Spring has Sprung!

I haven’t blogged in too long! My job is a little crazy* right now and although I have a few ideas for a things I’d like to write about in (moderate) detail, I can’t quite work up the energy currently – too tired from doing stuff to write about it.

blossom

A quick update:

I started strength training in January, doing an introductory course and then moving on to a longer one, focussed on the areas where I need to improve. I’ve been attending group training once a week and (attempting) to go to my local  globogym twice a week by myself. I could write a book on all the thoughts and feelings this is giving me – about women and exercise, men and exercise, how exercise is ‘sold’ to us (both men and women!), what being strong is and isn’t,  my ability (and limits) regarding learning new skills. The short version is that I’m enjoying it, it’s hard as hell and the value of a great coach (to an amateur) is they have standards for you that you cannot imagine – and they can get you there.

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A Slice of Wise Traditions 2014

Providence Farm Travelling Hen House

Providence Farm Travelling Hen House – inside the exhibition!

A few weeks ago, I excitedly bought a ticket to the Saturday morning session of the Weston A Price foundation’s annual European conference, held this year in Esher, a small, well-heeled suburban town outside London. Unfortunately, I had slept poorly the previous week, so instead of getting up early enough to attend the 9am Esther Gokhale movement and alignment session as I had planned, I grabbed another hour of shut-eye.

Christ Masterjohn - Wise Traditions UK 2014

Christ Masterjohn – Your arteries are not like blocked pipes

At Waterloo station, someone sat behind me on the train and started eating a McD’s breakfast that smelt so bad I moved to another carriage and ended up sitting across the aisle from… two women also going to the conference. We chatted briefly on the short walk to the large and fancy Sandown Race track and conference centre – they were there to learn more about feeding themselves and their children and like me, come from families with many vegetarians and low-fat adherents.

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January Catch-Up

On the one hand, how is it nearly February? On the other, Christmas is a distant memory.

 Like everybody (on this side of the Equator – all the Aussies on my twitter feed are ‘Yay summer! Breakast on the beach!’),  I’m making hibernation jokes, despairing at the weather and gazing lovingly at sunsets on clear days – so little natural colour at this time of year. Almost everything here could (and may become) a full post in the future. But until then…

I’m experimenting with resistant starch, with mixed results. The health of my innards and their possible effect on the rest of my health is something I didn’t really think about until I started eating a paleo diet  – probably because they weren’t problematic in the most easily recognised fashion (ahem). Still, when I look back now, I realise certain things (don’t we all?).

Do you even lift bro?My weightlifting course is going really well and now I’m scoping local cheapo gyms to see which I should join. Yesterday I went into one which was just one big space, rather than having the weights in a separate room (yay!), but unfortunately the weights area included a young man sitting in front the power cage, on a bench, doing some kind of tiny shoulder movement while holding dumbells. If you were doing a legit rehab exercise, I apologise young man, but it looked like you were buffing your bod, while preventing anyone from using the power cage. Poor form.
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The wagon rolls on, whether you’re on or off it

Bacon-topped burgers with broccolli

Paleo: Because burgers and bacon are health foods

I’ve had a mixed start to the year.

For Christmas and New Year (and another recent wedding), I enjoyed celebration meals to the fullest, but ate very, very clean the rest of the time. I even chose to eat some gluten-containing foods (feels very rude to refer to friends’ and family traditional baking recipes this way, but you know what I mean) with no serious after-effects. I’m happy my gut is happy. (I have been mainlining broth and fermented foods recently.) My most-fitted frock fit perfectly for the recent wedding, which makes a nice contrast to all the office diet-talk. (One colleague was bragging about drinking this yesterday. Oy.)
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2013 Review – 2014 Plans

Epping Forest - autumn foliageThe year is nearly over and thoughts turn of course, to what we have done and what we wish to do next.

I feel like I’ve chased my tail somewhat this year regarding my relationship between intention and action, as you can see here. But taking a longer term view of goals, while keeping my short-term focus on practical steps (e.g. from ‘No sweeteners this week’ to ‘Meditate every day this week, because then you won’t have stress-related sugar cravings’) is working well currently.

So, what’s next?

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Pure Taste: The UK’s first Gluten-Free and Paleo Restaurant

Contribute to Pure Taste (and see some more saucy, juicy food pics) here: Opening the UK’s first gluten-free and paleo restaurant

UPDATE: Goooooal!!!! The £30 000 mark was reached on17.12.2013. Many congratulations to Holly.

Look at this beautiful plateful!

Ginger-cured Sussex Mackerel with rhubarb compote and seasonal leaves by Holly Redman Pure Taste

Ginger-cured Sussex Mackerel with rhubarb compote and seasonal leaves

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Real Food Book Review: 500 Paleo Recipes by Dana Carpender

For those underwhelmed at the prospect of a simple protein+vegetable+fat meal, Dana Carpender, a long-term low-carber who has (as I understand it) upgraded her personal diet to an LCHF-primal template has published an intially daunting number of recipes in one place. The book begins with the obligatory description of the reasons behind paleo food choices and some food quality shopping advice. Like many of us, her flavour of paleo is 1 part biochemistry, 1 part history and 1 part personal taste and her explanations veer between the three.

On the strict side, this book contains absolutely no grains, legumes, dairy, soy, industrial seed oils, cane sugar or white potatoes. On the relaxed side, some include nut flours, flax meal, maple syrup, honey, stevia or alcohol.  There are a ton of dairy-substitute recipes made with coconut milk and many for flavoured mayonnaises, vinegars, spice blends and sauces, making this a great book for someone used to relying on poor-quality commercial versions of these products. On the flipside, a fair chunk of the main course recipes rely on these and can therefore only be attempted when you have the seasoning mixed up and ready to go. 

The chapter on snacks and foods for entertaining includes many of the simplest recipes, such as nuts roasted with herbs or spices and many variations on devilled eggs. There are also chapters on vegetables, beef, chicken, pork and lamb, vegetables and eggs. Carpender outdoes my love of both omelettes and lamb curry, by using the latter as a filling for the former. Hardcore.

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