I was confused upon looking at the blank page of my notebook with my pen ready to act, with so many ideas bursting in my head, the subject of this post was a blur for a little while. There´s so much going on in my head right now, that having to choose one single theme becomes quite a task. Something that I´ve dealt with all my life and at times has cause me to quit. However, this time I simply pushed away all the madness and chose to write about this gastronomic nostalgia that maternity seem to have brought along sides.
Getting pregnant was not something I had planned. Despite that, and everything else in my life has not been methodically thought through, with this being so, up until now it hasn´t turn out wrong, it has in fact brought quite the positive experiences. So with the support of my family, friends and the amazing/adorable boyfriend I decided to accept this new journey.
Why wouldn’t I? I’m about to be 27 years old and even if the idea of being a mother had always made sense to me at the correct time along with the perfect economic situation, in the end I just thought that nowadays thinking like that was being to unrealistic. And like my mother told me “there´s no perfect moment, a baby is always a blessing, one more mouth to feed is never that much of a problem anyways”
It was then that the “click” happened or as I call it the “gastronomic nostalgia” began. Finally, the girl that I once was decided to rise from the ashes and make an even stronger come back. In other words, being a healthy woman with the most balanced diet possible, eating from 5 to 7 times a day in small and well thought portions that please me very much. Now eating products that I have always loved and for same time almost forgot how good and necessary they actually are from our bodies, like fruit for example. I have started to go gym again and even eating this many times my weight is still the same!
Obviously, this new/old lifestyle implies new routines, like cooking at home daily, (Which my arrival in London and many hours of work has reduced this pleasure to rare and occasional moments) making groceries lists that take in account the inflated London prices, choosing a good variety of products but not putting too much on the list. Having an amount of products that, can be easily combined in different ways enabling the creation of several dishes.
Later on, I will explain how this task is processed at least by me, and how I force myself to stop and eat. Yes, force myself. Working in a professional kitchen increases the difficulty of doing so, as ironic as it may sound. If currently, I am able to do so, and believe me it is only due to my new condition (pregnancy).
The result has been extremely positive. Living with all the new emotions and reactions that the 1st trimester of a pregnancy brings, rich in digestive problems, nausea and a pertinent indisposition I end up feeling the most comfortable eating what I prepare myself rather than when I have to eat out. I have also revisited some usual dishes from back home or in the local day-care/kindergarten which I attended and can still perfectly remember the weekly menu. In addition, it helps, that my mother has been working there for the past 20 years making these a stopping point whenever I go back to Portugal for a quick visit.
Ingredients, combinations and recipes that remind me of my hometown and is appears my stomach does not reject as much as many others. By this, I don’t want to pass the idea that the foods of the Lands of her majesty the Queen isn’t pleasant, much for the contrary. I could never make such statement. Living with a pure British Chef and by watching excellent TV-programs that praise the English gastronomy and in general knowing so many new (to me ) dishes and traditions that make it impossible for me to do that.
I am simply going through a nostalgic phase that pushes me towards the Mediterranean diet, as the weather has been kinder everything tastes perfectly with same brighter, colorful and lighter dishes. For example, like the salad I prepared today for my lunch: chickpeas with tuna, olives, grated carrots, chopped parsley, tomatoes and all seasoned with olive oil and salt.
Simple, nutritious and with a special taste of home.
See you tomorrow!