I know this is completely unrelated to food but I had to share. We got a new puppy earlier this month! She’s a blue whippet called Millie and she is adorable. Here are some pictures of her:
October is the month of autumn squashes! Butternut squash, gem squash, pumpkin, acorn squash, spaghetti squash and the list goes on.
My local farm shop sells a huge variety so in October we ate a lot of squash! Here are some of my favourite squash recipes.
- 4 field mushrooms
- ½ butternut squash, peeled and finely diced
- 1 courgette, finely diced
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp picked thyme
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and chop finely.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic and gently fry until the garlic turns golden brown. Remove the garlic and reserve.
- Add the butternut squash and red onion to the pan and fry until the squash begins to soften. Add the courgette and chopped mushroom stalks, and fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add the toasted garlic to the mixture along with the thyme, half of the parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well and divide the mixture between the mushrooms. Transfer to a baking tray and place in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the squash and mushrooms are both tender.
- Top with the remaining parsley and serve.
Squash with Garlic & Sage
- 1 large butternut squash
- 6 cloves of garlic, whole and unpeeled
- 10-12 fresh sage leaves
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 170C.
- Peel and de-seed the squash. Cut into slices, approx. 1cm thick.
- Place on a baking sheet with the garlic cloves and sage leaves, drizzle over the oil and season.
- Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes until tender.
Spicy Squash & Carrot Soup
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 white onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 celery sticks
- 2 carrots
- ½ a large squash
- 2 pints of vegetable stock
- 1 tsp of chilli powder
- 1 tsp of cumin
- 1 tsp of paprika
- Salt and pepper
- Chop & peel all the vegetables
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat and then add the onion,
garlic, celery and carrots. Cook for 4-5 mins.
- Add the spices and cook for another minute.
- Add the squash (cut into small cubes) and the stock, then season with the salt and pepper.
- Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes, cover the soup and reduce the heat to let the soup simmer gently for a further 20-25 minutes or until all veg is cooked.
- Blend the soup thoroughly.
- Serve in a large bowl and season again to taste.
All of these recipes are available in my eBook Paleo Recipes and in our 60 Day Paleo Plan both of which you can access here. My eBook is free at the moment and contains over 100 paleo recipes.
Other Fruits and Vegetables In Season This Month:
Aubergine, Apples, Beetroot, Blackberries, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chestnuts, Chicory, Chillies, Courgette, Cucumber, Elderberries, Kale, Leeks, Lettuce, Marrow, Onions, Parsnips, Pears, Peas, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Radishes, Rocket, Runner Beans, Spinach, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Summer Squash, Swede, Sweetcorn, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Wild Mushrooms, Winter Squash.
I always eat a lot of fermented food and drink kefir daily. My friend recently gave my some kimchi to try from a company she came across called Laurie’s Tummy Loving Foods. It’s delicious so I recommend it if you come across it anywhere.
A few weeks ago a company called Innate Snacks sent me some snacks to try. The air-dried squares, neither a crisp nor a biscuit, combine vegetables, coconut and almond for nutritional balance and slow-release energy.
They are available in three varieties: Beetroot, Butternut Squash and Spinach & Coconut. The squares are free from grains, gluten, dairy, soy and refined sugar.
The snacks are a great option for lunch boxes and lower in sugar than most energy bars.
Now that the cold weather is really kicking in its time we all start taking a Vitamin D supplement. As a family we take cod liver oil daily, which gives some vitamin D. I alternate between Dropi Cod Liver Oil and Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil.
In the winter I like to take a little extra vitamin D. I recently came across Ddrops which is a great option for children as the only ingredients are Vitamin D3 and coconut oil (so the vitamin D is already dissolved in fat) and you only need to give your children one drop per day.
The product is tasteless, so it’s really easy to get children of any age to take. I put one drop on my kids clean finger or palm and get them to lick off.
This month I decided to really target my gut health with an intense probiotic regime. I wanted to see how well I would tolerate a lot of probiotics at once, and if it made any difference to my overall energy levels and sleep.
I love Dr Ruscio (podcast Dr Ruscio Radio) and I followed his gut protocol probiotic recommendation of:
- A lacto/bifido blend – I chose Elixa Probiotic. You all probably know I think this is the best probiotic on the market if you want one containing lactobacteria and bifidobacteria. It’s the highest strength on the market, is designed to be taken as a short 6 day course to reset your gut, and it is made with Fortress 5 Technology meaning the delivery system is unrivalled. I’ve yet to come across anything that beats Elixa in terms of potency and delivery system.
- A soil based probiotic – I chose Prescript Assist since this is the one that most functional medicine practitioners seem to recommend. It’s backed by clinical studies and contains 29 strains. (*Unfortunately this month inside Chris Kresser’s ADAPT Academy there was a note saying Chris no longer recommends Prescript Assist because the company have changed the formulation. The batch I have at the moment is the original formulation but perhaps the new one will not be a good choice. You need to look for the bottle that has the puzzle pieces on for the original formula. Chris said he is now using Primal Probiotics (Mark Sissen’s probiotic) with good results. I know that Chris Kresser also uses Mega Spore Biotic with his patients.)
- A probiotic containing Saccharomyces boulardii – I like Probiogen Daily Digestive Balance for this.
