Hello, hello, it’s been so long!
Quick update, we are in the house, the kitchen is gorgeous with its big, chunky, cool granite surfaces, I love working on them and they are perfect for photos too.
The bathroom has a working shower, loo and basin but the bath is being used to hold towels …. and there is, as yet, no door. Maybe today!
We are feeling exhausted after working every day for so long (OK apart from the enforced holiday on the Il de Ré when our first guests were here and we hadn’t got a bathroom in, haha, poor old us!) but it is a very satisfied tired. We have moved past the point of working for days on end without much to show for it (though loads has happened in the back ground). At last the things we are doing actually do show and everything makes a difference – as a door or two would.
So many people are dealing with being tired, over worked, looking for work, ill or caring for somebody who is ill, stressed, depressed, excited, living on adrenaline …. all this takes energy and nothing can give that more than food – other than a few weeks rest of course, even then you need good, clean, boosting foods. It is so much easier to cut the stodge in summer too. Fresh, local fruits and veggies bursting with flavour and packed with vitamins. Lets make the most of it.
I have been loving the last few days. For the first time in the new house I have been creating meals for clients, soaking, blending, dehydrating and tasting. Balancing flavours and varying textures. Adding colour and packing in the nutrition.
You can do it too – make every ingredient count, try to add in sweet, salty, tangy, sour, warm, cool and as many colours as you can. You know you need green, as dark as possible. Dark purples, bright reds, summer oranges (it is so good to have all the juicy summer peaches, nectarines and apricots), crisp whites etc. Then think of textures, creamy, juicy, crisp, chewy.
CHIA PUDDING: recipe for 2 small bowls
Mix 2 TBS chia seeds with 8 TBS almond milk 1/2 tsp each ginger and cardamon, pinch salt and leave to soak until plump whilst you prep the following
Soak 1 TBS raisins and 1 TBS sunflower seeds (or more of course) in the juice of an orange
Dice and soak an apple in lemon juice
After about 15 mins your chia should be ready so combine everything except the apple together, including the soak juices
Add 1 tsp raw, local honey (or agave) or more of less to taste
Stir in a teaspoon of spirulina
Pop the apple in the bottom of your bowl and pile the rest on top.
Tastes good, does you good 🙂
PS We are offering 20% OFF our raw food retreats in autumn, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Lots of photos and ideas on my Instagram account and websites – Insta: Desrigoodwin
www.desriskitchen.com www.boutiqueretreatfrance.comLearn More
Day three of a juice cleanse and I feel oddly fine. No detox symptoms to date other than tiredness and a bit of a light head late on day 1 and part of day 2 – I am not remotely convinced it is because I am so pure and clean. No complaints from me though. On day 2 my tummy was flatter, today my skin looks smoother, eyes brighter and I feel bouncier!
We did ease into it a week before we started filling our days and our tummies with more juices and smoothies than usual….and being on holiday in Scotland there were also some glorious pub meals and local produce – we haven’t been tempted by the whisky yet though!
We have also been doing loads of walking in the amazing countryside and powering up the crags and crevices.Keeping our spirits up, and having a lot of conversations that start with “Do you really think this is a good idea”, “We are on holiday….:(“, “Look at those people eating their picnic/ in the cafe/ eating fish and chips, looking all healthy and happy…..”.
We are doing this cleanse for us and also to be able to share our experiences with others who come to us at Recombobulate. We have done quite a few over the years and each one is different. People like to know others have experienced what they are experiencing. That they understand how they feel, the frustration, hunger pangs (mostly imagined it has to be said) and the need for motivation and to be reminded that it is only a few days and you will feel good and have had a whopping boost of nutrients in the mean time.
If you decide to do something similar from a book, a blog or an online/app lead version, listen to your body, ask advice, be prepared, be careful!
We once went to a juice fast centre, which was lovely, but Robin, who was doing way more exercise than me in high heat, was given exactly the same juices, quantities and ingredients as me. By the end of the week he was totally depleted in electrolytes. We would probably go again but I would take some supplements along and would include some Himalayan salt.
Fasting of any kind can be very beneficial and it can also be dangerous in certain circumstances. Be aware.
Not only your body detoxs, your mind and emotions can do to. Not a bad thing although it can be uncomfortable to go through; again be aware, be prepared, have support and have a plan before you start – of exit as much as during. Keep a note book and pen and write everything you feel down. Let it out. Be kind to yourself.
If you said I want to come to you and do a juice fast/fest/cleanse firstly I would talk to you and ask “Why just juice? What do you want from it, what will you do afterwards, what are your expectations?”.
If you said you wanted to kick start a weight loss program, change your way of eating, knock cravings on the head, deal with a health problem, almost anything actually, I would probably advise a different route. If after discussion you still wanted a juice cleanse that is fine. It is important to know what you are doing, why, what to expect and what alternatives there are – in everything.
