4 Best Baking Schools in Delhi

Are you looking for a good baking school to attend? Having trouble finding the best one in Delhi?

We understand how frustrating it can be to search for a good baking school in Delhi seeing that baking is still not such a popular option in India. However, slowly this trend is changing and a lot of people have started baking schools to train people in culinary and patisserie art and to continue the line of experienced bakers.

So, we have listed down a few amazing baking schools in Delhi which you can check out and enroll in.

1. Truffle Nation – Premium Baking School

TruffleNation is undoubtedly one of the best baking schools in Delhi with its personalized baking, and patissier programs which will help you in advancing your career as a professional baker. Here, you get a chance to experience hands-on session so that you can learn with your experience and get a chance to take the prepared items at home for your friends and family to enjoy. This school also gives you a chance to apply the certification exam once the course is completed so that you can become a certified baker, patissier, or a chocolatier.

2. International Institute of Culinary Arts

One of the top baking institutes in India, IICA Delhi offers several courses and diploma programs culinary arts, bakery and patisserie. It is one of the top schools in terms of student placements and satisfaction and is also known to have an amazing infrastructure. Their bakery and patisserie program is a 5-month program in which they focus both theoretical knowledge and hands-on training sessions. This baking school is accredited by City & Guilds UK so the students get an option to check out further opportunities to study or work abroad.

The reviews for this baking school have been good so far and students always praise the facilities and training that is provided to the aspiring bakers here. So, if you wish to become a professional baker and avail bakery-related jobs overseas then IICA is a good place to get certified.

International Institute of Culinary Arts

3. La Palate Culinary Academy

Another top-notch baking school to check out in Delhi is the La Palate Culinary Academy which offers an assortment of courses and programs for individuals to choose from. You can choose to take their baking course or just opt for baking/cake decoration classes which are 1 or 2-day courses to get a basic learning.

They also offer private and group courses so you can opt for them too if you wish to. Each course and program in this baking school is carefully curated and uses new and innovative techniques to teach the students various baking techniques. If you are looking to start your own home bakery or bakery shop then you can join their ‘Become a Baker’ course which will help you in becoming a professional baker and advance your career opportunities in this field.

4. Culinary and Cake Decorating School

This is yet another amazing school to attend if you are aspiring to become a professional baker which offers you a variety of professional baking courses in delhi, cake decoration, and so on. You will find all kinds of beginner and diploma courses here which will get you the certification and training that you need to become an expert baker. It is a reputed baking school which offers private lessons to individuals too and also hosts several event programs for parties and corporations.

If you are looking for a 1-day course or a serious baking course, then Culinary and Cake Decorating School is the best choice for you.

Culinary and Cake Decorating School

How to Clean an Espresso Machine

The number of times your espresso machine gives you the perfect shot of coffee or froth foamy milk, every time the machine forms a layer of espresso debris, oils and mineral deposits. Thus, it becomes really important to clean the machine regularly and clean it chemically at least once a week.

Maintaining Your Machine After Daily Use

Scrub the portafilter and basket: Firstly, what you need to do is remove the basket from the portafilter. Take a nylon brush or scrubby pad and take out the grounds from the portafilter and basket. Wash both the parts with hot water and dry them with a clean towel. The basket is a metal filter screen that is placed within the portafilter.

Clean the gasket: Take the nylon brush again and insert it into the group to clean the gasket. Put some water in the group to wash away any remaining material.

Wash the screen and underside of the group: Look at the underside of the group and locate a screw. Now just loosen the screw with the help of a short screwdriver to remove the screen from the group. You can take a nylon brush or scrubby pad to clear away debris from each side of the screen. Also, scrub the interior of the group. Keep the screen back in place.

Backwash the machine: Insert a blind disk, a basket having no holes, into the portafilter. They lock the portafilter into the group. Now turn on the group and let it run for about 12 seconds. Empty the water by removing the portafilter and repeat the process again. Before you do so, go through the manual once to see if this kind of cleaning is recommended or not.

