If you have been following me through my blogging challenge you will be well aware of how important good nutrition is for me. And I am sure that because of that you will be able to imagine just how horrifying it was for me to wake up last Thursday to discover that my fridge-freezer was no more.
In truth I knew this event was imminent but not that imminent. The signs were all there: ice a foot-deep inside the freezer (it was meant to be a no-frost appliance), crazy amounts of condensation in the fridge compartment, loud clonking noises, rust everywhere and the vacuum seal not so sealing anymore. Having read the installation instructions for the new one I now wonder if placing the jars of Kombucha on the top because it was warm played a part in expediting the demise of my appliance. Anyway, it happened.
In my infinite wisdom and perhaps a mild panic attack I somehow managed to not see that there wasn’t a next day delivery option available on the website where I purchased the replacement from and so I spent the last week (just as the weather turned really mild) without a refrigerator and a tonne of fresh food just delivered. To add to my woes I am almost half way through my “Project 8” and eating correctly and at the right time is imperative if I want to shrink and shed fat at that level.
What to do? Make a plan to either use or preserve what I had as long as possible.
First up were vegetables like baby spinach and mixed baby leaves: they tend to wilt very quickly, mines are organic but the company that delivers them has them flown in from Italy so by the time they get to me they are already a couple of days old and need to be eaten fast at the best of times. The calories they provide are negligible so I didn’t hesitate to eat almost all of them in one go.
Second was the meat I had in the freezer. Thankfully because there was more ice around the top and sides than space both the turkey and the pork were still frozen but defrosting so I decided to cook them and then store them in an air tight container resting on an ice pack. I then went on a very high protein diet for a few days eating insane quantities of turkey breast slices at each meal just so I wouldn’t have to throw them away.
Up to the weekend the only casualties were the milk and the spring greens that decided to decompose inside the fridge compartment because I didn’t realise it was actually keeping everything really warm. At this point I removed everything and stored it on the table trying to think which produce you would find in the non refrigerated aisle at the supermarket. Onions, garlic, some green things, peppers, sometimes tomatoes and herbs. And eggs. And vacuum packed cheese. As you can see below.
The hardest thing to do was deciding what to eat with what I had on the table before the local store closed at 8pm so that I could go and fetch just the bit of meat or fish that I needed. As the days went on, eventually, the ice in the freezer melted too but over the weekend it was a bit like going for a picnic with a giant ice box in the middle of the kitchen.
It’s always nice to have a takeaway on a Saturday night and it was even nicer on this occasion because it took the pressure off us to find something to cook at the last minute. But on Sunday, after Hamilton got bitchslapped by Rosberg at Montmelo, I decided to celebrate by creating a “whatever is still edible” kind of dish. I decided to use up all the remaining home made pesto with some pasta and the surviving turkey breast to make a highly modified version of a carbonara. To make it healthier I added the only 4 non-decomposed spring greens leaves to the pasta and fried an onion with the turkey breast. Plus raw eggs and cheese. Eating starches as part of the last meal of the day has two advantages: 1. it helps sleep better, 2. it ensures that I don’t wake up feeling ravenous the next day. Amazingly, this random combination of ingredients worked incredibly well and we’ll make sure to repeat the experiment soon, just because.
Then, of course, come Monday I ran out of almost everything, especially time. And so I thought it would be a good idea to have a go at intermittent fasting. This is usually done for extended periods of time either side of sleeping time, i.e. fasting between say 8pm and 11am, however for me it had to be breakfast early am and dinner late pm with only water during the day. The advantages of intermittent fasting are that a) it’s convenient at super busy times and b) it helps raise the production of human growth hormone which is responsible for muscle growth and fat burning. I tend to have whey protein mixed with cocoa powder and nut butter for breakfast, this combination provides me with the protein and amino acids I need to ensure I don’t lose my muscles and keeps me satiated for up to 6-8 hrs even when I do a lot of physical work like Thai Yoga Massage treatments, gardening, etc.
I cannot do this for more than 1 or perhaps 2 days in a row without my metabolism fighting back while I am busy running around all day juggling clients, emails, animals and home. However, when necessary, it’s a brilliant way to boost my fat loss while at the same time giving myself room to enjoy whatever I fancy for dinner without exaggerating with portion size or having to worry about calories reduction. This will happen naturally during the course of the day whilst also forcing my body to use excess stored fat for fuel. It works a treat and the difference it makes in body composition is immediately visible and “Project 8” got a mahoossive boost instead of a blow from my cooling woes.
And being that I am writing this between “blogging Tuesday” and “Thankful Thursday” I can’t help but think about how much I take the luxury of having a fridge and being able to preserve my food for granted. Yes, for a moment I thought my whole world was coming to a warm end, there have been challenges during the past week as I had to incorporate this new variable into my daily life but I soon got used to it and tried to frame the whole situation as “what would my grandparents have done in the same circumstances as they often were during the wars?” or “if I had to live in a tent (not glamping) what would I do?”. Going basic has in fact been amusing and have re-discovered that sticking a bottle of cider on a bag of ice cubes is actually better than keeping it in the fridge.
By the way, the new fridge has now arrived. It looks monolithic all in black (matte of course). And having had enough time to cook earlier I was able to create another “whatever is still edible after a week” kind of dish: this time it was a celery, carrot and dried porcini risotto with scrambled eggs (protein), a generous portion of Parmigiano Reggiano and the last splodge of warm Vermouth Bianco. Hic!