The Most Fun I Have Had with My Clothes On! – Meals That Heal Cookery Workshop

As a Nutritionist and Holistic Practitioner, I am always excited to learn from experts in the Health field for the benefit of my clients and readers. I am delighted to give this experience a 5* recommendation.

I was aware of Karen Maidment through my connection with Weston A Price, London Chapter, although I had never met Karen.

I elected to attend the Cookery Workshop in the watery enclave of Henley on Thames. Courses are also offered in the Forest of Dean and Cheltenham. The Workshop is a day event, commencing at 10am till 5pm and held on a private, working farm.

In advance of the Workshop, Karen offers all delegates the opportunity to have a mini one on one consultation via Skype. I jumped at the chance – this involved completing Karen’s Health Screening questionnaire and Endocrine assessment to include Thyroid, Adrenal and Pituitary. The questions were in-depth and comprehensive taking a holistic approach to the body. I completed the forms in full and sent them via email to Karen. We scheduled a 30 minute Skype chat, I found Karen to be warm, open and easy to connect with. I felt safe and supported enough to disclose to Karen extremely private health challenges I have been facing for the last decade. This felt liberating and I experienced a sense of euphoria, my intuition sensing I was making a positive step forward. I listened intently to Karen – she correctly identified that I suffer with an underactive thyroid and this detrimentally affects my health in my ways, most notably that I have not been able to lose weight, despite how low I took my calorie intake or fasted. At this point I had exhausted my own knowledge and was keen as mustard to find a practical, sustainable solution.

Karen advised me to adopt a Paleo way of life – my intuition responded positively. Familiar with the theory and practice of Paleo eating, I felt comfortable embarking on this new journey. With only a couple of days until the Cookery Workshop I was excited to learn how to bake Paleo style before clearing the cupboards of processed sugars and grains.

I have not eaten wheat since I was diagnosed as wheat intolerant as a child. Therefore, I had been happily replacing wheat for oats, rye and corn products even since, I now realise that all grains, including rice, oats, rye, spelt and corn have a huge inflammatory effect on my system. As an allergy sufferer since childhood due to British blue grass – it made perfect sense to me that eating grasses in all their guises was equally a disaster for my digestive system. Interestingly, my allergies have improved immeasurably since embarking on my Paleo journey; I can now keep them under control using a combination of alkaline water, nettles and garlic. My allergies were so severe in the past that I would appear to have full-blown flu for weeks at a time, exhausting, and frustrating for someone that loves both summer and sunshine.

A rural farm is the perfect setting for using only organic and locally sourced foods to create nutritious meals from scratch. We were asked to form pairs, and work as a team to mix, stir, fold, grate, chop and sieve. Over the course of the day we got stuck into making grain-free bread, breakfast muffins and cookies. We were able to take home anything we had made on the day and not already consumed! 

I do not consider myself to be an accomplished cook, in fact, in my own home I do not do the majority of the cooking. However, the workshop does not require you to be a competent chef, simply that you have passion for wholesome food and nutrition.

Being surrounded by delicious food, that was either sitting or cooling waiting for the next phase, stirred up an appetite for lunch. I have never eaten liver before, the bison and liver burgers we made were exquisite, off set by coleslaw and a vibrant, green salad.

The afternoon was finished off with a Q&A with Karen and a chance for us all to share our knowledge and the resources we use in terms of pure food, raw materials and nutrition.

 As a result of this workshop, I am now making most of the recipes at home including the muffins, sweet potato crepes and the cookies. Karen reignited my interest in making bone broth. As a result I am in the process of designing a double blind study with my colleague Dr Krish Mahbubani of Cambridge University, using organic animal Collagen as a supplement both for the health of the body and the skin.

As a result of switching to the Paleo way of life, in only 3 weeks I have lost weight for the first time in a decade, even my cheekbones have made a re-appearance. I have noticed that my sugar and carbohydrate cravings have subsided dramatically and my metabolism has increased, from its previous rate akin to a drunken tortoise.

I cannot be happier that I feel better and more balanced, I will remain on this journey and I am excited to see where it takes me.

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