Sanitize the steam arm: If you don’t clean it, milk-proteins will start forming on the steam arm. After a time, the residue starts ruining the taste and clog the machine. If you don’t want this to happen, clean up your steam wand before and after use.

Clean the Gasket

Deep-Cleaning Your Machine Once a Week

Make the cleaning solution: You should chemically clean your best automatic espresso machine with a specially formulated cleaner at least once a week. Prepare a solution by mixing the espresso machine cleaner with fresh water.

Disassemble the machine for cleaning: Remove the portafilter from the machine. Also, take out the basket off the portafilter. Now detach the steam wand from the machine and remove the screen from the group using a small screwdriver. You can now easily clean all the parts using the solution to sanitize it chemically.

Soak the items in the solution: Allow the items to soak overnight by inserting them into the cleaning solution.

Scrub and rinse the items: Take out the items from the solution. If not all the espresso residue dissolves in the solution, you can scrub the items with the scrubbing pad. Clean the espresso machine parts with warm water.

cleaning basket

Descaling Your Machine

Prepare the descaling machine: After a time, mineral deposits from the water starts building up in the machine. To remove these deposits, you need to clean your espresso machine with commercial descaling solution after every three months. What you need to do is, fill the machine’s reservoir with fresh water. Mix the descaling solution to it.

Run the solution through the steam wand: Keep the container under the steam wand to collect the solution. Turn on the steam wand. Run approx. one cup of solution through the steam wand. Not turn off the steam wand. Let the espresso machine rest for about 20 minutes and by the time descaling solution will do its work.

Run the solution through the steam wand and group: Again keep the container under the steam wand. Turn the machine on and flush around ¼ cup solution through the steam wand. Now keep the container under the portafilter by turning off the steam wand. Turn on the group and flush around ¼ cup solution through the portafilter.

Turn off the machine and let it rest for another 20 minutes. By the time, the solution will continue to break down the mineral deposits.

Run rest of the solution through the machine: Turn on the machine after 20 minutes. Keep the container under the steam wand. Flush half of the remaining solution through the steam wand. Now move the container under the portafilter and turn on the group to drain the rest of the solution.

Flush the machine with fresh water: Lastly, fill the reservoir with fresh and clean water. Run clean water through steam wand and portafilter.

Flush the machine with fresh water

My Favourite Green Juice

Ahhh, green juice. I love it so much!

Liquids have honestly been a massive game changer for me. I have a pretty awful system, and I know that if I need to give my body a rest, I just need to juice it up!

Although I’m pretty rubbish at actually doing this every day (mainly because I don’t want to clean my juicer!) starting my day with a green juice usually sets me up for a pretty good health day. There’s something so amazing about infusing all your cells with amazing plant goodness right when you wake up. And honestly, I can feel the difference every single time I have a juice. It’s like I’m giving my body exactly what it’s been calling out for.

This juice is not only insanely hydrating, it’s full of detoxing, anti-inflammatory and healing foods. Juicing also removes any fiber, making it easier for your body to digest – seriously, 15 minutes and your body is just flooded with the good stuff. However, if you want that extra fiber boost you can stir in a teaspoon of wheatgrass powder. Easy peasy!

If you don’t have a juicer you can still make juice! Just blend all the ingredients together and then strain using a nut milk bag.

My Favourite Green Smoothie3

Ingredients
1 large cucumber
2 apples
1 fennel
4 stalks celery
1 large handful fresh mint
1 large handful fresh parsley
1 large handful fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 large stalk-1/2 head broccoli
1-inch chunk ginger (optional)
1 tsp Organic Burst Wheatgrass (optional)
Optional add-ins: sometimes if I want to really up the nutrient density of my green juice I’ll throw in a handful of watercress, rocket, romaine or kale. Generally, just look for super high nutrient dense greens and juice until your little heart is happy!

Method
Wash everything and juice! I generally find that putting the herbs between the two apples to get the most juice out of them.

Thai Noodle Bowl & Crispy ‘Seaweed’

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day and still continuing to relax over the weekend! Wish you Merry Christmas from Nutritiously Natasha team.

