If there’s one thing this pandemic has taught me it’s slow down and appreciate the little things in life!

I always liked cooking and baking but the last year, especially, has given me more time to do so. It has also challenged me to come up with new ways of using ingredients, both to avoid boredom and because, at times, somethings have been in short supply.

Experimenting with food

I’m your stereotypical millennial who started baking sourdough bread (our starter’s name is Pete btw!), growing veg and herbs and experimenting more in the kitchen during lockdown.

We picked elderflower and blackberries in a local park and turned them into cordial and jam.

When it became clear that the abundance of cherry tomatoes we were growing wouldn’t have time to ripen, I googled green tomato ideas, and now have jars of salsa and various pickles. As well as a string of dried chillies hanging off a kitchen shelf.

Keeping Motivated

Then came autumn and winter and my mental health took a hit.

The pandemic has been going on for way longer than initially expected, the days got shorter, evenings darker and weather miserable.

I’ve been losing motivation to leave the house more and more.

Days have gone by without me getting dressed and it was then that I realised something needed to be done.

So …

New Year New Me- show me one person who hasn’t fallen for this at least once and I’ll give them a trophy!

Change of year always seems to bring time for reflection and thinking of ways to improve our lives.

For me the aim is to eat healthier, try and go for a walk every day, reduce my screen time and get back into gentle exercise (the gym bunny Joanna doing sugar detox and running a marathon will probably never come back and I’m ok with that).

I would be lying if I said I’m not hoping to lose some weight too, but trying not to obsess about that bit.

I’ve been a pescatarian for half my life now. I love fruit and veg, so eating healthy as such is not a big problem for me- it’s cutting out the unhealthy stuff eaten on top, but I’m working on it.

I watched an interesting video about gut health recently and it said we should try to eat 30 different plants every week. This seemed like a crazy number at first, but it includes fruit, veg, legumes, herbs and spices. I made a list and hit 30 before going into herbs and spices so I was quite chuffed to be doing something right!

The easy way of adding more veg into our diet is sneaking an extra one into every dish. On that note I dug out a spiralizer from the back of the cupboard and made courgette spaghetti.

Will I never eat normal pasta again? Of course I will, but trying a healthier substitute was an interesting experience.

I joined TikTok and Instagram in 2020 and the number of foodie people I discovered through it is incredible! I rarely follow a recipe exactly but I like the inspiration it gives me.

I’m not a planner, could never do Monday- pasta, Tuesday- soup etc.

Having said that I’m passionate about not wasting food and love experimenting.

My poor Mum is a victim of that, I think her statement “I’ve lived through hard times in Poland but never had to eat potato peels and you make me eat them now!” is the best testament of that.

My New Craze

My new foodie craze for 2021 is fermenting. We have already made beet kvass and rye ferment for a traditional Polish sour soup. I have now bought a scoby  and have called it Mary and am making my own kombucha!

I’ve been out for a walk every day since 29th Dec- some days have been soggy but I’m glad I got out there.

Being outside also means I spend less time on my phone which is a bonus right there.

In other news, I’m on day 156 of learning German on Duolingo, which was November’s lockdown resolution and I completed 3500 squats in February, raising £70.00 for Teenage Cancer Trust.

The future looks a bit brighter again!

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