take a flanerie

Posted on December 19th, 2012

This is a wonderful French word. And it’s very Parisienne in nature. Flanerie: to take a wander around a city just to look and smell and absorb.

Photo via Vogue Japan

I’ve JUST today settled on my first apartment. The keys are sitting here on my table. It’s big. For me. The purchase is part of my latest experiment: getting anchored…so that I have a sturdier base from which to flit and fly. Which is what I like doing best.

You might find this odd. My apartment – in stark contrast to where I’ve been the past two years – is in the middle of the most densely populated suburb in Sydney (and, for that matter, Australia). It ain’t no tin shed in the forest!

I’m nervous about being around so much humanity and humming and freneticness and smell. But I feel it’s time for me to get cool with humanity and to be truly in and amongst it. Can’t go over it, can’t go around it, must go through it.

Which brings me to the beauty of flanerie. The French do this on a Saturday afternoon in Paris. They don’t wander around shops and buy shit they don’t need. The French have simple tastes. Excess is deemed vulgar. Instead, they wander the streets, dropping in for a coffee or an aperitif at cafes. Cafes, where the chairs face outwards Read more

14 things to do with fermented cream cheese

Posted on December 18th, 2012

Crikey I love curd. And blimey it’s the easiest way to get some probiotic love into your guts. A few weeks back I outlined 5 ways to use whey. Today I’m going to share what you can do with the other half of the equation: the curds. Because as you know, you make these two wonder stuffs by simply draining some yoghurt for a few days…for those of you who missed it,  here’s how to make cream cheese.

Today, I’m going to share a few more things to do with cream cheese. Like whey, the curd, or cream cheese that you’re left with, is a fermented product teaming with life. Sally Fallon, who is the Dame of Fermented Goodness, says this: “These friendly creatures and their by-products keep pathogens at bay, guard against infectious illness, and aid in the fullest possible digestion of all food we consume. Perhaps this is why so many traditional societies value fermented milk products for their health-promoting properties and insist on giving them to the sick, the aged and nursing mothers.”

Fermentation with lactic acid bacteria increases the nutritive value of foods because of improved bioavailability and can enhance the absorption of protein and minerals, particularly calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and copper. Lactic acid bacteria can synthesize the vitamins folic acid, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and vitamin B12.

Empirical research has identified a long list of health conditions that may be helped by consuming foods containing lactic acid bacteria, including colitis, constipation, diarrhea, gas, gastric reflux, heartburn, Crohn’s disease, gum disease and high cholesterol. Recent studies have shown a positive effect of probiotics on autism and obesity.

But to a few ideas I’ve been playing with…

1. Spread on crackers with Vegemite spread over the top.

2. Make some sardine and endive boats. The recipe is in my I Quit Sugar Cookbook.

3. A simple dip: Blend some cream cheese with garlic, finely shopped shallots, fresh herbs (I like thyme),  olive oil. Read more

The I Quit Sugar Cookbook…in hard copy!

Posted on December 17th, 2012

Golly. The day has come. I can finally share the release date of the bricks ‘n’ mortar version of I Quit Sugar: January 24 (give or take). If you find yourself in a bookstore around that time, this is what the cover will look like…

What do you reckon? The shot was taken by my top mate Marija in an alleyway in downtown Copenhagen. True story: she actually flew all the way to Denmark to shoot the picture. As you might recall, we spent a day trundling around Copenhagen in a rickshaw, darting from location to location. We did more than 15 shots in more than six locations…a phenomenal feat given we didn’t know the city, the people, the food. We recruited strangers on the street, borrowed gear from cafes and I wore clothing pulled from my 14.5kg backpack….stuff very much on its last legs. I just flicked through the book…I’m wearing about five items of clothing mixed and matched throughout the entire book!

We were so grateful to XX model agency who let us use their alleyway space and to half the population of greater Copenhagen who helped us out in our wild scoot around town.

Below are a few inside pages to check out…a sneak peek. And to answer your questions:

* it will retail for $34.99

* it will be in most bookshops, Big W and department stores

* it’s I Quit Sugar: an 8-Week Program and I Quit Sugar Cookbook roughly combined, with a bunch of new recipes.

* it’s not out in time for Christmas…for a range of reasons. But it’s darned ready for your post-Australia Day detox!

Check it out in January! And stay tuned for a few select book signing events in February. Oh, and if you are a bookstore owner, or have an outlet where you’d like to sell the book, post a comment below and I’ll have the fine Pan Macmillan people get in touch.