I spent the day with my family. We went to visit my Grandma at her retirement home, ate a lot, saw Santa, went for a walk, crashed out in bed trying to get warm after the walk, and slumped in front of the telly for the rest of the evening!

Oh, unfortunately, my grandma didn’t enjoy my raw vegan vanilla and cranberry cheesecake…

My parents were particularly impressed at the four hours I managed to be out the house. I’m kind of impressed with myself too. Especially since the weather is starting to get really really nippy. I can’t tell you how excited I am too jet off to Marrakech on Sunday…although I have heard a whisper that it may snow. London shuts down at a dusting of the stuff, so we’ll see if I actually manage to make it out!

And now Christmas is over we can get back to the important stuff.

Today’s guest recipe is for a Thai noodle bowl with crispy ‘seaweed’ from the amazing Caitlin aka The Clean Diary.

I was lucky enough to meet Caitlin at the end of the summer, and since then have become absolutely obsessed with her blog. Over Christmas, she did a foodie advent calendar, and thanks to her amazing recipes and her gorgeous pictures, she’s definitely one of my favorite London-based food bloggers out there at the moment.

For some reason traditional Asian flavors make me feel extremely unwell. Even as a child, my parents would have Chinese food or I’d go over to a friend where Indian was being cooked and I would literally start gagging and need to leave. I don’t know if that’s some of my weird smell sensitivities that just started a lot earlier than the others, but let’s just say that when I was traveling in Asia it caused some problems!

I know a lot of you love more exciting food than I generally eat on a daily basis, so when Caitlin suggested this recipe, I just knew you’d all love it.

Over to Caitlin!

thai noodle

 

Thai food has always been one of my favorites, it doesn’t get much better than a Thai green curry. The coconut milk works in harmony with the Thai spices and herbs and makes such an aromatic dish. It may seem like this flavor is something you can only get from a Thai restaurant, but it is actually much easier than you think! This dish is made completely from scratch and therefore has no nasty surprises (restaurants often use fish sauce which is obviously not vegan and a lot of oil). This recipe is really quick to make and is the perfect comfort food for an evening in, which is why I have added my secret crispy ‘seaweed’ recipe as well, so you can make your own Thai ‘takeaway’ and know exactly what it contains! Did you know that crispy seaweed is actually made from cabbage?! Well mine is made from kale, and it isn’t fried and it doesn’t contain refined sugar! But I can assure you it tastes almost identical to the real thing! I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Ingredients

(serves two)
  • 1 can coconut milk (Preferably pure with no additives)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 medium red chili
  • A 2 Inch cube of fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 6 spring onions
  • 3 sticks of lemongrass
  • A large handful of coriander leaves
  • 1/2 Tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp gluten free tamari (I like Clearspring)
  • 1 tbsp brown rice syrup or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small aubergine
  • 10 baby corns
  • 75g buckwheat or brown rice soba noodles
  • 1/4 cup frozen edamame (optional)

For the crispy seaweed:

  • 3 handfuls of kale, torn finely and large stalks removed
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar

Method

  • Cut the ends off the lemongrass and using the end of a knife or a rolling pin, bash the ends on a chopping board to release the aromas
  • Finely chop and put in a processor
  • Add the ginger, chili, garlic, cumin, coriander and lime to the processor and process until the ingredients are finely ground
  • Meanwhile, chop the spring onions and add to a wok with the coconut oil and cook on a low heat until soft
  • Add the spice mixture from the processor to the wok and then add the coconut milk, continuing to cook on a low heat
  • Peel the carrot into ribbons and add this to the wok along with the pepper, chopped lengthways into strips
  • Chop the aubergine into cubes and add (this will soak up all of the flavors)
  • Finally, halve the baby corns and add to the pan and leave everything to simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are soft
  • Whilst the vegetables simmer, place the kale onto a lined baking tray and rub the olive oil into the leaves with clean hands
  • Sprinkle with the salt and coconut sugar and cook in a preheated oven at 120 degrees celsius for approximately 15 minutes until crisp but not too browned.
  • Add the water, noodles, and edamame if using, and cook for a further 3 minutes, using a fork to separate the noodles as they cook to avoid them sticking
  • Serve in bowls with a good amount of the liquid and enjoy

Stupidly Easy Breakfast Cookies

For some reason, I have been waking up at 7 am every day. I hate it. I used to rock out of bed around lunchtime, and then get on with my day. Now I’m up so early I’m not really sure what to do, especially because I still fall asleep so late. Luckily, it’s earlier than the 5 am I used to fall asleep at!

