This recipe was actually one of my first when I ventured into the unknown world of blogging last year but I didn’t take photos back then so I’ve decided to spruce it up and do it again. I was watching the Afternoon Show yesterday and they were talking about healthy eating, fish of course was the main feature and I was shocked to learn that 48% of Irish people don’t eat fish, I was aware that we don’t eat enough fish in this country but never realised it was that bad. It’s quite shocking really as we live on an island and I can’t imagine life without fish!! In saying that I never really ate it until I met Bru and travelled to Italy where fish is a major staple in their diet and chicken isn’t!!!

Speaking of diets everyone seems to be on one, especially in my family for the upcoming social event of the year  – my sister’s wedding!! I can happily say that I never diet anymore and haven’t for years even after having the princess I just returned to my normal weight. Now I’m not bragging here because it took me a long time to get to this stage with lots of disastrous diets and lots of unused gym memberships and still weighed in at 12 stone at my heaviest, which is pretty heavy for me! The most important thing I have probably taken from the Italian culture is their attitude to food and the understanding of what they eat!!

The main difference I noticed when I met Bruno first was how he would never spoil his appetite, he would much prefer to wait for his dinner and enjoy it rather than snack beforehand and then not finish it. We as Irish are always amazed by how much the Italians eat in one sitting, starter, pasta, main course and then a little sweet to finish it off. I didn’t understand it for a long time and could never get further than the pasta course but eventually after it being highlighted to me by numerous Italians (they say what they think btw) I was always snacking. I had this insane need to fulfill my hunger on the spot, I could never wait for my dinner. I’d start to shake and feel weak and convince myself I’d never last until dinner because I’d probably die from starvation:) so I’d have a slice of toast or something to keep me going, never a piece of fruit of course, always a carb!!!!Over the years I’ve gotten rid of this habit and will happily wait for my dinner and eat as many courses as I like without the guilt!! 

these are the main changes I’ve made to my eating habits over the years:

 – I rarely use cream.
 – I gave up toast, a slice of white toast here and there is a killer!! It was one of my main snacks.
 – I rarely buy low-fat, I feel I’m being cheated and that it’s not the same so therefore depriving myself which used to make me want full fat more!! I was a terror for buying low-fat biscuits and crisps which goes completely against everything because if you feel the need for them just have the full fat in moderation. I used to convince myself because they were lower in fat I could have them everyday.
 – I never calorie count or look at the back of a packet.
 – I gave up joining gyms, I think I took out full membership 3 years in a row and ended up getting heavier because I ate more because I was going to the gym 4 times a week. At the time I blamed my metabolism and my “big bones”:), it was never the food.
 – I never deprive myself, I always have starter, main course and dessert when I go out for dinner!! I have a packet of crisps with a sandwich if I feel like it but you know what the amazing thing is before I would have wanted a packet everyday for lunch when I wouldn’t let myself whereas now I might only have them once a week if even without even thinking about it!!
 – I don’t really drink fizzy drinks – maybe the odd 7up with dinner.!!
 – I don’t eat convenience foods or pre-packed meals!! In my dieting days I would buy weight watchers meals or the likes but you’re better off just having a piece of fresh fish and salad or a bowl of pasta with tomato sauce!! I can’t do brown pasta or rice either, I know it may be better for you but it’s not for me!! I’ve actually never seen brown bread in Italy but then they don’t eat sliced pan like we do here!! 
 – we always have an Italian breakfast which normally consists of a cappuccino and croissant or biscuits so I never feel the need for anything sweet as I’ve satisfied it first thing in the morning!! I know, I know I’m probably a nutritionist’s nightmare but hey they all do it in Italy and they are supposed to have one of the most healthy diets in the world so I’m with them!!

Now just in case you are thinking I’m a size 0 food angel I’m far from it and I do have my vices like everyone else but I just eat them in moderation – doritos topped with salsa and melted SQ superior range cheddar anyone???? mmmmmm:) , the most important thing for me is not even about weight loss it’s to have a healthy relationship with food! If I do need to lose a few lbs I just cut down on my portion sizes, cut out alcohol, have 2 biscuits instead of 4 in the morning;) but still eat the same food so losing weight isn’t an issue. Whereas before I’d be starving myself, cutting out everything I love, counting calories, eating tubs of weight watcher’s ice-cream, thinking about food constantly, dreaming about it in my sleep and generally feeling absolutely miserable!!! The main thing I have learned form the Italian culture is to understand my food, relax and enjoy it, never feel guilty and most importantly BE HAPPY !!   

I love swordfish and had it for the first time on my first visit to Sicily a few years back where it is a speciality, the last time we were there I was pregnant with the 10lb princess so I couldn’t eat it and it killed me as I love the smoked swordfish as an antipasto!! Superquinn often have it in stock and we regularly have this recipe, it’s quite a meaty fish so the best way to eat it is as simple as you can, it doesn’t need a heavy sauce so this marinade works really well with it and most importantly it’s healthy!!!


what you need:

 – 1 large clove garlic sliced very thinly

 – 1 chilli chopped finely

 – flat parsley chopped

 – juice of 1 lemon

 – olive oil

 – sea salt and black pepper

 – 2 swordfish steaks

what to do:

 – mix all of your ingredients together in a bowl and pour half over your fish and leave to marinate for 20-30 minutes if you have time.

 – heat a grill pan and cook your steaks until cooked though.

 – serve and spoon the remainder of your dressing over your fish.

 – we usually have a simple rocket salad on the side.

buon appetito!!!

p.s. sorry for the long post and probably boring the majority of you:(

p.p.s. – what things could you change about your eating habits???

The main thing I need to do for 2008 is eat more fruit and drink more water and give up those damn doritos:)