Thursday, 23 October 2014

Introducing Soul Food Sous-Chef: AYALA ART

When Mystele, Heather and I chose our Sous-Chefs for Soul Food 2015, we wanted a mix of new faces as well as familiar ones for continuity from the first round. We're delighted to have Ayala Art joining us again! We love her portraits and her warmth; and our alumni students loved her lesson. We asked our guest artists to create a little introductory video answering a few questions about themselves; this is Ayala's interview, and I hope you'll also visit her here to see her beautiful work and *ahem* enter her fabulous GIVEAWAY!

Ayala Interview for SoulFood from Ayala Art on Vimeo.

Feeling a bit Paleo: UPDATE

It's been three weeks since my Paleo journey began and Dad asked me today if I'd weighed because he can see I've started to lose weight. I'd noticed my jeans getting looser; that I'd gone up a notch on my belt; and was wondering if it was my imagination that a couple of bras were fitting slightly better but I wasn't making a big deal dancing about it because I still have a long road ahead. Scales turn me into a "glass half empty" person - the numbers depress me because my target is still so far away. Dad says that's a bad attitude but he's always been slim and fit, so what does he know?! Maybe I'll build a better relationship with the scales when I'm further along in my journey and the numbers are less intimidating.

I can't say Paleo is easy; there are times when I'm feeling too tired to cook. There are things I miss but I haven't been at all hungry and I've found new favourite things to eat - like cabbage stir fried in roasted mustard seeds and fenugreek; and mushroom omelettes with a whisper of smoked paprika and red onions. And no, I don't have recipes; my day to day cooking is all about what I fancy undertaken with a chuck-it-in-the-pan-and-see approach! If I'm out for a whole morning and can't get an alternative or forget my fruity teabags, then I don't stress about having an "illegal" hot drink. I refuse to make this a trial and thus feel guilty about incidental "failures" like that - and that, in my opinion, is a good attitude!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Soul Food class of 2015 GIVEAWAY!

22/10/14 UPDATE: We have a winner! Congratulations to Debra! Please get in touch with me, Debra.

I'm delighted that it's now my turn to give away one free spot in Soul Food 2015! If you visit the entry form below, you'll find ways to gain multiple entries to this giveaway which opens today, October 15, and runs for one week, until October 22, 2014. To find out more about this wonderful online class and to meet the 2015 faculty, please visit our Soul Food blog.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Soul Food class video

This is a little promo video myself, Mystele and Heather prepared for our Soul Food class of 2015 to explain all about the class and what you can expect from it. If you have questions, come and ask us on Facebook, or come and join us at Community Thrive, where you can enjoy what else the community has to offer while you wait for Soul Food registration to open!

Feeling a bit Paleo

My ME/fibromyalgia counter hit 17 years this April and I'm sure those of you will chronic illnesses will understand how one of the hardest things can be to keep moving enough to stay a "healthy" size. It's not something I've achieved! I have days when I can do more - walk further - but then I have to sleep off my efforts all afternoon/evening and effectively grind to a halt the next day or two to get over it. Time and time again, I've failed to fulfil my plans to introduce more gentle exercise into my routine, or found the efforts to be too debilitating to tolerate. This has brought me to the conclusion that the best thing to do is to focus on my food. I actually have a pretty healthy diet but my issues are portion control and a love of carbs: bread, pasta, and rice.

Recently, a friend who started eating Paleo this January showed me a before-and-now photo of herself; in her 8 months of following a strict Paleo regime, she has gone from my size to fabulous slim-and-healthy size. Her chest has shrunk to I-can-run-for-a-bus-without-hurting size, and she has STOPPED. TAKING. PAIN. MEDICATION. Do I need to say more? And no, you can't see the photo. After 17 years of strong prescription pain meds, this motivates me. With my Mum recovering from breast cancer and my own boobs full of painful cysts, this motivates me. While the prospect of giving up milky coffee, bread, pasta, and rice fills me with trepidation, achieving a "healthy" sized body motivates me.

Today was day #1. No coffee or tea and I haven't killed anyone. But then, I haven't been out.