Because I’m so tired by the afternoon, I usually lose my motivation to cook and eat well. I want to grab the first bar of (raw) chocolate I can get my hands on! So I’ve started being super productive in the morning and making a lovely breakfast and often prepping my other meals for the day too.

This morning I fancied something really sweet but didn’t want porridge. I was all set and ready to make pancakes but I then remembered I still hadn’t brought over half of my cooking ingredients (come on, buckwheat flour!), so I thought I’d make cookies. Gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free cookies. Old Natasha would have been terrified at the thought! Also, sorry for the horrid lighting in all these pictures – 7 am isn’t the best time for light here!

 

These cookies are stupidly easy to make. The base just comes from two ingredients and then you can totally customize them however you like. Because I’m boring and obsessed with the banana/vanilla/almond butter/chocolate combination, I totally had to go for that. But you can add anything that you like and play around with the flavors. Cinnamon and nutmeg would be amazing for a wintery flavor.

Of course, these aren’t the cookies that you grew up eating. They have an entirely different taste and texture. But they’re super filling, delicious, nourishing and ideal for breakfast. Oats are full of slow release energy and have numerous health benefits, while chia seeds and almond butter add some great plant protein. Don’t worry, there will be some Food as Medicine 101 posts on most of these ingredients coming soon!

cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oat quick cooking oats (again, this is all I had as I haven’t fully stocked up my kitchen. You can probably take normal oats and grind them down into a chunky flour)
  • 1 very ripe mashed banana
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp runny almond butter
  • 1/4 cup Punch Foods Raw Cocoa Boost Supersedes (If you don’t have these you can sub cacao nibs or mixed seeds depending on what you fancy)
  • 1/2 Tsp raw vanilla powder
  • Generous pinch (or two) of salt (to taste)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • In a large mixing bowl add the oats, chia seeds, super seeds, vanilla powder, and salt. Stir well to combine.
  • Stir in the almond butter and banana until all the mixture is well coated.
  • I also added a teaspoon or two of rice malt syrup (see here for why that’s my sweetener of choice) because my banana wasn’t super ripe and I knew I’d be missing out on some sweetness.
  • On a lined baking tray take about a tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a little ball. Gently press down with a fork to create a round cookie shape.
  • I liked to try and make them as round as possible without too many small bits poking out to prevent burning.
  • Pop the cookies in the oven for around ten minutes (depending on oven).
  • Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn. When ready, take them out and allow them to cool for a couple of minutes before tucking in.
  • I topped mine with almond butter (literally obsessed, but here’s why almonds are good for you!) and berries and it was just what the doctor (aka my brain) ordered. Cookies for breakfast?

Who knew!

 

What’s your favorite combination?

If you have any doubt regarding the recipe feel free to contact me here.

5 Methods to Apply Avocado Essential Oil

Avocado Essential Oil is extremely rich in Vitamins and minerals which make it a beneficial oil to be used for both hair and skin. This essential oil contains Vitamin A, D, and E, proteins, potassium, fatty acids, etc. which makes it really amazing for skin care and hair care.

You can use your Avocado oil in many applications so we have listed down 5 top ways to use your avocado essential oil:

Making a Shampoo

You can also make shampoo with avocado oil and moisturize your hair with it. Just take ¼ cup each of castile soap and aloe vera gel, 1 tsp. vegetable glycerin and ¼ tsp. of avocado oil and combine them together in a glass bottle. Close the lid on this bottle and shake it a little to mix the contents properly. Now, pour the whole bottle on your hair and massage the shampoo into your hair thoroughly. Leave it for a couple of minutes and then rinse it out with the help of cool water. This will make your hair look and feel healthy again.

