What do you need most?

I am so excited to be writing a book. Thing is, a book is not worth much, if it doesn’t help you – the person I’d very much like to help in any way I can.

So, the book is around food (surprised?) and there will be recipes, as well as many helpful hints, tips and learnings around Real Food in general. You won’t hear from me talking about it again until it launches, so I wondered if I could ask something of you?

Could you let me know

  • What you are confused by in the world of food?
  • What you find too difficult to do on a busy week? Maybe on any week?
  • Your challenges cooking for yourself, your family, your party?
  • Is it skill? Time? Boredom? Lack of imagination? Lack of knowledge?
  • Are you confused by ingredients, and what you should be eating?

Now is the time to leave me a comment or feel free to get in touch privately via my contact page.

I am bubbling over with enthusiasm for what is taking shape already and can’t wait to see what you need me to include in there – or perhaps the next one!

Comments 12

  1. As abig fan of David Gillespie and sarah wilson I am now somewhat confused about the best oils to use for cooking, having read David’s latest book on Toxic Oils. It seems you can now cook at high temps with olive oil so long as it is the light stuff and apparently if you’re doing the same with coconut oil you need to be frying etc. in the refined stuff. There seems to be some conflicting info between the two yet both are big supporters of each other,

    Still a little confused by the safety of some of the declared safe natural sugar alternatives. Xylitol in particular. I know it comes from a natural source (but so does sugar). Read somewhere that it is still processed with chemicals to get it to its sugar-like state. Also wondering the same about stevia. Some info about how these sugar alternatives are processed (something along the lines of what David did with vegetable oils in his latest book … Just a simple but complete step by step break down of the process of turning a natural product into a processed one ). Then again, maybe a cook book is not really the place for this.

    I think a lot of people worry about the cost of running an oven all day to activate nuts. I’ve left mine out in the sun sometimes but that’s not always an option. Are dehydrators any more efficient?

    When you restrict the foods you eat , eg. Dairy, gluten, sugar , it’s harder to find a great variety of foods, particularly baked foods. If I see another version of a cacao and coconut recipe I think I’ll scream. I love cacao and coconut but would love to see some more unexpected, surprising sweet recipes. Do they even exist?

    Because we all have slightly different intolerances it’s impossible to provide recipes that will suit everyone. But suggesting alternative ingredients where possible is always useful. And you already do this really well.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Carmel and thanks so much for all of your queries, concerns and questions.

      Given David Guillespie’s amazing research methods and abilities, I don’t doubt he has evidence to back himself up. Personally, given imported and light olive oil has often been found to contain other oils and be a blend, albeit illegal, I stay right away from a)cooking with olive oil b)any olive oil other than top notch quality from a known, local producer like Nolan’s Road for example, just for the odd drizzle and dressing.

      There will definitely be more inspiring flavours than cacao and coconut in my book, don’t you worry – I too feel that way sometimes. Re sugars, I stay away from sugar alcohols, because whole they’re not sugar perse, they’re still every bit as hard for our livers to process, and most often, come from corn which can also often be found to be GM origin. Easier to avoid and when I do want some fructose free sweetness, if it’s for every day smoothies, berry compote or ketchup, I use pure stevia powdered leaf (none of those stevia blends nor even the white powdered stevia, as it’s a green leaf and I’m wondering how on earht they get it to become so white!). The good pure stevia, I get from BU organics in Sydney, or for rarer baking, I use rice syrup because it performs brilliantly across baking, caramels and praline.

      Hope these bits help for now and the rest – leave it with me!

      Alexx

  2. Alex, thankyou for such a well-considered reply. I’ll just keep the EV olive oil for salads then and continue to cook with organic coconut oil, butter and ghee. Didn’t consider that the light olive oil could be a blend. And good to get another well-informed opinion on this issue of oil.

    Your recipes look stunning by the way. Have only tried a couple and they’ve been delish and so easy. And I like your style, relaxed, natural, intelligent. Look forward to the cook book. Thanks again.

  3. Also meant to say .. Very interesting about the stevia. I didn’t know that you could get a pure form of the powdered leaf. I planted a stevia plant at my sister’s .. Wasn’t sure if I could just pound the leaves up into a powder for use. I mostly only use rice malt syrup for sweeting, love it. My sister tried the white powdered stevia and really doesn’t like it at all. I’m curious to try the real and pure stevia now. Ta again .. Really helpful.

    1. Post
      Author

      You’re super welcome Carmel and am so glad you’re enjoying the recipes. For coconut oil, GPA WHOLEFOODS do a fantastic 4L little bucket of frysafe coconut oil that’s absolutely awesome. No fragrance as it’s second press. Tell them I sent you if you pop over to check out. We love it because you can use it across European cooking as well.

  4. Hi Alexx

    I can’t wait for this book to be released, I’m incredibly excited by the prospect of it!

    Alexx, for me cooking is such a chore. It’s lost all pleasure and priority in my busy life. When I see your Instagram posts of simple food like beans, broccoli, a dash of coconut oil and say some chia seeds I am reminded that good food can be easy and doesn’t need to be time consuming.

    For me, I just want it to be easy. I don’t want to come home and have to spend time preparing a meal. Simple recipes for the novice would be very appreciated by me.

