My friend Jo has a great knack of being able to listen to her body. She is just so aware of what it needs and makes sure that she hears what it asks for and replenishes it in response. I still have lots to learn from her.

paleo diet

The Paleo Diet principles

I have been thinking about her approach this week for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I have been talking to a few people about what we should be eating. There are just so many theories, diets, viewpoints and opinions in the food world about the best way to nourish our body. Whether it is the publicity that followed Gwyneth when she said she doesn’t allow her kids to eat bread, pasta & rice or the latest diet craze: The Fast Diet (where you literally fast for 2 days a week) there is a huge focus on the whole topic. Some of the guys at work advocate the Paleo diet which harks back to Paleolithic era and how the hunter gatherers ate before the era of processed meals and convenience food. This makes a lot of sense to me because we were created as hunter gatherers and our bodies are much the same despite the growth of processed food. The latest news on processed bacon and sausages backs up the fact that this is not good for you. Overall, sanity reigns when I talk to my current boss who has a simple view on it all. He says you should keep it natural and eat like your grandmother ate. It seems to be working for him.

This brings me to my second reason for contemplating the way we eat. I was fascinated to observe my own need for certain foods  this weekend. I think it is a culmination of the chaos in my life but somehow I came home on Friday night needing to cook in order to get some stability, comfort and homeliness into my mad existence. When I translate that into food, it inevitably leads to cooking and specifically, roasting chicken. Why is that? Well I guess anyone with Jewish heritage will understand the connection to chicken in all its guises. When I am ill, I want chicken soup, when I fancy a snack I want chopped liver and when I need nurturing I want roast chicken. It must go back to my childhood and certainly my grandmother’s food.

We all have these sensory desires. It’s like when you come back from a long trip desperate for beans on toast or when you smell something and it takes you back to an early childhood moment in time. My friend Luci talked with passion this week about a salad dressing she used to have in South Africa that she and her husband miss so much. I am going to try and find it when I go over there next week.

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In the meantime, I can see that my chicken meal ticked all the boxes: eating like grandma did, fulfilling my sensory needs and even meeting the Paleo rules. I cooked it in my favourite falconware tin and matched it up with a wonderful squash from the walled garden at work that head gardener Andre gave me, plus some red onion and parsnip. Perfect.

Now I feel very settled, nurtured and ready to tackle the week.

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