Creating a Skin Rub

You can also use Avocado oil to rub your skin and apply a few drops of this oil onto your dry area to moisturize your skin. This essential oil can also be used by users who suffer from eczema as this oil can soothe and reduce the inflammation caused by it.

Using as a Face Mask

Take 1 avocado and mash it into a paste and then add 1 tablespoon of avocado oil to it. Mix them well and then wash your face with water and facewash and pat it dry. Now, apply the paste on your face with the help of a spatula and avoid your eyes and mouth. Let the mask work for 10-15 minutes and then take a damp towel and clean up the paste from your face. Rinse your face once to clean your face properly.

Using as a Face Mask

Anti-Aging Lotion

Take 30 ml each of avocado oil and castor oil and mix them well together. Apply this oil mixture to your aging spots and leave it for 15 minutes. Then, rinse off the oil with the help of warm water. Avocado oil is rich in sterolins which acts as a great moisturizer and helps in treating aging spots.

Make a Bath Oil

Take 1 cup of almond oil and 2 cups of avocado oil in a saucepan and heat them together.

Then, remove the pan from the stove and add 2 tea bags to this mixture. In the meanwhile, pour some essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and geranium essential oil into a glass bottle and then add the almond oil and avocado oil mixture to it. Now, put the lid of the glass bottle and store this in a cool dry place for a day.

Then, shake the bottle well and pour 60 ml of the bath oil into your water and have a relaxing and calming bath while avocado moisturizes and rejuvenates your skin.

Make a Bath Oil

Why I Set Myself Weekly Challenges

Being ill is hard. Like, really hard. I don’t mean to harp on about it and I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, but that’s just a fact. Just existing can be a struggle, especially when you’ve got symptoms that give you the body of an eighty year old with congestive heart failure and joints that pop out when they get bored.

Because of all that general suckiness, it’s so easy to fall into deep depression, suffer from feelings of worthlessness, and harbour intense jealousy for the life you wish you could have. I tend to go through phases where I need to feel sorry for myself (which is entirely ok and normal and to feel for a bit). I try to not let myself wallow for too long, isolate myself or get into the spiral of ‘this will never end’. I have a friend come over and talk at me, I go to see my mum and dad for hugs, I play a particularly vicious game of Mario Kart, I go out for a delicious meal or a beauty treatment. My mum knows that it’s important for me not to be alone and will take me out in the wheelchair if I don’t have the energy to do anything. And it does make a huge difference.

It’s so important to try and keep myself ‘brain happy’ and one of my ways of doing that is to keep busy. In the past I’ve fallen into the trap of working non-stop, thinking that just because I was in bed I was resting. Unfortunately, part of the whole ‘learning to listen to my body’ thing has taught me that if I’m going to rest, it needs to be actual rest, and so doing things that make me feel better (work work work work succeed push yay) in the short term can often be detrimental to me over time.

But, I’m not the type of person that can sit around all day doing nothing. I hate resting. And I’m also not the type of person who can make myself do things if I don’t really want to do them. So sometimes it can be a bit of a catch 22. Either do everything or do nothing.

Read My New Article on Best Baking Schools in Delhi.

The way I’ve recently managed to get around this (and to start also including self-care into my daily routine) is by setting myself small challenges every week. These can be as simple as committing to doing ten minutes of mindfulness every day or starting a short online course in a topic that really interests me. This week, for example, I’m trying to make sure I do the 10 minutes (I’m really bad at sticking to it for some reason), get some gentle form of exercise in, and I am doing an academic course on the science of the gut by some of the leading scientists in the field on Coursera.

