The countryside believes that Spring has arrived – acid green shoots are beginning to scatter throughout the newly ploughed fields, the woodland is carpeted in bluebells and the big swells of the winter have given way to flat seas, sparkling in the clear morning light.I have to admit to not having swum without a wetsuit yet this year – the night frosts have kept water temperature numbing and despite my best intentions, I’m still hovering shivering at the waters edge – or else fully clad in clumsy layers of neoprene. Whenever I feel in need of inspiration for my watery adventures, wild swimmer and artist Natasha Brooks is top of the list – in this award winning film she describes in mesmerising words, music and images, the allure of Snowdonia’s clear icy lakes:
Earlier this week in the midst of a Spring surge of minimalist vigour, I gave away a pile of cookbooks, most of them throwbacks from brief and for the most part somewhat dour encounters with restricted eating – from I Quit Sugar, through Paleo Cookbooks to my recently acquired Nutribullet Recipes, together with a pile of primal exercise books encouraging the reader to move like an animal, to ditch the running shoes in favour of high intensity interval training. As in so many things, I’ve come to realise that the most enjoyable and sane way to eat and to exercise involves finding a personal balance. Whilst “clean eating” seems, on the surface, a wonderful seductive concept, the insidious subtext is that whatever is not fresh, organic, un processed is by definition unclean, dirty – not a far cry from sinful.
Strangely on the day the books were dispatched I came across this excellent post written by a dietician on Dare Not To Diet giving refreshingly sane advice on the wisdom of savouring food, treating it as a trusted friend rather than an enemy.
And finally, for fun some Spring Sounds – Ben Howard, English musician plays melodic folk inspire tunes – Keep Your Head Up is an uplifting catchy ballad – worth a listen.