“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.” – Cesar Chavez
I want to dine at Kate Jay’s house!
My lovely friend, Kate, the blogger behind Healing Family Eats, and one of my very favourite recipe developers because of her super-skilled way with marrying flavours, has published her very first cookbook – ‘Healing Eats‘. And, it is beautiful.
I am working my way through it, and I’m already looking forward to her next cookbook! Kate’s recipes are among some of my most cooked.
No, really – they are. Some of the numbers on highest rotation are Sautéed Chicken Livers with Riced Cauliflower, Collards and Herbs, Lamb Tagine with Orange and Prunes, and Meyer Lemon Fluff. They’re all 100% AIP friendly and they taste delicious!
I was lucky enough to get my hot little hands on a review copy of Kate’s ‘ Healing Eats‘ eBook. It’s a little book – just 25 of Kate’s family favourites – but, I want to make every single one. I will make my way through it, but the first ones we tried at Casa Jo were:
- the ‘crumble’ topping for the Chicken and Kale Bake. Talk about a way to enhance any stew or slow cooked leftovers. This is definitely going on repeat at our place!
- the Sweet Potato-Ginger Coconut Bliss Balls. These babies are 100% free of any refined sugar. David has taken them to work. Need I say more.
- Pomegranate & Rose Panna Cotta Jellies. Kate is known around here as the ‘Queen of Panna Cotta’ (and pomegranate is hard to say no to).
Today I bring you my interview with the delicious Kate and a giveaway of ‘Healing Eats‘ for one lucky subscriber!
Let’s begin with the interview…
Kate, I know you talk about your (and your family’s) healing story in your fab’ Healing Eats cookbook. For the benefit of my readers, can you perhaps give us the abridged version; a little ‘insider insight’?
Yes I’ll try, but I’ve a lot of years to pack in! I was diagnosed with IBS years ago and then with hypothyroidism in 1997. However my life didn’t really change until after my son was born in 2000. Having a baby was extremely stressful to my body and once the hormones kicked in, I started having the hypothyroid symptoms I hadn’t shown at the time I got my diagnosis. That probably sounds a little odd but the only symptom I had back in 1997 was not being able to hold heavy objects and experiencing pain in my wrists. As a young mum I was exhausted and our son was exhausting. The friends I had made through the new mums’ network had babies who slept and gurgled, whereas mine didn’t do either of those things. He screamed and threw up instead. Then, when he was three weeks old we had a meningitis scare which resulted in us staying in the hospital, him attached to an IV concoction of antibiotics. With the benefit of hindsight I know his constant sickness and crying was an allergic reaction to the proteins in my breast milk.
Once we removed gluten and dairy from his diet as a toddler he became happier and calmer, but we kept on searching. The GAPS diet was a real turning point in his digestive health and he made a lot of progress, however when I came across the AIP (as a result of my stressing over symmetrical swelling on my thumb and wrist joints and a family history of Rheumatoid Arthritis), it was like a brand new lightbulb had suddenly lit up a dark corner. My son is now 16 and amazing. We have the best relationship, which is something I feared would never be possible, and I will cherish that every day of my life. I must stress that we got the greatest results once we found a practitioner to work alongside us, something I would absolutely recommend. Our practitioner also helped me change to compounded thyroid medication after finding out that the thyroxine I’d been taking all those years contained lactose and corn starch. That change has made a seriously major impact on my health.
Is Healing Eats focused on a particular style of healthy eating? Would it benefit even those on a standard diet?
Healing Eats is a collection of the recipes I make for my family and come husband and teen-approved. Like most people I lead a busy life so, unless I’m recipe developing, I want to keep my time in the kitchen as brief as possible. So these recipes are all comfort foods that have been given a kick of added nutrients to achieve optimal healing. I’m sure you’ve told your lovely readers that healing (and I’m talking about food here) isn’t only about what we take out, but we need to take into account what we put IN as well. And yes – the recipes will definitely benefit anyone who hasn’t actively chosen to eat for health – the recipes are delicious enough that nobody will even know they are eating healthily. You never know, cook some of this up for your unhealthy friends and they may even be persuaded to join you!
What do you hope people will gain most from your Healing Eats eBook?
Starting an elimination protocol can be a shocker to the system at first, particularly if you’re not used to cooking so many of your own meals and there’s no denying that fact. So I would hope that those who cook from the eBook will actually forget they’re cooking for a special diet in the first place and instead immerse themselves in this simple food that tastes really good. I’d love for people to be happy cooking and sharing these meals with family and friends who are not on their healing diet and know that it was loved and appreciated. As for children, when I hear how they like my recipes and gobble them all up – that’s how I get my biggest kicks.
Do you have a favourite recipe in the book (and if so, why?)