I have had no adverse reactions to taking all three of these probiotics together and I have tolerated them well, which is a positive. However I really haven’t noticed any other differences to last month (which is a little disappointing to be honest!)
If you do end up catching a cold, or worse the flu, there are lots of natural herbal remedies you can try to help speed up the healing process.
Last month I mentioned Fire Cider and Elderberry Syrup. These are both excellent immune boosters but if you don’t want to make your own or don’t have the time then Napier’s the Herbalist in London have a wonderful immune tonic they call Winter Blend. It’s made from Elderberry, Echinacea, Rosehips and Ginger in an alcohol base.
They also sell an immune boosting tea called Wintertime Booster Tea which is a loose leaf tea made from Echinacea, cat’s claw (pau d’arco), lemon balm, liquorice, sage, nettle and calendula.
Both products are great to have to hand if you feel a cold coming on.
Napier’s have lots of other wonderful products too; definitely check them out as some lovely ideas for Christmas gifts for any health enthusiasts!
UK Paleo Awards
2017 saw the first ever UK Paleo Awards! You can see the list of winners here. Some great paleo brands included.
For Christmas I’ve asked my husband to buy me a Foraging Course with Robin Harford of www.eatweeds.co.uk. Robin specializes in wild, edible plants and his courses show you how to identify edible plants as well as learning their nutritional values, their folklore and history. The courses cover a minimum of 20 edible wild plants.
If I get to go on one of these courses I will update you in a future post!
I am offering free Nutritional Therapy sessions at the moment while I build my portfolio so if you would like to know more have a look at my Nutritional Therapy page to see what’s included.
I’ve recently heard of two pioneering new services allowing you to track markers of health and wellness that are really exciting.
Being in the UK and not having easy or affordable access to functional medicine doctors is frustrating. I’m really hoping that the two services mentioned below are just the start of personalized medicine & tracking health markers becoming automated and therefore more affordable and accessible to everyone.
At the moment these services are still quite pricey but hopefully it’s only a matter of time before other companies offering similar services spring up and the prices come down.
Thriva look great – they offer one-off blood tests that only require a finger-prick sample as well as a subscription service allowing you to track various health markers.
The one-off tests include:
- Thyroid Health Blood Test – TSH and Free T4 (FT4) – £39.00
- Low Energy Blood Test – 25-hydroxy Vitamin D, thyroid function (TSH, FT4), and iron (T.I.B.C, Iron, Ferritin and Transferrin Saturation) – £49.00
- Lifestyle Check Test – Cholesterol & Liver Function (full check of the key liver enzymes) – £49.00
Their subscription packages include Essential, Baseline and Advanced. The Advanced is £69.00 every 3 months (so around £25 per month) and tests B12, folate, HbA1c, cholesterol, liver function, vitamin D, and iron (ferritin).
They claim to typically produce results within 48 hours along with recommendations from one of their GPs. Although you can ask your own GP to do these tests, I think most would be reluctant to do these regularly on a healthy person. So this service is exciting for those of us looking to quantify and monitor our health in an affordable way.
There’s another cool new service that I am dying to try out called Viome. It’s a little bit like Ubiome (the service that easily lets you test your microbiome) but whereas with Ubiome it’s a one off thing and you don’t really get any recommendations based on your results, Viome gives you personalized advice to help you improve your health and wellness.
Viome uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to recommend personalized nutritional recommendations that balance the gut microbiome.
I really think personalized medicine is the future and so even though services like these are in their infancy and I’m sure are not 100% reliable, I am still fascinated by them!
This month I read Mindful Parenting by Oli Doyle, which I thoroughly enjoyed. If you’ve never come across Oli Doyle before you should read his other books – Mindfulness Plain & Simple and Mindfulness for Life. He has a unique way of describing mindfulness that I really like.
I’m also reading The Clever Guts Diet by Michael Mosley. Dr. Mosley takes us on a journey through the gut, showing how junk food and overuse of antibiotics have wiped out many good gut bacteria, leading to a modern plague of allergies, food intolerances, and obesity.
If you are interested in coming on one of our paleo cookery courses we have published some new dates for next year. These are:
- Saturday 13th January 2018 – 10am-4pm
- Saturday 3rd March 2018 – 10am-4pm
- Saturday 28th April 2018 – 10am-4pm
- Saturday 16th June 2018 – 10am-4pm
60 Days of Paleo Meal Plans and Recipes for £9
Our 30-Day Paleo Plan now contains 60 days of meal plans, all recipes and shopping lists tailored for the UK supermarkets as well as motivational email support to help you stay on track. For a limited time we’re selling the plan for only £9 instead of the usual price of £30 so if you want to get in shape in time for Christmas (or start fresh in the New Year) then you can sign up for instant access here.
Live Smarter Life Makeover Course
In December we’ll be launching our 8-week online life makeover course! Join us to optimize your life for health and happiness.
The course includes real food meal plans with all shopping lists and recipes, and takes you week by week through upgrading all aspects of your life. We address both physical and mental health, and look at your sleep, stress levels, movement and gut health as well as detoxifying your environment and helping you develop healthy habits for life.
- What I Ate in September
- What I Ate in August
- What I Ate in July
- What I Ate in June
- What I Ate in May
- What I Ate in April
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