I looked in the mirror and I saw a stranger
I still feel ashamed of myself when I think of that period.
But I would like to share my story with you.
5 years ago, I pulled out of my wardrobe THE dress.
The one you can’t wear anymore, but can’t give away.
It's the dress I wore on my first date with James, who became my husband and father of my children.
I remember his smile when I walked into the pub wearing this summer dress.(Our 1st date was a pub quiz!)
I felt sexy, desirable and confident.
Now, a few years down the road, I hold the dress up to me and look at myself in the mirror.
Not only have I put on 4 stones since the dress fitted me, but…
Who is this person looking at me in the mirror?
It is no longer the fearless girl that wore this dress.
The person looking back at me is sad
I looked pathetic…
“What happened to me?”
I didn’t want to think about it any longer and brushed my feelings under the carpet.
James and the girls were downstairs and I heard the doorbell. The takeaway arrived.
A few days later, my little Lily innocently asked me if I had “a baby in my belly”.
This innocuous question should have made me laugh.
But it didn’t.
It was like a knife in my heart
And crumbled the little confidence I had left.
In the same month, James was found to be diabetic type 1.
This means he will have to get insulin injections, everyday, for the rest of his life.
This was the wake up call...
Our food choices were killing us!
My whole life, from my mum's kitchen, this is how I ate!
Crisps, sweets, toast and butter.
And my family now was eating the same way.
Sugary cereal in the morning, process sandwiches for lunch, chicken nuggets for dinner...
WE needed a change.
But how? What? How to do it?
I was lost. Disoriented.
I came home to my family and told them we were making a pact.
All four of us.
We agreed we would not buy crisps anymore, at all…
It was hard!
It was literally like rehab!
We agreed on only 1 takeaway per week.
Our standard was 3 takeaways per week.
This means a lot more meals at home!
We added fresh products to the house.
And this was the hardest part.
It is great to buy tonnes of veggies and fruits, but what to do with them?
I bought a few of Jamie Oliver’s books and started watching his shows.
Watching him made cooking look easy.
But it was not!
Despite what people can say, cooking is not natural. At least not for me.
At 1st, I wanted to be all healthy.
So all the vegetables were boiled or steamed.
Steamed kale didn’t sit well with my family! (neither with me….)
Then, this simple recipe : pasta in tomato sauce, but NOT out of the jar sauce!
Tinned tomatoes, garlic, basil and parmesan. 4 ingredients.
Believe it or not, my kitchen had never seen garlic before!
Even less basil!
This tomato sauce was the tipping point.
It was still pasta, but it was quick, simple and tasty.
The whole family enjoyed it and we still had leftovers for our lunch boxes!
I began to understand how this could work for us.
Starting to be more adventurous, I cooked courgettes, carrots, meats other than mince!
Quite quickly, the girls were finishing their plate. No more fighting.
Dinner took more preparation (much much more, as it was close to zero…) but it also became enjoyable family time.
Every day. Not only on Sundays.
Without noticing it, we all shaved weight off.
It is silly to say, but we were feeling happier!
Today, even if I still can’t get into my dress (yet)… My confident self is back in the mirror.
My friends and colleagues are asking me about what I changed.
For birthdays, Christmas, I was handing out the tools that helped my transformation.
This is when Chop Chop Pickle started to shape.
I wanted to share what helped me and my family on the journey.
The tools and tips I used to optimise my time in the kitchen!
It is a process, and simple tricks can make it easier.
What to freeze today to make your life easier tomorrow.
How to make food playful?
How to incorporate veggies without anyone knowing! (it is not cheating!)
You do not need to walk this path alone.
With a little help, cooking will not only be for feeding.
It will become a joy shared with the whole family.
Creating family moments.
Chop Chop Pickle is here to support you with proven tools that made my life and that can serve your purposes.
I have gathered in one place my tools and resources that I now commonly use.
With the aim of getting all the dresses out the wardrobe.
Thank you for reading.
With all my love xxx