Ginger-cured Sussex Mackerel with rhubarb compote and seasonal leaves
And this one…
Grilled Aubergine and Pomegranate Salad with Macadamia Nut Feta
If you’re paleo, gluten-free or just in love with high-quality food, you now have the opportunity to be involved in an amazing project. Holly Redman, who founded the successful and highly-regarded pop-up Pure Taste is planning to upgrade to a permanent venue.
I think this is incredibly exciting - eating out without compromise or an awkward round of negotiation with restaurant staff!
Can you imagine feeling as good the morning after eating this as you did at the time?
Chocolate Orange mousse cake, Blood Orange Gel and an Orange Crisp
I‘m well aware this blog has an international readership (for which I’m truly flattered!), so if this post isn’t relevant to you, please feel free to scroll on by and saveyour dollars/yen/rubles/dinar for your own local food and local businesses!
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.
Apologies for not posting last Friday – I had a bunch of reports to write at work and by the end of the week needed a little break.
I went to Epping Forest last Saturday (16th) for a walk with a couple of friends. It was absolutely lovely, although of course we got lost a one stage and I had to stare at my phone for a bit as we used GPS to navigate back to the (unmarked) trail. Still the detour allowed us to have a quick play on a jungle gym in an empty campsite.
Since going back to regular yoga class a couple of months ago, my wrists are feeling much stronger, so last week’s at-home workouts included some brief, tentative attempts at table and upward plank.
I had a cold over the weekend and this is where a Fitness30 departs from a Whole30. ‘Keep going, no matter what’ is the opposite of what works for exercise and illness. I spent much of the weekend reading, sleeping and doing the minimum of domestic chores. Back at work on Monday and feeling strong, so clearly the right move.
I’m also pondering what to do next year in terms of exercise – discussing with my erstwhile dance class partner whether we want to find another one, or maybe I’ll stick with my current yoga class or maybe I’ll find a different one. I’m still weighing it all up.
On the nourishment front, my copy of Well Fed 2 arrived on Friday. On the one hand, it’s a form of torture for a marvellous cookbook to arrive on the day you can feel your appetite waning due to (mild) illness. On the other, it led me to cook one of the recipes I might otherwise have overlooked – a delicious vegetable soup. I haven’t paid retail for a cookbook for years (I normally borrow them from the library or buy them second-hand) but I’m so glad I have this one right now. I look forward to exploring it further, not least to perfect my paleo meatball-making. (Currently mine always crumble or are hard like little protein shotputs.)
I’m really enjoying everyone’s comments on their progress – what have you been up to and what do you have planned for the last week of this challenge?
This post is a little bit reply, little bit kick in the pants, and a whole lotta love. Take whatever you can use.
I told you I started WW last year about this time. The part I loved the most was blogging. Mostly I read blogs in my quest to find women like me who thought the stupid sometimes ugly stuff that I thought, mostly about food, but also about myself.
Absolutely love this post! Honest and positive about the fact that we're all on a journey.
I have been considering an early morning dance class next January, but freaking out about the 'early' part - now I feel challenged to do it. Also, I WILL wear a piece of jewellery to work tomorrow to spruce up my Friday uniform of 'whatever is still clean'.
So far this week, I have been walking, walking and walking. Plus mobility stuff, a yoga class and going up the stairs at Russell Square tube station (and then trying to pretend as I staggered into the daylight that trotting up 175 steps is business-as-usual for me. I don’t think I succeeded.) I’m off to Epping Forest on Saturday with a couple of friends. I can’t wait.
Last Saturday, Darryl Edwards posted this short video, about which I am ridiculously excited. It’s provided me with just the kind of grease-the-groove type practise I need:
Hanging with bent legs off the ground
Varying the width of my hands
Holding on with one hand, keeping my toes on the ground, but letting my weight drop.
As I’m still at the hanging and pulling-a-bit stage, at first it was odd to have my face (and, erm, some other areas) squished against the door, but my arms and shoulders felt better in just a couple of days. And if I get bored of that, I could always polish my floors with my belly. Of course, a microfibre onesie would be the best outfit for this workout, but then it’s starting to feel like the kind of weather where I should be wearing one anyway.
Finally, I’ve decided to stop trying to get a seat on the tube to work and stand instead. This cuts an hour of sitting out of my working day. Now, as Saint Katy of Happy Feet and Pelves says it isn’t sitting itself that is the problem, so much as excessive sitting. So this is just one tiny thing I can do to vary the loads on my body.
*wears overcoat like a cape and runs around with aeroplane-wing-arms.*
So far I have only missed a day of movement – yesterday. (I still did the 30 mins walking that are part of my journey to work). I decided to go to bed rather than exercise as I felt tired. (You don’t get the insulin-sensitising benefits of exercise when you work out when underslept, so I reckon I may as well nap rather than push through a workout, if I feel tired. This and many other things, I have learned from The Paleo Mom.)
The benefits of extra movement arrived almost immediately, with my yoga teacher on Monday glancing at me several times, like ‘What happened to you?’, as I stood firmly in tree pose. My interpretation of tree pose is usually palm-tree in a hurricane. I have too much side-to-side (as Marilyn Monroe might put it) to be naturally good at holding myself securely in a vertical line. I prefer balances where you make yourself vast, like half-moon or warrior 3.
Excitingly, some people beyond the boundaries of the Tuesday night tweet-up have decided to join us, the lovely Shannon and Ms M are on board and, frankly, making me feel quite lazy. This adds two folks in the US, joining those of us in England, Ireland and Wales.
My favourite childhood climbing tree – still standing!
Last night, during a particularly spirited #paleohour, after a discussion of Whole 30′s (why/why not), someone mentioned that they felt they should do something similar with exercise. It was agreed that this was an smashing idea, and I intend to participate in what we have decided to call the #fitness30.
The last time I took part in a similar a challenge, I noticed some decent improvements in my abilities and my general health. I’m going to stick to similar guidelines as April – some days of organised effort, some days of active recovery, some days of fooling around. No overdoing it.
As my calendar fills up for the winter, I would like to ensure that I can enjoy the benefits of movement, even while I (ahem) socialise a little more than usual.
I would also like, as I did last year, to start the New Year without the urge to make any health-related resolutions because I already feel so good.