New Beginnings

Well, here we are in 2014!

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.

Much love

Pru & family xx

 

 

 

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Oat So Simple

Sheesh, another day another reaction! This time it seems I’m allergic to my husband! Well ok, not quite, but he is the cause of a flare up,of itchy, red eyes and major snotage! Nice! He had to climb in the back of his trailer today and got covered in oat dust. So here I am in October with, basically, hayfever! Yay!

In other news…. today has been super productive on the ice cream making front, and I’m actually looking forward to another weekend of creating flavours and yummy things for the ebook. 

I am ever so pleased with this jazzy little driftwood chalkboard shelf I whipped up from some things I had lying around the house.

I have been over come with creative urges today, so much so that DD2 had to reign me in from creating a full blown ice cream parlour in the hallway, complete with seaview and sand. Hmm, just as well I have people to temper my giddiness at times I guess. It is my dream to own a little beach side ice cream shack, so perhaps I’ll just have to direct my creativeness into making that dream a reality. First things first though, the book needs finishing first.

Oh, if you fancy joinng in over on our facebook page, I’ve been asking what your favourite icecream flavour is, and giving you the chance to receive a free copy of the book when it comes out. Hop on over and join in, and feel free to invite any friends who might be interested! You can find us at facebook.com/creativelypaleo

In yet more exciting news…. I’m going to be a Desire Map Book Club Leader in January! If you don’t know about the desiremap have a wander on over to Danielle’s website and be prepared to be enthralled! 

TTFN

Let’s Talk About Milk, Baby

I did plan on pondering about whether or not there mght be a hgher proportion of people on the autistic spectrum withn the paleo/primal community, but my brain is too scattered to do that justice right now.

Instead, following on from the brief post about a new allergy emerging yesterday ( which I suspect could have a lot to do with my feeling exhausted today) I thought I’d instead write a little bit about dairy, and more specifically milk.

Now I always feel that I’ve failed dreadfully when I attempt and don’t complete a whole30, but the one I attempted in July has really changed my life.

I have completely removed mlk from my diet. I still have cheese rather too often (this results in an itchy face) and double cream is something I have maybe once a month or so, so this is really just about removing milk. What I have noticed, and what has made an immeasurable difference to my life, is that my breathing problems, which had been happening with increasing regularity but also barely any recovery time between bouts, have (touches wood in a hopeful avoidence of tempting fate!) ceased. 

I live on a particularly steep hill which I can now climb with very little difficulty. I wake up in the morning able to take deep breathes. I have stopped having to consider how much it will take out of me if I walk around the supermarket, now I think nothing of walking to the shops and carrying bags of shopping home. I honestly cannot express how wonderful this is, because I truly thought I was going to spend the rest of my life incapacitated.

The removal of milk is the only thing that it can be. I noticed when I made my german cheesecake, which is VERY heavy on dairy, that I started to develop some tighteness in my chest, but it cleared up the next day. The only other thing that is different is that I have been doing regular (light admittedly) weight training, concentrating on my upper body, BUT I was only able to do that because my breathing had improved. I suspect it is helping to keep my chest on better health, but I can only come to the conclusion that it was my daily intake of milk (in countless cups of tea) along with yogurt for breakfast, that was doing the damage!

I will certainly not be reintroducing it in the name of science though, as on the odd occasion when I have mistakenly taken a sip of my husband’s white tea, it has had my rushing for the sink to spit it out before I vomited!

So I guess you could say that I have been a Whole30 success, in my own way!

October Already!

Seriously, how has the year gone by so quickly? I know they say time speeds up as you get older, but at this rate I’ll be 93 in less than 24 hours!

October is one of my favourite months, but then I am a Scorpio, so what else would you expect? Halloween/Samhain is the best festival of all time in my opinion, hands down beats Christmas and New Year. I really need to be kept away from the decorations sections in the supermarkets because I tend to go a little mad.

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Of course the other great thing about this time of year is the marvellous varieties of squash available. We love pumpkin, and I shall be stocking up and cooking and freezing as many of the big carvers as I can. There does seem to be an increasing selection  of other squashes in the supermarkets here now too, especially if you look in some of the higher end shops like Booths or Waitrose.

Last year I ordered a big box of spaghetti squash direct from a fenland farmer, something I must sort out doing again very soon – the squashes have such a lovely long shelf life that stocking up makes a lot of sense.

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What is your favourite squash recipe? I shall be having a go at a paleoified pumpkin pie again this year, but I want to try something a bit more adventurous too. Having said that, it will probably end up being a pumpkin inspired ice cream, as I plough on with getting my paleo ice cream ebook ready for sale towards the end of the month!

Just to give you fair warning, I’ve set myself a challenge this month – a blog post a day. Gulp. Let’s see if I do better with that than I did with Whole30!

TTFN

 

A Gingerbread Family

This week has been another hectic one in the Creatively Paleo family. I’m not entirely sure where the time is going to, but it seems almost incomprehensible that we are already in September!

Of course we don’t have the back to school rush that most families have, and for that I am eternally grateful! The idea of shopping for school shoes gives me the shudders! You may have seen the post about Primal Education a couple of weeks ago, well that is part of a lovely Not Back To School Carnival over at LiveOtherwise. Grab a brew and take some time meandering through all the posts, there are some really lovely stories included, and they might give you some interesting food for thought 🙂

I’ve been working hard on a couple of projects, the first of which I have just launched and am really quite pleased with. It was a proper family collaboration with the children all contributing ideas as well as helping with various technical aspects that my brain had a temporary block with! It’s a free guide to primalizing your family – it takes a gentle and respectful approach, because, in my opinion at least, there is no space for anything else when it comes to such a huge and important change in a child’s diet.

