There is so much to catch up on here on this poor, neglected little blog. Lots has been happening at Creatively Paleo HQ – first up is the new improved edition of our paleo ice cream recipe ebook – it now comes with vegan friendly recipe bases, which is great news for anyone who wants delicious, creamy icecream but without the eggs – oh, and it’s A LOT easier to make too!
Secondly, and perhaps more excitingly, is the launch of Ayni Creatively Paleo Chocolate! There is so much to tell you about the hows and whys of this new venture, so go and grab a brew and we’ll provide the choccies…
Jax posted this meme over at her blog and as I can’t seem to fnd the wherewithall to write a blog post at the moment, and as February is about to drop off tbe radar I thought I’d play.
What’s your favourite way to relax?
I’ve just written a comprehensive how to self care page on my website, mostly filled with ideas I need to listen to myself! My favourite way to relax is one of my top tips… in an epsom salt bath with a few drops of sandalwood essential oil and a good book.
What’s your best standby quick meal?
One pot chilli – though probably not that quick by most people’s definition!
If you could change one thing about the world today, what would it be?
Right now, my heart and head are filled to bursting with LB’s story, and the terrible treatment meted out to people with learning disabilities, so here and now I would change the ‘care’ system and people’s attitudes towards those who are ‘different’.
What’s the best piece of advice you have to give?
Never be afraid to ask questions and never accept an answer until you have explored all of the potential answers yourself first.
Red or white?
Red without question. If you’d said red or black I wouldnt have been able to choose though😉
What moment in history would you choose to visit (you can’t change anything while you’re there) and why?
The night the Berlin Wall came down. It was the cross over into my 18th birthday and I was in cold, damp Bradford. I’d moved back from Berlin in the August and never imagined the wall would fall. My parent’s rang me on my birthday from the Brandenburg Gate section of the wall. I was very jealous.
Favourite author and the book of theirs you most enjoy?
Fiction wise it would be Mary Wesley. I love all of her books, but I identify with the main character, Sophie, in The Camomile Lawn quite a lot, and it has been my go to comfort book for about 23 years!
Which fictional character would you most like to be or meet?
Hmm, not a fictional character, but the character that is Manda Scott’s fictional approximation of Boudica.
What song is guaranteed to get you dancing?
Ha! Round my kitchen – countless songs! On an actual dance floor…. hmm … Sometimes by Erasure, Don’t Leave Me This Way by Jimmy Sommerville, Here Comes The Rain by The Cult… The Cure’s Lovecats, and these days probably anytging by Mika, The Scissor Sisters or Paramore! Sorry, can’t commit to one song!
What’s the question I should have asked you – and the answer?
Eek, don’t like this question! Reminds me too much of creative writing at school and I was crap at that! Hmm…. Maybe What do you want to do when you grow up? To which I’d have to say: be able to answer that question!
Favourite place in the world and why?
Oh this is hard. I’ve lived in so many places and love lots more. Pembrokeshire and County Kerry would be top contenders, but the place that I yearn for is Berlin. I think because it was where I was based for my mid to late teens – it was where I developed a real sense of independence, where I met my first boyfriend, where I had my first job. It was such an exciting place, full of intrigue, and great music concerts and erm, men in uniform…! Russians and the Black watch (who I worked for briefly one summer) were my favourite uniforms there. I havent been back since 1990, and I know it will have changed enormously when I do get to go back, which I must admit worries me a little, but I have a real need to tread the streets again and indulge in a (non paleo) currywurst mit pommes from a street schnelly.
So now I think I’m supposed to come up with some questions for YOU – whoever you are!
1. Why do you blog?
2. Which film did you last cry at?
3. What song lyric best sums you up?
4. What is your favourite smell and what memories does it evoke for you?
5. Fact or fiction?
6. Who annoys you most Peppa Pig or Lola from Charlie and Lola?
7. What’s your poison? The thing you view as your biggest vice but just can’t (or wont) give up?
8. Where would you build your dreamhouse, and what style of building would it be?
9. How or what do you love to create?
10. What would your dream festival line up look like?
11. Train, plane, automobile, boat, bike or shanks’s pony? What is your favourite mode of transport and where would it take you if distance and money was no object?
