What is it about going on holiday that we decide to let our hair down and eat foods we don't usually eat?
I have just returned to London from a holiday in Florence, Monaco and St Tropez. A wonderful road trip with amazing friends exploring the streets and food of three of my favourite cites in the world. We stayed in apartments that had kitchens so we could have more control over our food - we are all choosing not to eat gluten and dairy so cooking ourselves made this much easier.
The covered food market in Firenze is an eye opening treat of gargantuan proportions with so many choices it was quite astounding. We felt like some lamb, 'agnello' in Italian. The butcher was a gorgeous lady who translated to a man who brought out a whole lamb from the fridge and asked what cuts we wanted! Awesome! It was quite small so we decided on both shoulders and legs that were slowly roasted with fresh garlic and red onions and lashing of olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper. The sticky oniony garlicky goo topped the melt-in-the-mouth lamb when served with broccoli and spinach - divine.
And there were the inevitable 'treats' ...
• Sorbetto - raspberry, lemon, coconut
• Nougat - almond of course
• Maracon - any flavour available!
We rarely consume any sugar, so these were definitely a treat and something I paid for on the day of our return. I had some symptoms that I'm definitely not used to!
• Chronic headache
• Difficult to concentrate at work in the afternoon
• Distracted and fidgeting
• Tiredness and yawning
It didn't twig till I got home and realized I was having a sugar hangover!!
It has been suggested that properties in sugar are psychoactive and addictive. Sugar is added to foods to make us come back for more. Sugar in fruits is not as addictive and can give us the essential carbohydrates we need without the buzz or high that sugar does.
As I was coming down from my five days of having sugar in small amounts, it was astonishing to me how it built up in my system and then, after going 'cold turkey' I was smashed by the hangover, headache, tiredness and distraction.
Tonight after having a delicious meal with my flat mate, we felt like something sweet. I felt to share a little treat that won't keep you awake or jumping around. It's delicious and took me ten minutes to whip up!
Put some frozen cherries (or berries) into a small saucepan with a spoonful of honey to your taste and simmer gently on the stovetop. Of course you can use fresh if you have some!
This nut cream recipe will change your life ... seriously
While that is bubbling away, put into a blender:
1 cup of macadamia nuts (or almonds)
1 sliced, peeled, cored apple
1 teaspoon of vanilla powder
½ cup of coconut milk
½ cup of water
Blend till a thick, smooth paste
(If it's too runny, add more nuts - too thin, add more water/coconut milk)
Serve the cherries or berries in a small bowl with a dollop or two of the nut cream on top and sprinkle with chopped toasted almonds and some finely sliced fresh mint.
Enjoy treats without the hangover - your body will sing!!