There’s A New Chef In Town

This week my kitchen had a total melt-down.

It went into rebellion because, whilst Ads (a chef both professionally and personally) is off getting his fix of chilly cheeks and snowy-mountain air, there’s a new sheriff chef in town.

On her arrival, the kitchen rebelled.

Three light bulbs went (two just died and the third was accidentally whacked as we have low hanging lamps).

My first “solo-lady-with-no-man-to-call-upon” mission was to actually unscrew the things to find out whether they were bayonets or not. They weren’t. I went to the hardware shop Tesco Express and bought more.

As I screwed in those lightbulbs, I told the kitchen in no uncertain terms, “I am the new Chef in Town, so suck it up.”

And suck it up, she did.

Gradually over the past week, the kitchen has gotten used to me.

In fact, she practically rolled over and showed me her belly and said “take me to your leader”.

The obvious reply to this was, “I am your leader”. Then I rattled some packets of raw buckwheat and cacao to show my authority.

Now, what the kitchen didn’t know is that I am pretty inexperienced at this Kitchen lark (since Ads moved in and became the custodian of the counter). As far as being the New Chef In Town goes, I’m just trying to find my feet … but by the end of week one, my feet were most certainly found.

Here’s how it rolled:

(as extracted from my journal hence bland writing)

Really good start to the Raw Food Detox. Got up super early and made a melon smoothie and my Vitality Muslie. Took Reid to preschool and then lazed about the house with heating on full blast, feeling like a luxuriously semi comatose hedgehog, all curled up and hibernating. Was supposed to do work but instead wrapped self in blanket, gazed, dreamed, read some book my mum gave to me and had a day off. Raw food delicious and easy. Day 1 done!

Not such a good day. Felt awful as soon as I woke up. Was knackered because this was the third night in a row that Reid hasn’t slept or hasn’t gone to bed one time (possibly disrupted because his daddy is away). Physically, my arms and legs ached. I felt like I was about 90 years old. No energy at all. Worst part was that my thoughts were really negative.

Ended up driving along the Military Road to the west, parking in Brook Beach carpark and looking out to sea whilst Reid slept. Wrote a big self hatred, “why am I so shit?” list on Pix’s watercolour pad as it was the only paper to hand. Then tried to unpick each thing on the list and self coach myself round.

Then Self Hatred wanted to punch Self Coach and throw her off the cliff in dramatic Bond style tussle.

At that moment, I looked up and saw an old lady standing in the biting wind, sketching the coastline and she made me feel happy. Looked at the why-am-I-so-shit-list and read each of the things out aloud, beginning every sentence with “I forgive myself for …. (fill in the shit thing)”. Watched chilly old lady sketching for a few more minutes, then drove home, determining that all this negativity was the toxicity coming out of my brain cells due to raw food cleanse.

Much nicer day than yesterday but still feel utterly burnt out. Wondering if this is what M.E feels like? Wondering if my exhaustion is ACTUALLY detox symptoms or whether I should go to the doctor and get blood tests. I imagine the convo. with doctor as I gingerly explain that I haven’t eaten anything sugary, carby or caffeine filled over the last three days and then him prescribing me a doughnut and a double shot expresso with a shot of hazelnut syrup. Sensing I need something sweet, I make a batch of “Snowballs” in Saskia’s recipe book and eat quite a few. That evening I feel marginally better (helped when Reid actually WENT to bed at 7pm and not 10pm.)

Last night Reid slept. Woke up feel a tonne better. What was also interesting was that as I was falling to sleep last night, my body felt a lightness to it, like my energy was more akin to the bubbles on the surface of a pool and not heavy like the sludge at the bottom. “This is it working,” I thought. When I woke up, it was like a PING. Again, my body felt light and energised. Not in a caffeine energised way, but like something in me was elevated. Spent the day working from home. Pottered and tried not to tax my brain or body too much. All the raw food was delicious .

Woke up feeling the light feeling again which was cool. What was not so cool was that Reid was supposed to be in pre-school today but has a cold. This scuppered my plans and as he wasn’t well enough to go outside and walk in the freezing cold – or do much of anything- I was rendered purposeless. On days that I’m rendered purposeless, I tend to do recreational eating, ie: going to Tramezzini and having lunch, going to a tea room, cake shop or some child-centred place where they sell giant cookies with multi-coloured Smarties on top. Without the option of recreational eating, I felt rather like one of those bored tigers you see pacing up and down in a cage at the zoo. Decided to do recreational spending instead and drove to M&S to buy some shoes for Reid. He was a nightmare and the shoes looked like something you’d wear if you had polio. Instead of buying shoes I zipped around and filled my basket with packets of pants for Pix, Roo and myself. Drove home feeling all exhausted again, achy and not particularly satisfied from my recreational spending.

This is it. I am feeling the ZING for sure. Not only am I going to bed each night feeling energised and weightless in my mind and body, but today my internal atmosphere has shifted noticeably. It will sound very peculiar to describe it this way, but you know when you see something that’s really healthy, jam-packed full of goodness and it burst with vitamins and minerals. That’s how My Life feels and looks to me today. It’s like, my reality has lubricated itself with the antioxidants from all of the avocados and almonds I’ve been eating. Feel very motivated and excited to see what happens during week two and grateful that the bubbly, light, liquid spirit feeling has kicked in so quickly.

I know.

A life lubricated by almonds and avocado.

It’s a not a line that I ever thought I would be writing.

But what would life be without the unexpected?

And goodness knows what will happen this coming week.

What I do know, despite everything, is that Adam is coming back tonight all rosy with skiing and pistes and beer and French wine and endless chalet cheese, meat and breads.

He will expect to return and slip back into position as rightful emperor of the kitchen.

I have other ideas.

There are new lights in lightbulb sockets.

There are packets of seeds and goji berries everywhere.

There are boxes of vibrant Pukka tea by the kettle and Ads’ coffee machine in the cupboard.

I see a fight on my hands.

I see a custody battle.

Or maybe, by some miracle, he’ll join the raw revolution too.


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