A Little Cornish Gem

Dydh da*

I am currently in wet and wild Cornwall. We aquaplaned down the M5 with the heating on full blast, wondering whether these ‘staycations’ are all they are cracked up to be. Thankfully we are not camping, or swimming as it is sometimes referred to here in the West Country.  I did remember to pack some annoying clichés: rain never killed anyone (oh, I think it did) and there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.

This morning, with a very beady eye on the forecast, Mr Bee and I went on a bracing 5 mile trek along the Cornish Coastal path and we timed it well. Other than some slightly nerve-wracking stray cows and 2 very intrepid (mad?) runners, we met hardly a soul. While it could neither be called ‘hot’, nor ‘August-like’, we managed to stay on our feet despite the gales, dodged the showers and got back in one piece.

At this point an early lunch beckoned.

Cornwall these days has many pockets of pure foodie heaven. One of my absolute favourites is Strong Adolfo’s, a cafe on the A39 (or Atlantic Highway) which is part of the Hawksfield Cornwall site. A couple of miles from Wadebridge, it is made up of a number of units which include a fabulous speciality food store called The Arc, which stocks lots of locally sourced goodies; a beautifully curated vintage furniture store called Goose Shed; an interiors shop, Jo & Co Home, as well as an art gallery (Circle Contemporary) and The Library which Hawksfield describe as an ‘open plan office space designed for individual users who want to take the office out of the home and into a social environment where you can network and grow your business’. Sounds heavenly.

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One of the main reasons I like Strong Adolfo’s is their unfazed approach to food allergies, in my case Coeliac Disease. They take the whole gluten free issue utterly in their stride, and frankly anywhere which offers GF Frangipani Cake is going to get my vote ~ e-v-e-r-y time. The food is good value, fresh, thoughtfully put together and the surroundings are great fun.

Strong Adolfo's

We had a delicious lunch, bought heaps of treats in the deli, as well as a  new clock from Jo & Co Home. Oh and a mug with a bumble bee on it which I could not resist.

If you are anywhere near this neck of the woods I highly recommend a visit.

* “Hello” in Cornish.

Annie Bee x

Annie Bee signature

When Is A Side-Plate Not A Side-Plate?

According to Wiki, a side-plate (sometimes also called an appetiser plate, a dessert plate, a breakfast plate or a salad plate) can vary from 4 to 9 inches (10-22cm) across. Clearly if you are going to have a go at the Side-Plate Diet, size is a crucial point, although hopefully any side-plate is smaller than a normal dinner plate which you would otherwise be eating off. I have pretty much always eaten lunch and dinner on a normal dinner plate, on top of which (being a fairly greedy kind of gal) giving myself as much food as my husband (Mr Bee, who runs 6 miles a day and works full-time). The psychology of this fascinates me: I am pretty sure I felt that I ‘deserved’ as much food as he was getting. But we all know that women need fewer calories than men, on top of which there is the ever important aspect of Calories Out which I touched on in the first blog. More of that later.

The beauty of the Side-Plate Diet is this: you used to eat amount every day off bigger plates. By eating off a small plate, you are cutting down on portion size and, so long as you are not putting a large slice of coffee and walnut cake onto that side-plate, this will definitely mean fewer Calories In. Bingo. Weight loss.

Back to plates: according to Google, in the 1960s, dinner plates were roughly 9 inches in diameter. In the 1980s, they grew to around 10 inches. By the year 2000, the average dinner plate was 11 inches in diameter, and now, it’s not unusual to find dishes that are 12 inches or larger. I imagine in the 1950’s these would have been called a platter, and yet, here we are putting our dinners on them. No wonder we are piling on the pounds. I was out with a colleague a few weeks ago who, on seeing my medium-sized coffee (not the large, the size of which resembles a soup bowl) said we are now dealing with American sizes, even for coffee. She is right. A large Coke, at the cinema for example, is enormous – way too much surely.

By changing the portion size you change the amount you consume. No counting, no faddy protein-only, fruit -only, fat-free, juice -only; no meal replacements, no weighing your food, no supplements. Many of these diets (and I have tried a few) are unsustainable; you will get an initial weight loss but where are you 4 months down the line or, more to the point, 12? They are hard to make work in the office, or eating out. With the Side-Plate Diet you eat  exactly what you would have been eating, but on a small (I would suggest 7 inch) side-plate.

In my house we have blue Denby crockery (it is sturdy, practical and virtually indestructible) and it has done a very fine job for us for the last 15 years, but I like the idea of eating off pretty, maybe vintage, (maybe very modern  – depending on my mood) side plates. You do need to be careful of the size though. I looked at some from John Lewis, but when I read the dimensions closely, although called a side-plate, they were much bigger than 7 inches across.

What about breakfast I hear you say? What about soup? I use little dipping bowls.  original_set-of-four-japanese-dipping-bowls6110184745_54d485544a_z

  Alternatively you could use a vintage tea-cup. Just don’t use a normal sized bowl. Remember: portion control. The other fascinating benefit I have found is that by putting these plates and bowls out first thing in the morning, psychologically I know where I stand. It is those plates, no others. Nothing in between. I do not spend my time thinking about food, as I have parameters in which to stay – those plates. It works for me; let me know if you try it and how you get on and do send in your pics. 

Thanks for reading. Let me know how you get on.

green bee for signature copy

ANNIE BEE x

https://uk.pinterest.com/buzzanniebee/side-plates/