I work in a real estate office in an upmarket suburb of Auckland. We have a corner shop with a window on the main street and other windows along a walkway back to the Village Green and parking. Back there is also a retirement village. We work to a background sound of clompity clompity clompity or clonk, shuffle, clonk, shuffle as a constant flow of elderly inch along the walkway with a variety of walkers and walking sticks.
In the beginning, it worried me to be constantly reminded of where I was heading but now I see it differently. I see it as a signal to take control of my health right now.
With my sedentary job and sedentary blogging in the evenings, I am a candidate for a bad old age. I was born and raised until my teens on a farm where movement was natural and gyms unheard of. We ran outside and played and dreamed up other worlds with our games, always on the move.
Through the years since, I have attended gyms, danced, played squash and injured myself on numerous occasions while carrying out these forced forms of exercise. It has always felt wrong that I had to make myself exercise to stay healthy. My father was super fit but he didn’t run marathons, pump iron or sweat buckets achieving very little. He was a farmer and constantly on the move. He might have run in short bursts after a wayward sheep and certainly lifted heavy objects but he didn’t carry out activities which kept his heart rate high for any length of time. And yet my doctor told me a few weeks ago that we have to exercise hard enough to be unable to talk three to four times a week for at least 20 minutes at a time. I can assure you my father never did that and yet he could walk up steep hills without puffing. There’s something here which doesn’t compute.
I have spent the last two years, after a knee injury stopped me going for walks (I might have mentioned this before), riding a go-nowhere bike five times a week for 30 minutes on the advice of a medical expert. I hate it. It feels so futile.
I am back to walking, going to that park I wrote about recently so that I can lie down on the grass and soak up the sun, then walk back once I have had my daily dose of Vitamin D. That feels much more organic. I also park the car, when I have it, 10-15 minutes away from work so I have to walk there and back. That sets up a purpose for the movement and it feels less artificial. That adds up to about 40 minutes each day – not bad. It’s a start anyway. Meanwhile the elderly who wander past keep me alert to stay motivated to move and to eat well, the way our ancient ancestors did.
These chicken cupcakes stay well within the guidelines of the Paleo way of eating though I doubt our ancestors would have had muffin tins and piping bags. There are certainly advantages to living in the modern age.
This is not a low Fodmap recipe.
- 500g chicken breast
- 1 red chilli - de-seeded
- 2 cm piece of fresh ginger - peeled
- 1 clove of garlic - peeled
- Small bunch coriander
- Salt & pepper
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp butter
- Salt & pepper
- Heat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Oil a muffin tin.
- Place the chilli, coriander, garlic and ginger in a food processor and whiz to cut it all up finely.
- Cut up the chicken breast and add to the processor and process until well minced.
- Add the egg yolk and puree. Mix well.
- Tip out the mixture and stuff into the muffin tin. Smooth the tops.
- Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked.
- Once cooked, unmould and place on a plate.
- Peel and cut up the sweet potatoes.
- Place in boiling water with 1 tsp salt and boil until soft.
- Drain the water and tip into a food processor.
- Add the butter and process until smooth.
- Check the seasoning.
- Place the mash into a piping bag and pipe on top of the cupcakes.
These sounds delightful! I’ve only just started using my food “piping” tool and sweet potatoes is what I pipe from it most often. I’ll have to try these out!
The piping tool does make mundane food items look a little special. Do try them. My husband kept saying, “You have to make these again.”
Nicola Galloway says
I totally agree Suzanne, the modern forms of exercise can be extreme for our bodies. Good old walking and gardening are my favourites. Thanks for another delish looking recipe. Nicola
My husband is one of those extreme sportsmen but I am more into gentle exercise to keep my joints moving and muscles in reasonable condition.
What a beautiful plate! I think as long as you keep moving whether walking or on an exercise bike, you’ll be fine!
I think that is the trick, Liz. Keep moving and get away from the computer when possible.
