“Cooking is a philosophy, not a recipe. Unless it’s pastry, which is Chemistry”.
Marco Pierre White on CBB, August 2011.
A very interesting comment I thought. Losing weight is also philosophical, rather than just following a diet plan. There are many diets that will work if you can stick to them. The basic principle is straight forward and simple; consume fewer calories than your body requires. Eat less and exercise more. But for some reason, it is not that simple for many of us.
I was relieved tonight to have lost half a pound as I thought I would have gained. In the last 10 days I have been to Wales, Warwickshire, Devon and several other lovely places and eaten many delicious but high calorie meals and busted point allowances regularly. I still find it really difficult to say no to delicious second helpings or to say no to a pudding. But I am obviously learning and improving or I would have put weight on.
So on to my lovely weekend in Devon. We went to Murphy Manor and checked out all the improvements Lucy and Trevor have made to their house in Lyme. Leaving Trevor to his decorating and Olvia with a play date, we took Lucy and Harry to one of my favourite eateries in the world, The Town Mill Bakery in Lyme Regis, Dorset. The bread and cakes are handmade in front of you. It is self service and you sit on benches at long tables. Everyone sits together and passes big bowls of butter, jam and sugar and jugs of milk up and down. Actually, if you like silver cutlery and crisp white tablecloths and you hate sharing space with other people this may not be the place for you. But f you like brilliant baked goods and are happy to share your space with fellow foodies, then you would love it.
The fresh produce is piled up on a long table that separates the busy bakers from their happy customers. You pick up a wooden board and help yourself to what you want, as many times as you like. And just pay at the end on your way out. What shall I have? Their Eccles cakes are superb and my sister Lucy had raved about their scones. Hmmmmm, decisions, decisions.
Maybe I couldn’t decide or maybe I was still feeling guilty about 3 puddings the previous day as I decided to go for muesli. This photo makes the bowl look quite modest but it was a help yourself affair and I was a complete pig so it was a very large portion and I didn’t feel hungry again all day after it. It was delicious with lots of nuts and seeds in it and I bought some to take home.
After breakfast we went for a walk round town. We visited cousin Miranda in her shop and then I took Harvey and his cousin Harry to the beach. I love Lyme Regis. It is a very special place and I have visited here most years of my life.
James took Lucy home, the boys went crab and shrimp fishing and I had a lovely quiet potter about the shops and then sat and watched the activity on the beach. I can sit quite happily on a beach for hours.
After a lively game of football, the boys had ice-cream but I resisted the temptation. See Zoe, it can be done 🙂
Back at Ian’s Mera and Jack joined us for a pizza lunch. I wasn’t hungry and should have had some fruit but I had 2 pieces of pizza which I then regretted. I was pleased we were going for a walk to town and back which is hilly and would help burn off some of that food.
In contrast to the old world charm and sandy beaches of Lyme Regis, Sidmouth is full of grand Victorian/Edwardian hotels and houses, a pebbly beach and red cliffs. Which proved irresistible to 2 little boys!
After a lovely walk along the beach, up Jacobs Ladder and through Connaught Gardens, we headed home. When I was last here, in April, I huffed and puffed up the hill and found it really difficult. But this time it was much easier and I hardly got out of breath at all. So that was a Devon highlight.
Ian and Helen hosted 11 of us for supper which was delicious. I had chicken and salad with 2 little potatoes. And no pudding. I actually managed to say “no” !!!! Woo Hoo. And I only had one glass of wine 🙂
Highlights included a healthy breakfast: raspberries, blueberries, a nectarine, a small banana, a spoonful of natural probiotic yogurt and a few nuts.
We then headed off to ESCOT ‘ The natural place for a great day out in Devon’. We had a fabulous day, walking through beautiful woodland while the children enjoyed the maze, walking trails, finding animals and playing on playgrounds made out of natural materials. The Anglo Saxon village was one of my favourites.
Funniest moment of the day – my little niece Olivia (aged 7) refused to go in the natural compost toilet because someone had left sausages in there ! Tee hee. Yes, those are my feet as I had to go, sausages or no sausages. Thanks for the photo Lucy 🙂
Talking of feeding, lunch was diet-ok. Ham and egg mayonnaise sandwich on granary with lettuce, some olives and an apple. But then disaster struck. I had a Devon cream tea which had 2 scones. I did manage to give half of one scone away which helped a bit. But why did I order it anyway? I wasn’t hungry. Humph.
At Ian’s dinner started well. Jacket potato with ham, baked beans and salad. But unfortunately I had to add butter and cheddar cheese and then have a chocolate mousse for pudding. Where is Will Power when I need him? Devon was great, despite the feeding disasters and I was sad to leave.
On Monday I was home. Since it was weigh day, I was desperate to reduce the gain I was convinced I would have so I had porridge made with water. At the annual Sissinghurst village fete I avoided the bbq’d burgers and sausages and had a bbq’d corn cob instead. Oh and a Pimms. But that was only because it raised money for the school and it had fruit and veggies in it.
I have included this picture, even though it is dreadful of me, so that hopefully when I look back in a few months, I can think thank goodness I don’t look like that anymore. The fete was fun and we bumped in to lots of our local friends. Spent a small fortune on drinks, food and letting Harvey have a go on all the stalls.
In keeping with tradition, Linda and Peter held a BBQ afterwards. They are also excellent cooks. I really need to make friends with people who can’t cook very well or who just invite me over for a coffee. I had to wait until after weigh in before I ate or drank anything!
Our amiable host, relaxing after a busy time at the BBQ, cooking for their 20 or so guests.
So how did I eat? Quite well for the main. I avoided the bread and just had one burger and one sausage with coleslaw, bean salad, red peppers and grapes with one glass of red wine. But then Linda brought out flapjacks, chocolate cake, blackcurrant cheesecake on an amaretto base and toffee cupcake. I am actually too ashamed to confess how much I ate. But it was disgraceful.
Tomorrow will be a whole new day and I am going to track points, eat healthily and do some exercise. Hopefully.