Our Autumn Voices members have been sharing how they eat well throughout June. From discovering new places and new flavours to that guilty feeling of indulgence, read how our lovely members eat well.
With lockdown and a difficult time with closure of shops, and people with more time on their hands, it is so easy to over-indulge on food and television as a pastime. Particularly if you’re older in age this can lead to other problems with mobility and diabetes to name a couple. Most days I exercise although it’s not always easy with arthritis. I learned straightforward exercises at Curves Gym and recently light exercises that the physio gave me to help with arthritis in my knees.
Having fresh fruit and vegetables is particularly important. I journey to the local Borough Market where there are many colourful displays to choose from of fruit and vegetables. They are also cheaper to buy and taste better. Transport is no problem with my over sixties bus pass! Fresh veg like carrots, peas and potatoes can make a nourishing meal if added to chicken. Swap cheddar cheese for cottage cheese with Ryvita, portions of fruit and yogurt. Also, I try to have fish during the week like tuna, and cereals for breakfast.
Eating well — now that was a lockdown challenge.
When each day began with a sense of utter disbelief: Did I dream this? Can it be happening? Are these spiralling numbers right? Is there no cure?
When all plans were cancelled one by one: But we’ll get to Venice next week. Leipzig in July? The Vendée in September. Surely?
When the choirs fell silent and the dance halls stilled; when the gyms and pools emptied and the yoga mats were abandoned; when cinemas and theatres ceased their clamour – then we turned reluctantly to the Zoom lens and the biscuit barrel.
No reason to squeeze into best bibs and tuckers. Elasticated waists and baggy jumpers became the order of the day. Flip flops stood in for kitten heels and trainers for everything else.
It’s time to creep out again, flex creaky joints and count hopeful steps; pile up fruit and salad bowls; count calories but not too carefully. It’s time to sit in our well-tended gardens if we have them and at café tables if we don’t. It’s time to blether with people we care for over a drink, a coffee, a shared scone or bowl of pasta.
Time to eat well.
Oh dear, I feel a bout of guilt coming on. I do know how to eat well. Hey, hang on a minute. Eat well, hhmm. A lot? When I was young, I used to hear the expression ‘She’s a good eater’. I believe that it meant she ate a lot, not necessarily that she had a healthy diet. Remembering those times when food was great. Homemade pies, stews, fresh vegetables – even the mushy peas were home-prepared – and the puddings! Milky rice, sago, tapioca, all cooked in the oven. Steamed puddings, jam roly-poly, spotted dick, treacle, all served with custard, made from powder (Bird’s, of course). Fruit was bought when ‘in season’ and the pleasure of it being spaced in this way made it more enjoyable. It was probably the healthiest I’ve ever been.
Over the years the various healthy diets have come and gone, including many years of vegetarianism and a wheat-free diet in an attempt to control migraines. Now, in the autumn of my years, I do eat fruit every day. Not always vegetables, although I do enjoy ‘greens’. I prefer savoury or spicy to sweet, and fish to meat. I tend to eat when I’m hungry which works for me. And if it works, don’t fix it!
Eat Well by Place and Colour
What does eat well mean? Discovering place and perspectives away from home.
First holiday since third lockdown, the Lakes, so eating well was no problem. Pubs and restaurants open (track and trace), we enjoyed an Indian, Cosmopolitan, and English. Sadly, dodgy knees prevented delightful climbs to the views over Derwentwater or burning such brilliant fayre. On holiday, right? Bus journeys across half of Cumbria, views to die for (fingers crossed), and mixed feelings of seeing sheep leaping around alive and well.
How to define eating well? No holiday diets, no low-carb low-fat, bland-colours. Simply, every day is eating well. Food enhances; food cheers; food presented well; tasting like Kirkstone Pass Inn (oh, yes). All things in moderation, except after the rollercoaster ride to Buttermere (slate mountains, winding routes). Home now, to eat well differently (local Veggie Box, local Farm Box) and pray for happy knees (to burn a trail back home).
Go to Work…
She never took to me and, it has to be said, the feeling was mutual.
I still smile at her indignation that time 45 years ago when she failed to insult me. She had informed me with Brethren ire that I live to eat, not, as she would pick, eat to live.
Hands up. I’ve always enjoyed my scran. As such a despicable enthusiast I must have spent a fortune, for good food is not cheap. It never has been nor ever will be. To produce high quality fare takes time, skill, and dedication. And instinct.
There is no better egg than from a hen who gets half her diet from grubs, insects, and larvae she scratches from the fresh dung of cattle in a regenerative agriculture scheme. Not for her the inappropriate human expedient of dried fishmeal and lime grit delivered to her cage by machine. It’s in our hen’s nature to know what’s best to eat and we can tell, when we care to. Her eggs with their vibrant yellow yolk and stiff albumen taste to us – well, they taste just sensational. Buy some and try them.
There are many choices in how to interpret the adjective ‘well’ in relation to ‘eating’. Might the meaning be ‘abundantly’, ‘copiously’, ‘to a high standard of cuisine’, ‘satisfactorily’, in which case ‘satisfactorily to whom’? There is an abundance of options.
Among all the contributors to this month’s CLANGER I must confess that I am likely to be the least qualified. You see, I am halfway vegetarian. That needs an explanation. My motivation is not religious, so I could eat pork or beef or poultry, nor is it necessary for the animal to be slaughtered according to any ritual process. But there are also the ever-increasing ecological problems resulting from raising animals for meat production.
Avoiding the consumption of meat is partly sentimental and partly due to a belief that one can remain perfectly healthy without meat – sentimental because the animal stands no chance of survival. Hunting for meat might be regarded differently light, but in fact I prefer not to be involved in killing, either actively or passively, whether something warm blooded or cold blooded like a fish.
The obvious solution is to confine the diet to vegetables, even, as some recommend, uncooked.
However, avoiding meat presents other problems which can most easily be resolved by eating fish, eggs, and dairy products. But some, such as those following the Jain or Buddhist faiths, are reluctant to remove even a prospective life. All these conflicting beliefs result in great difficulty in deciding in which direction to go.
Narrowed down, my conclusion has been to classify myself as ‘non-carnivore’, which I hope may be regarded as a reasonable compromise.
Thank you to everyone who contributed flash submissions on the June CLANGERS prompt, ‘E’ for Eat Well. July’s theme is ‘R’ for Relax, and we look forward to receiving your submissions for that.