    Thanks for asking!

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks Karan,

      It’s a good couple of months off, but I’m excited too! Finally starting to come together in my head, how I can best help people through the challenges of doing the Real Food thing, not compromising, yet not going nuts living in the kitchen. This book will definitely be answering all your concerns listed here, which excites me, as you were one of the absolute first people who inspired me to start writing it xx

  5. Hi Alexx,
    I’m very new the all these whole foods thinking and lifestyle… I’ve come to it after being diagnosed with IBS and somehow being the only one who refuses to just accept it! I believe if I put good things in my body, bad things wont happen! I really would like to know more so you’re book will be fantastic! As for what I’ve found difficult just getting started is not the food preparation or the new ingredients I’m having to find, but socializing! Most of the time it’s me cooking so i can control what me (or my guests) eat but I’d love to know what’s the best things I can go for at a family or friends dinner party when it’s out of my control.
    Thanks for continuing to inspire us all!

    1. Post
      Author

      You are believing right Anouska. If symptoms continue on, even with a whole food eating regime, get some blood tests done on your hormones / thyroid etc and then see a naturopath and make sure your endocrine system isn’t weakened and the culprit. Just sharing that with you, because it was the case with me 🙂 Socialising is a tough one. We tend to bring a tray of cupcakes to all parties, so our little guy and enjoy some too. We tend to volunteer to make dessert when we’re invited to dinner parties, because that’s usually the worst of the courses. For BBQs offer to bring a crudite / dip plate etc. Hope that helps in the interim and have a lovely weekend 🙂

  6. Thanks Alexx – will definitely keep that in mind! It’s super frustrating but it helps to have people like you inspiring me! As for those suggestions re socializing – thanks they are definitely helpful. Dessert is often the worst course but also the easiest to avoid if you can just say you’re too full heeheehee! Taking something healthy like a dip to share at the start would help avoid situations where I just look like I’m avoiding everything!
    Can’t wait for the book!

  7. Hi,

    I came across your details through G Magazine email, I believe. We try to follow a Nourishing Traditions/ Real Food (Nina Planck) style of eating, with gluten free (my husband is Coeliac) and low dairy (my son & I have goats milk/ goats cheese) added in for fun! My husband and daughter drink raw cows milk (we are part of a Herdshare), we grow/ preserve some of our food and have backyard chickens, we eat game/ offal/ organic meat where possible. We consume a lot of coconut oil, organic butter, homemade/ canned stocks, reduce refined sugar by using honey, I lacto-ferment food & used to do kefir (both water and milk). We avoid soy. The main thing I haven’t really managed to get into the habit of is fermenting/ soaking grains, but we don’t eat a lot of legumes, but we do eat nuts and seeds. We have home made (healthier!) treats, like ice cream, primal fudge, date & cocoa balls, baked goods/ desserts at times.

    ■What you are confused by in the world of food?

    Soaking/ fermenting grains/ legumes/ nuts. One reason I haven’t committed to it, besides the work/ prep involved, is that I am not convinced it is necessary. What do you think about it? (The bread that the kids eat is organic, sourdough that has been fermented overnight, Bills brand).

    ■What you find too difficult to do on a busy week? Maybe on any week?

    See above, re. remembering to soak any rice we have, or finding time/ motivation to make my own GF pasta/ GF pizza bases! I meal plan, prep in advance for the two days I work, and have my go-to recipes, but still include convenience items at times.

    ■Your challenges cooking for yourself, your family, your party?

    I guess many would think what I do already is a challenge, but I guess still having commercial ‘treats’ is an ongoing challenge we face. When we eat well for most of the time, its easy to ‘give in’ or ‘allow’ the kids, things like lunch order once a week, or let’s grab take away tonight, or sure, you can have an ice cream from the shop. Even though lately I’ve been making healthier treats, it still seems we get lured in by junk food/ convenience!

    ■Is it skill? Time? Boredom? Lack of imagination? Lack of knowledge?

    Time plays a big part, but also, just feeling like trying to ‘be good’ in a world of advertising/ indoctrination is hard, trying to eat healthily means we feel the kids are ‘missing out’ or ‘what is one little treat’ going to hurt, which becomes regular!!

    ■Are you confused by ingredients, and what you should be eating?

    Sometimes. I am pretty well researched and happy with what we should be eating, but having time to access organic farmers, go to farmers markets, avoid processed foods, is more the problem for me.

    Hope that helps!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Dixibelle, THank you for your detailed and thorough comments on what you struggle with and need most. Those shall definitely be answered in the book. As for the ‘our kids are missing out’ I am such a believer in our kids understanding things if we explain it well enough. Watching something like Hungry for Change with your kids or Food Inc. They’re intense and real and if your kids are over 7 and you talk them through as the documentary plays, they’ll understand that what we thought were ‘treats’ and yum, actually are so far from that. Then, get in the kitchen together and make some delicious home made and REAL treats, and when their friends are over too… then everyone will realise there’s no deprivation about it – just that we’re going to choose to enjoy REAL treats from now on, not the ones full of ingredients that make people sick. I am so heartened to hear of yet another awesome Mum taking positive steps towards her family’s health and feeling great. They’re very lucky to have you care so much! Alexx

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