Hmmm, that’s a tricky one because I’ve enjoyed chomping my way through them all. I’m not sure I can choose just one but I will say I’m a complete sucker for a roast chicken and cook it in a variety of different ways – although this one is my current favourite. There’s so much flavour, inside and out, and the juices that run out into the pan make it even more satisfying. My food bills are astronomical so I will cook a roast chicken on a fairly frequent basis since I can get two good meals out of it plus a carcass for broth afterwards. I wanted a couple of recipes in the book that use up leftovers from the Roast Chicken – and the Chicken & Kale Bake is one of them. We eat this one a fair bit because the kids request it loads and let’s face it, when they’re happy, I’m one very happy mother.
Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your 20-year old self about diet and lifestyle choices?
Ha! I’m not convinced my 20-year old self would want to hear what I have to say, she was having too good a time in the pub! However, I believe planting a seed is a great start. I would say – listen up, Kate…
– digestion is key. What ever else you do, or eat, make sure you chew your food well. I talk a bit about it in the e-Book, as most people don’t get that digestion refuses to happen if you are not in a completely relaxed state and don’t break down your food sufficiently before you swallow.
– hydration is beyond important. I have never taken hydration seriously before and regret that now. Water has so many roles, including transferring nutrients into the cells, and lubricating and cushioning joints.
– low fat is an absolute nonsense. We are made of fat, we need it for energy, fat does not make you fat. Eat fat!
– refined food isn’t really food. It’s a filler – often with negative nutrients, meaning by the time you’ve eaten you’re left with fewer nutrients than you started with as they’ve been stripped away. OMG scientists analysing a box of cereal actually found more nutrition in the packaging than in the contents.
– burning the candle at both ends really is the bad idea your mother told you about. Fun is good, lack of sleep on a regular basis? Not so!
Planting these seeds is something I have done with my own children, so there are strong roots and foundations already in place. Whenever they’re ready, they won’t have to look very hard to know how to implement them.
If you could give people just one piece of advice when approaching a healing diet, what would it be?
I say go for it, there has never been a better time to start a healing diet. With so many resources out there, be it blogs, podcasts, support forums etc; when you find a tribe with your mindset it becomes quite a special part of your life. I touch on the actual ‘how to’ in my e-book (just a few words mind, the book is mostly about the food!) and would say to people it’s great if you jump on board immediately, which is what we did, but it’s equally fine to take it at a slower pace. It seriously doesn’t matter, what counts is that you get there in the end.
It’s important to say that some people take to the change like a duck to water, whereas others find the process trickier as old habits can be hard to lose. If you recognize this don’t be hard on yourself, take baby steps instead. When someone is living with health challenges, the last thing that’s needed is added anxiety over food.
Finally, a nosy question from me – one of the things I love most about your recipes (other than the fact that they always work) is your ability to marry flavours. Some of my most favourite AIP-compliant recipes are ‘Kate Jay’ recipes. How does your creative process around recipe development work? – Do you start with a base ingredient and work up from there, or is there some ‘secret sauce process’ to your system?
Save the hard one for last why don’t you!!
I’ve never really thought about that one before, but I guess it’s because my culinary training prepared me so well. When I create a recipe I think about what I haven’t done before, or for a while; meat, fish, veggies or something sweet for instance. Then I take into account the season and availability. Next up is nutrient density (got to have that as this is what healing is all about) and balancing macronutrients – carbs, proteins, fats. That’s an interesting one – I filled in one of those nutrient counter apps not long ago and was staggered to find out we ate a lot less fat than I thought and for a family who don’t regularly eat starchy veg, our macronutrient balance was often heavily tipped in its favour. Because I’m such a visual person, food needs to be a feast for the eyes so I’ll imagine how it’s going to look, as well as taste and finally I picture myself eating it, tasting all those flavours in my imagination.
Thank you, Kate!
As promised – we have a giveaway!
ENTER TO WIN A COPY OF ‘HEALING EATS’ BY KATE JAY
There are 2 easy steps to enter the giveaway –
1. Subscribe to my newsletter. Either signup HERE or click the link at the top right corner of this page. If you already receive my newsletter, you’re good to go! No need to sign up again.
2. Leave a comment on this post telling me why you’d want to win a copy of Kate’s wonderful cookbook.
A Couple of Things to Note:
This giveaway is for a digital product and is open to anyone anywhere in the world!
The winner will be chosen at random on Friday 2nd June at midday Australian Eastern Time. (Please not the giveaway is no longer open)
THE GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED
But – there’s more!
If you can’t wait to get your hot little hands on your very own copy of Kate’s ‘Healing Eats ‘ eBook, just click on the big red button to be taken directly to the page where you can download it for yourself:
[su_button url=”http://bit.ly/HealingEats” target=”blank” background=”#990000″ size=”5″]Take me to the Healing Eats website! [/su_button]
*all images in this post ©Kate Jay