[This is modified from a post that first appeared on my blog in March 2015]
Last Friday the first Grain Free Low Carbohydrate Family Food workshop took place at Rosemary Cottage Clinic and was by all accounts a real success. In fact it was oversubscribed, so we are planning further workshops later in the year to cater for the people on the waiting list (see end of this post).
Who Attended? Eight women who were looking for practical ways to feed themselves and their families using more healthy and nutritious principles. They needed easy, palatable meal ideas that would be acceptable to the whole family without too much fuss. The workshop was tailored to their individual needs as one was intolerant of dairy, one of nightshade family (tomatoes, peppers, aubergines etc) and one of cocao.
“Great ideas. Practical and delicious. Great to be tasting everything.” (5/5)
What was the aim? When starting a new diet, you need to keep the family on board otherwise their demands can lead to compromising your new principles. This workshop aimed to provide practical demonstrations of cooking techniques showing how to use ingredients to create low-carb and grain-free meals that everyone will enjoy.
Endless patience with our infinite questions. Hours of preparation made the whole thing such a success… a truly inspirational day! (5/5)
Breakfast sets up the metabolism for the day, and to avoid the steep blood glucose rise that accompanies cereal based breakfasts we demonstrated a variety of quick and easy low-carb breakfast options, including a range of pancakes. Providing a truly sustaining breakfast, rather than a flash-in-the-pan glucose hit first thing, is a great way of ensuring mental and physical robustness throughout the morning, for adults as well as children.
Lunch box ideas
Most kids are sent to school with sandwiches, crisps, chocolate bars and sugary drinks, all of which are high in glucose and/or fructose. No wonder their behavior and attention begins to fail as the day wears on! As an alternative we presented a lunch box full of quick to assemble and appetising low carb goodies: just right for ending those difficult energy fluctuations that can send kids a bit loopy.
One of the dishes that surprised our participants most was my new grain-free sandwich loaf which I baked and everyone sampled. It is not only grain free, but nut free too (figure that one out!) and could even be suitable for a ketogenic diet with thickly spread butter. It is another example of an easy alternative to a bog-standard food that can help the transition from old to a new eating habits. The resulting loaf looked great, tasted great, was easy to slice and spread and proved quick and easy to make.
The food you demonstrated will go down well in my home. The squid pasta and fish curry will be immediately popular. (5/5)
I explained the steps in making ghee and demonstrated how to make a bone broth – one of those key foods that can be enjoyed on its own or used as a foundation in many other dishes. We cooked a couple of speedy and appetising meals – fish curry with cauliflower ‘rice’ and squid ‘pasta’. These low-carb, nutrient-dense stand-bys are nutritionally superior versions of common family favourites and take no more than 15 minutes to prepare. What’s more they are particularly economic, costing less than £1 per head!
We rounded off the workshop with some delectable sweet treats that we have recently devised which are extremely low in carbs and a great aid for those making the change who are not quite ready to give up all sweets.
Chloe, my daughter, was very helpful throughout this workshop and has received lots of praise for her clarity, calmness and cooking craft. She can hold forth on the science of fat burning even better than I can, and is a great advertisement for it.
A superb day. The two of you were MAGNIFICENT! (5/5)
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Throughout the workshop participants asked lots of intelligent, focused and realistic questions. Judging from their feedback everyone went away confident and inspired by what they had learned, as you can see from their comments dotted through this post.