Saturday, 5 November 2011

Mini pumpkins

Ah, the autumn.

Autumn never truly starts for me until halloween comes round. Then after the 31st everything suddenly looks different. The leaves outgrow their green and mature into beautiful warm colours. As it gets colder, my winter wardrobe comes out... primarily, warm boots and a snuggly coat :)

This year we had a traditional, cosy family Halloween with my mums pumpkin soup, a sneaky jacket potato with beans and sausages.

You'd think I'd be sick of pumpkins by now, but oh no, my soft spot for pumpkin is here to stay for a little while longer, at least whilst they're in season. Especially when you find a mini pumpkin - they're so cute!
I picked up 2 of these mini pumpkins with a bunch of plans for what to do with them. Hungry, impatient and unable to decide, I thought simple is usually best.

Mini roasted pumpkin
1 mini pumpkin
Knob of butter
  • Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celcius (fan assisted oven)
  • Place the mini pumpkin in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the flash is cooked through
  • Once cooked, the top of the pumpkin should become more dome-like
  • Remove the pumpkin from the oven
  • Cut a circle round the top of the pumpkin and lift the lid off
  • Scoop out the seeds and discard
  • Add a knob of butter into the pumkin
  • Take a spoon to it and eat whilst still warm

Optional add ins - I found that adding anything to this already sweet pumpkin would mask it's flavour, so I chose not to add anything other than a small knob of butter. However, you could make a simple and quick stewed pear to top or add a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.

Quick stewed pear

1 pear
Small knob of butter

  • Peel and chop the pear
  • Add to a small saucepan on a low heat
  • Add the butter
  • Allow to slowly cook
  • Once the pear has softened either mash until you reach a smoother, compote-like consistency or immediately spoon into the pumpkin
Much love,

Emily Jane x

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Guildford Riverside Fun Run 2011

The Fun Run for disability challengers was a big hit and everyone I met there, kids and adults seemed to have a good day. Along with Joyden's wood walk n' run, the two events raised almost £40,000 for diability challengers. It was great watching the adults ambling back from their walk/run with the kids having run the same race still bouncing about all over the place with boundless energy!

I brought along my grain free brownies and cookies on the day with 10% of the proceeds going to Disability Challengers. Both were a hit and I had some lovely comments from people - which is always appreciated!!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Guildford Riverside Run

The Guildford Riveside run is being held this Sunday 16th October 2011 in aid of Disability challengers.

Disability Challengers is local to Guildford, providing a safe and friendly place for children and young adults with learning disabilities to spend some time away from their families to play in a stimulating and understanding enviroment. This is not only great for the child but also gives the family a break from providing constant care, allowing parents to spend more time giving attention to other children in the family or just to relax together and take some time to do the things they wouldn't have time for otherwise.

On Sunday I will be selling some of my foods (including my brownies) before, during and after the runs. So please come down and be a part of the day!

But for now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the rain stays away :)

Emily x

Monday, 10 October 2011


I'm a few weeks behind with this post as a few weeks ago I spent the day at Goodwood with everyone from the Whiteley Clinic. It was my second time there and seeing as the first time I went last year, I spent the entire time wondering wether there was some method to the betting process someone hadn't told me, this time I felt more prepared. I figured that I'd have a better idea second time round. Unfortunately that logic didn't quite hold and true to form I lost every race!

Ah well, I was surrounded by lovely people and beautiful weather and everyone had a great day - it's always really great to go and do something totally different :)

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Well this is a bit new...

Hello everyone who has found their way here!

I thought I'd just take a few moments to write an introduction to my blog...

So, who am I?
My name's Emily Jane. I've had a pretty lousy history of ill health caused by bacterial infections.

I spent many frustrating, health deteriorating years hopping between drs consulting rooms trying desperately to find out what was wrong with my health before eventually taking matters into my own hands and along with my family, researched into lyme disease (after being bitten by a tick) and my other ailments and ultimately whether there was anything at all that could be done.
My family, also having a history of chronic disease, had experienced the same frustration as I had, trialling medications and treatments that did nothing to help. Eventually we found something that looked promising and after much reading up we decided to give it a go. (Read my story in detail here -> A very brief history... )

Before embarking on the treatment, I read as much as I could. I read up about the dietary requirements and reasons behind them. I researched foods which would give me most nutrients to give my immune system a chance to fight off the blighters, whilst also giving the bacteria as little of what they needed to thrive as possible. Namely these baddies were bad carbohydrates in the form of highly processed foods, such as grains and sugars.

After weeks of herxing I started to notice small improvements. After months of herxing I noticed bigger and bigger changes. I started to get excited with more improvements appearing all the time! I kept my diet strictly lower in bad carbohydrates and higher in healthy fats and proteins. I had cut out wheat long ago, after experiencing painful distress with IBS symptoms but I wanted to do as much as I could to aid my immune system in recovering. So I removed grains from the base of my diet.

With my change in foods and way of eating, I started to slowly gain my energy and ultimately, my life back (again...)

Why did I start a blog?

The science behind my treatment and the interactions of diet and lifestyle on health fascinated me. I began to have a much greater appreciation of food and the effect it could have on my health. Food is, after all fuel, and I wanted to make sure that I was loading up on the optimal type. Once I was well enough and able to abandon the wheelchair and go out on my own 2 legs, I soon realised, through talking to others, that there were many people in my situation, wanting good quality food but frustrated with the fact there weren't any good quality food options avaliable.

For example, there are already options for people allergic to, say, wheat. There are gluten free products on the supermarket shelves, problem sorted?...........Wait, hang on a second, what's that on the back of the packet...  now tell me can you pronounce even half of the words on there, let alone know what they are? It's usually the case where the first couple of ingredients are high starch/carbohydrate flours, granted without gluten, but incredibly high in processed starches none-the-less. Then as your eyes scan south, you spy an ingredient name which gives you a surge of hope, only a milisecond later to be followed by the word modified or regenerated. And you thought you had fun earlier with impossibly complicated words, well you'll be laughing at the naievity of your 20 second younger self when you reach the stabiliser and emulsifier section of the packet. Then, if the glycemic load wasn't enough to stop there, there's some sugar and glucose syrup thrown in for good measure........ and that's in the savoury products...
Really, is that an example of the nutritious fuel we're shovelling into our bodies?

... annnnnnnd breath... :P

After a couple of shopping trips, realising pretty soon I was going to have a pretty repetitive time looking over packets trying to find one I could eat, and possibly spend the remainder of my days in a shopping aisle, it's fair to say I was a little fed up.

So looking at the foods I had started making whilst unwell, I decided to start cooking mainly from scratch. Using natural ingredients. Grain free, gluten free, refined sugar free, using whole natural foods, lower in carbohydrates.

So, in summary, I started this blog for 2 reasons.

1) For now I hope by sharing my story and talking about my experiences I can help to create awareness of the effects and causes of chronic diseases or "auto-immune" diseases which are sometimes cruelly labelled as psychological illnesses.


2) By talking about great food, posting any research or science-y bits I come across and any experiences of interest I can share and hopefully sharing my experiences with a dinner plate devoid of grains.

Ok, got a little carried away there, bit longer than I thought it'd be but hopefully not enough to put you to sleep :)