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.

Advertisements

Serendipity

 So, my understanding of autism (I had a diagnosis of Aspergers a few weeks back) is that there is no “cure” but that many of the symptoms can be alleviated with various therapies. And guess what? The most accessible therapy seems to be that of supporting the body in detoxifying. In a nutshell that’s doing massive amounts of work on the gut and its microbiome; helping the liver, kidneys, skin, lymph and lungs to hasten toxicity out of the body and cleaning up the external environment. How serendipitous it is that I’ve got an interest in the detox field already!

Regular readers of this blog might recall that making the switch to a roughly ancestral diet a couple of years back pretty much eradicated my depression and significantly lessened my anxiety – two of the most crippling symptoms of Aspergers. And that, as I have gradually been converting to a more minimalist home and have significantly reduced chemical toxins in my life I have become calmer, slept better, breathed more fully and become, well, healthier and happier.

But, before I can properly crack on with more physical clearing, I am concentrating on getting really, really comfortable with the idea of resting up and taking time out. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been good at curling up on the sofa with a cuppa and a good book. And a blanket. And lots of cushions. But, I have always felt ashamed that while other people managed full time jobs, did outdoorsy stuff with their families and maintained social lives I was just being lazy. Once I read up on what it actually means to have Aspergers I found it  a revelation that shutting the outside world right outside where it belongs and retreating to my cosy spot with a latte and the cat has been as crucial to my brain as rest-days are to an athlete. No guilt required!

Related post

The Art of Selfishness 

You Have Mail!

 Flojo’s Easy Detox Tip #5

Hi lovely people! How are you all getting on with your bite size detox tips so far? Any successes?

Now, this week might seem a bit random but before you wonder what mail/post has to do with detox, see if any of these scenarios sound familiar and note how they make you feel:

  • Tripping over the pile of junk mail that awaits your attention by your front door.
  • Having to open addressed post, that you have no interest in, in order to rip out your contact details before sorting the rest for recycling.
  • Trying to ignore the siren calls of the free catalogues which make you want to spend money on things you never knew you needed. (And still don’t!)
  • Recycling the freebie local newspapers and accompanying leaflets. (Did you read them? And if you did, was it worth it?)
  • Immediately throwing out the flimsy charity bags that get posted through your doors. You already give to charities. Just not these ones.

Do you recognise these irritations? Did they make you feel good? I’m thinking not. Does junk mail enrich your life? No? Can I get a Hell No? Ok. Let’s get rid of it. Let’s detox the letterbox’s equivalent of someone regularly popping tasteless junk food in your mouth without your permission.

Sorry, much of this advice is UK specific, but please post alternatives in the comments. And if it seems initially time consuming please remember that it will all be worth it in the end I promise!

  1. Print, fill in and send off this form to request that Royal Mail stops posting unaddressed post through your letterbox. It will take a few weeks to take effect but even then…
  2. Save the number 03452660858 because you may need to make a few follow up calls to make sure they actually follow through with your opt out request. It took me three phone calls. But it now works just fine.
  3. Contact the Mailing Preference Service to reduce the amount of addressed junk mail you receive. Those amazing credit card offers, specially for you? You really don’t want those!
  4. Put a sign on, above or over your letterbox requesting no unaddressed post or newspapers. For the first month I made a massive sign that actually covered the letterbox just to make things crystal clear. Sometimes even this didn’t work so…
  5. Be prepared to (politely!) phone or email the local paper’s editing teams or charity bases for anyone who abuses this. I’ve only ever had sincere apologies when doing this (the deliveries are usually contracted out) – and each time it has stopped the problem.
  6. Phone mail order companies you have accounts with and ask them to stop sending catalogues because you order online anyway.

And then look forward to less distraction, less wastage and less rubbish and recycling to deal with. Yeah that counts as detox! Great job, you’re saving the world too so bonus points for you!

