Mini holiday in Adelaide

My family lives in Adelaide, and last week I hopped on a plane for a two-day mini holiday there. It was fun! Two night might not seem like much, but it’s amazing how much (mostly food-related) stuff you can cram in in the short period of time.

foodland adelaide

This was one of the highlights from the trip  – Foodland, a supermarket of your dreams! I’m such a food geek. But live piano music? Beautifully displayed organic produce? Seriously, they just make my day.

foodland adelaide

Anyway, short holidays are great, because it means I can still manage my diabetes pretty well. Here’s what worked for me:

(1) Packing my own food: On the way to and from Adelaide, I packed my own meals, so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat carb-rich (and expensive) food when on the move. Extra “fun” stuff to treat yourself always helps – like avocado, salty cheese, falafels, extra mayo on the salad…

(2) Having a supportive family. Once in Adelaide, my family was extra supportive of my very limited diet.  My mother had stocked her house with organic vegetables, tofu, and plant milk. A food lover herself, she probably has more spices and exotic plant-based ingredients than  I do. It was easy for me to cook and eat the kind of food I normally eat at home.

mulberries

And check out my mother’s gorgeous mulberry tree. I enjoyed these as a snack all through my stay there. A nice break from my usual snack of nuts, more nuts, and coffee.

My brother’s family was awesome as well. Even though they are omni people, they invited us for a fully vegetarian, low-carb dinner from this book and this. I felt so spoiled. The dishes were all delicious, particularly the mushroom pâté and quinoa salad!

vegan eats food

(2) Exercise-wise, I did manage fine. I walked everywhere I could – up and down airport terminals, taking the stairs instead of elevators, roaming the platforms while waiting for my train. I also went on solo walks at night. Because really, every step counts (as anyone with a pedometer knows).

(3) Shopping temptations? Adelaide is food heaven. I toured not one but two Foodland supermarkets, the Central Market, and a Sunday farmer’s market. Oh, and I also did a Haigh’s chocolate factory tour (how can I resist?)

Strangely though, I wasn’t even tempted to buy and eat lots of unhealthy stuff – as I normally might have been. Maybe it was my altered taste buds now naturally craving more savory, plant-based food. Maybe it was the fear of spiralling back to bad health again.

Maybe a bit of both… But it sure did feel wonderful to have your blood sugar level under control throughout my trip.

strawberry mulberry tart strawberry mulberry tartLR_1

See, I made a vegan mulberry and strawberry tart, and I didn’t even want to eat it myself. Very strange!

 

 

 

 

Halloween

Happy Halloween, everyone! I’m not a Halloween kind of person actually. But when your kids are so excited about a school Halloween party, does a parent really have a choice but to go along with it? My ex got them scary costumes, and I – reluctantly – agreed to help with the “best curved pumpkin contest” bit. There were a couple of obstacles though.

First, we couldn’t find any Halloween-like orange pumpkins. We drove around town knocking on different veggie shops and supermarkets – but nobody had any, not even for display. Seriously? I mean, come on veggie shops! Where is your holiday spirit? So our only choices were (1) Japanese pumpkins (too ugly and bumpy, what with green and brown patches on the outside), (2) Kent (smooth skin, but boring beige colour, and they were too huge anyway), or (3) butternut squashes. The choice was kind of obvious. Butternuts were cute, came in just the right size for the kids, and had a smooth orange-y skin. First problem solved!

Second, I had no idea how to curve a pumpkin. I’ve never done it or seen it done before. But then – Youtube to the rescue! After watching three random pumpkin-curving tutorials, I felt confident enough to give it a go.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The best part was seeing the kids super excited and engaged! Even I got into the activity and enjoyed it a lot. I helped quite a bit with sharp knives and linoleum curving chisels (which I conveniently had in my craft supplies). But my six-year old grabbed a chisel at some point and started curving on his own – and he was surprisingly careful. I should just trust my kids more.

pumpkin curving for halloween

Even my ADHD daughter stuck with the activity for two whole hours.

pumpkin curving for halloween

And how cute are these pumpkins when lit up at night?

roasted pumpkin bits

Here are the pumpkin shreds that got scooped out. After the kids went to bed, I roasted them with a bit of olive oil. They were so sweet and tasty, I ate nearly a quarter of them straight out of the oven with a spoon. The rest, I pureed in a food processor and….

sourdough pumpkin bread

Made them into pumpkin sourdough bread and scrolls the next day. Mmmm. I am loving the 100% whole rye flour and wholemeal spelt flour combination. I also threw in some almond and soy pulp from making milk.

pumpkin seeds roasted

I saved all the seeds, too. Roasted till crunchy, they make nutritious, tasty – and free! – snack. I’ll be enjoying these healthy and nutritious jack-o-lantern offcuts today, while my kids will no doubt be eating too many of those supermarket candies at the party tonight. But so it goes!