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 – 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.
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?).
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. Continue reading →
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.) Continue reading →
The 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.
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?