Healing water and mussels a la Ruth and James

photo 4

Water truly is an amazing liquid, not just for drinking but for its healing, restorative and calming properties. Went to Bath this weekend with my husband and spent 3 hours in Thermae Bath Spa. Before we left I felt a bit worn out and unwell, a mixture between my body working hard to heal itself from my wisdom tooth removal and fighting not to catch a bad cold that my husband brought home from work ( thank you very much ). After the hours of sweating it out in the very hot steam rooms, breathing in the essential oils ( lotus to calm and lemon grass to clear out those germs from my pipes ) and immersing myself into the smooth warm mineral waters whilst watching the sun going down over the roof top pool, I felt amazing (as amazing as one can after having sweated like a pig for 3 hours)

Water is also really good as a pain reliever. I gave birth to both Z1 & Z2 in water ( well technically Z1 wasn’t actually born in the water since she wasn’t too keen on the popping out bit, but I did manage the many hours before without the use of serious pain relief (only some gas and air) thanks to being submerged in water. Believe me the few times I had to get out of the water were not fun, to put it mildly, and getting back into the water was heaven!

Another water thingie that I do sometimes is winter swimming. We have some dear friends in Belgium that we go and visit every now and again and whenever we go there we go for a dip in the lakes. Regardless if it’s October or February. We usually jog for 5 minutes before to get warm and then into the very cold water we go. You feel so good afterwards, it’s really magical. ( Read more about the health benefits of winter swimming and why one has to be a bit careful)
The magic is being helped by that after the very cool dip we go back to the house, light a fire, crack open a bottle of wine and cook some mussels ( my husband and Ruth always fight about the best way to cook them but as the title indicates the final recipe is a merge between the two of them )

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For 4 people as a main
2 kg mussels
2 celery sticks sliced
1 leek sliced
A handful of finely chopped parsley
Black pepper

For the dipping sauce
8 tablespoons of Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley

photo 2

Clean the mussels, throw away the ones that stay open. Cook up the leek and celery with some olive oil for about 5 minutes then add the parsley. Add a bit of water about an inch (2,5 cm) boil up vigorously then add the mussels and cook with a lid. 3-4 minutes in give them a good shake, trying to get the ones at the bottom up to the top. In about 10 minutes they should be cooked but you need to check that most of them are open and are well cooked. Even if you serve them and think they are undercooked you can just pop them back into the pot and cook some more. To make the dipping sauce just mix the ingredients and add some liquid from the mussels ( about 1-2 tablespoons ) Should taste quite strong of the mustard and not be too runny.

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In Belgium they usually cycle to pick up some french fries for having with the mussels but since that isn’t the most healthy thing I would say serve with whole wheat baguette or some roasted sweet potatoes.

Mussels are low in calories and fat but high in protein and many vitamins and minerals. They are particularly high in B12 and selenium.

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