For the guide we’ve been testing out a paleoified gingerbread recipe, and after much tweaking we are really pleased with the result, and have included it as a cute little printable in the guide. We really hope you like it and have fun baking with your children!

Here’s a little graphic that I whipped up in the A Beautiful Mess app (I do so love that app!). If you click on it it will take you to the download cart thingy majiggy!

creatively-paleo-free-gift-guide-to-primalizing-your-family

 

 

We’ve been back to meal planning again this last couple of weeks, which definitely makes life much easier. There should  be some new recipes coming up on the site this week too, including a one pot chilli which was a real life saver in the campervan, and a tasty pork recipe with a Polynesian influence!

That’s it for now – don’t forget it’s #PaleoHour between 8 and 9 pm GMT tonight on twitter!

TTFN

 

Hello Poor Neglected Blog!

I had such plans and hopes for blogging over the last week or two, but life has been chaotic and I’ve just not found the headspace to sit and waffle away here.

I’ve been cooking like crazy, testing out lots of great recipe ideas, some of which have worked, others… well I hear a big fail klaxon in my head!

We had a really lovely Indian takeaway yesterday, except it was direct from my kitchen not a local curry house.

Not bad huh? I’m getting the recipes for everything up and so far we have the samosas, pilau “rice” and Bombay potatoes. The rest will follow in the next couple of days, so you should have them all in time for your very own Saturday Night takeaway, if the mood strikes you!

In other news I was very pleased to take delivery of an actifry this week! I’m blown away by it so far, and it is going to be very useful for a top secret project I’m currently working on. More on that in due course, but it’s something I’m very excited about. I fried the samosas in the actify instead of baking them, and they worked really well, came out nice and crispy and cooked in next to no time. I’m going to try chicken nuggets in it later on, fingers crossed they turn out well, though I can’t honestly see any reason why they wouldn’t.

Today’s excitement was a delivery from Devon Rose, lots of lovely nitrate free bacon and lard, along with an assortment of other delights, including liver and kidneys! I haven’t cooked with kidneys yet so I’m looking forward to that, with some trepidation. Tomorrow I’m hoping to recreate a childhood favourite, Leberwurst. I really hope it tastes as good as I remember from my days in Germany, fingers crossed.

Oh, I almost forgot! I have a code to share with you for a 10% discount off your first order with Devon Rose, you just need to type in TW10RTD at the checkout. They offer a really fantastic service, Richard phoned me to discuss my order and was extremely friendly and helpful.

We went to watch some amazing fireworks the other weekend, take a look at this little video, I think you’ll be as blown away as we were (not literally, thankfully)

i’m sure I’ve missed out some incredibly exciting happens of the last week or two, but I’m buggered if I can remember what! I’m off to join in with paleo hour in a wee while, come along and join in if you’re about between 8pm and 9pm GMT on a Tuesday, it’s a great little community that is rapidly growing. Uk based, but all welcome.

TTFN

A World Without Wheat

My friend Elaine sent me a link to an article the other day – it was this one – go and read it, I’ll wait for you to come back….

We were driving out to the seaside for my daughter’s birthday trip later that day; we drove past fields of wheat and I couldn’t help wondering what a world without wheat would look like.

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Wheat field image from FWallpapers.com

I tried to imagine what would take the place of the vast expanses of gently swaying grain crops, and I got a bit excited! (I’m a simple soul, it doesn’t take much!) Would they be filled instead with vegetables and fruit or grazing livestock? Would we see smaller fields with more hedgerows? Probably not, as in Lincolnshire where they grow a lot of vegetables, the fields are pretty industrial sized.

Would we need more fruit, vegetables and meat to make up for the grain products that people commonly fill up on? Or would eating more nutrient filled foods, and fat, mean we needed to consume less food not more?

I’m not a scientist, so I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I guess if it’s true that 80% of the world population is going to stop eating wheat, we are going to need to ask these questions sooner rather than later.

Wheat, and other grains, take up so much of our available soil that it would change the world, and the little country I live in, extensively. This would have a massive knock on effect for farmers, which in turn would mean big changes in food production and food supply – effectively the entire way our economy and lives are run would change. 

It takes around about 1300 litres of water to grow 1kg of wheat! Our family of 6 directly uses 150,000 litres of water a year – that equates to approximately 115 bags of flour, or just under 2 and a half bags a week! That’s quite a shocking figure when I think about it – we would very easily have consumed far more than that when we were eating wheat – breakfast cereals, pasta, bread, pizza, biscuits etc etc ad infinitum! That is an awful lot of water for a product that caused us a lot of pain and weight gain!

Obviously everything we eat uses water, and probably in equally large measure to the amount wheat uses. Though I’d have thought that when you are growing your own veg and making use of grey water or harvested rainwater you are going to reduce the usage quite considerably, I don’t know, I’m not a scientist.

What I think isn’t taken into consideration though is this: we need to be careful with our water consumption, so with that in mind, isn’t it better for us to use water to grow food that is actually going to help maintain our health, instead of wasting it on a product that is, increasingly, highly toxic to human and animal life? 

Isn’t this a conversation that we need to be having now? I would love to be able to find decent, unbiased, truly scientific information about this subject, but it seems that, as with so many issues related to human and animal health, there are too many polarised opinions to really get at the hard facts. 

I don’t want to hear that going vegetarian or vegan will save the planet, because I just don’t buy that argument – it doesn’t stack up on so many levels for me. I don’t want to hear propaganda from CAFOs or organic farmers; I certainly don’t want to hear how monsanto crops are going to save us all from starvation; I want hard facts not twisted to satisfy an agenda. Is that possible, do you think? Am I alone in caring? What do you think?

 ETA: Just read that Monsanto are effectively pulling out of Europe

 

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