What Have I Been Up To…For the Last Two Months?

Elephants at Mineriya National Park, Sri Lanka

Elephants at Mineriya National Park, Sri Lanka

It’s been over two months since I wrote one of these posts, for which I can only apologise. So much has happened in the past couple of months that I don’t even know where to start!

Taking a break from studying with tandoori fish skewers, turmeric cabbage, salad, and paleo nann from My Heart Beets

Taking a break from studying with tandoori fish skewers, turmeric cabbage, salad, and paleo naan from My Heart Beets

First off, I finished my first year at the College of Naturopathic Medicine studying Naturopathic Nutrition. To be honest this felt like the most stressful year of my life, and I realised I couldn’t really manage working full time and studying part time. Luckily, I’m not on my own – I spoke to a couple of other friends doing the same course and they felt the same. So I have spent a lot of the last couple of months trying to work out how to change this. More on that another time…

 

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Sri Lankan rice and curry, with gotu kola at the front of the plate

Secondly I went on holiday to Sri Lanka for two weeks. The main reason was to attend a wedding. It was a great wedding, a proper traditional Sri Lankan one. I was excited about the holiday afterwards as (1) I hadn’t been away for a significant amount of time on holiday since May last year and (2) I’d heard so much about Sri Lanka. In all honesty I was slightly disappointed by Sri Lanka, but I will explain more fully in a longer blog post another time. I was most excited, though, by the preponderance of gotu kola salad. This is a herby veg, usually mixed with onions, shredded coconut, lime and chilli and eaten as a side dish to most rice meals. I was excited because my tutor at CNM used to call this her ‘go to’ herb for all kinds of ailments. In Sri Lanka they eat it every day, and describe it as having many benefits. I later learnt that it’s the same as daun pegaga in Malaysia, also considered an important medicinal herb. My great aunty used to eat five leaves a day ‘for health reasons’ and I have since learnt of a recipe using daun pegaga during ‘pantang‘ – the confinement Malay women undergo after giving birth.

Finally, and most excitingly…I have got myself involved in volunteering at TWO conferences! First of all, over the next three months I will be blogging for HEALTH Unplugged, the UK paleo conference which will run over two days on 31 October-1 November. I went last year as an attendee at its inaugural event and it was good, if a little chaotic, as first-time events are bound to be, I suppose. It was awesome to be surrounded by other paleo-ers, and I’m really excited to be returning as a volunteer as I’ll get to meet all the important bigwigs in the paleo world. Read my first few blog posts here and pick up Early Bird tickets here!

I will also be volunteering at Food Bloggers Connect, a conference in its 7th year bringing food bloggers from around the UK and Europe together to learn how to improve blogs, get inspiration from veterans and eat some great food. I am in charge of updating their Instagram feed with information on attendees, sponsors and partners and generally just getting excited about the event. I’m so honoured to be able to be a part of these two conferences, and it is definitely giving me more ideas about my direction for the future!

So, this is a shorter post than usual but I’ll be back to my usual regular posts from now!

 

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