How to dine (blissfully) on your own

Posted on August 27th, 2014

I was prompted to jot down some thoughts on this subject when I recently found myself once again causing a stir among those around me for there I was, a 40-year-old woman in a restaurant very happily dining on her own. Oh, the sideways glances!

If I lived I'm #Killcare I'd be getting down to @bells_at_killcare for locals night... $45, two courses, #local #biodynamic wine . Ps thank you to this whole snapper that has sustained me tonight #respectyourfood

Dinner for one at Bells at Killcare recently: a meal like I mean it (snapper), a modified side and a glass of red.

I was up at Bells at Killcare, a little over an hour north of Sydney having a “Think Week”, or more accurately a “Writing Three Days”. It’s something I do when I start on one of my books (which I’ve just done). It’s an indulgence, but it does the job – I go somewhere where I can have an early morning exercise explosion, be in beautiful sunny surrounds and have food covered*.

So there I was dining solo, in a full dining room of couples and… more couples. I’m so undeterred by this seemingly renegade culinary situation that it’s not until I get the glances that I realize many folk just don’t find it as blissful as I do. I genuinely love it; I find it nourishing and opening and I think I’ve felt most “me” at such times I find myself sitting in a bustling restaurant or café with a glass of wine and a full meal and my thoughts.

For those who are not so sure how it all works, here’s how I do it:

  • Sit at the bar. Or somewhere with high traffic and your back against a wall. Good feng shui.
  • To this end, reflect upon the fact that some of life’s most erudite philosophers came up with their most poignant utterances dining in restaurants and cafes alone, their backs against walls to be able to purvey life.
  • Have a glass of wine. Red is good for getting into the right reflective frame of mind.
  • Order like you mean it. A proper meal. Not just the salad. You are here to nourish (after years of living alone, I do the same at home…I never resort to a tin of tuna on a rice cake!).
  • Befriend a waiter. I’ve learned more about humanity from my chats at bars with waiters than anywhere else. There’s Read more

Beet and Turmeric Kvass Tonic

Posted on August 26th, 2014

You read it first here: The next chapter in my health explorations is the microbiome. Yep, I’m all about healing the gut right now. I’ll touch on this in more detail shortly; meantime I’m just working on recipes that get my gut gunning with gas (or without it, as preferred case may be). Kvass is one such ammunition in my holster.

Beet xxx, recipe below

My Beet and Turmeric Kvass tonic, recipe below

A traditional Ukrainian drink, beet kvass is fermented with Lactobacillus bacteria and is a pink probiotic powerhouse punch with a slightly rustic, earthy flavour. As my gutsiest guru Sally Fallon says:

One 4-ounce glass, morning and night, is an excellent blood tonic, cleanses the liver and is a good treatment for kidney stones and other ailments.”

She also says that beet kvass is widely used in cancer therapy in Europe and in the treatment of chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivities, allergies and digestive problems.

I’ve added turmeric, because I recently read that turmeric needs to be fermented for the full benefits of this little root to be experienced. If you can’t find turmeric, simply make it with straight beetroot.

Beetroot and Turmeric Kvass

  • 2 large beetroots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
  • 10 cm turmeric scrubbed or peeled (depending on how rough and gritty the skin is), chopped Read more

Fermented Turmeric Tonic recipe

Posted on August 21st, 2014

Turmeric is a sweet salve for an inflamed, auto-immune, gut-compromised soul, or so say the studies. But a bunch of other studies show it has poor bioavailability and requires pretty good gut health from the get-go to be able to convert the active ingredient (the yellow pigment, curcurmin) into a form that kicks into gear all the good guff. Sad sigh.

My fermented turmeric tonic

My fermented turmeric tonic

ALL OF THAT SAID, a study published in the International Journal of Food Science and Technology found the bioavailability increased when it was fermented.

It works like this: Curcumin is transformed through digestion into different forms known as metabolites. And it’s these metabolites that are the anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing agent. And the bit that I find interesting: According to a Japanese study, fermentation prior to eating can replicate this transformation, ie create metabolites.

Music. To my witchy ears.

I decided to play around with turmeric fermentation myself this week. My wonderful friend David grows the stuff and brought in a boot-load (literally) for me to muck about with. For those of you who don’t know a David With A Bootload of Roots, you’ll be glad to know turmeric is in season right now (in the Southern hemisphere) and pretty easy to get hold of. Buy up big. I’ll be posting a few more recipes to come.

For today, a tonic that’s bound to pacify pain and cool the angry inflammation based on my Ginger-ade recipe.

Fermented Turmeric Tonic

  • 1 cup thinly sliced turmeric, unpeeled (if you come up a little short, a bit of ginger in the mix is fine, too) Read more