The main thing I love to do with food is try and make it as healthy as I can. I want to enjoy eating, feel nourished, satiated and not feel regret afterwards.
However, what you think is healthy and what I think is healthy may differ, I am fully aware of that, so I will tell you that I do not aim to fit in with any particular eating style or diet. I do not think something is healthy because it is ‘vegan’ or ‘gluten-free’ or ‘low-fat’ etc. All I try to do is source the best ingredients we can afford – organic, fresh, local, seasonal produce, I swap white refined flours and sugars for wholemeal or ancient grains, I decrease the amount of sugar in my sweet baking as much as I can without compromising on flavour and I try to eat the most nutritionally dense foods I can each day from ALL food groups.
This means my website is full of different recipes which will satisfy all food choices and, where possible, they will be tweaked to be as ‘healthy’ as I think they can be. But I accept your opinion on that may differ to mine!
I absolutely love rustic, cosy, homely settings! I dream of living in a country house in the Lake District with a farmhouse kitchen and a window with a view….. However, I live in a 1960’s house in the middle of a town! I try to create my dream scene through my photography set-up and I hope that shows.
One of my fondest childhood memories of food was most certainly at my Nannas house. She was a single parent of 8 children (including 3 sets of twins!), hotpot using skirt beef and creamy potatoes and lots of seasoning, plus a big chunk of crusty white bread she had made from scratch by hand and thick proper butter – so good! She made scones too, thick butter, sweet jam made with whatever berries were in season freshly picked from the fields behind the house – all homemade and always tasted of love, care, attention and devotion of time and effort in the kitchen. Proper, good home cooking.
And there is where my love of food lies – homecooked, hearty plates of food, cosy and welcoming – food that tastes like home.
I’ve always had a strong interest in health and nutrition and love to educate myself about various different diets such as low carb, keto, pegan, primal and even carnivore reading books and listening to countless podcasts – just to explore what works for other people – I find it interesting that so many different eating styles can work so well for different people and we all need to be accepting of that and not judge somebody else’s choices because we don’t know what journey they’ve been on to reach that decision.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I simply do not want to fit in with any particular ‘diet’. You can find convincing arguments and justifications for every way of eating and people who swear that the diet that works for them is the one everyone should be on! but if you follow these people for several years, you will find their diets change as they experiment with new ways of eating or they find their nutritional needs are not being met. After trying to fit in with some of these ‘diets’ I have enough personal experience to know what I should eat for ME and now only eat what makes me feel good and avoid the things that don’t. I’m on the Joanne diet! I eat a bit of everything from animal based foods and plant based foods and I know what suits me and what doesn’t. I try to avoid sugar but enjoy a piece of cake with friends and family when the occasion suits and make sure I enjoy the bit of indulgence!
The majority of the time I eat – fish, slow cooked casseroles, roast dinners, eggs, salads, eggs, kefir, yoghurt, butter, nuts, seeds, lots of vegetables and some fruits and fermented foods such as sourdough bread, sauerkraut, miso, lots of different herbs and spices and good quality salt. Healthy fats such as good quality extra-virgin olive oil, kerrigold or unpasteurised butter, coconut cream and olives. I love my single cup of organic coffee in the morning and lots of water and herbal teas. I love the rustic, homely setting and try to emulate it in my photography. I guess it takes me back to my Nannas house, all those years ago while eating her delicious beef hotpot and buttered, crusty bread and scones…..I have come full circle 😊
It is not for me or anyone else to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be eating. Food is a very personal choice and only you can decide what to eat but I know the one thing which has helped me over the years and it is to keep in tune with my body, listen to it and register how I feel after eating, I know instinctively what makes me feel like I am thriving and full of energy, without digestion discomfort and I try to stick within those parameters. When I make a wrong choice (beans, too much sugar, certain seeds etc) I pay for it! But it reminds me how important it is to take care of myself and make the right food choices.