Things lately

I thought I’d do a post on some ‘stuff’ I’ve been enjoying lately, like books, films and, most importantly, food! (Psst! It’s my birthday today too!)

Books

Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand

Unsurprisingly I like reading books about running. I also like reading books that later become films. I can’t remember how I came across this book but I found out it was going to be made into a film directed by Angelina Jolie and the premise sounded incredible (and had a runner in it).

Unbroken book

It’s a non-fiction account of the Olympic track runner, Louis Zamperini, who was taken prisoner by the Japanese during World War II. “Epic” doesn’t do his story justice. The journey of his life is gripping, harrowing and inspiring. I absolutely cannot wait for the film now (apparently to be released towards the end of the year). The book was hard to read at points considering what he went through as a prisoner of war but it is a fascinating read that I definitely recommend.

The Sports Gene: Talent, Practice and the Truth About Success – David Epstein

In a nutshell, this book explores the arguments surrounding whether it’s nature or nurture as to why some people become successful athletes.

Sports gene book I love books like this, based on research and published papers. However it can get a little heavy going when it goes into details about DNA and particular genes. I also found it a bit meandering in it’s arguments and sometimes a little tedious as it is so heavily research-based. But there were many interesting findings and anecdotes about athletes and ‘gifted’ people which were fascinating.

Films

Food Inc.

A relatively old film (2008) but still very relevant. Food Inc. is a documentary looking at the American food industry. It covers farming, processed food, animal welfare, environmental issues…sounds heavy-going but it was actually quite a good watch in terms of entertainment (not sure if it’s ‘PC’ to call a documentary high-lightening some hard-hitting issues entertaining but hey).Food_inc

Scary doesn’t quite cover many of the issues raised. Firstly, the condition in which animals are reared is horrific. Lack of space, sunlight, hygienic conditions and respect were clear. And also how Big Business is hand in hand the government and how much control they have over the market as a whole.

I live in the UK but a lot of the points raised are very relevant to us in Britain as well. It’s easy to assume we’re “better” but I’m pretty sure we’re ticking a lot of the same boxes.

Maybe clichéd to say this, but this really hit home to me. It’s really changed my opinion on the meat I buy. I do try and get free-range where I can but cost tends to be my biggest factor. Personally I don’t think this is right. If we can’t afford as much meat as we’ve been having then maybe that’s not such a bad thing to reduce down a bit…

Food

I haven’t posted anything about food (other than cakes and meals out) in a while. Mainly because my meals have been quite boring and uninspiring. But I thought I’d show a few choice meals I’ve been enjoying lately. Funnily enough some of my running club friends have been uploaded pictures of their meals on Facebook which is always interesting! I love seeing what people eat.

Gammon and Eggs

Gammon and eggs Quite a standard easy meal. Grilled gammon, two fried eggs, couscous and veg. Sometimes I have couscous or sometimes I go without depending on how hungry I am.

Sausages and Sweet Potato Fries

Sausages and sweet potato Free-range chipotle sausages, oven roasted sweet potato fries and a kale, carrot, onion and courgette mix with onion gravy. Another easy meal and very satisfying. I’d like to say I made the gravy myself but I got an ‘add water’ variety.

Creamy Pumpkin Chicken

Creamy pumpkin chicken Right, before you judge this on it’s appearance, it is DELICIOUS. Basically lots of vegetables (courgettes, onion, kale, mushrooms) sautéed with chicken breast chunks. Then half a tin of pumpkin puree and a big dollop of cream cheese – it gives it an incredibly thick and creamy sauce. Honestly, it rocks my world. My original recipe can be found HERE.

Duck Egg Scramble Salad

I bought some duck eggs the other day from a local farm and wasn’t sure what to do with them.

Duck eggsThe yolks were huge! 

So I just scrambled them with some random veggies and then had that in a salad.

Duck egg scramble salad It was a fairly monster salad and I was stuffed afterwards. These eggs are quite big so probably didn’t need three…FYI they didn’t taste that different to normal eggs.

Feta Chicken

Feta chickenThis is an absolute weekly staple meal in our house. I have shared the recipe before HERE, but now make it in the slow cooker now. Basically you add chicken and the tomato sauce to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Then you crumble feta over the top and let it melt for about 5-10 minutes. Then serve!

