Bitter greens

It’s enough to make your hair go curly …

These days, I wouldn’t consider myself particularly faddish about food.
I don’t drink coconut water.
I can’t stand quinoa.
I can take or leave chia seeds.
And I could never, never give up cake.
So imagine my delight when I tried out a recipe for kale loaf …
… and actually liked it!

Maybe I can tolerate a little faddishness in my life, after all.

Especially with a smidge of butter …

And only if it tastes good.

Why I bake

So many of us like to believe that if we eat right, exercise frequently, practise moderation and stay positive, we will be healthy — physically and mentally.
But I think it’s more honest to admit, in all humility, that we can only do so much.
The rest is — well, serendipity.

Here’s what one of my favourite cooks, Belinda Jeffery, says in her wonderful cookbook Mix and Bake:

As to the health factor, a number of people have said that they feel my writing this book is quite a risky enterprise when there is so much emphasis on obesity concerns these days. However, the words of a dear friend ring in my ears every time I start to wonder if I’m quite sane in doing this. When I told him what I was up to and voiced my concerns, he smiled gently at me and said, ‘A slice of homemade cake never made anyone fat, and it certainly made them smile’. And it’s true — like everything else in our lives it is all about balance, and I would far rather enjoy eating a piece of cake made with love from good eggs, butter and flour (with no preservatives, food additives or colourings) than something bought any day. I have taken these wise words to heart.

As for me, during a recent bout of illness, I began baking again.
I thought: Why can’t a slice of cake be a part of the everyday?

Why not indeed?

On dieting (or … why I don’t)

Staying healthy

Weird how Japan has the longest life expectancy
and lowest obesity rate in the developed world
but nobody eats vegan, paleo or gluten-free.

Adam Liaw
Masterchef winner 2011 (on Twitter)

I agree, Adam.
Health isn’t about following a diet: it’s exercise. Fresh air. Work that sustains you.

More notes to the anxiety-prone

— Why you should laugh at your anxiety (and how to do it) —

Ask yourself, what’s funny here? Think of amusing ways to describe your worry to someone else. What is absurd about the situation? Exaggerate something that is mildly funny so that it becomes ridiculous. Of course, worrywarting itself is absurd, so you can always satirize the worrywarting, if not the actual worry. After you have created your comic routine, find someone — your spouse, a friend, a co-worker — to try it out on.

Give your audience permission to laugh at your absurd worrywart routine. Make sure you also laugh.

All quotes above from
The Worrywart’s Companion
by Dr Beverly Potter

Laughter’s kind of close to tears, I think.

And yet it helps.

Speaking of comedians suffering from mental illness, if you haven’t seen it yet, check out Felicity Ward‘s documentary, Felicity’s Mental Mission, first shown during Mental Health Week on the ABC but currently still available for watching. Candidly, but without self-pity, Felicity shows herself at her most vulnerable. It’s excellent viewing.

Some gifts just keep on giving

— A birthday present from friends

I love baking but have to eat gluten-free.

Some friends gave me a cookbook recently.

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They know me well.

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For anyone wondering, this is not a sponsored post: I don’t write them. I just write about things I genuinely love. And yes, for anyone wondering, I would totally recommend this cookbook!