Happy New Year

A new year, new plans, a blank canvas ...

Well here we are in 2016 and a happy new year to you! 

Unfortunately I'm a few pounds heavier than I was this time last month, but its mostly down to the inactivity, the irregular eating habits and extra alcohol consumed (who would have thought that a normal/small glass of wine is 160 calories and the equivalent of a slice of madeira cake, and a single shot of spirit is the equivalent of a yorkshire pudding - so many empty calories to be hidden in a favourite tipple!).  

But now I've returned to work and am no-longer sitting at home hiding indoors from the non-stop wind and rain, my activity levels are picking up and my eating habits are starting to improve.  My new favourite comfort food is sweet potato mash with some grated cheese - a little strange, I know, but so easy to take to work for lunch to heat up in the microwave, as I avoid gluten so don't eat sandwiches. 

I wasn't housebound for the whole of the holiday season and I did go in to work for a couple of days between Christmas and New Year.  We also managed a couple of bracing walks on the beach, a day out in Chichester (but I forgot my camera so unfortunately no pics) and a cinema visit with a meal in a cosy Turkish restaurant beforehand.  The colourful glass lights were beautiful and atomospheric - specially imported from Istanbul.

Before Christmas I unfortunately had a bit of a cold, which usually means a nose as red as Rudolph's and a horrible cold sore on my lips.  However, this time I have found the perfect remedy for sore and dry skin in  Burt's Bees hand salve. Yes, its meant for hands, but with its blend of botanical oils, healing herbs and beeswax its been really good for healing my sore, dry skin and now I'm better, it makes a good skin protector against the cold wind that seems to be pretty constant when venturing out these days, especially when walking on the beach.

I've dug out a couple of old yoga dvd's and am now attempting daily yoga sessions to "have more energy, strength and flexibility than ever before" - that's the claim made on the box, so we'll see.

I don't believe in January weight loss diets, I'd just rather try to make more effort to eat healthier food - then the weight will take care of itself.  So its back to the Slow Cooker Challenge.  This week its all about my Fifty Shades of Orange Curry

An easy to make, healthy and nutritious curry made from mostly orange and red ingredients (plenty of beta carotene here!)  Serve with naan bread or rice

2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove
half a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger
1 level tablespoon of curry powder
half a teaspoon each of:
  ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric
quarter a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 - 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into half inch dice
1 carrot, very finely chopped
1 can of chopped tomatoes (or carton of passata)
1 can of chickpeas
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Prepare your "base" by adding the oil to a frying pan and frying to onion for about 5 minutes until lightly browned.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.  Stir in the curry powder and other spices. 

2.  Transfer this mixture to your slow cooker.  Add the potatoes, tomatoes and chickpeas.

3.  Depending on the thickness of your tomatoes, you may need to add a small amount of water.

4.  Cook on low for 4 - 5 hours (but this will depend on the temperature of individual slow cookers, and you may need to start on a higher temperature to soften up the carrots).

Can be served with some plain yogurt to add coolness and creaminess (optional).


  1. Hello, I do hope you are feeling better. I so enjoyed your lovely photos. The restaurant reminded me of one I ate in in Istanbul; lovely lights. Thank you so much for the curry recipe. It's one of my favorite dishes. I hope you enjoy rest of your week. Pat :)

    1. Thanks Pat - wishing you a very happy new year!

  2. Happy New Year to you too and I do hope the cold has left by the front door. I will buy some of that hand salve as anything is worth a try. I've only just started to get active again after surgery and have so much weight to shift. Cutting out sugar and bread to start off with and like your idea of sweet potato and cheese. Will give this a go too! Take care xx

    1. Hi Chel - I'm sure just making a few changes such as cutting out the sugar and bread and starting to get more active again will make a huge difference :)


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