Leave me a comment if you join in, would love to read all about you!
PS I’ll add links in to this post later this evening.
I’m not even going to attempt to justify my lack of success at sticking to my own goals. It is a personal failing that I desperately want to alter. I think I can do it too, but I need to do it slowly, bit by bit, instead of all at once.
I am succeeding at the meal planning – 3 weeks of planning 21 meals a week. It’s working more as we go along, which makes sense as we are gradually developing a new habit. It is definitely helping in the spending department; our almost daily trips to the coop which invariably ended n a £15 – £30 spend (eek!) on top of our weekly shop, have ceased as I know exactly what we need to get for the whole week. Result!
I’m also managing to sustain two daily practices which give me enormous comfort. One is a 365 photo challenge that my friend and I decided to start at the winter solstice. It’s got its own hashtag on instagram and quite a few other women have joined in. If you’re curious search out the tag #365awarealtars – it’s a very thought provoking gratitude practice. This is yesterday’s entry.
The other one is the crochet mood blanket – again it has its own hashtag on IG #crochetmoodblanket2014. It’s no wonder this brilliant idea went viral as it’s very gratifying to create a square in a wool that matches your mood. I’m really looking forward to seeing if there are any clear mood patterns that develop! I create my square every night just before I go bed, and it is very soothing – I can hook the days frustrations and joys into each stitch, and by the time I’m done (generally 10-15 mins) I find I can settle down to sleep with a clear mind. This is nothing short of miraculous as my brain works overtime particularly at night.
I’ve mantasty lip balmaged to put up 4, i think it is, new recipes so far this year, including a super simple but very tasty lip balm, which I’m very pleased with. I need to do some site organisation in the next week or two, which frankly excites me as much as the idea of a root canal! No doubt I will procrastinate and find excuses not to do it, but it will get written on my trusty white board from whence it will quietly nag me every day until it get’s done!
We also managed a bit of a mini adventure at the weekend, and have promised ourselves we will make sure to have a least one adventure a month, which I hope will help to calm my itchy feet. I had fun playing around with some photos I took too, and it’s made me want to get my proper camera out to play again.
So that’s about it for this week,I hope that the next time I blog I will be able to celebrate some more successes in the time and life management department.
I’d love to hear how you organise yourself – hunts and top tips in the comments box would be fab.
I don’t know about you, but for us 2013 whizzed by in a flash! Even my 10 year old can’t believe how quickly it went by, so it can’t just be a phenomenon of the aging process!
Looking back on the year, I’m staggered by how much I achieved – given I have always been notoriously bad at sticking with things, the fact that my website has grown as it has is nothing short of miraculous! Having created 2 e recipe books to boot, well, it blows my mind to be honest!
My cooking abilities have definitely improved these past months, and I have plans to move further beyond my comfort zone in the kitchen in the coming months.
I have lots of plans for 2014, many of which hinge on getting to grips with the issues I have around organisation. I will be blogging on a weekly basis, and adding 1 – 2 new recipes to the site each week. I think these are realistic plans, though with my waxing and waning enthusiasm they are also reasonably challenging! As part of this drive to become more organised, we are using weekly meal plans, something I find VERY difficult to stick with. So far though, forcing myself to stick to them is making life much easier, and is freeing up more time. Once we get properly into the swing of things it should also help to save some pennies too. I intend to dedicate a section of the website to meal planning, with links to the recipes of course, and eventually shopping lists.
I realise that I am very lucky to have plenty of time to spend cooking, but many of you have very tight schedules that don’t afford the luxury of hours in the kitchen, so I want to be able to offer quick, healthy, easy to prepare meals that will keep families happy! A tall order perhaps, but I feel passionate about healthy home cooking, and want to help more people to be able to switch to healthier food choices without feeling deprived or stressed.