I don’t put pressure on myself, and if I’m not feeling up to doing anything, I won’t force myself to. Sometimes, depending on how symptomatic I am, the challenge can be as small as walking around my room or having a cup of herbal tea every day. But spending maybe half an hour a day (more or less depending on how I’m feeling) doing something that makes me feel productive and not entirely useless plays a huge role in my general wellbeing and my ability to manage and cope with my health. It can be really difficult to feel a sense of accomplishment and to recognise that the things that may seem small and insignificant are actually major achievements when you feel so unwell.

While my sense of lack of satisfaction is still very much there, and I find it hard to be proud of myself for going out or ‘doing’ something, I’m trying to take things one step at a time and realise that I’m working my arse off, and that’s worth celebrating. And setting myself small, achievable challenges is definitely one way of helping me manage that.

What are some of the small challenges you set yourself?

5 Things I’m Eating This Week

A lot of people ask me what I eat in a typical week. It’s almost impossible for me to answer that because it depends a lot on how I’m feeling.

Experience has taught me that when my energy levels are super low and my POTS is particularly symptomatic I tend to do best on mainly liquids. Life can be so fun sometimes! To stop myself from going mad I make one ‘meal’ meal a day, and the rest of the time I am having super packed smoothies and big jars of juice.

I have been majorly struggling to eat a very ‘free-from’ diet. While a lot of people who are happy to do this may not consider it to be restrictive, to me it feels that way. I know pretty much what I should be eating and how to go about it, it’s just when you’re in a flare it’s hard to find the motivation to do it all the time – especially when you just want to get on the tube and get a gorgeous cheeseburger

I have promised myself, however, that I’m going to get back on track with my diet and hope that this helps me a bit more. As I’ve written about many times, I believe that food plays a huge role in management, but we also need to be realistic in what we’re asking it to do. I also haven’t quite figured out what works best for my body and that’s a seemingly never-ending experiment. I’m actually seeing a new doctor on Tuesday so I’m curious to see what tests he’ll run and what recommendations he will make.

5 things

In order to keep myself sane when I do this, I have to allow myself some flexibility to go and enjoy food. I don’t think of it as a ‘treat’ or a ‘guilty pleasure’ as that puts food into categories of good and bad. I am (slash should be) sensible enough to go and enjoy something if I want to go and enjoy it. This is usually at one of my favourite restaurants in town with my ‘normal’ friends who don’t think about the micronutrient content of their meals. Or a whole lot of freshly made challah if I’m visiting my parents on a Friday. I don’t feel like we should demonise food or feel guilty for the choices that we make, and so even though it may not be what’s best for me, the happiness that I get from going out and not obsessively thinking about my health more than makes up for it. It’s all about balance and not getting into dangerously restrictive mindsets.

The last few days (and what I’m continuing into this week) has been quite uninteresting when it comes to food. I have a massive smoothie for breakfast and some homemade green juice. Then depending on how I’m feeling I’ll either have another juice (Plenish juices are currently half price on Ocado, so I’ve ordered some cherry beet ones!) and another smoothie. I don’t think that juices are meal replacements, so try to have something more substantial in smoothie form if I’m only having one meal a day.

I take Vitamin D every day, as well as spirulina and chlorella. I honestly don’t know if these actually make a difference anymore, but I’m in in the habit of taking spirulina tablets in the morning and chlorella before I go to sleep, so it’s just something I keep doing! I was taking MSM tablets, but want to talk to the doctor about these. I also try to have an epsom salt bath daily.

As much as I enjoy juices and smoothies, I really miss actually chewing, so I particularly look forward to my one main meal a day. When I’m not having a special ‘fuck it I don’t care what I eat’ meal, I try to stay away from dairy, gluten and refined sugar as I do feel a difference in my body when I eat them. I eat eggs and meat (often from my local farm) a few times a week and try not to have grains every day. But I am somewhat partial to the ease of brown rice pasta! And I don’t care what anyone says, no one will believe that courgetti is pasta.

One of my favourite ways to stay motivated despite feeling too exhausted to actually cook anything is to browse some of my favourite food blogs. Below I’ve shared five of the recipes that I’ve bookmarked to make this week.

