Three weeks ago I embarked on a healthier lifestyle. One which incorporated more exercise and cleaner food.
One which, I have to say, I am struggling with.
Not in terms of the exercise which is hard, (very hard) but intensely rewarding.
Nor with the food, I’m eating large quantities of beautifully fresh veg. I am quite literally eating a rainbow and having a whale of a time exploring Pinterest for new foods.
No, what I’m struggling with is the lack of change in the numbers.
My weight hasn’t changed, my body fat percentage hasn’t changed despite me doing all the right things (most of the time). It’s taken me a while to get my head around this fact.
Then I looked again, a weekend of over indulgence before the weigh in. And by indulgence I mean wine, a barbecue and a quarter of a (large) maltesers cheesecake. That’s not going to have pleasing effects on the scales now is it?
At that point it would have been easy to give up, run home and eat the last of the cheesecake that was languishing in my fridge.
Instead I decided to go home and get prepared for the rest of the week instead. Which meant searching around on Pinterest and finding recipes that I could make in advance. Taking on board the scouts motto of “Being Prepared”.
I roasted beetroot, boiled eggs, steamed quinoa and set it all aside in tubs to grab and go. And then I hit Pinterest for lunch ideas other than salad.
I searched and I found countless ideas, with the main lunch idea coming back to me time and time again was soup. Easy to make, packed full of nutrients and easy to store. Personally I normally head to a standard chilli butternut squash recipe of Jamie Oliver’s that I made years ago, wrote down, and is now splattered with splashes of orange soup. However it was time for something new.
The most delicious sounding recipe out there was a Spinach, Zucchini and Coconut Soup. And had I been in the UK off I would have trotted to my local supermarket and picked up all I needed, been on my merry way with a belly full of soup (sans croutons, because bread is also on my avoid list at the moment. Where is the fun in that?!)
As it is I live in Qatar and, with all good recipes, I have to change it up to suit what ingredients I can get hold off. As well as what ingredients suit the training plan I’ve been given.
Out went leeks and zucchini, in came locally sourced onions and marrows.
Out went green chilli (because I don’t like it) and in came red.
So long vegetable stock, hello chicken stock (homemade at that).
Maris piper peeled potato? Sorry you’re a bit like bread and on the red avoid list, orange sweet potato with the skin on? You’re in.
What transpired what a delicately spiced, delicious soup bursting with flavour, packed full of goodness and made from locally sourced ingredients. Something which kept me full long enough to head out to a MetaFit class followed by a brutal abs workout. Even without the bread to dip in.
So if you’re in Qatar and looking for a way to make something that is comforting using ingredients that aren’t going to break the bank here you go. And if you’re in the UK? Get the leeks and the courgettes out because Lucy’s recipe complete with croutons sounds like a winner to me.
Spinach Soup – the photos
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