Catching Up

Catching Up

I have a confession. I’ve been cheating on this site. I have a new, sleeker, more sophisticated model on the side. But absence has made the heart grow fonder and I miss flojoeasydetox, my site of musings, rants, random recipes, health “talks,” autism revelations and easy detox tips. 

The only tricky thing is that I’ve got lots of things I wanted to chat with you about and I don’t know where to start. Now that I’ve apologised, may I give you a mini summary and then do some proper posts over the next few weeks? Please? Thank you 🙂

Ok, so my new site florenceneville.com is actually for my nutritional therapy practice. It’s been a labour of love and a steep learning curve in terms of design. Luckily I have some fabulous friends who have pushed me in the right direction when I was floundering. I’ve been particularly grateful for Vox Visual and her expertise. Please excuse the current lack of testimonials. I have ransacked my house for the amazing testimonials from my old, now derelict site but they are still proving elusive. And can I remember my old hotmail address where the originals are probably hiding out? No. Bother. 

When I haven’t been working or hanging out with my gorgeous family I’ve been up in the local woods in my vivobarefoots. Building up leg muscles, collecting wild garlic, doing breathing exercises at the base of one of my favourite trees, and admiring the bluebells. Heaven. Did you know that walking amongst trees as a health practice is a thing? Like an actual therapy? Have a read of this. And then this

I’ve also been fangirling over anything written by Nora Gedgaudas. I’ve read some awesome health writers in my time but her Primal Fat Burner goes straight in with the most simple message, if you want to thrive, eat the foods humankind evolved and thrived on. I’ll do a review on her latest book sometime soon. But if you are serious about improving any aspect of your health please read it. (And sign up for a consultation with me obviously!)

Last month I attended a brilliant training day for autistic people interested in developing their public speaking skills. Organised by the National Autistic Society and delivered by trainer/speaker extraordinaire Sarah Hendrickx it has inspired me to push myself out more often from the security of blogging on my smartphone and stand up and talk. In public. To actual people. I’ve run detox groups and have spoken to small groups before but it’s time to reach a wider audience. If you know anyone who needs a speaker on managing stress, anxiety and depression through nutrition and other health practices then please direct them to my new site!

Right. I think that’s about it for now. There’s a tonne of other stuff I was going to mention but I’m going to save them for later. 

And in the meantime you can have one of the recipes from my new site. Without even having to click on a link. Because I’m super generous like that 😉 xx

Chinese Spiced Slaw

High fat, medium protein, plenty of veggies. Ready in less time than waiting for a take-away!

On a medium high heat fry two sliced onions in two tablespoons pastured pork lard for one minute. 
Add 400g organic minced pork and brown off. 

Then stir in half a teaspoon each of Chinese Five Spice and erythritol; one sliced red pepper and one shredded cabbage

Fry for ten minutes on medium high until the cabbage has wilted. Season with plenty of coconut aminos (a wheat free alternative to soy sauce) and serve. 

Broth for Breakfast

I did a talk last week for a very lovely group of student teachers and newly qualified teachers. Those of you reading who have experienced full time teaching will know all too well the sheer resilience, stamina and sheer bloody mindedness required to survive in such an environment. My heart went out to these enthusiastic, intelligent and capable young adults who were already showing some signs of stress and exhaustion. 

My talk was on stress management through making easy tweaks to some of the most vital influences on human health – those of sunlight, movement, nutrition, hydration and sleep. I hope they make some of the changes I suggested. They were time honoured diet and lifestyle habits that should discourage early burn-out. 

There was some good discussion on a few of the ideas, particularly with regard to sleep practices. But the question they asked that probably took the most explanation was this, “So what do you eat for breakfast?”

The look of horror and incredulity on their faces when I replied, “well… currently it’s bone broth!” was priceless. A few months ago I’d have laughed at me too. Because something sweet and carby is surely the ultimate in breakfast? Perking you up when you don’t really want to eat much but need a boost? No..?

Well no. Because that sweet and carby stuff does a number on your blood sugar levels and so, in turn messes up your natural cortisol cycle. And what does cortisol do? It waits in the wings ready to increase your blood glucose to help fuel a flight-or-fight response. Then you’ve got to produce insulin to deal with that spike. And the more you call on cortisol and insulin at the wrong times the less response you get when you need them. And so bit by bit we set up an unnatural stress hormone cycle that is highly deleterious to health. 

