Friday, February 21, 2014

The teeny-tiny Kitchen Dilema

What do you do when you live in a tiny flat whose kitchen is two meters squared?

Well, you try your dammed best, that's what. Heck, they had worse to deal with in the 30's ad 40's, right?

Of Course I Can
by Dick Williams

At the moment my kitchen is a comedy alcove with an electric 4 plate hob and oven; a half size fridge with a broken freezer, a sink and draining area and two and a half foot of counter space. There's also a mini cupboard for dry food storage and another for plates and cups. When I stand at the cooker, and my boyfriend stands at the sink we are, literally, back to back. If two of us are in the 'kitchen' we can't open the fridge.

A bezonking fridge (what I would give for even a third of that space) In fact, it looks like that fridge is about the size of my entire kitchen.

I moved from a house share where I had access to a fully equipped kitchen with a gas OH THE JOY hob, a massive fridge freezer and ooodles of cupboard and counter space so the transition was stark.

These days I can't buy vegetables in bulk to save money, likewise anything that requires cold storage. I have no freezer (at present) which puts a stopper in my previous strategy of cooking in bulk and freezing portions for times when I returned home with an hunger only known by vampires and the hounds of hell.

But enough of the moaning. What I do is buy things fresh every few days, but this requires an awful lot of planning and it is Expensive. SO my plan now, instead of moving house- which is currently not a runner ;), is to look into investing in a mini-freezer. You never know, I might even be able to convince the landlord to pay for it...

My hope is that I can then at least freeze leftovers, bulk cook once more and actually buy the cheaper  frozen veggies in the supermarket. JOY!

I've been looking at two models, both just under €100 euros. While it seems a lot I figure in the long run it will save us money.  More importantly it will leave me with no excuses on those ravenous evenings to walk over to the take away and get something unhealthy. I'll keep you all posted on how it goes! Any recommendations or tips if you've been where I am with a tiny kitchen and limited resources and storage are most appreciated and encouraged!

For now, I'll continue to dream of and plan my future vintage styled kitchen...

I don't think I would avoid washing up so much if I had a sink like that...

Thursday, February 20, 2014

It's all a bit bananas really...

There's far more to the Fruit Hat than you might imagine... Perhaps it could be revived as a handy/tasty way to carry your healthy afternoon snack around with you, or perhaps not.

The lovely Carmen Miranda


Think I'll go have my banana now.  :)

Beginnings and Beginnings

"If you always do what you've always done then you
will always get what you've always gotten."

I was walking to work today, a beautiful clear bright morning, and feeling a little tired and lacking in motivation after another failed attempt at getting up early after a restless night's sleep. To put it bluntly, I was in a bit of a slump. 

I was listening to the radio as I walked, and there was an interview with a former Irish Rugby professional, one who has battled depression throughout his adult life. He talked about his slow slide into full on depression after injury ended his professional career and he abruptly released at 27 that he had no back up plan to speak of. 

It's funny how things strike close to home in the most unexpected places. I've been having troubles of my own lately, amongst others figuring out what my next step should be in my career (or lack thereof), flailing in the face of recession and doors slamming all around. I have no plan B and that is terrifying. He was flailing too. With no plan, he had no motivation to get up in the morning, having set no goals for himself he quietly floated along in a slump. Seemingly having so many options open to him, he froze at any and all decision making. Paralysis from analysis, a wise friend of mine once said, and something I feel intimately familiar with at times. 

When he was at his lowest, and wondering why he was failing at all attempts to pull his career and life together his father said to him: if you always do what you've always done then you will always get what you've always gotten. Such wise words. He had spent so much of his professional life having everything done for him and not having to make decisions for himself that he was immobile in its pattern, and especially trapped after his career was cut short.

There is so much truth to that quote, so much experience, and yet is so bloody simple! If you're not achieving what you want, the most obvious of solutions is to try things a different way, but obvious isn't always what we try first, is it? 

If your current exercise plan is not giving you the results you expect, you probably need to try something different, or put in more effort, but how many of us keep at it in the hope that something will change itself? If your diet is failing and you haven't consciously changed the kinds of foods you are eating, or the size of the portions, why do expect to suddenly drop 10 lbs? We lie to ourselves in so many subtle ways, mostly by 'just not thinking'. 

I've been there, and I know how hard it is to change the way you think. When I lost over 40lbs after college (over about four years), I made a huge effort to change my outlook and push myself out of old habits and it worked, mostly, but it wasn't without effort, setbacks and emotional difficulty. 

Now, nearly 10 years after I did things the first time round, I find myself heavier and more unfit than I want to be and slipping back into old patterns of emotional eating and letting my inner introvert have her way more than is healthy. I hope this blog will be a reminder of how far I came, what works and what doesn't for me and why it's so important to try different things if what I'm doing isn't working, in whatever aspect of life.