Jibber-jabber at dawn #6….from parfait to pickle….

So 4 hours was all I was allowed….I’ll take it! A successful nights sleep!

I dreamt of cooking. Cooking my food for anyone and everyone, my very own restaurant once again, like the old one. It was nice to dream of cooking again, a welcome blast from the past.

Perhaps today I’ll get in the kitchen. Capitalise on this dream, create some fire……whilst doing my upmost not to burn the house down. It’s a strange one, from loving every aspect of a busy kitchen…the only place anxiety seemed to melt away…to never wanting to cook again. The very thought of picking up a knife or pan was gut wrenching and filled with fear.

Since then I have been able to cook. A breakfast of eggs & oats, the odd fish dish and stew. And now I’m even contemplating ‘just cooking’. Anything, everything. I want to make bread, pasta, pastry. Ooo sauces, dressings and flavoursome stocks. A parfait there, a lobster bisque here. Pickles and chutney. A delicate rose jelly and macerated fruits. An ice cream and a sorbet…….the list of what goes through my mind is endless!

To be back among fresh produce, tasting the fruits of another’s labour. The smells of fruit, herbs and vegetables, a welcoming entrance to the local grocer’s.

I hope this new view and mentality holds on long enough to stick. One day, a return to some form of a chef may still be achievable 😊


Nightly notion #8…. contradicting emotions….

It’s been a strange few days betwixt my ears. I wouldn’t say down or even unhappy, just different.

I’ve been cooking a lot more, it feels good. It’s a newfound, yet previously felt passion that I never thought I’d feel again. The very thought of cooking, proper cooking, terrified me. Yes I’ve made scrambled egg and a bit of chicken and vegetables, but putting thought-out dishes together has been a great success on my journey through recovery.

The feeling I mention above, is something like a sense of regret combined with ‘what could’ve been’. Perhaps even a dash of shame. I think, anyway. It seems a contradicting set of emotions, to feel joy and passion, to then let it be overshadowed by these feelings.

I think to myself, ‘it’ll pass’, but will it? Am I allowed to enjoy something I once loved? Even though I let everything surrounding this very passion, including the passion itself, crash and burn?…. It brings back the hatred I once had for myself, the shame of our family business having to abruptly cease due to my breakdown. I know they don’t agree with that and they will in no doubt tell me off for thinking these things. To this day it still sits in the back of my mind however, vegetating and growing fur.

I feel I need to get determined to overcome this irrational emotion. Kick it’s ass to the curb and enjoy anything that makes me smile. Cooking is a love, a hobby and a space in which I’m free.

One day I hope to call myself a chef again. One day I hope to come to terms with the disaster surrounding this passion and conquer it even more so than I have previously! One day I will have a kitchen, call myself the chef and I’ll smile, morning, noon and night….

Nightly notion #7….

With this morning’s pre-emptive assumption of daily troubles, I never imagined that today would be….okay. Well, more than okay, not at all bad in fact.

I didn’t write as much as I’d hoped, but no overpowering disappointment prevailed. And this evening I cooked! I’ve been getting back into my chef mind. It seems I have found the key to unlock that part of my brain, the part I had inadvertently hidden after the breakdown.

A beautiful dish comprising of sea bass with curry spices, caramelised pineapple, burnt cauliflower & cauliflower couscous, avocado & crayfish. It seems like a lot now I’ve written it down, however, it was amurrrrrrzing, if I do say so myself!


The combination of fish and fruit is something I’ve become very intrigued by.

Salmon & blueberry
Mackerel & strawberry
Scallops & melon

Some may say eww, but it makes perfect sense! Beautifully fresh fish, zingy & refreshing or sweet & vibrant fruit…. essential omega fatty acids, vitamins & minerals. And the bottom line is always the amazing flavour!

I will get round to putting these recipes and more on here soon. Dishes are piling up in my note book and what kind of person would I be to keep them all to myself?!

Eat, smile and sleep tight!

G’night y’all

Another day conquered….

It’s Sunday. After indulging last night with a takeaway – king prawn pathia, t’was a tasty dish – I wish I could go back. Not to savour it one more time or even to hit delete and choose a healthier option. But to perhaps only eat half, or maybe not have a few slices of the pizza the others had….

Yes I dipped pizza into a curry. Yes it was delicious. And yes I feel like a complete fatty. There is however a sense of achievement here, a tick amongst an array of crosses. I stopped when I was full! Tis true that it was still too much, but the old me would have eaten and eaten……..and eaten……and….well, you know where I’m going. I would’ve rolled myself to bed after demolishing the entire table, perhaps even searched for pudding!

This is where, as poop as I feel for eating it, I proved a point I’ve been trying to make. It is possible to indulge and cure a ‘want’ for something you’re trying to avoid, and I stopped when the urge was satisfied.