My son loves to cook and wants to have some input in the website, so we will be starting a section for paleo kids. Not quite sure how that will pan out yet, but he’s very excited about the idea, so watch this space.
I will be creating some more e-books this year, content still to be decided. I plan on getting them onto kindle too, which is quite an exciting prospect. I have spotted a few typos in my festive feast book, so those will be getting edited in the next month, and I will of course send out updated versions to everyone who has bought a copy.
A whole 30 is on the cards at some point, but I’m not committing to a date as yet, I don’t want to set myself up for another fail by being over zealous in my commitments!
In non food related news… I am a Desire Map book club organiser and have started a virtual book club over here, do come along and join us, we will be kicking off on January 7th. If you haven’t heard of The Desire Map, it’s a refreshing way of working to create the life you want based on your core desired feelings. This is a programme that, along with the amazing life and biz workbook from Leonie Dawson, has totally changed my life for the better. I used a couple of other programmes in 2013 that had a huge impact on my motivation too – the 100 day challenge is what got me to publish 2 ebooks in the space of a month – but the Desire Map and the workbook were the things that really gave me a kick up the arse and will keep me moving and motivated in 2014.
I’ll leave you with a picture of my last creation of 2013 – a paleo advocaat! It was pretty damn good with a splash of lime juice and (not paleo) lemonade for a dairy free snowball! Snowballs are compulsory new years drinking in this house, and the more Del Boy they look the better 😉
A classy welcome to 2014 with a paleo ish snowball!
What plans do you have for 2014? Do you use any particular systems to keep you on track? I’d love to hear from you with any top tips or suggestions!
Well, that wraps it up for today, wishing you and yours a fabulous 2014, looking forward to serving you this coming year.
Tonight I’m trying to put a positive spin on something that has made me feel a bit shit! Maybe it’s not something I should blog about, but I’ve always kept my mouth shut when people have treated me badly in the past, and I really feel like I need to change some things, this being one of them. Maybe this is just my perception, maybe I havent been treated badly, I guess I might not be in the best place to judge.
A little while ago some really big people in my ‘industry’ started following me. I was incredibly flattered as they don’t follow many people, and it felt pretty big to have been ‘honoured’. They never interacted though, which I found knd of odd, and, to be honest, a little rude, but hey, busy people and all that.
Anyway, I released my e-book, the process of which I shared openly. I worked my backside off quite frankly, and spent a not insignificant amount of money testing it, making it look good, etc. I am incredibly proud of that book, and everything that it represents about who I am, and the internal challenges I overcame to get it out there.
Now, I absolutely know that recipes arent sacred, and recipe ideas even less so; I knew it wouldn’t be long before there was another thing out there like mine (maybe there already is, I honestly don’t know) but tonight I can’t help but feel a bit cheated, because these big names have come up with their own version, and people are gasping in amazement at their achievement. All I can see is my one unique selling point now being utterly worthless when they give it away for free, which I completely understand is absolutely their right, they’ve not, to my knowledge, stolen anything from me after all.
I’m just a 42 year old mother of four, trying to earn a little bit of money to help pay the bills; I can’t possibly compete with the glamour and glitz of a massive stateside following. In all honesty, I have no desire to compete. I truly believe there is enough room for us all out here on the internet. I guess I just hoped for, I’m not sure what really, but not the feeling this has left me with in the pit of my stomach tonight😦
I have so much catching up to do here on my little blog, but before I can think about doing that I have to get something off my chest that has been driving me crazy with fury for quite some time now.
My husband is a lorry driver. He worked for a very long time in general haulage, but when we moved up to Yorkshire the type of work he does changed, as the area we live in produces more in the way of food and aggregates.
For several years he drove a milk tanker, and frankly the stories that he came home with about the way our milk is collected and stored would regularly set my teeth on edge. It made a difference to his buying habits both at home and out on the road. I’m not going to name any names, but let’s just say that he wouldn’t buy a cup of tea from certain hot drinks franchises in motorway services because he knew exactly where the milk came from and what shocking quality it was.
