Welcome back to my “What I Ate…” series. It’s June and the sun has been shining here in the UK. As a result we’ve been eating outside almost every night – especially since my husband installed a wood-fired outdoor oven recently!
I try to eat seasonally as much as I can, and also buy local produce from farm shops as often as possible. Here’s a list of what’s in season in the UK right now:
June’s Seasonal Produce
Asparagus, Aubergine, Beetroot, Blackcurrants, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cherries, Chicory, Chillies, Courgettes, Cucumber, Elderflowers, Gooseberries, Lettuce, Marrow, New Potatoes, Peas, Peppers, Radishes, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Rhubarb, Rocket, Runner Beans, Samphire, Sorrel, Spring Greens, Spring Onions, Strawberries, Summer Squash, Swiss Chard, Tayberries, Turnips, Watercress.
This month we have been eating lots of asparagus as our local farm grows it and sells it at the farm shop. One of my favourite ways to eat it is wrapped in Parma ham or pancetta, great for a light lunch or starter. The recipe below is from my ebook Paleo Recipes to Help you Lose Weight and Shape up Fast.
June’s Seasonal Recipe – Asparagus wrapped in Pancetta or Parma Ham
- 16 spears of fresh, new season British asparagus
- 16 slices of quality pancetta or Parma ham (British air-dried hams, such as Woodalls, are also excellent. Alternatively, you could use very thinly sliced belly bacon, though this would require a little extra cooking time).
- A little extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Either preheat a grill to its highest setting, or preheat the oven to 200°C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
- Taking the base of an asparagus spear between the thumb and forefinger, break at the point where the the tougher lower stem gives way to the more tender growth. Repeat this process for the rest of the asparagus, and then trim them all to the same length using a sharp knife.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a generous pinch of salt (this serves to fix the chlorophyll in the stems and retain their green vibrancy) and cook the trimmed asparagus for 2 minutes. Remove and refresh in cold/iced water to stop the cooking process.
- Dry the asparagus well and carefully wrap a piece of ham around each one, starting at the base and wrapping towards the top of the spear, leaving only the point of the spear unwrapped. Lay the wrapped spears on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and a turn of black pepper, and place under the grill/in the oven until the ham begins to crisp – 5 to 6 minutes under a grill, 8 to 10 minutes in an oven.
- Serve immediately.
We’ve also been eating lots of salads and this Coconut Coleslaw has been a staple recently. The recipe was given to me by a friend and it’s super tasty.
- Quarter each of medium sized white cabbage and red cabbage
- Equal quantity of grated carrots
- Handful of sunflower seeds
- Handful of pumpkin seeds
- Large handful of desiccated coconut
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Good pinch of sea salt – I like Sel de Guerande salt for the mineral content
- Large handfuls each of well chopped parsley, coriander and mint (or any combination)
- Paleo mayonnaise to cover sparingly
The amounts are approximate as I make it up depending on how many it’s for. You just mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and can add more salt or lemon juice to taste.
June is obviously also strawberry season so we’ve also been eating lots – in smoothies, smoothie bowls, fruit salads etc.
This month I have mostly been snacking on tiger nuts – great for gut health. Buy the peeled variety – you can get them on Amazon. Tiger nuts are not actually nuts, they are tubers. They are really high in prebiotic fibre, antioxidants and a good source of vitamins and minerals. These tiger nuts go really well in my Gut Health Trail Mix recipe.
Paleo and Eating Out
Leon have just added a new Breakfast Box to their menu that’s pretty good if you are on the go and need something paleo. It has gluten-free sausages, bacon, mushrooms, avocado, egg and beans. You can ask to swap out the beans for an extra egg or avocado if you don’t eat pulses.
Stewed Apples for Gut Health
Some of you might have seen the recent episode of Doctor in the House with the lovely Rangan Chatterjee. Rangan had the family eating stewed apples to improve their gut health. I blogged about this recipe back in 2015 – it’s based on an original article entitled Is this a Perfect Functional Meal for Mucosal Tolerance?
Freezing June Butter
Every year in June and July I stock up on organic butter and freeze it to use in the winter. It can sometimes be difficult to know if the butter you are buying comes from grass-fed cows but at this time of year they will be.