But broth and vegetables for breakfast is weird right? Well no. Ever had left over curry or noodles for breakfast? Or gorged on a fry up? Or grabbed a flakey meat pasty on the way to work? These all have that salty and comforting flavour; and combination of fat and protein that takes us back to our more primal instinctive taste preferences. But most of us probably don’t have the time or stomach to gnaw on a mammoth bone before our hunt of the day so bone broth is a perfect modern day alternative.  

Glorious savoury umami flavours ready in less than five minutes and with the ability to keep you going all morning and well into the afternoon. Would you like a recipe?

Ok. The first bit does take a while, although the prep is minimal. Stick some roasted bones (chicken, beef, pork, lamb or a mixture) in a slow cooker and cover with water and a tablespoon or so of sea salt. Add extra flavour if you like (garlic, onion, carrot, celery, black pepper) but don’t feel obliged. Simmer on the lowest setting for around 48 hours. 

Five minutes before you want to eat, melt some pastured pork lard, beef tallow or butter ghee in a frying pan, flash fry some veg and tip into a bowl. Then ladle in a few scoops of broth straight from the crockpot. That’s it! Change the vegetables you use, experiment with herbs and spices, add some cooked meat or eggs if you need the extra protein (although your broth will have a decent amount already.) 

And there you have it! A serving or two of vegetables, some healthy fat, some essential minerals and a tonne of gut-healing, infection-fighting, inflammation-reducing, bone building and skin-beautifying collagen all before you leave the house. Let me know if you’ve tried it or are planning to!

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries

Flojo’s Easy Detox Tip #6

Ok. I’m back in business. Made the decision, set some intentions and booked in some clients. And wow have I missed it! Seeing a nutritional therapy client transform in health, vitality and confidence in their ability to heal is profound and immensely rewarding.

As I scanned through a client’s food diary this week, making a few suggestions for easy swaps, it occurred to me that followers of this blog might find some of these ideas useful too. So, here’s a super easy alternative to the ubiquitous oven chip. Because your average oven chip, whether branded or supermarket generic; or even home-made is pretty much devoid of nutrients and is generally coated in sunflower oil which, while it sounds inoffensive, is an oil that is easily damaged by heat.

But these tawny babies are both properly tasty and sneakily healthy; packed with minerals and vitamins, cooked in coconut oil (which is one of the safest oils to cook with) and providing the all important perfect crunch to squish ratio.

While your oven is heating up to around 170c (these fries aren’t fussy and will happily adapt to whatever temperature your oven needs to be for other dishes) melt a tablespoon or two of coconut oil in a roasting tin. Meanwhile, give several organic sweet potatoes a quick wash and then cut into fries like so: Then stick them in your hot roasting tin and mix with the melted fat before sprinkling over generous amounts of sea salt and sweet smoked paprika.

Bake until nicely caramelised around the edges and serve (probably round about 30-40 mins). Appreciate that carby deliciousness. Feel smug that you are cramming some quality nutrients in with these as a side dish. Vow to never buy oven chips again.

Heavenly Smoothie

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If I had to eat the same breakfast every single day of my life I might just choose this.* You know those hazy, lavender coloured clouds you get in an otherwise clear sky at sunset? This is almost definitely what they taste like.

Blitz 2 frozen bananas, a handful of frozen or fresh blueberries, a very generous tablespoon of tahini, a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup (or whatever sweetener you prefer), half a teaspoon of vanilla and about 300mls of organic raw milk, yoghurt or nut milk. Spoon it into a glass or bowl, close your eyes, ignore whatever real or imagined chaos is all around you and eat really, really slowly.

If you reduce the milk quantity you can scoop it straight into ice-cream cones and top with chopped toasted nuts and/or shavings of dark chocolate. I wouldn’t want this for breakfast, but I wouldn’t dream of judging you if you do.

* please note that I would not advise this breakfast recipe for nutritional therapy clients although I might recommend a modified version as an evening snack. 

Liver Hash

 I’m always on the lookout for liver recipes. I have a strong tendency to become anaemic, and liver provides a great source of easily absorbed iron, which in turn makes me marginally less inclined to drowsiness at certain times of the month. So this relatively mild tasting lambs offal is in our weekly organic delivery from Riverford and thus features regularly on the weekend menu!

