a sustainable diet - emma plans ahead

Emma works in our marketing team and apparently has not planned her week in full since 1998. You could say she likes to live life by the seat of her pants..


Day 1

Went to the supermarket. Dawning realisation that the sum total of dinner recipes within my repertoire without meat equals 2 and mild panic ensues. Decide to freestyle it with the shopping list to tackle this diet in little steps. Did my weekly shop, then realised that the last time I actually did a weekly shop was in about 1998, which was quite a telling realisation in itself. Shop came to a sum of £33.50, which, given that I normally do my dinner shops on the hoof on my way home and spend about £10 a time, struck me as very good value. Left the supermarket feeling very excited, and embarked on my diet with a king's feast of beans on toast. Think I can do this. Had chilli con carne for dinner. That's the beef quota for the week gone then.

Day 2

Big breakfast of fibrous goodness. No signs of hunger showing yet. Lunch was falafel, in an effort to eat more green stuff. Think I might just have blown my weekly oil quota in one meal. Ate leftovers for dinner and admired my special shelf of weekly food in the fridge. Felt good.

Emma - falafel
Day 3

More fibre for breakfast. Easy. Massive plate of salad for lunch with loads of greens and goodness. Really struggling with this oil quota though, not a massive fan of dry salad so think I might need to break some rules on this. Dinner- rice, ratatouille and chicken. Delicious. Rapidly running out of meat for the week. Mild panic ensues, then I fall asleep. Not hungry yet.

Day 4

Eat toast for breakfast in an effort to get through what feels like a massive bread quota for the week. Have cheese toasties for lunch, and spend 20 minutes trying to work out what to have for dinner. Decide on risotto with butternut squash and onion. Not quite sure how parmesan fits in, but it's a meat free meal and it's relatively unprocessed so I think it sort of passes. Eat vegetarian risotto. Boyfriend, who'd been disgusted at the prospect of dinner without meat, is very pleasantly surprised and says it's actually quite nice. Result.

Emma - cheese toastie
Day 5

Fruit and Fibre is my friend this week. Not bored of it yet. Salad for lunch- again, oil is the issue here. Feel like I'm eating a lot more healthily than I do normally.

Day 6

Toast for breakfast. Am hungry by mid morning. More green stuff for lunch. Not finding this bit a struggle at all. Dinner is the challenge - thought I was due to have a quiet week, but ended up going out 3 evenings in the week, and am worrying about the food still in my fridge that I need to eat fairly quickly. Decide I'm going to make spag bol and put it in the freezer to use up the veg.

Day 7

Nothing exciting to report on the brekkie front. At lunch I was faced with an array of meat options, but instead went for haloumi and salad and it was bloody delicious. Dinner is crusted cod with homemade mushy peas and potatoes and broccoli mashed in a la Jamie Oliver 30 min meals. It's amazing, takes me a lot longer than 30 mins to make, but I bought sustainably caught fish, which seemed to make for a much better quality piece of fish.

“The diet made me think really hard about how to avoid waste- even if I couldn't eat my week's shop within the week (because of being out and about) I started to think about making food and freezing it or taking it in to work so that other people could eat it if I couldn't. I started to share a lot more, which I liked.”

“I am out and about a lot week by week and never really know when I'm going to be in - this makes for quite a lot of waste because I always buy food on the hoof and never know what's in my fridge. I am going to work really hard to improve this, but it's definitely a challenge.”