A Fresh Start, Lessons Learned & Some Changes

Sharing my health and food explorations online has been a particularly interesting experiment, not least seeing how the Wellness industry has exploded over the last year or so. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I never really thought that anybody would follow my Instagram account or be interested in my blog. The Instagram was a personal experiment with a visual food diary and my original blog was a place to rant about EDS. Because it’s a massive pain in the arse. Literally and metaphorically.

When I started getting followers I felt like it was important for me to create a Nutritiously Natasha blog, moving away from just day to day illness stuff and into food. I could see that’s what was popular. But it didn’t sit so well with me.

Here’s the thing. The reason I choose to share a lot of personal information publicly is so that I can raise awareness about living with chronic invisible illnesses (the tag line of my old blog was The Trials, Tantrums and Triumphs…) because that’s what I think is important. Things are so up and down and all over the place that there’s constantly something to document. It may be good, it may be bad, it may be ugly, but I want to be honest about it.

When I first changed my diet and saw amazing results in how I was feeling I was, understandably, shocked, overwhelmed and excited. After feeling so unwell on medication it seemed like I was making huge progress. This, understandably, was fuelled by the hundreds of “Wellness” accounts I followed on Instagram and the corresponding blogs that I followed. I started picking up the same language. Detox became a regular part of my vocabulary and I became obsessed with the foods I had deemed to be the purest and the healthiest. The information I was spouting was often coming from people who were, in all honesty, hardly more qualified than I was. I just wanted to feel as happy and as healthy as they portrayed themselves to be on their social media profiles. Of course, I’m bright enough to know that we all only show certain sides of ourselves, but the sheer amount of this that we’re exposed to on a daily basis somewhat conditions us against rational thinking, especially when we’re desperate to find ways to feel better or improve our lives.

After a while, I started to realise that the frequency and normalised demonisation of food groups among these networks provides fertile breeding ground for eating disorders. My obsession was starting to become overwhelming. It makes sense – when you find something that works, you want to tell everyone and share whatever you can. I never claimed a cure, but I did shout from the rooftops about how much better my mainly liquid, gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, low-ish histamine, high nutrient, anti-inflammatory rotation diet made me feel and how I was sure that it was (mostly) the answer to my problems. I’m so bored of writing that.

But then I had a flare up. And then another flare up.

lessons-learned

Why wasn’t my diet working? Why were all these gorgeous, slim girls glowing and healing from illnesses while I was doing the same things and my body just wasn’t cooperating?

Here’s the thing. There’s only so much diet can do. And what diet does is different for everybody, even if they have the same illnesses. The problem is that with many multi-system and complicated disorders (especially ones that are still relatively unresearched and not well understood) there is actually very little that medical professionals can do short of trying some medications and otherwise offering lifestyle adaption techniques. And if you’re in the middle of a pretty severe flareup, there’s only so much this can help.

I am encouraged to see that more research is starting to be done. Interestingly, I received an email the other day about a research study being conducted into the link between extreme joint flexibility and food allergies. If you have EDS.

One of the traps that I fell into when I was feeling better was trying to write like a lot of other people in the ‘scene’. However, as the months went on, I realised that I was sometimes talking about things that I’m not necessarily in a place to talk about.

So, with that being said, there are a few things I’d like to make clear and a few promises I’d like to make to you all:

