19 February 2014

Lush made me a hoarder (also known as Lush haul)



I love Lush. Simple as that. The products, the store displays, the variety, natural ingredients, the fact that every Lush store around the world smells exactly the same... I love pretty much everything about it.

08 February 2014

Hummus, good food and stepping away from the takeout menus





I'll be honest, I tried to write a nice post about how I reduced my fast food intake to almost none and how I am making an effort to put good, fresh, unprocessed food into my diet but for some reason, the words just don't come out. Long story short; I used to be a takeout addict. Not because I loved that rush food, but because sometimes making an effort to prepare a meal is just a lot especially if I am just feeling lazy and have no other excuse to skip a proper dinner or lunch. But my indecisiveness when it comes to choosing something from a menu has started to serve me well. After looking at the many many options of many sorts of food online; picking something, approving it, waiting for it to arrive, paying forthe food and finally being able to eat is seems even more of an effort than actually going to the kitchen and putting together a simple but good meal.

I would be lying if I said I didn't show some effort to take the junk food out of my life, because I do. It's a process, I doubt I'll adopt a raw vegan diet ever in my life but I think I will be able to step away from the processed food, takeout habit, badly fried greasy meals and feeding my brain instead of my stomach. I am starting to learn to have faith in my body and not simply give in to the directions of my emotional hunger. I've come a long way from simply not bothering with anything but chinese food 4 times a week to treating myself to a small bag of chips or a rich dessert every now and then when I'm in the mood. My goal? To be healthy and fit and aware of the needs of my body.

So I'm making small changes as I go and try to adopt a whole new habit instead of going on a ridiculous diet for a limited amount of time and then going back to basics until I find something new to try. That hamster wheel of a routine is doing nobody any good. I have been continuing with the healthier and more quality approach to food and eating for the past few weeks and when I lose inspirtion, I flick through a good cookbook to find something quick and easy but nutritious and delicious; I read "healthspo" posts on blogs and mostly I flick through a fun little helper book I have. It's a no pressure, no deadline experiment and even though making commitments make me uneasy (to put it nicely) I think treating myself and the body I have well is something I can keep going.

Does that mean I'll never put a burger in my mouth again? Hell no. I believe in moderation and giving into the pleasures. I just remind myself that if a pleasure becomes a routine, it's no longer a treat. It's just common sense after all.

Now, about the hummus.

This was pretty easy, I have to say. You just dump everything into a food processor or a blender (or if you have the willpower, in a bowl to be turned into a paste with hand) and in minutes, you have a delicious fest. There are so many recipes and mine isn't anything groundbreaking but it's a pretty no fuss recipe, if you've been skeptical about it.

I've made mine not with exact measurements, I've pretty much arrange everything except the chickpeas by rule of thumb. Tahini was about one coffee cup, I drizzled the olive oil as it goes, I used one clove of crushed garlic so I could eat it anytime and still be able to socialize without a SARS mask. Cumin can be strong, yet I still used a healthy pinch - all the seasoning was adjusted to taste. Since this was for everyday use and not for a fancy dinner party, I did not bother with the ckichpea skins. You can remove them if you want a super smooth hummus to serve. Since I did not use much olive oil, mine was not the soft creamy texture you'll achieve if you follow most of the recipes online. I don't mind it but you need to use a fair amount of tahini and olive oil to make it more luxurious (and authentic, I suppose.) After everything was mixed and smooth, I transferred it all into a bowl, drizzled a bit more olive oil on the top and sprinkled some more cayenne to make it fancy, before I placed a few leaves of parsley. I have tried it and it had inner beauty as well as the commercial potential.

- Chickpeas (1 can)
- Tahini (40-50 ml)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Olive oil
- Garlic
- Salt, cayenne and cumin

 PS: If you're inspired about eating for pleasure and eating with senses, you can check these out as well.
* Rachel Phipp's great post about sensible eating and how she's not the size of a house despite being a food blogger.
* Mireille Guiliano's fun little book about the tips and tricks of eating for pleasure and eating right.