Sunday, 31 January 2016

29 Day Reset in February

It has been a full two years since my first "Whole 30". Back then it was an experiment to see what happened and whether I could lose some of the excess around my waist (after pregnancy). This time I am drawn to it because the food at Christmas and New Year left me feeling a bit blah. Bloated, swollen, run-down immune system and some minor skin issues.

So what does it mean for me? I am doing a paleo reset, i.e. go back to basics and just eat proper paleo food. Over time quite a few things that are OK-ish to eat sneak their way into your diet... Among other things: cheese, paleo treats, too many cups of coffee, dark chocolate, paleo-friendly porridge to name a few. So for 29 days of February I will avoid the following:

  • Coffee (too many cups of these since I noticed that I could tolerate espresso)
  • Dairy (bye-bye cheese and butter)
  • Sugar and sweeteners, incl honey (no more dark chocolate)
  • Anything that resembles cake or dessert even if it is sugar-free
  • Bread/knäckebröd (no fun without the butter and cheese anyway)
  • Grains (no buckwheat porridge)
  • Alcohol
More of this
None of this.
Cecilia is joining me on this 29-day adventure with her own special list. We will be great fun to live with!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

It's been a year of communal living. Time has flown by! ❤️ #Repost @cillahp with @repostapp. ・・・ 5 grown-up cups of broth today. ❤️ Idag behöver vi fem vuxenkoppar till buljongen. #paulssonpaleo

via Instagram

Looking back at the past year. There are a few vegetables... New blog post.

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A Year at Kannesten

I can't believe it has been a whole year since we moved to Kannesten, but at the same time working and living in London seems ridiculously distant. What an amazing year it has been! Here are some of my highlights.

We started our journey towards self-sufficiency in early spring and for a long time it didn't look like we were getting anywhere. Spring was really cold and things just weren't growing too fast.
Cabbage, tomatoes and strawberries in our veg patch.
Eventually, and much later than we expected, we were able to enjoy some homegrown vegetables. They weren't always the prettiest looking, but we soon got over that, as they were amazingly tasty. We ate the last of our root vegetables in January and we are now planning for the 2016 harvest - fingers crossed, it will be bigger and better. We also spent a fair share of the summer/autumn foraging for blueberries, lingonberries and mushrooms, filling freezers and jam jars for use in the winter. The berries will last us until the next berry season - pure luxury.
They come in all shapes and sizes.
Vegetable patch in all its glory.
The chickens were the first animals on the farm, soon followed by ducks, sheep and cats. Vera had some fluffy chicks in May, then Stina and Sara… and then Vera again. She was a busy girl. We didn't get many eggs though. Turns out that we need a few more hens to sustain our egg-eating habits.
First fuzzy chicks in May.
Our sheep have been an amazing addition to the farm, they are so friendly now. They love a good cuddle and keep us both busy and entertained.
Animal love.
We kicked off our course activities with a few sauerkraut courses and an offal course. It's so inspiring and fun to share our passion for nutritious food with like-minded people.
Everyone getting stuck in at our very first fermentation course.
The year involved some incredibly hard work, but also opportunities for play. And best of all loads of fresh air.
Hard work.
In such a short time, we have been fortunate to get to know many of our lovely neighbours. They are friendly, hospitable and generous with sharing knowledge and even surplus from their harvests. Loving our village!
Us at the Autumn Market in Simlångsdalen and our contribution to the annual October Fest.
Yoga teacher training kept me busy during the latter part of the year. I certainly improved my physical yoga, but the training also opened my eyes to the philosophical side of yoga. I am encompassing both in my yoga classes in Simlångsdalen and Halmstad.
Us yogis spend a bit of time upside down.
I am grateful for everything I have experienced this year and I bet 2016 has some pretty amazing stuff in store for us all.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Wet Feathers

It has been pretty cold here the last couple of weeks with temperatures plummeting to -15ºC and a few inches of snow. The cold weather makes foraging for food and keeping warm difficult for our animals. We have been keeping extra vigilant and making sure they are all as comfortable as possible and well stocked in the food department. But, the other day we noticed that our two Indian Runner Ducks and in particular the drake was looking a bit bedraggled and cold. His feathers were very wet, matted together and he wasn't running around like his usual self.

We decided to keep them both inside in a warm room for a day to see if that helped dry out their feathers and make them feel better. Unfortunately, a day later the drake was still looking a bit sad. After some frantic net surfing, I came across a common condition that affects all waterfowl, "Wet Feather". The symptoms of which are exactly as I described above, waterlogged feathers with no sheen and the risk of becoming very cold.

There are a number of reasons why this condition may happen, ranging from parasites that make the bird over-preen itself, to having a poor diet, and/or not bathing enough. As our ducks have never taken to bathing themselves in the bathtub we dug into the ground for them, we think it could be latter. The recent snowy conditions could have led to the feathers becoming wet and with no oil protection, quickly waterlogged. So, we filled our sink with warm water and gave our ducks a bath! At first they were not too pleased, but after while they were happily splashing around. Next came the blow-dry treatment, yes, we had to dry their feathers out as best we could. It took some time, but soon they were both preening themselves and their feathers were starting to look a bit more healthy.

Tonight, and for the next few days, they will be sleeping in a heated room, with lots and lots of hay and  a bath and blow-dry to look forward to every morning! Hopefully, we will see them running about with  the other animals again very soon.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The art of rearing animals. No right or wrong, just a helluva lot of grey. Read more on blog. #paulssonpaleo #gutefår #sheep #selfsufficiency

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How Long Is a Piece of String - The Art of Rearing Animals

Our animals are always at the forefront of our minds. As beginners, we are constantly asking our more experienced mentors for advice on how to best take care of our animals. The bigger the animal, the more complex the questions and the more contradictory and confusing the answers.

Our heirloom sheep that are kept outside all year long, for example. When should we shear their wool?
  • Various bloggers and enthusiasts: "Shear them right before they give birth, otherwise their lambs won't be able to nurse."
    • Mentor 1 with hundreds of primarily meat-producing animals: "Make sure to shear them twice a year to avoid the wool getting too long and weighing them down when they get wet."
    • Mentor 2 with hundreds of heirloom sheep: "Shear them around midsummer, that's when they naturally start molting. That a lamb won't be able to nurse unless the mother is shorn is complete nonsense!"
    Conclusion: Oh well, let's just go with mentor 3. And it will be a cheaper and easier option rather than trying to shear (a non-molting) sheep twice a year.

    My sister summed up our woes and worries with rearing animals: How long is a piece of string? You hear one thing, read another, then just have to work it out yourself... Cross your fingers and hope for the best.

    7 out of 8 sheep, all glorious wool and curly horns