Milk tankers are supposed to be thoroughly washed out every 24 hours. In reality, this doesn’t always happen. One particular dairy would happily take milk from tankers that hadn’t been washed in 5 or 6 days.
Before milk is pumped into the collection tanks at the dairies, samples have to be taken from the tanker and lab tested. In many dairies, tipping of milk took place before the sample results had come through. Effectively this means that an entire silo of milk could be contaminated by a bad batch. How many companies would scrap such a silo? Not many.
One particular dairy would take milk, even if it had failed its lab sample for antibiotics, theoretically this shouldn’t be able to happen, but the safety system was bypassed by a simple to execute fraud – if the sample failed, they would simply take a sample from another tanker and record that as the result!
Now organic milk ‘should’ avoid contamination with these products, as each time a tanker was to carry organic milk, the pipes and the tanker, should have been washed out. In practice, this doesn’t always happen, although in fairness certain dairies were very strict on this.
In recent years my husband has been driving a tipper lorry, mostly with stone, sand and salt, however he has started to work for a couple of companies who do mixed loads, including animal feed.
If you consider that, as Michael Pollen says:
“You are what what you eat eats”
then as health concious consumers of meat, we should be worried. As ethical consumers, we should be gravely concerned.
My husband, having delivered animal feed, is adamant that we absolutely must buy only organic meat because he knows that none of the feed that he has delivered, would be allowed to be fed to registered organic animals.
Distilled wheat – waste from whiskey distilleries delivered direct to farms from the distilleries – at a push, not SO terrible, but surely hardly healthy food for ruminants?
Stored, distilled wheat – not entirely sure of the provenance of this, but presumably it comes from distilleries and is stored. During storage mould grows on the top of the wheat, this mould is scraped off before being delivered to farms. Not great, but not horrendous, I suppose… However, some farmers buy the scrapings. Yes, some farmers buy the mouldy residue, not the ‘clean’ stuff underneath, but the mould ridden scrapings that ought to be classified as waste, and feed that to their animals.
The floor sweepings from dock warehouses storing rice for human consumption. This includes all manner of detritus including dead vermin and their faeces.
The next one my husband could not simply not believe.
Have you ever thought about what happens to the stale, mouldy, out of date bread that supermarkets have left over? At least some of it is ground up and turned into animal feed. Not THAT bad, I suppose. Except that the plastic wrappers aren’t removed, so the animals are eating not only the left over bread products, but a fairly hefty quantity of plastics too. Funnily enough, DH delivered some of this feed to a dairy farmer that he had collected milk from years ago, a farm that was notorious for producing very poor quality milk and having very poorly looked after stock. Figures, huh?
Maybe it’s just us, maybe you’re happy for the animals you eat, to eat (quite literally in some cases) shit. We’re not though, and whilst we know that eating organic doesn’t offer a 100% guarantee of avoiding contamination with these types of things, it a least gives you a fighting chance of eating well cared for, well fed meat, and the more people who are prepared to spend their money buying organic, the more farmers will feel that they can confidently move over to a more humane and healthier way of food production.
I just cannot fathom how, particularly in a country that has suffered terrible losses from BSE and foot and mouth disease, we haven’t learnt the lesson that it is imperative to feed and care for our livestock in the best manner possible because the consequences for not doing that are just too high to pay.
Have we been fooled by things like the British Tractor symbol and Freedom Foods into thinking that we have a food industry that cares about more than profit?
What do you think? Are you happier paying more for organic food? Has this post shocked you, or did you already know that these are common practices? Let me know in the comments section, and take our poll, I’m really interested to know what you think about this important issue.
I posted a couple of things on instagram today which I expected to lose me some followers. Maybe they still will, we shall see. More importantly I was encouraged to write about my opinions and reasoning on this issue, so here we go…
First of all I will preface this by telling you that my husband is a testicular cancer survivor – he was diagnosed 6 years ago, appropriately enough in November! He comes from a cancer family – his mother, sister and grandparents have survived or succumbed – so, as it is for far too many others, cancer is a subject close to my heart and family.
