Sunday, 17 February 2013

Exams, Dingle and Ice Cream

On Friday we had our midterm exams. Yes, that's right, I know I've been talking about them but they actually happened. People were worrying whether this leaf is an oak leaf or a butter leaf, a mibuna or mizuna. If it wasn't so serious, it would be funny. Ok, it was a little funny and let's face it, not really worth getting all in a tizz about but, Ballymaloe Cookery School and Darina take lettuce leaves very seriously so we were all revising like mad chefs.

Apart from our exams to look forward to this week, I had set up a nutritional talk with our Ballymaloe Cookery Schools very own nutritionist, Debbie Shaw. A small group of us got together after a long day of lectures and spoke about PCOS (Polyststic Ovarian Syndrome), cholesterol, whole-food diet, blood sugar balancing etc etc. Two hours flew by and we literally could have talked all night. 

As a young woman who has had severe complications with PCOS it was utterly fascinating and a real eye opener. Debbie is a naturopath, not a classic doctor, or a surgeon. She looks at the whole body, the problems AND the symptoms. She looks at what you eat, your lifestyle, the things you worry about. 
It made me take a long hard look at the way I eat. Here at Ballymaloe Cookery School, we are inundated with food. Every day, 3 course meals are put in front of us, then demo tastings then extra work. It's literally food overload and I have to really put my will power in full force to stop myself from tasting all the yummy things. In the coming weeks, I'm going to be looking at PCOS in depth, foods and recipes that help the symptoms. 1 in 15 women have it in the world. That is a big number!

So, because we had worked so hard for our exams, as a little treat to ourselves, some of the girls and I went off to Dingle, stopping off along the way. Have I mentioned how much I'm falling in love with Ireland?! The countryside, the people….We had a great time, walking along Inch Beach, eating Murphy's Ice Cream (twice), enjoying fresh mussles at Ashe's, eating at the Smoke House in Killarney, drinking Guinness in a hardware store (don't ask!) and much more! All in all, a Yummy weekend.

Bring on the next 6 weeks and the future!