I have nothing special planned for today as I’m working. I’m writing this on Wednesday so I actually have no idea what my birthday will bring. Fingers crossed for lots of cake. Because what’s a birthday without cake?! Not a proper birthday that’s what.

What have you been reading or watching lately?

Do you like documentary films? I’m not a fan but we got Netflix and Food Inc. seemed interesting.

What meals are staple meals in your house?

18 thoughts on “Things lately

  1. I’ll have to check out Food Inc on Netflix this weekend. It does sound interesting. We always buy free-range eggs and I try to buy local meats when possible, but meat is so expensive I do have to go for the cheapest at times. I must make more of an effort to buy free-range everything though.
    Unbroken sounds really interesting as well. A few years ago, my Great Uncle died and he had been a Japanese Prisoner of War. My Dad told me that he had never ever spoken about it, not even with his wife or children and I did a little research into it then. It sounds so awful, I can’t believe what they went through. Horrible.
    Your meals look great. I love the idea of gammon and eggs. I’m all about quick and easy on a school night and that won’t take long to rustle up one night next week.
    My Dad has a large pond with ducks so we always grew up with duck eggs, and duck for Christmas dinner. It used to upset me when I was younger – stealing the baby ducklings that hadn’t hatched out yet on our pond, but if you let them hatch early on in the year they never survive, so I was OK with it by the time I was about 6 and duck egg hunting was always fun!

    Hope you have a lovely birthday and Ben spoils you and you get fancy cake to celebrate too! 😛
    Mary recently posted…My first vlog: Wedding hair and makeupMy Profile

    • Food Inc really opened my eyes. Definitely worth a watch. It’s easy to forget where our food really comes from.
      I’m sorry about your Great Uncle. It’s sad because I knew barely anything about POW’s in WWII. We didn’t get taught that in school and it’s a real shame.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…When I’m not eating cake…My Profile

  2. Trying one last time to comment (don’t know why it’s not letting me). My boyfriend says Anna is the best every time I make that chicken because he knows I got the recipe here, which might give you a good chuckle considering he has no idea what your blog is or who you are besides your name.
    jessiebearwhat recently posted…Just Stopping ByMy Profile

  3. Happy birthday to you!!!!
    I do agree that the USA is way worse than the UK for animal conditions, and also pumping their animals with hormones- when I am in the USA I avoid dairy as much as possible as it is so full of growth hormones. I liked forks over knives too- and another one about how a man had some sort of disease and managed to cure it by juicing. Can’t remember what that one was called. I have trouble in that I watch something and find it so interesting, and then a few minutes later can’t remember anything…
    That book sounds really interesting too, although not sure I could read it- my step-grandad was a Japanese POW and he was very scarred by it (not surprisingly) so I think it would bring back memories of him now (he died a few years ago). I do like books that are films, although I prefer to read the book first as otherwise I just picture the actor instead of using my imagination. Although I read The Great Gatsby after seeing the film, and loved it.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Taper timeMy Profile

    • Forks Over Knives sounds interesting! Might try and find that. I do love documentaries – though some can be heavily bias and you never really know the true other side. But I’ve been concerned about antibiotics and animal welfare for a bit so this gave me the push I needed.
      I haven’t seen The Great Gatsby but I’ve read the book. The book was OK but the trailer for the new film looks amazing and I’ve been dying to see it (especially after the 5 Live Review!)
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…When I’m not eating cake…My Profile

  4. I should really watch Food Inc although I can guess what stuff is covered in it. I buy almost all of our meat as organic now, the cost is definitely an issue but I try and balance that out with lots of vegetarian meals too. Staple meals in our house are omelettes and hashes topped with fried eggs, salmon in various guises and spaghetti with beef sauce, with courgette pasta for me!

  5. Happy birthday!! I’ve been missing your food pics so this was a nice change! 🙂 I read Unbroken too and thought it was absolutely incredible. I had no idea what POWs went through, and now I always think back to that book. I can’t wait for the movie!
    Chelsea @ Chelsea Eats Treats recently posted…Banish The GuiltMy Profile

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