Thus ends my very first ten days as a London Paleo Kitchen blogger! I’ve been updating the Facebook page,sharing my meals (when I remember to take a photograph!) on myPaleoPal, posting on Instagram and Twitter (a first for me!) and nervously watching the stats go up. After a slight mishap whereby I shared the London Paleo Kitchen Instagram account with everyone on my personal Facebook page (sorry!) I can truly say I am really enjoying this! Here’s a roundup of what I’ve been up to this week.
What have I been reading?
This series of articles on Serious Eats on how to store tomatoes (1, 2, 3). During tomato season last year, I read an article stating that tomatoes taste best when left out of the fridge. We were already smugly keeping our eggs on the counter rather than the fridge so this was a no-brainer. We were pretty happy about it – I would say tommatoes DO taste better at room temperature rather than straight from the fridge. This geeky series of article has made me rethink, though, and now I’m just a bit confused. I guess my takeaway, now that we’re coming into tomato season again, is (1) Ripe, heirloom tomatoes taste better. Bit obvious that. (2) Eat them as soon as you buy them. If you can’t, store them in the fridge, preferably on the top shelf near the door. (3) Some people are a bit obsessive. (4) Although I got tomatoes in my veg box and I’ve been assured they were grown locally, in Deal, it’s still too early in the season for decent-tasting tomatoes.
This article on BBC about exercise. In the UK paleo world, cardiologist Aseem Malhotra is a stand-out as he is one of few mainstream NHS medics who criticises and questions government guidelines. I can’t remember where I first came across him but I saw him speak last year at HEALTH:Unplugged. The idea that exercise is not the key to losing weight will not come as much of a surprise to most paleonauts but it’s worth being reminded about it. That doesn’t make me want to stop CrossFit, but it does help to ensure a healthy perspective when it comes to food (every day need) vs. exercise (for overall health and wellbeing).
The news that this blogger had lied about her condition, misleading thousands of followers that she essentially had the cure for cancer. I don’t believe she did it maliciously, at least at the start, but as a new blogger it definitely served as a reminder that it could be easy to get carried away and suddenly you’re in the midst of something you can’t control!
Sleep and the perception of light. Hardly anyone in the West gets enough sleep, and it’s not surprising considering we spend most of the evening with artificial lights on. I love that it’s being talked about more and more as time goes on as I think it’s key to a lot of health issues. It’s a massive work in progress for me but I know I’m a far more pleasant person to be around when I’ve had my eight hours! We dim the lights as soon as it gets dark outside and I use a Lumie alarm clock when reading in bed and to wake me up, which I absolutely love. More often than not these days I wake up before the alarm sound itself goes off, which is a massive win for me.
We talk about the gut all the time during lectures at CNM, and the more I learn the more I can’t believe how little we are taught about the impact of what we put in our mouth has on our body, especially our gut. This article on gut and fat loss is a good primer on the role of bacteria in our gut and I’m really looking forward to going to the Fitter Food Academy in Leamington Spa on 16 May, where Emma Mihill will talk more about the gut. If you can’t make the Academy, you can listen to their various podcasts featuring Emma.
What have I been listening to?
And just in case I didn’t hammer home enough about how interested I am in the gut, I also caught this interesting little snippet on BBC Inside Science (and did a bit more reading here and here). Apparently, an Amazonian tribe which has been isolated from the rest of mankind has a gut flora 50% more diverse than the rest of us; crucially, they have never taken antibiotics. This is super exciting because it means that as we modernised our eating and lifestyle habits, our guts have become less diverse, making us more prone to disease and inflammation. Scientists are now researching how the information can be used to treat or explain the increased number of inflammatory diseases. I have no hope of ever having a gut like the Yanomami (and I’m quite happy to live in a place where the death from childbirth is low, old age is not rare and I can walk down the street not getting chased by dangerous animals), but I CAN choose not to have antibiotics unnecessarily, eat fermented food and (should it happen) give birth naturally, unless a Caesarean is medically necessary. And maybe I should do what kids do and eat dirt once in a while.
Nom Nom Paleo’s brand new podcast. I’ve been following Nom Nom Paleo pretty much from the start of my paleo journey. Her food combinations really speak to me and I love most of her recipes. Once I’d gotten over her slightly squeaky voice and the whole American thing, I really enjoyed the podcast. It’s basically an informal round table discussion among the whole family, and is less self-consciously scientific and just very practical. I know some people find her and her family a bit annoying but I like that everyone gets involved in everything, everyone is a part of her paleo approach.
What has excited me?
We got our second veg box from Kent Veg Box. I’ve been wanting to subscribe to a veg box for years, but always worried about the box being left outside our flat all day until we get home. I was finally swayed when I found these guys. They only deliver within the M25 and to Kent, and they source the majority of their veg from Kent. This is very very exciting. In doing research on veg boxes in the past, I’ve always been perplexed by how much companies tout being ‘Organic’ and ‘Local’, when almost half of their veg comes from Europe. I know we can’t grow many things over winter, but the Farmer’s Market does always seem to offer a variety of British-grown veg, so it’s obviously possible to grow some veg other than just roots and tubers, and if I wanted anything more exotic I can go to the supermarket for my out of season veg! Anyway, the first box WAS a bit rooty – probably fine for the average British family but since going paleo we don’t really eat many potatoes (we did start off hardcore and had NO potatoes, but there was a definite sigh of relief in our household when Dallas and Melissa finally gave the green light for potatoes on the Whole30! There is really nothing more comforting than a steaming hot bowl of mashed potatoes. Or a pile of freshly fried handcut, homemade chips. Or the crunch of perfectly roasted potatoes. Or a crispy-skinned, soft-on-the-inside jacket potato. You get the gist.), so we were a bit overwhelmed. Plus we got beetroot, swede AND carrots. The second veg box was much better though – purple sprouting broccoli, the ambiguous ‘leaf veg’ (a gorgeous purple and green leaf with sturdy stem), potatoes (again!), salad, the biggest cauliflower I’ve ever seen (yay cauli rice!), tomatoes, leeks and spring onion. Definitely love these guys, especially the fact that absolutely everything was grown in Kent.
New discovery – paleo-friendly food at Naytures Intent. I’ve already updated the Eating Out page and will be posting a full review as soon as I have had a chat with the guys about their food and philosophy. In the meantime, for guaranteed paleo-friendly food, read my review of Feed Me Primal.
Asparagus is back in season! It’s a short one, guys, so get your fill!