Comrades 2016: The journey starts now

Chaos in the Kitchen 4 Comments

Confession time again. I may have inadvertently imported something from South Africa.  And judging by the front of my shirt, I suspect it’s a small warthog.  (OK, not so small).Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 3.07.24 pm

Twin 1 patted my stomach after lunch today and told me, “Mamma, I think you need to stop now.”  But that’s part of the problem!  I have stopped.  I haven’t run in 2 weeks, but I was eating an obscene amount whilst staying at the safari lodge.  Enough to feed a small village in other parts of the continent, I suspect.  Hum.

So, with a weather eye already on Comrades 2016 (only 349 days to go), I think it’s time to take myself in hand.

But nutrition is not my strong suit.  It’s not helped by my loathing of all things domestic, including cooking.  (Craft activities are NOT classified as domestic: sewing and knitting are playing).

This blog actually has a category called “Chaos in the Kitchen”. You wouldn’t know.  It’s gathering dust in the inner sanctum of wordpress.  But I think I need to change that…

Chaos in the Kitchen.001

But how?

I’ve tried Michelle Bridges’ 12wbt, and I do love the format.  It tells me what to eat (and what to buy and how to make it) and I can swap out anything involving baked beans and replace it with something yummy.  (Just don’t tell the family – they love baked beans).

But I have 2 lots of plane tickets to buy next year.  The parentals have survived 50 years of marriage as of next August and they have issued a summons for us to come celebrate. (Only kidding, Mum.  We’ll be there with bells on). And obviously I need to get to South Africa, or I wouldn’t be telling you all this.

So I need to save cash, and that means good bye Michelle and your no-brainpower-involved meal plans.

I also have a number of cookbooks each with pretty fonts, adorable colours and designer humans on the front covers. (Also gathering dust). So, if I just get them off the bookshelf, I am all set to become a 20/20 sugar-free paleo infinitesimally improved version of myself.

I do have a bit of problem with all this paleo palaver, though.  For a start, how did cavemen have time to faff around with all that activating their nuts?  Did paleolithic buffalo just hang around waiting to be hunted until after the soaking period was over and the nuts all laid out to dry? And I haven’t got my head round the whole “eat like a caveman because humans haven’t evolved for a gazillion years” rhetoric.   I’m not much of a Darwinian, but wouldn’t it mean that we’re doomed as a species, if that’s true?  OH BOLLOCKS.  Maybe I’d better start watching Doomsday Preppers with Herbert.

And I have discovered that meatless meals are actually pretty good.  (Proof positive is that the Grumpster will eat them without grumbling, and grudgingly acknowledge that they’re tasty).  I can’t get my head round the vegan thing – that’s just too hard.  Beyond a bowl of salad veggies, I’m out of ideas!  I sometimes think I could do veggie, especially as I would no longer have to be in denial about eating lambs.  But no. The trip to South Africa confirmed that as false.  I would be deprived without biltong and droëwors in my life!

But hey, if I’m honest, I have actually made a couple of things out of the Pete Evans Chef books.  Yes, I actually ventured into the kitchen!!!  I seem to remember it involved chopping a lot of herbs before adding them to some mince, then proddling them into patties and presenting them to the Grumpy Hubstacle to burn on the barby. (He didn’t, to be fair: he’s the one who’s adept in the kitchen).  And they were very tasty.  I like tasty.

So, I need to lose some chub, and I’m pretty sure that the key is changing my food pyramid.  Mine looks a lot like this.

Screen Shot 2015-06-14 at 2.44.42 pm
Courtesy of

(Although this one doesn’t feature sufficient liquorice; maybe replace a couple of cupcakes with lollies/sweets and you’d be closer to the true picture).

Apparently this is the new recommended one:

Food pyramid

But, to be sustainable, it’s got to meet THREE essential principles:

  1. Tasty
  2. Quick & simple to make
  3. Tasty & filling

To achieve this, I am making a major and drastic change to my lifestyle:

I am going to drink rooibos or herbal tea after 2pm.

Sorry if you were expecting something more dramatic, but I think this will actually be really effective.  When we were on holiday, we were having a very nice time, getting up early for a game drive, eating way too much food, going out for another drive – so lots of fresh air and fun.  I slept brilliantly every night, except one.  And that night I had a coffee.  It was much weaker than the brew I would normally drink over here, but it was the only thing that I did differently.  And I was tired.  But I just couldn’t switch off.

So, to get this thing done right, I need to sleep well, because that is the key to setting up the whole day.  If I can wake up in the mornings, my run will get done as scheduled and then I only have to worry about getting home from work at a reasonable time and pulling dinner together.  How hard can it be?  (Unless I get the munchies making dinner, when, fatally, the lolly jar lid pops off and all control is lost).  And I’m not even going to pretend I won’t drink wine.  But only on Fridays.  OK?

If you have any tips for how I can get on top of eating well, in a VERY SIMPLE way, that would be great!  (Ideally involving no chopping or prepping or me even being in the kitchen, that would be lovely).

So, let’s see if this works any better than the jelly belly project!?!


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