I Can’t Believe You Don’t Eat Butter

 Flojo’s Easy Detox Tip #3

OK, this is a supadupa easy tip. Stop buying margarine, spreadable “butter” and any fancy schmancy low-fat, cholesterol-reducing, poly-whoodyamaflip tubs of yellow gunk! And, before you ask, even that one. And that one! Sorry, that ones gotta go too. I know it says pure/organic/healthy on the side. It’s still no good for you.

I don’t care what claims that crap makes on the side of its plastic tub; humans did perfectly well on good old butter from organically raised, pasture raised cattle for – like – ever without replacing it with bleached, purified, chemically interfered with, heated (and so damaged) artificial and additive-laden muck. The blame for the downturn in the general population’s collective health can largely be left at the door of the fake butter-peddling industry’s doors. And don’t be fooled by actual butter with “traditional values” packaging either. The nutritional content still doesn’t compare. A bit of research into seeing what commercial dairy herds are fed, how they are raised and how they are treated should put you right off.

Butter from organically raised dairy herds is the bomb! It has a great Omega 3 to 6 ratio, higher levels of vitamins D & K, more CLA (linked to weight loss) and tastes so much better than spreadable rubbish or inferior butter. Butter is a magnificent accompaniment to steaming plates of broccoli, asparagus or kale while carrots or cabbage sliced and gently fried in butter are far tastier than boiled. Not only does veg taste better with butter but the fat soluble vitamins,  such as A and D become more bio-available once served with the rich  golden stuff. In the meantime, I am more than happy to let my daughters eat it by the slice, happy in the knowledge that it’s a bonafide health food in its own right.

Further Reading:

Soil Association Definition of Organic Dairy Farming

Mark Sisson: Is All Butter Created Equal?

The Cleanest All Purpose Bathroom Cleaner!

 Flojo’s Easy Detox Tip #2

Confession: I used to avoid cleaning our bathroom… I would regularly give it a good wipe round with an e-cloth; but the deep cleaning? I’d avoid it like the plague. But hear me out! Every bathroom cleaning spray I tried, even the “eco” products, triggered a mild asthmatic episode. My poor lungs were struggling with the assault of toxic chemical combinations. But asthma or not everyone’s going to get a lungful of stuff you really don’t want to breathe in from commercial cleaning products. Have you got a minute right now? Go have a look on the labels.

That’s not really acceptable is it?

But then, neither is having a grubby bathroom so I was really chuffed when I read that white vinegar mixed with water makes a perfectly fine cleaning spray. White vinegar doesn’t appear to be an easy product to obtain in the UK but I bought 4 x 5 litre bottles* from Amazon for just over £12.00 and I figure those should do me for about a year (I’ll list some more uses in other tips!). I’ve just been diluting the vinegar with tap water at a roughly 1:3 ratio.

You can add essential oils if you like but I haven’t invested in any yet. I’m thinking some rosemary might be nice here.

It works on all your bathroom surfaces from the bath, sink and toilet to any shelves, windows, glass screening or shower curtains you have. You can just spray on and wipe off but if you’ve got some serious soap and limescale scum going on in your bathtub then a sprinkle of bicarbonate of soda and a smidgen of elbow grease should do the job nicely. Then spray with your vinegar mix and buff to a shine.

A shiny clean bathroom, happy lungs and an end to multiple garishly branded plastic bottles assaulting my eyes. For a 500ml bottle that’s cost me around 10p I reckon that’s an all round winner! Who’s going to give it a go?

*Simon is taking the used plastic bottles to school to be re-used.

Further reading:

A mommypotamus recipe: DIY Citrus Splash All-Purpose Cleaner

Find Your Element

 Flojo’s Easy Detox Tip #1

Snowy mountain tops, golden sands, puttering streams, shingle beaches, icy lakesides, flowered meadows, woodland tracks, dry bushland, verdant forests, gorse covered cliff tops.

