Although I will be looking forward to trying many of these recipes, for this week I am doing the fantastic and blooming’ hard challenge, Living Below The Line. For five days this week I will be living on just £1 a day in aid of the Health Poverty Action charity. Other charities are participating but I choose HPA because 96p in every pound they receive goes straight to programmes that help the most marginalised communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America. I will be checking in with you to tell you how I am getting on (probably quite badly as I am very spoiled!), the rationale behind this kind of challenge, and hoping that you will donate and/or participate yourself when the more public challenge begins in May. Here is where you can donate (and up my little fundraiser thermometer!), and here is more information on how you can get involved and maybe challenge yourself. Thanks to all who have donated so far!!
I know what to eat, you know what to eat. So let’s just do it, shall we?
Quinoa Bowl with Citrus, Avocado & Edamame – Food to Glow
Pad Thai Crepes (Open-Faced Omelettes) – Food to Glow
Brunch Frittata with Chimichurri – Whole Nourishment
Aubergine “Meatballs” – Deena Kakaya
Spicy Cauliflower-Cashew Bites with Buffalo Sauce – Food to Glow
Tunisian Chickpea & Vegetable Tagine – Food to Glow
Pico de Gallo – Veggie Desserts
Super Duper Raw Power Salad – The Spicy RD
Mexican Sweet Potato & Puy Lentil Mole – Tinned Tomatoes
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Spiced Chickpeas – Natural Kitchen Adventures
Tempeh Reuben Bowls – The Muffin Myth
and, an image accidentally got left out, but I have to try Dannii’s Guac-Kale-Mole. Don’t you love the name?
Love Your Greens Soup – Food to Glow
Coconut & Lemongrass Tofu Soup – Food to Glow
Green Passion Smoothie – Food to Glow
Peach Matcha Smoothie – Recipes from a Pantry
Happy Tummy Tonic – Food to Glow
Apple, Avocado & Mint Smoothie – Tinned Tomatoes (a bit hidden in the image)
Wild Garlic Soup – Demuth’s (a bit hidden in the image)
Vegetarian Hot & Sour Soup – Smarter Fitter
Lavender and Mint Tea – The Spicy RD
Blood Orange & Berry Smoothie – Food to Glow
(Green &) Black Forest Smoothie – Food to Glow
Kale & Asparagus Asian Broth with Spelt – Amuse Your Bouche
and a little extra that I/you can’t miss Wild Garlic & Farro Soup from Bintu at Recipes From A Pantry
This is the first time I’ve done a post like this, with collages and loads of links. It’s not perfect, but I hope you like it and click on a few of my friends’ recipes, and look around their sites for even more inspiration.
HAPPY MONDAY!! Now, I’m off to scoff a bowl of plain, water-only porridge for my £1 a day challenge lunch! I had an egg and some homegrown kale for breakfast, which filled me up to a point. I think I’m hungrier than usual because I know I shouldn’t have anything out of my budget! I’m cheating by going to a wedding later today, and I’ll get my dinner (I can’t very well turn that down, can I?), but I’m back on it tomorrow. I’ll be posting my thoughts and menus over on Facebook and on Instagram if you want to follow me there. Wish me luck.