If you could only take a few days out of your life I would probably advise a cleanse of a different kind.
Juices yes, green and lots of them plus some good supplements such as Wheatgrass, Spirulina, Chlorella, probably some bee pollen and some Maca, maybe something else. We would look at YOU and decide what you need.
I would suggest adding in some delicious, clean, raw plant based meals, smoothies and snacks. Yep, all of that!
Food to nourish and to delight and that are still clean. Sorry, I can’t describe anything, I’m on day 3 of a juice cleanse remember? Too cruel !
We would work on your mindset, why whatever problem has arisen and how we can help you change it.
However recent, however trivial you think it sounds, if it is causing you suffering or holding you back or leading to negative ways of living (over-eating, self criticism, hormone imbalance, bad habits, negativity, stress) it needs dealing with.
However old, deep seated or profound it is, however you feel nothing can change it and maybe you are not even sure what it is or don’t want to tell anyone what it is, it seriously needs dealing with and there is hope.
We will fill a virtual kit bag with tools to assist you to deal with hurt, negative thoughts, mood swings, anger, cravings, depression, stress whatever is your trigger or whatever you are living with.
There would be some deep work with you and your subsconcious to really make some changes. There would be some movement, lots of it (depending on your ability), to help flush the bad stuff out and increase the good stuff, the endorphins, the metabolism, the spring in your step.
There will be some physical tools to use (and take home of course) to facilitate cleansing, lymph movement, change of thought and more.
So, to cleanse, to me, is to clean everything in a way that suits the person. We are not all the same. For example, by mid afternoon on the first day it was clear Robin needed solid food. So, we dealt with the obvious and automatic “Am I just wimping out?” thought and he eat something and we carried on with our juices.
People have had a amazing results from juicing, me included, and with some raw meals added in and some really good education of what to do next and some significant work on other elements of self while you are at it is a wonderful combination.
Do all that and you will walk away from your cleanse lighter and brighter on all levels and ready to feel better and better. Super boost your life, you deserve it!
Oh and by the way, this is not an advert but we are taking bookings for next year now and working on phase two of our retreat this winter with a newly renovated building so that we will have three more spacious and super comfortable ensuite bedrooms. I’m am so excited.
It’s going to look gorgeous.
Oh, yes, that’s another thing cleansing does, gives you energy to put your clearer, more focused thoughts into action.
So, I passed both my courses!
It was so intense, why did I do two at once?
Next time (have I said that before?) I will listen when told “they are both intense and it is best to do one at a time”…
Anyway, despite getting really stressed half way into the photography course and only a week into the raw chef course, I really did love it and I learnt so much!
Raw food is healthy. That is a fact. If it is a regime that is used properly and balanced well nutritionally it is very healthy. If it is an addition to another regime, or simply ‘normal’ eating, it adds a very healthy boost.
And, lets face it, it can also be a huge compromise.
Yes, we can make a raw pizza – NO it will never taste like a cooked, melty, gooey cheese fest!
My daughter used to ask “But why pretend? Its not a pizza/ spaghetti/ chocolate mousse/ macaroni cheese/ lasagne!”. And she was right, sort of, but don’t people need something to help them understand what something is going to be like? I think so.
For example, a lasagne says it will be savoury, rich, cheesy with tomatoes and some herbs in layers.
Chocolate mousse will be chocolately, sweet, smooth. I do believe that most food flavours and favourite recipes can be imitated in a healthy way and I get lots of inspiration from my huge range of recipe books, different traditions and world foods.
And, if you want to convince or convert a non-believer some raw pizza recipes may taste good, even come some way close but that is the dish most likely to fail you!
Other times my kids would ask “It tastes good……what have you hidden in it Mom?” and invariably I had hidden something somewhere like avocado in the mousse, courgette in the hummus etc and they would not have known had they not asked.
Having said that I believe that now, with the input of some amazing chefs worldwide and progress made by people playing and developing and sharing recipes and with the equipment that has been improving them becoming more widely available there is virtually no compromise! No need for pretend! Allelulia!
I have learnt to balance flavours and components and nutritional elements and that the greener and worse it tastes is not better for you – yes, I would do that to me, OK and to Robin, I would make my smoothies very green and glug them down without my halo slipping a millimetre. Then grimace and a shiver would run through me – and him, sorry Robin.
I’ve been uncooking raw food, both simple and more complicated for over 12 years now and mostly the people I share it with have been loving it. It is time more people discovered more about it.
I have just made a divine smoothy which balanced my need to give and receive health and our need for it to taste delicious. He is very happy. Me too, though I don’t feel quite as sanctimonious as I used to!