  • I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietician, and as such I will not give nutritional advice or guidance. I will share my own personal experiences with what has helped me. This does not, under any circumstances, mean that I am recommending that other people try what I try unquestioningly. My course at IIN, while interesting, is not what I would consider enough to make me an expert. My intention with the course was to increase my scope of knowledge but mainly help me frame my way of working with and supporting others who are looking to try and help themselves. It is not my place to offer dietary or lifestyle solutions, but I hope that I can serve as a source of inspiration (or mutual head nodding when times are tough!) to continue to fight and try to find things that help us feel better.
  • While I am lucky that at the moment I am pretty much medication free, I do not believe doctors are evil and all drugs are bad. I have recently gone back on the pill after refusing it for over a year (because I didn’t want to take synthetic hormones) and it has pretty much fixed my monthly suicidal feelings. That being said, I was also wary about the effect it has on joint laxity and am having to be mindful and keep that in check. Several posts about me last year didn’t focus on the fact that the reason I didn’t take medicine was because I was having the most severe side effects possible and often odd, idiosyncratic reactions that made me feel infinitely worse. Do not stop taking medication because a blogger told you to. Always seek advice of a medical professional.
  • I will share the highs and lows, honestly, about my day to day experiences. When I write about things being difficult I am not being overly negative. I am being truthful. Sometimes things are just a certain way and it’s not that I have a bad attitude. Sometimes I just physically can’t
  • I am not a chef. I love food, but I have no training in cookery. I will be working with some of my favourite food bloggers/chefs to share recipes. If my health allows it over the coming years I would love to study food and nutrition in more depth. At the moment, unfortunately, this is not possible.
  • I do not demonise food groups and will not encourage anyone else to do so. I will endeavour to frame the conversation within my own personal experiences, as well as providing the best research possible. If I do share studies, I will aim to explain the strengths and limitations of that study. I highly recommend reading this piece on spotting quack medicine and how to assess the strength of evidence in medical research here and here to help empower you when you’re doing research for yourself.
  • At this point I’d like to just reiterate that I’m not denying, in any way, the effect that changes in diet and lifestyle have had on my health. I was talking to a friend about this the other day, and she reminded me that “dude, you went from literally not being able to eat a banana to now being able to eat anything you want!” I entirely give credit to the many months I spent predominately on green liquids and the progression of reintroducing food after food. I guess my problem is faddishness when it comes to the way we talk about ‘healing’ through natural causes.
  • I do believe that lifestyle changes are also extremely important. For me, finding ways to manage my emotional health and happiness has played a huge role in my ability to manage my reactions to flare ups and get by day to day even when things are ok. I would love to share some of these with you, experiment more on myself, and start challenges that other people can join in. I’ll be sharing reviews of some of my favourite books and resources too, as well as sharing a bit more about some of the places I go and things I do.

So…yeah. That’s where I currently stand at the moment. I hope you’ll continue to stay with me and will enjoy my upcoming posts. I am working on redesigning my blog and am aiming to relaunch it in about a month. You can subscribe to my mailing list here and I’d love to hear in the comments about anything that you’d be interested in hearing about from me.

fresh-start

I also want to just quickly say thank you to everyone for all the amazing support, comments and emails you’ve sent me over the last year or so. It has been fantastic connecting with you all. Sorry if it sometimes takes a while for me to reply, I’m probably half-watching Netflix!

Love Porridge? I’ve Got You Sorted!

If you were following me on Instagram about a year ago you’d probably have seen a never ending parade of porridges popping up in your feed. I love the stuff. It’s cheap, versatile, healthy and absolutely delicious.

Although I have been limiting my grain intake (waa) to see how my body responds, I was super excited when the Porridge Cafe asked me to collaborate with them to create some limited edition recipes to be served in their awesome pop up.

heart-porridge

Tucked behind the busses just by Victoria station, the Porridge Cafe sells sweet and savoury mixed grain porridges, loaded with all kinds of good stuff, for affordable prices. One of the things that I love the most about it is it’s focus on simple, uncomplicated and healthy food. I think we sometimes forget how simple it can be when we’re scrolling through Instagram and see superfoods all over the place – we don’t need always take a trip to the specialist health food shops!

I’ve shared two of my favourite porridge combos: a classic “carrot cake” oatmeal made with gluten free oats, fresh carrot juice, raisins, pecans, walnuts and honey, and a beautifully summery  chilled mango and passion fruit overnight oats made with coconut milk.

There are also other delicious options like banana, blueberry and peanut butter or Nutella for those of you who love a cheeky spoonful of the stuff!

 

So, if you’re in London, please do head to the Porridge Cafe to try them out! If you do, make sure to take a snap and tag me @nutritiouslynatasha and @porridge_cafe_london on Instagram!