The partner and I have got a bit too porky in recent years, so over the past couple of months we have made a conscious effort to shed some of the lard. Naturally, we could not cut down on our fine wine intake, nor indeed our occasional consumption of characterful [link2post id=”318″]beer[/link2post], [link2post id=”428″]cider[/link2post] and [link2post id=”697″]perry[/link2post], so we have attempted to alter what we eat.
I have largely stopped eating lunch (apart from the odd [link2post id=”308″]banh mi[/link2post] from [link2post id=”413″]Viet Baguette here in Woolwich[/link2post] when I absolutely must have a quality lunch; the opening of this sandwich shop has improved Woolwich quite markedly) which I have found to be staggeringly difficult. I do not wish to whine about this excessively, as taking this medication has improved my life no end, but the anti-psychotic I am on to deal with my paranoid schizophrenia (Olanzapine) has the side effect of making one mind-bendingly, toe-curlingly hungry all the bloody time. Someone other than me might say that the hunger induced by Olanzapine makes ‘the munchies’ feel quite insignificant and utterly tolerable, but I wouldn’t know about that. The first time I was on it, about seven years ago, I’d go out and buy two packets of sandwiches for lunch, horse them down and then think “Oh I’d like some cake now”.[link2post id=”1452″][image image_id=”2208″ link=”false” align=”left” title=”Hot and sour beef salad”] Our main effort on the calorie-controlling front is eating more sensibly. The partner does not have his post-work, pre-dinner sandwiches any more and the dinners we eat are less focussed on high butter content (less [link2post id=”647″]mash, oh no!). Tonight’s (somewhat early) dinner was a perfect example: hot and sour beef salad. [link2post id=”1452″]Here is the recipe[/link2post] and see right for a picture. It is a characterful, interesting and totally satisfying dish. The ultimately pleasing ‘almost raw’, top-quality fillet steak-action that we all enjoy is present, combined with the hot and sour flavours of chilli, Thai fish sauce (nam pla) and lime juice. It may be perilously low in calories, but by cripes is it fun to eat. [image image_id=”2209″ align=”right” title=”Not all salads are created equal”] I’ve blogged about hating salad in the past ([link2post id=”1531″]here are my suggestions for improving more mundane salads[/link2post]) but in this one the salad element is quite minimalist. I would not suggest adding more lettuce, even if you are perverse enough to like it, as it is the most carcinogenic food per unit serving there is (see the last link about mundane salads). When I’ve served this and other salads of a similar character to guests I usually warn them not to eat the green bits.
So is this somewhat lighter eating pattern successful? Indeed it is! Since the end of November when we started this I have lost a shade over a most satisfactory 7kg. This is pretty good going, I feel. The partner has lost even more and I am incredibly proud of him for doing so. But sod losing weight as an excuse; hot and sour beef salad is a great dish any time you feel like a simple but characterful and highly gratifying meal.