This is a pretty undemanding way to both cook and consume lambs liver. If the taste is still a bit strong for you feel free to stir it into a big bowl of rice.
First you’ll want to trim the liver (organic every time) of any membranes and stringy bits – give them to your meat-eating pets who will noisily knock it back in the manner of the wolves and wild-cats they dream themselves to be while they doze on downy divans. Then chop the liver into bite size pieces and toss in gluten-free flour seasoned with salt, pepper and something spicy like Cajun seasoning. Fry some onions in plenty of butter or coconut oil until soft then add courgette and give it another ten minutes. Next some kale (pictured is Black Russian kale but curly kale or Savoy cabbage would be great too) and then push all the veggies to the outside of the frying pan. Turn your heat up high and pop the liver in the centre of the pan to brown on all sides. You want each cube to be lightly crispy on the outside and only-just-cooked on the inside. Like a Daim bar. But not. All done? Just stir it up, add extra seasoning if you like and serve. Fifteen minutes altogether I reckon, and a darn tasty way to get your inner-wild-animal revved up and ready to go.

Related post

Loving Liver?

Slow Cooked Curry

 I bought a slow cooker on Monday; it was an impulse buy but I mostly wanted something I could do the weekly chicken broth with. Slow cookers are the ultimate paleo/primal/ancestral and yet totally modern convenience right?! Yeah but no but. I quickly felt really bad because I’m trying to not buy, um, stuff at the moment and figured I should try and allay my guilt, assuage my remorse and alleviate my shame. (I love my thesaurus, I’ve had it twenty five years and the spine has long disintegrated. Whenever the pages or a chunk of pages fall out they get shoved back in the wrong place. There is now a minimal adherence to the rules of the alphabet.) I fear I may have digressed… Um, where was I?

Curry! I made a curry. I made a curry in my new crockpot. I ran round to the local shop, horribly aware that this was a slow cooker and it was only four hours until dinner time, and grabbed stewing steak and sweet potatoes. I browned off one and chopped the other. Threw them with reckless abandon into the crockpot with curry powder, chopped onion, chopped courgette, salt, pepper, some water and a big chunk of butter before switching the dial to high and waiting…
After two hours it was barely warm.

After three hours the occasional bubble blipped up to the surface.

My family arrived home with cries of: “What on earth is that?” “Isn’t that what old people have?” and “I thought we weren’t spending any money!

After three and a half hours I started boiling rice and wondering if I’d have to try and prepare something else.

After four hours elapsed I served up a perfect curry. I mean, it was truly sublime. Each morsel a tender, tasty testament to TLC. Everyone had seconds. Simon and I had leftovers for the next day’s lunch. I am, right now, wishing I could quickly cook some more. But it would take too long…

Incidentally, the freebie recipes that came with the slow cooker looked wack so please, please give me your favourite ideas in the comments!

Piggy Stew! (Oh Pa-He-ggy Stew)*

 Give me a full fridge and I don’t know where to start. There’s too much choice and my brain goes into meltdown!  The evenings when I need to serve up a filling, nutritious and delicious meal to my family in an hour or so and all I’ve got are leftovers? That’s when the magic happens. My best meals are invariably the ones where I’m under pressure and tonight’s stew was no exception. I reckon you could adapt it quite easily – take a look in your fridge and see what you’ve got.

This evening I had leftover roast pork and cold sausages staring balefully at me from Tupperware boxes. And a drawer of odds and sods of veggies from last week’s organic box. And my cupboard was, uncharacteristicly sporting a couple of tins of tomatoes from a day when I must have been trying to forward plan. I forget what I was planning…

I fried chopped onions, garlic, carrot and courgette with fennel seeds, chilli seeds and thyme for about twenty minutes. Added the pork, chopped sausages and tinned chopped tomatoes. Bought it all to the boil, seasoned it, simmered it, went for a dog walk**, added some shredded Savoy cabbage and a splash of water, put the laundry on drier racks***, served it up, drizzled, ok,  poured olive oil on the top and settled down to hear the troll-like slurping going on round the table from my own piggies.

*Apologies for the poor pun on Buddy Holly’s 1957 hit 

**optional

***also optional

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