Here is the recipe. I am using cups because in using the American measure I’ve found it is easier to work with. Use a standardised ‘cup’ measure (they are really easy to get hold of now) or simply a tea cup it doesn’t matter as long as you use the same one throughout the recipe really, I’m thinking a standard English tea cup to balance with the other quantities in this recipe.
1 cup water kefir
1 large banana
4 fresh figs (in season, from our tree)
1/2 cup blackberries (use any berry, I just picked them in the hedge)
10 small kale leaves not deveined
2 good sprigs parsley including stem
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons chia
1 teaspoon agave
Pinch pink salt
Blend and share between two (or one now, one later 🙂 and ENJOY it!
My lovely daughter asked for some tips for easy, tasty, fast and cheap packed lunches.
Tired of the, and by the, sandwiches, wraps, even more supposedly healthy options available within easy reach of where she works in Paris she needed to get back on top of this.
Everyone needs to enjoy a meal and function on all cylinders afterwards at lunch time no matter what we do. Lighter, brighter, cleaner food helps lift our mood rather than lower it (foods can do both), give us energy, keep us fresh and physically and mental bright and vibrant.
Even the best of us need motivation sometimes, she is a very healthy eater, amazing cook, experimental and enjoys the best of France too (think of those divine cheese stands at the market, the freshest fish, I won’t go on) so she came a-calling on Momma. Who, by the way, also goes to her and literally hundreds of recipe books both cooked and raw for inspiration.
First, of course I mentioned green smoothies, my go to lunch at least 4 out of 7 days a week but she wanted something ‘to eat!’ so I suggest making some wraps of sliced or even pulsed which is faster (unless you have a mandolin – which I have but dare not use, it looks lethal!) vegetables. Carrots, mushrooms, spring or red onion, radishes, avocado, whatever you have and like, even some cauliflower or broccoli.
Mix it all up with a few herbs if you have them, maybe a good sprinkle of ready to eat sea salad, a drop of olive oil or sesame oil would give a more oriental flavour and some balsamic or a drop of tamari or soy sauce some good combinations to mix in small quantities OR to put in a mini sealed pot to dip into:
- olive oil – balsamic – basil – salt n pepper
- sesame oil – soy sauce/tamari/ liquid amos (I use the coconut version with no soy) – splash of maple – pepper
- Teriyaki sauce (I use the coconut version, because it has no soy)
- a blended avocado, drop of cider vinegar, pinch salt, italian herbs or chopped chives
- juice of one orange, splash of soy sauce/tamari/ liquid amos (I use the coconut version with no soy), dash of olive oil, sprinkle of sea salad. I think this is one of my favourite dressings for salad too, I put lots on and happily drink what is left out of my bowl, if we don’t have visitors of course.
- blended plums (3 or 4), a sprinkle cider vinegar, chilli depending on taste and heat, tbsp olive oil, onion – match quantity to size of one plum, a small chunk of fresh ginger, a date or two and, depending on meetings, a clove of garlic.
You could make a raw wrapper, use a wholewheat pitta bread, corn tortilla or a great and light one is a rice wrapper that they sell for spring rolls.
As with all my recipes adjust to suit you. I am not a chef, I throw things together and make them work (and occasionally they don’t) and I have been doing this for many, many years so know what we like and work more on instinct – even when following a cooked recipe, it has to be said, much to Aimee’s dismay. And Robins on occasion, as you can see here .
Nom nom.Learn More
I have had lots of conversations about my last post with people who related to various points. I am so glad we have had the many experiences we have had and can use them to help others!
I did wonder for a moment or two if was a good idea to post about dealing with anxiety.
Firstly on a personal basis, because it is ingrained in us almost from birth not to tell other people if we have problems and the post wasn’t only about me, it was about my husband too. ( To allay any fears, I would never betray a confidence to anybody, we follow a strict confidentiality code and that applies to each other too, so of course we were both in perfect harmony and agreement about my post).
Secondly from a professional perspective: “could it affect our business if people know ….” well, I had to get over that one quickly – we believe that having lived through various situations, problems, conflicts etc etc in our lives makes us very much more aware of how they effect people. Also, having overcome different things, we have the experience – the proof if you like, that it is possible.
Lets not perpetuate the belief that emotional problems are something to be ashamed of!
And lets face it, most good diet councillors have run the gauntlet of losing weight and are still working to keep it off. Drug and drink rehabilitation sponsors are themselves in recovery and so they know exactly what one is going through.
You wouldn’t expect your driving instructor not to be able to drive.
A person who has experienced and achieved what they are teaching is often a much better bet than a person who has just learnt through theory.
We believe that we are more credible because of what we have experienced, what we manage and what we have overcome and therefore have a greater understanding of the things our clients experience, need to deal with, manage and/or overcome.
