I was in Venice last weekend – enjoying all things Italian – my Anti-Candida Diet had to go out of the window for a few days as there was no way my willpower was strong enough to say no to all things pizza, pasta and prosecco. But now I’m back on it!
Here I am 10 weeks into my Anti-Candida Diet and I have turned a corner! I have come out of the dark hole that I found myself in for the first few weeks (maybe even a month). Life is all good again and I have made some decisions, life changing decisions.
One thing that I have definitely noticed since doing this diet is how much weight I’ve lost. I have never been overweight, and as a child there wasn’t an ounce of extra fat on me, I was one of those annoying people who could eat and eat and it never showed. In fact I was called anorexic and ripped apart because I was thin – kids are so mean. During my twenties my weight creeped up, I had a handful of flab on my belly and a few extra chins that I was conscious of, I think I did weight watchers once but soon put any weight I lost back on. The weight loss has been a bit of a bonus really as that wasn’t my aim at all. I have been doing a lot of research around sugar and realising just what damage it does to our bodies. My giving up sugar also coincided with a surge of media interest in the dangers of sugar and how it is the new danger food. I’m not one to usually take much notice of this stories but I have come to realise just how much sugar I was consuming. I’m not just talking the obvious sugary foods here I’m talking bread, yoghurts, sauces, cereal bars – just normal stuff. If you look at your average food consumption and start reading your labels you’ll see how much you are eating too. Pretty crazy. No wonder we are all sugar addicts!
So, back to those life-changing decisions – after this diet is technically over which I think is in about 2 weeks time (that’s right I’m not even counting down the days) I’m not going back. I will be welcoming natural sugars back into my diet, but refined sugar is a thing of the past for me! That’s not to say I will never let it pass my lips with the occasional treat, but there is no way in hell I’m going to let myself become so dependent on that white stuff again.
Anyway, here is a italian inspired dinner for you.
Roasted Beetroot Risotto Serves 4
Time to make: 1 hour
250g Pearl Barley
Salt & Pepper
Heat the oven to 180C, put a drizzle of olive oil in a baking tray and heat in the oven. Meanwhile, wash the mud off the beetroot and bring to the boil in a saucepan and leave to simmer for ten minutes. Chop the cauliflower to the size you would like it. Place in the oiled tray and stir to cover with the oil, add a couple of cloves of garlic, a sprinkle to thyme and place the drained beetroot in the tray too. Place in the oven and roast for 40-45 minutes – you may need to remove the cauliflower early so that it doesn’t burn.
Whilst that is roasting, soak your pearl barley in cold water for a few minutes and rinse. Make up about a litre of vegetable stock using boiling water. Put the pearly barley into a saucepan and cover with some of the stock. Bring to a gentle simmer, as the water gets soaked up gradually add more stock. The pearly barley will take about 40 minutes to cook, keep adding the stock so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the chopped leeks and chard half way through, season with salt and pepper, add a couple of teaspoons of thyme. Once all the stock has soaked up, it should be ready.
Once the beetroot is roasted, take out of the oven leave to cool slightly and peel the skin using a knife, chop the beetroot to the size you would like, stir in the cauliflower to the risotto. You can add the beetroot to the risotto now or you can add it as you plate it up, depending on how pink you want yours to look.
n.b I used leeks and chard as they came in our veg box this week, you can use any veg you have in your supplies.
Enjoy your italian inspired risotto