Secondly I will say that I am a research nerd. If I am interested in a subject I will explore and read about it, a lot. Some might say obsessively. I don’t think it’s obsessive to be interested in such an important subject, but horses for courses and all that.
Cancer is BIG business. If you consider the amounts of money involved in building state of the art hospitals (which are having to be built to cope with the explosion in cancer); the nuclear technology; the drug development and production; the clinical, nursing and support staff; well, you begin to get an idea of the huge sums of money involved. You might think it’s hardly surprising that there are so many cancer charity fundraising events, because obviously our economy couldn’t possibly afford to fund all of this expense, especially, if current forecasts are correct, as it will only increase as we see one in two people receiving a cancer diagnosis at some point in their life. Shouldnt we all do our bit to raise money to cure this dreadful disease?
You would think so wouldn’t you? From a logical, economic and more importantly, humanitarian point of view, it makes sense for us to do everything in our power to stop cancer in its tracks. Heaven knows I would give anything for cancer to be consigned to the history books. Yet I don’t donate money to cancer research charities, and no matter how lovely you are, I will not sponsor you in your race for life or moustache growing; the very idea makes bile rise in my throat.
The simple truth is, there are already a number of cures for cancer.
We already know that 90 – 95% of cancers are caused by our lifestyles – exercise, diet and exposure to carcinogens in our environment. In other words, they are preventable.
Unfortunately for us, more is made of the need to “find a cure” than the need to halt the cause. But why reinvent the wheel when amazing men and women have, for decades, been discovering cheap and efficient treatments for some of the most conventionally untreatable cancers? Who are these people and what are these treatments? Why haven’t we heard about them? Surely these people should be household names if their discoveries work? You’d think, huh?
The sad truth is that many of these treatments are derided, not only by conventional medical doctors, but also by supposedly caring charities whose whole reason d’être is to find a cure! If you would like to see the other side of charitable organizations that, on the surface, push for a cure for cancer, you need only look at this response to one family’s experience of treating the untreatable. Watch this film about the man who treated this young woman. I hope you will be asking a lot of questions by the time you’ve read and watched those links.
I appreciate that most people are motivated by love and compassion, and I completely understand why so many people get involved in fund raising for cancer charities, but it is my heartfelt belief that too many people are being emotionally blackmailed into funding a monsterous industry that has become the very thing it is supposed to be fighting. As an aside, I think using the terminology of the battlefield is unhelpful, but I will save that post for another day!
I’ve read that there are ultimately only 6 corporations that run our world today – food, agrichemical and pharmaceutical companies are all incestuously interlinked. Remember that 90-95% of cancers are caused by our environment. The products that these companies create are the very things that are disrupting our hormones and sending our cells haywire. The “cures” that they invent create more diseases to be cured, paid for, in part, by well meaning people who go out of their way to raise money for cancer research charities who are tied to the hospitals and pharmaceutical companies who… you get the circular nature of the beast I hope!
Remember that 90-95% of cancers are caused by our environment. So before you buy that packet of pink sweets; tube of lipstick; t-shirt; shampoo etc etc ask yourself the question “who is really benefitting from this purchase?” Ask yourself if, maybe, your hard earned pennies might not be better spent on things like books, quality food and chemical free home and self care products. It might not be the easiest option, but it will be the one that does most good for you, your family and, ultimately, humanity. These might be good starting points…
Oh and moustaches? Yeah, I guess you might look a bit of a dick, which I suppose is possibly a tenuous link with penile, testicular and prostate cancers! Other than that, isn’t it just as daft an awareness raising exercise as those ridiculous facebook memes that women get sucked into in the name of breast cancer awareness? Maybe I’m just not seeing the funny side, but watching a loved one go through cancer and lose a testicle to it isnt all that amusing.