Diary entry from a participant

March 19, 2015

I have now completed the log of food consumed over a whole week.  Looking at my notes it's quite clear that breakfasts are simple and do not vary much.  At the weekend they are a little more substantial, mainly because on Saturdays and Sundays  my wife and I eat breakfast together.  My lunches nearly always contain a salad element when I am eating at home, and tend to be quite light.  On the few occasions when I eat lunch out at a restaurant or cafe, or especially at a social club  the meal will be more substantial, though I favour small portions in general and am always surprised at how much other people eat!


Dinner is our most creative meal of the day.  My wife and I share the cooking of the evening meal, and as we both enjoy cooking will usually produce something quite imaginative.  We don't often follow a particular recipe, but do like to utilize a wide range of herbs and spices.  We never buy ready meals, and take-away fish & chips feature on our menu no more than two or three times a year.  We don't always have a dessert, but when we do it usually incorporates home grown fruit such as blackcurrants, gooseberries, raspberries, rhubarb, or strawberries that I have grown the previous season and stored in the freezer.


I was interested to see whether keeping a food log would influence what we ate, or what ingredients we bought, but I don't think it has.  Possibly I check the fridge and freezer a little more often now to see what needs using up, but we have always been good at using leftovers anyway.  Yesterday I had a spare chicken breast left over from the previous day when we had a chicken stir fry, so made some pastry and incorporated it into a chicken and mushroom pie.  I did have to throw out the remains of a large tub of plain yoghurt that was going mouldy, and some bean sprouts that were definitely past using, but on the whole food wastage has been very minimal.  I often eat the skins of cooked vegetables that most people peel (carrots, potatoes, plantain etc.), but draw the line at raw banana skins!  If we have a joint of meat at the weekends the portion left over will be sliced and used as sandwich filling over the following few days.


For several weeks now I haven't been able to get to the open air market in St Albans for fruit and vegetable shopping, so fresh ingredients have been bought together with other store cupboard food at Morrisons supermarket.  I prefer to shop there twice a week as some vegetables do not keep very well.  Carrots can go rubbery quite quickly, and greens turn yellow, or bananas black!  Taking photographs in the supermarket aisles is easier than I thought it would be, and so far no Morrisons staff members have challenged me.


Today I am sowing vegetable seeds for the first time this year.  I have filled a tray with peas which when they have germinated successfully I will plant out in my allotment.  I have also sown onion and beetroot seeds, and in the next few days intend to add several more vegetables to the list.  It will be interesting to keep a record of all this so that I can make comparisons in future years.




Epicurus is a participant in the Offset Study



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