City life can take its toll on the hardiest of us, especially this time of year. Winter is upon us and there is something in the air that seems to push us to stay busy busy busy all the time. In amongst the festive madness it's more important than ever to stay balanced. We know this is often easier said than done, so we make it a habit to pick the brains of some of the busiest bees we know to discover what keeps them balanced. Meet recipe developer and author of Land & Sea: a collection of sustainable, seasonal and sensational dishes, Alexandra Dudley.
Hi Alexandra. We would love you to tell us little about you and your story. Where and when did your love affair with food and cooking begin?
I've loved food since I was a child. My mother is a keen cook and my grandmother was too so I was always watching a learning from them. As I grew older I just cooked more and more and I started my own catering company when I was 15 doing private dinners and also selling my homemade cakes and tarts.
How do you find your daily source of golden balance?
I try to take just a few minutes to myself each day and to connect with nature in someway. I feel most alive when surrounded by nature and that the city can often drain me of that alive feeling. It is often something as small as appreciating the leaves on my walk into work or noticing the way the air feels but often it is in the kitchen working with ingredients for the nights supper. I like to eat seasonally so the produce I buy always gives me that sense of appreciation for the earth and it makes me feel grounded.
How important is self-care to you, and do you often implement it into your regular rituals?
Im often one to stress a lot and take on too many things but recently I've really made the effort to carve out some time for myself. I've just started having reflexology which has been wonderful. its amazing how effective it is on me. I feel as though I’ve had a four hour massage after a session and super zen, but I think its also the act of committing that time to myself that makes the difference.
Share with us a quote that gives you daily inspiration.
You are enough.
We know nourishment from the inside out is fundamental to you. How do you practice this every day?
I try to eat lots of greens. I am a big believer in eating what you enjoy and I don’t like to deprive myself of anything but I do think that getting some good veg into your system is good both for the body and the mind.
What are some of your favourite ways to wind down?
Cooking, dancing, singing out loud and (badly) playing my guitar. I find music incredibly powerful.
Ingredients-wise, what are your three non-negotiables in the kitchen?
Miso paste, tahini, mixed spice.
Now tell us, do you have a guilty pleasure?
Ha definitely. I have many but my top ones are probably cinema popcorn, peanut m and ms and dark chocolate covered rice cakes.
What is your favourite way to use turmeric, be it in your beauty regime or recipes?
I eat omelettes a lot and love throwing it in my omelette, but I also add it to my porridge and pretty much every soup or curry I make.
Coffee or turmeric latte?
The truth is both. I'd like to say I was turmeric all the way but I do love a good espresso too.