Granny’s shepherd’s pie

There is something to be said for comfort food. And tonight 2 out of my 3 boys needed it.  One especially.  It was fortunate that the only happy, singing, joking, dicking around one had requested ‘Granny’s shepherd’s pie’ for our family Friday night supper.

This week in my lectures, we have been learning about food and all the many trends, diets, fads and phases there are currently and have been over the years.  I have always been someone who has always had a sense of ‘guilt’ around enjoying food until I learnt more about nutrition and understood the power of food as fuel, energy and wellbeing.  Only to be intensified by the myriad of advice on health, food and weightloss over the years which has been overwhelming, confusing and also conflicting!  Low fat then ‘eat fat get thin’ just one example…

I could not get on with being Vegan.  I couldn’t stand tofu and just didn’t understand the concept of a ‘vegan sausage’.  I missed fish enormously.  Didn’t know how to make a cake without eggs.  And it just didn’t sit right with me. I always felt there was something missing on my plate.  Or that I was missing out!  I don’t think I lasted one meal and the whole idea made me feel anxious! However, I have many vegan friends and see them thrive, but it just didn’t work for my body.

I was vegetarian, pretty much, on and off for the whole of my university years.  But only because I couldn’t afford meat or fish, rather choosing to spend my allowance or earnings on going out, going on holiday or something far more exciting than food. But I wasn’t really veggie because on most Sundays my house mates and I would cook a massive roast for everyone!

I stress ate when I was working in consulting.  I remember that food was on a par with going to the loo in those days, only when I was desperate!  Rolled in to bed after a supper of wine and chocolate, soup if I was lucky and boosted my day with a large latte and salty pretzel. I was unhealthy, sick a lot, got headaches, had Olive Oil legs and hip bones to sharpen pencils on.  I was young and thriving on adrenalin!

After having had Tom Tom, I tried calorie counting to lose the 4 stone I had put on in pregnancy.  But just did not understand how eating cake and wine could be part of a ‘diet’ to lose weight.  How could you put an equals sign between the same number of calories between kit-kats and broccoli?  Total nonsense in my head.  I lasted a day.

After 3 years of sleep deprivation following the arrival of Willy coupled with stressful work hours and environments, we decided it was time to take back control of our health and worked with trainers and nutritionists who supported a paleo diet.  Finally, we found something that worked for us all as a family but also worked for our bodies.

But there was always a niggling feeling that I just didn’t like cutting out certain foods;  the deprivation would make me crave it more!

So it is so remarkably refreshing, listening and learning this week some simple rules that anyone can do in terms of health – more of some stuff and less of others!

  • Drink more water
  • Move more
  • Eat more leafy greens and vegetables
  • Sleep and rest more
  • Eat less
  • Have less processed food and sugary drinks
  • Less stress!

Nowhere does it say – cut out or none.  That works for me.  It sits right in my gut.

And my current benchmark on what to cook or eat is the saying, “Don’t eat anything your Great-grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food.

So shepherd’s pie it was. Made with the secret health ingredient, ‘vitamin L.’  Made with love from Great Granny’s recipe.  Comfort food.  Good for the heart and nourishes the soul.

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