Thinking about food.
Buying, storing and preparing food on the boat 2020.
Blog time : it’s late January 2020 and i’m looking out on my garden which is covered in a hard frost, the same as it’s been all this week : it’s mid morning and iv’e only just had my breakfast of a bacon and cheese omelette….one of the 2 meals i will have today. You see, i’m attempting a radical change in my own health and fitness at the age of 61 because i want to be lighter and fitter for sailing, especially with what i want to do next in sailing. What iv’e done is to completely reject the standard paradigm of ‘healthy’ high carbohydrate diet and i’m 3 weeks into a 3 month, at least, experiment with low carb and high fat eating : of course that has changed our food buying and storing at home because more of what i eat is in the fridge and i intend to carry that over into my diet onboard WABI”’ this year.
Totally open minded Keto group here : https://www.facebook.com/groups/524455598277075/
Like many sailors i have always carried a lot of dried and pre-prepared high carbohydrate foodstuffs such as bread, biscuits and crackers, rice, pasta , couscous and so on…..in the fresh food box you would always find potatoes and bananas for example and generally i used to plan my meals around the primary carbohydrate that day. Some examples might be that i would have pasta as my main meal so all i have to do is work out what i’m going to have with that ; tuna maybe as a cold pasta salad or maybe onion and bacon in a rich tomato sauce…..you get the idea. Dried, high carb foods are easy to store on the boat and iv’e always found it easy to manage those kinds of foodstuffs on the boat ; well, i was just going through my boat larder and realising that most of it is going to have to go, i’m not going to be throwing everything out as i think it wise to keep small quantities of prepared carbs on board for when iv’e had a tough passage and i want something quick , easy and ‘right now’. I know then that i’ll keep a pack of pasta, one of biscuits and one of crackers but iv’e really got to change everything else.
In this series of posts i’m going to plan what i will be eating on the boat and meal by meal but starting with coffee of course.
The most important meal of the day is coffee…..right ?, so lets deal with that first.
Up until recently i drank far too much coffee , according to some ; i maintain though that i only drank enough to help keep me conscious !. The main problem with my coffee drinking is that i rarely ever had just coffee but nearly always coffee with something else ; usually biscuits, cake or chocolate…..preferably all of them at once. For the first few weeks of my experiment with the Keto diet i did cut my coffee intake down to around 4 or 5 cups a day minus the biscuits and instead of going out once a week for a big latte and cake i now don’t do that at all.
In terms of coffee, it’s associated carbohydrate intake can be quite high as a large latte will have say 250-300 ml of milk and that represents some 10-15 gms of my carbohydrate intake in the form of lactose just in one drink. My first change was to swap to whole milk which has a higher fat content and the most recent change i have made is to have cream instead : the carbohydrate content doesn’t change much but the fat content goes up which is what i am aiming for. On the boat i don’t see much difficulty with having whole fresh milk in my cold store and then having either UHT milk or UHT cream if i can find it.
On the boat i’m a bit Hobbit like in my eating habits ; ‘first’ breakfast is usually coffee and biscuit (biscuits if my partner isn’t watching) in my bunk and then more coffee with something like bread and jam/PB or fruit bread . By mid morning i’m onto elevensies or snacksie’s , which is more coffee and whatever high carb snack i can find…in port it’s a case of une grande creme and pain au chocolat . This may have to change this year !
Right now i’m not eating bread at all although i might re-introduce small amounts of bread and/or crackers later in the year ; for now bread is off the menu and i’m into my 3rd week of no biscuits and that is the first time in my life ever. What i am eating is lots of bacon, eggs and cheese in the form of omelettes or simple bacon & eggs. All of that is fine even in France as they sell plenty of eggs and cheese….even if their bacon is garbage !, it just means that i’m going to have to carry at least 20-30 eggs for a 10 day cruise.
I like my bacon and eggs but i do need a change occasionally so what i’m doing at home is experimenting with low carbohydrate , camp style, cooking. The kind of thing i’m trying to make first are things like pancakes, flatbreads and what are called ‘biscuits’ in the USA but which we would regard as a form of scone over here. Iv’e picked up a lot of ideas from a great you-tuber who seems to be a sitar playing death metal Sikh from Mumbai who goes under the name of ‘Headbangers kitchen’…..both funny and smart !
In my experiments i’m doing a lot of what he suggests which is based around ingredients such as almond flour and coconut flour however those 2 ingredients are much more expensive that conventional white flour so i’m also looking to ‘cut’ my ingredients with other, non-wheat, ingredients like buckwheat (not a form of wheat) and rye. Iv’e got a small amount of knowledge about 17th and 18th century campfire baking in which a lot of that kind of thing was cooked and eaten, and i note, with very little obesity in the population.