Indulgence was fulfilled and conquered.
It also doesn’t mean I am going to starve myself today. I’m going to eat properly and enjoy it. I may even have some pud today if the feeling arises. It’s a case of knowing what your limits are and ensuring you enjoy yourself up to that limit.

I’ve had my egg mashup this morning, with avocado and ham, a touch of greens to top it. With the above feelings of slight regret washed away, I’m feeling good. A happy tum means a happy me. I can’t stress enough how important indulgence is. It’s a release, not because my chosen lifestyle is too difficult, but because sometimes your body wants what it wants.

With a meaty, healthy wrap for lunch, a nice piece of salmon with blueberry labneh & roasted cauliflower for dinner, I’m feeling more than satisfied. It’s been a good few days of grub, gardening and the conquering of anxiety. A trip or two to the neighbouring town with family – my father and little sister Millie – without my safety blanket, my rock, my mum. It was difficult, but I held it together. They know my struggle which makes it easier.

Indulge, accept and conquer 😊😊

A change up….

It’s time for a change….again. I’ve spoken of my fear of change before, afraid to alter a routine I’ve worked hard to put in place and stick to. It seems boredom can set in however. And the body can become used to it also.

So I feel change is a necessity. Although I’m enjoying what I eat & the training I’m doing, slight tweaks will hopefully spark the flame which has started to dwindle. My body reacted really well to the increase in fats and the lowering of carbs so I’m hesitant to alter these. My protein intake seems fine also, and the fruit & veg I consume is that of a healthy amount.

So what to change?

A diet and lifestyle isn’t just about what you consume and the exercise you do. It can be about time management also. So with this being said, I plan to play with the clock. Intermittent fasting is a phrase I’m not too keen on. Fasting in general strikes the fear of God into me, I mean, to fast….no food….what?!? Anyway, I plan to eat my usual diet within an eight hour period. So let’s say 10am – 6pm…..this may change depending how it goes in the first few days.

I’m going to increase the intensity in which I workout. At the moment I’m working with lower weights and higher reps. To see what difference it makes, I’m going to implement strength training days with higher weight and lower reps. Increasing my cardio is also a change, this is one that I’m fearful I won’t stick to…..I’m lazy at heart…..and body……I’m just lazy.

So with time management and slight tweaks in training, let’s see if we can stoke the fire and see more change for the better 😊

If this works out well, I’ll be posting a food & workout plan. If it works for me, it could well work for someone else.

Breaking points and breaking boundaries….

When does an achievable boundary become a breaking point? It all depends on how it is dealt with. Today I hit both, pushing past a boundary to stare a breaking point dead in the eye.

After pushing myself to get out of the house, away from this very screen, a trip to a friend’s eatery was an aim worth pushing for. A pizzanini was on the cards – pizza meets panini. After achieving this feat I was rewarded greatly. Sitting comfortably, even ordering for myself I sipped a cappuccino and slowly DEMOLISHED that carb filled goodness!

With pooch and mum in tow, I proceeded to eat cake! It was a success! With this being said, a boundary overcome, I went fishing for more mind building progress. To venture down the street has long been an absolutely terrifying prospect. Even before my breakdown I feared it, forcing my way through to hide this irrational terror.

All this jostling with boundaries and breakthroughs is surprisingly tiring. Exhausting in fact. The street was hollering to me, however, ‘conquer me and wave goodbye to your fear’.

This was where a boundary, an achievable goal began to slowly turn to a breaking point. With no option to turn back, eyes glued to the pavement in front of me, the counting of steps began. To reach fifty and still barely halfway, vulnerability was like a pitchfork to the head.

With 202 steps on the clock, a detour was a must. Between shops to a people free alleyway reduced the panic no end.

Before it got too much, my breaking point, I reached and surpassed multiple goals. Pushed passed fears. And ultimately, took it right to the point of ‘oh shit, what am I doing!?’ before I backed down. That is the achievement here, that is a victory for Smiley.

I’ve sat and soaked in fear of these breaking points. Terrified that if I get too close to one I’ll lose my mind again. I can’t bare think about that. But this success today helped me realise that, as said before, I control me. I know where that point is and I can face it, avoid it and even narrowly dodge it if needs be.

Don’t be fearful of what could happen. Be aware of who you are, every feeling and do as much as you can up to that point of vulnerability. In time this point will move further and further past where it started. And what could happen turns into a speck. An eye squinting dot in the distance.

I’m pushing to get to a place in life where fear is a secondary feeling, behind that of intrigue, nervous excitement and anticipation. Break boundaries, wave goodbye to breaking points and sayonara to all consuming anxiety!