My challenge for you this week is to find a place where you can go and just be. Take as little as you can (safety not withstanding) and walk your head clear. Notice the colours around you, appreciate the contrasts between light and shade, vertical and horizontal, nearby detail distant vistas. Seek out visual shapes only found in the natural world, from the curve of a branch to the crest of a wave. Listen for sounds of wildlife, weather and your own feet. Allow your footfall to quieten, shorten and soften. Take note of the changing scents around you and see if they conjure up long forgotten memories. Lean against a tree or rock and close your eyes. Slow your breathing. Sense your limbs, your heartbeat, your lungs. Feel your connection to everything that lives. Smile and move on.

I honestly can’t think of a more profound easy detox fix to start off my tips with. Do give it a go and report back!

Further Reading:

This is Your Brain on Nature

Related Post:

Don’t Think. Do. 

Defining Detox

When I put Flojo’s Easy Detox together (workshops and online coaching) a few years ago I believed detox to be the process of releasing toxicity at cellular level and enabling this rubbish to leave the body in an orderly fashion: quietly and calmly (much as you should leave a building during a fire); thus allowing the body to work more efficiently.

Over the past year I’ve revised my opinion. I now see effective detoxing as the release and removal of anything and everything that doesn’t enrich your life. Call it detox, call it de-cluttering, call it healing, call it minimalism. If it doesn’t contribute to your well-being physically, mentally or emotionally, it’s time to acknowledge it and wave a firm but polite goodbye. In a few years I hope to re-start a detox programme with this approach at its fore.

I am joyfully celebrating my 43rd birthday today with a new sense of direction and purpose. Yippee!! Armed with advice from the likes of Mark Sisson (Primal Blueprint), Katy Bowman (Move your DNA), David Perlmutter (Brain Maker), Daniel Vitalis (the ReWild Yourself podcasts), James Wallman (Stuffocation), Bea Johnson (Zero Waste Home), Marie Kondo (The Life Changing Magic of Tidying) and countless other inspirational writers and educators I am now on a mission.

Firstly I’m setting out to clear all the stuff I don’t need from my home, whether it’s unnecessary chemicals, single use plastics or just stuff accumulated for sentimental or lazy reasons. All of these send my subconscious the false message that I need these props to thrive and survive. I don’t. It’s just unnecessary ballast. I’m also aiming to further reduce food that doesn’t serve to nourish me and my hardworking microbiome. And, perhaps most importantly, I’m actively looking to banish fears that hold me back from experiencing a long life rich in experience. That’s a lot of stuff to get rid of!

What do I want in my life to replace all this rubbish? I want to be free. Free to travel, socialise, learn new things and just, well, do stuff whether with friends, family or by myself. We’ve kept various rescue rabbits over the last few years. Not in a hutch, although there was one left open for the rare occasion they chose to take shelter from the rain, but wild and running free in the garden. They dug burrows, ate fresh grass and practised a spectacular type of bunny parkour at twilight. I can’t understand why anyone would keep rabbits cooped up with just a few hours in a run daily for entertainment. But we humans increasingly create our own hutches and limit our “run time,” and then we wonder why we’ve lost our zest for life.

This year I had my Success Story published on Marks Daily Apple, completed a Wolf Run, donated an estimated 50 large carrier bags of belongings to charity, ditched conventional toothpaste, moisturiser, suncream and haircare; swapped all my home-cleaning products for environmentally friendly ones, learnt to embrace cold showers, a lower set thermostat and one less pillow; noticed a significant reduction in binge eating and saw the back of self-loathing, depression and anxiety! What a start to my seventh seven year cycle! It’s like camping in the wild and seeing the sun rise while sipping hot, fresh coffee. I’ve got a glorious day ahead of opportunities and possibilities at my disposal and I want to make the most of them. All I need to do is decide which direction to head off in.

The only thing is, I think this blog needs a new direction too and I’m not sure which way to take it. Or if it will just decide its own route and destination. Hmm. Any thoughts? Should I document my progress? Give you authoritative sounding bulletpoints on what’s working for me (Five Easy Tips to…)? Outline and review specific diet and exercise approaches I’m taking? Go back to just writing down recipes? Or just continue to haphazardly ramble on and on, elaborating on my own philosophies and random streams of consciousness…? Drop me a line please! Your input is much appreciated!

Big love to you from me! X