Vita @ Juicer Depot says
It is so hard to get away from the computer. Especially when there is so much to see on the internet. My weakness is Pinterest. I feel like a frog jumping from one picture to another. I do need to close the laptop computer and do more walking. Sometimes I even try standing while on the computer.
I’m with you, Vita. The internet is so fascinating. It’s hard to tear myself away and do something so banal as walking. LOL.
Kim Bee says
Your presentation is gorgeous lady. This is beautiful. Good for you for moving around more.
Thanks, Kim. I am trying hard though I was about to go for a walk at work today when my boss decided he needed me instead so no walk today.
Jen @ Savory Simple says
Exercise and healthy eating are very important! Anything to keep us out of the retirement village for JUST a bit longer.
Well said, Jen. Let’s go for that walk now and maybe a bit of sprinting wouldn’t go amiss either.
What a gorgeous dish and thanks for the timely reminder to keep up the exercise and healthy eating so we can all enjoy a ripe old age! I just celebrated a milestone birthday and needed your kick up the backside. 🙂 Love your blog, Suzanne! Keep on pushing the health thing! You are an inspiration!
You are so sweet, Stacy! I am glad you have found inspiration from my words. I am over milestone birthdays. LOL.
I do like the sound of these cupcakes. im all for fun!. It is hard to make sure we stay fit, Im sure we all struggle , particularly after 45. I think however you keep moving is a good thing. I guess that once we didnt have to keep our heart rate up for that long so many times a week but we also died younger and didnt look as good at 50. Remember what our grandparents looked like at 50.? You look pretty good to me looking at your photo Suzanne, so keep doing what ever you do
I like fun food too s long as it isn’t too corny. Thanks for the compliment. I have good genes with grandparents who all lived well into their 80’s and looked pretty good doing it. Fingers crossed. It isn’t easy though, is it?
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
What a creative savory bite!
Vow my mouth is watering 🙂 …………….. yoga is a good form of exercise and relaxation even brisk walks but I don’t like power yoga… even if you like dancing it’s not stressful……………something is in the village air which doesn’t matches with city air 🙂
I have done yoga in the past but it doesn’t feel right for me, even though I know others benefit wonderfully from it. Brisk walks in new places are one of the best forms of exercise because it is weight bearing for the bones. That’s why I have started it again because the cycling is not weight bearing.
Sawsan @chef in disguise says
This is such an elegant savory dish
I agree with you. The work out that some doctors demand seems so artificial and forced. I think you should keep moving and enjoy yourself doing it
Thanks, Sawsan. Yes, I think I will make sure that I move more. Walk instead of take the car to the shops – that sort of thing.
CJ at Food Stories says
This dish is gorgeous – I’m not eating meat, right now, but when I did I enjoyed a similar version of a mini meatloaf – Let’s get out and move 🙂
I am sure you could make a yummy vegetarian or vegan version of this dish. Keep the Thai flavours and experiment.
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
I’ve spent some time catching up on your posts…they have all be inspiring. You have showed that you can eat healthy, beautiful and delicious food. In this post you have reminded us that we need to take good care of our bodies and it sounds like you are doing it right.
Thank you, Karen, for your kind words. In this sedentary age, we do have to make more of an effort to be physically active though I would imagine you are quite active, especially in your summer house.
Super recipe – very creative. I really like everything about it (I’ve never made chicken cupcakes! Why not?), but I particularly like the sweet potato topping. My wife and I are lucky in that we like to walk and have the time to do at least an hour a day, so we both get exercise and have an enjoyable conversation. We also have a home gym with a treadmill and stationary bike for days when the weather doesn’t permit walking. In the US there’s an outfit called “Great Courses” that sells lectures on various subjects (we’re ind of nerdy, so enjoy that), and we often watch those – it takes one’s mind off the mindlessness of biking to nowhere! Anyway good post, and excellent recipe.
It sounds like you get plenty of exercise and walking is a great occasion for conversation which often gets neglected in our busy lives. Nerdy is good!
The presentation is so great. It looks so yummy.
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