According to the Soil Association “By law, cows must be at pasture whenever conditions allow, over 200 days on average.” That means you can be almost 100% sure that organic cows will be out eating grass as this time of year and as a result the butter from these cows will be full of nutrients and you’ll be able to have lovely, grass fed butter throughout the winter months.
We’ve talked over the last couple of months about organic wine, and why it might be sensible to choose organic wine over conventional wine. To that end, I’ve been trying a few organic red wines and have been on the look out for a reasonably priced organic red wine with no added suphites.
I was pleased to discover Sainsbury’s selling an organic Cabernet Sauvignon which is fairtrade and contains no added suphur – best of all it’s really reasonable at only £6.50.
Malbec and Pinot Noir are the two types of wine that are supposed to contain the highest amounts of resveratol. I don’t like Pinot Noir so I’ve been looking for an organic, sulphite-free Malbec but haven’t managed to find a reasonably priced one yet. If you know of one let me know in the comments below!
For special occasions I have ordered a couple of bottles of this Familia Cecchin Malbec from Buon Vino. According to their website “They are 100% organic in the vines and also use biodynamic practices in some areas. Ferments are with wild yeast and sulphur use is kept to the bare minimum if at all.” It’s £14.50 a bottle so a bit too pricey for everyday drinking but it sounds lovely.
I’ve mentioned before that I rotate the probiotics and prebiotics that I take. This month I have been taking Bimuno prebiotics.
Bimuno has a lot of science supporting it’s efficiency and was recently featured in the BBC programme “The Truth About Sleep”. It has been shown to increase the levels of beneficial bifidobacteria in some clinical trials.
Kids Cook Real Food
This month I discovered a brilliant online cookery course for kids. It’s called Kids Cook Real Food and my children (aged 5, 3 and 18 months) have been really enjoying it.
It’s an American course so you’ll need some cup measures but all the ingredients are easy to source in the UK and the lessons are really fun and so easy for children to follow.
Chris Kresser is in the UK on the 8th and 9th July. If you wanted to book a ticket to see him you can read more here.
On Sunday 9th July he will be joined onstage by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee and Dr. Tamsin Lewis.
Books I’ve Read
This month I read Sleep Smarter by Shawn Stevenson. If you want to know all the ins and outs of why we need to optimise our sleep then you should definitely give this book a read. As a result of reading this I have started using Ease Magnesium spray to help me sleep and it’s brilliant. It doesn’t tingle like some other magnesium sprays do.
I am also part of the way through The Epigenetics Revolution by Nessa Carey, which is brilliant. Read it if you keep hearing about ‘methylation’ and want to understand more!
If you want to have your mind blown then listen to this podcast with Robb Wolf and Ryan Frisinger where they talk health restoration, genetics, and methylation.
Chris Kresser’s podcast on Cancer & Ketogenic Diets is also interesting.
New Dates for Paleo Cookery Courses
We have added some new dates for our paleo cookery classes:
- Saturday 19th August 10am-4pm
- Tuesday 19th September 10am-4pm
- Saturday 14th October 2017: 10am – 4pm
- Saturday 11th November 2017: 10am – 4pm
- Saturday 13th January 2018: 10 – 4pm
Please email us – firstname.lastname@example.org – if you would like to book a space.
Lucy and I have been working on getting the content from our 8 Week Life Makeover Course into an online format. Inside the online course there will be loads of content including weekly meal plans and delicious recipes to take you right through the course.
There are also lots of other resources such as our 28 Day Challenge to Better Sleep and our Chemical Free Home guide.
Keep an eye out for the release of this course if you are interested in optimising all areas of your health!
And finally…a rant…
Vegans keep posting on my instagram with comments like “animals are injected with vitamin B12 which is the only reason meat contains B12”.
B12 is actually synthesised by the bacteria in the guts of runimant animals and transported from their guts to their liver and then to the rest of the body. Some animals are supplemented with B12, but it is vegan propaganda to imply that the only reason meat is a source of B12 is that animals are being injected with B12.
Chris Kresser recently recorded a podcast on the dangers of B12 deficiency and how under-diagnosed it is: Why B12 Deficiency Is Significantly Underdiagnosed
If anyone you know is annoying you with comments about veganism being the healthiest diet or other such things – please direct them to my blog post The Vegan Myth. After they have read it maybe they will then be able to argue in a more educated way!
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