We have seen people open up and well up with relief because, on hearing an experience of ours, they suddenly realise that someone really does understand. How often do people think they are the only ones who feel the way they do, or that nobody will understand them. You can bet your bottom dollar that if you are in a room full of people there will be someone else who feels just like you do. Who would totally get it if they only knew how you felt and who would be grateful to know you understand them too. People think they are in a little bubble all alone and can’t tell or ask for help – they often think there IS no help – but they can and there is!
We are proud of our life experiences, good and bad, they have helped make us who we are and are an added qualification from the great university of life. Whilst we don’t need to talk about them all the time none of us should need or want to hide them.
We are all human after all and that’s something to celebrate.
I say again PLEASE lets not perpetuate the belief that emotional problems, anxiety, depression, low self esteem, eating disorders and all the long list – often seen as the great unmentionables – are something to be ashamed of!
Head to our Online retreats page. Lets get you sorted!Learn More
Ok quick recipe for an easy, delicious and nourishing dip – yes and low calories, cuts through cravings for creamy, cheesy and savoury and more I’m sure!
Delicious and nourishing dip recipe, coming up:
- A bag of frozen peas (defrost – not in the micro wave if you can help it please!) blend with half a red onion (oh, yes, any onion if thats what you have) an avocado, a couple of table spoons of nutritional yeast – that’s the cheesy flavour, trust me, plus it is called nutritional for a reason!
- Add a tablespoon of agave syrup – OK, maple, or honey, or even (and this would be a great choice) a couple of apricots or a sweet nectarine or a couple of soaked dates – get the picture, just use your bonce and try to keep it unprocessed, raw, organic & clean!).
- Add a tsp good salt (natural mineral, NOT table salt!) and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar ( yes, lemon or lime could be subbed there).
- Whizz it all up, add a big handful of fresh coriander r other herbs of you haven’t got it, mints a great one, and yumaloo, you are through!
- Serve with sticks of carrot, celery, cucumber, chunks of cauliflower, broccoli, slices of cabbage, endive leaves or even good old pitta bread ( wholemeal if you please.
Anything you do that increases your intake of fruit and veggies, especially green, is a good thing, especially when it tastes this good!
As long as I can remember I have been at least a little obsessed with food!
I do remember being hungry as a child and I was not deprived, just burning it off fast and hungry before each meal – how often are we really hungry before we eat? Not often, try it and see.
I had to go straight to dancing school after school. When I was younger I was delivered and I remember being given Rivetas that my mother was piling cream cheese and pineapple on, I think there could have been butter too – Riveta wasn’t really advertised as it is now as a be all to all people base for fine concoctions, way back then it was just about diets.
The topping sends a mixed message – but as the skinniest kid in class thank goodness for a Mother who was ‘on a diet but just couldn’t resist’. I still love the sucre/sale flavours!
As I grew older I had to get to dancing myself so the minute the bell rang I ran as fast as I could – a few miles across flat planes, across town, up hills, to get there in 15 minutes, about 3 or 4 miles I’d guess.
Usually I had taken nothing to eat. A couple of hours of dancing at least, then a trek back to town and the bus home, just waiting for fooooood!
Home was a funny place, not always happy, a lot of tension and conflict going on. I often spent sleepless nights working out how I could support my siblings and myself on the pocket money I saved every week (religiously I squirreled it away, just in case).
I always started with a base of a massive white sliced loaf because it was cheap and would fill our tummies; there were bags of apples and bananas too. ….
I still wake in the night and work out food for the next day, make up recipes, analyse the day before, NO sliced white loaf now but the bananas and apples figure, somewhere behind the green leaves and celery.
The other day Robin was watching me and asked what I was doing – “counting my portions” (I was counting on my fingers) I do it every day, smug when I hit ten or over, less so when 7-10 and fed up with myself (I’m working on that flagellation thing) if I don’t make 5.
That is a rare occasion these days but when staying away or travelling it can be REALLY hard to get those portions in! In the UK it is not so bad with the brilliant motorway service stations where they have M&S and Waitrose salads, washed fruits and peeled, chopped fruits but when we are going through France it is really tough.
You have to go off road and find a market or super market then find somewhere to wash the stuff – or eat bananas which is fine for the first one or two.
OR be organised and take stuff with you – even after all these years and hardly ever managing to sort myself out to take something for between school and dancing I still rarely get it together.
So that is something I will be working on “being prepared” and delicious recipes to travel with – that means they last in a very warm car or on a very cold ferry, are delicious, nutritious and easy to eat without setting up a picnic table/ getting it all over you, and without having a bag of slimy washing up to do in a hotel room – or worse, forgotten about and to be discovered weeks later, under the seat, when trying to find out “what that smell is”!Learn More