My approach to food has been largely shaped by my upbringing in an active, unfussy and lively household. My mother had always taken her responsibility of feeding us, her four boisterous children, extremely seriously, and although I was slightly embarrassed at the time, I still recall the feeling of awe every time I opened a lunch box she had prepared. When I was at primary school, my mum fell ill with chronic fatigue syndrome for several years, and only managed to claw her way out of the black hole by implementing a complete overhaul of her – and our! – lifestyle. It meant studying nutrition and holistic medicine in great depth, drastically reducing sugar and refined foods even more, and preparing meals that withstood the rigorous test of being whole, wholesome and health-supportive. But amazingly the food still tasted fantastic!
This book was born out of the one question that almost all my clients and friends have asked me at some point: “How do I incorporate more green vegetables into my diet?” That was all the inspiration I needed to create this collection of honest, delicious and interesting dishes based on a real need by real people.
Green vegetables, in particular the darkgreen leafy kind, are the most nutrientdense foods available to us. They contain an array of potent compounds that are very dificult to find anywhere else in the same concentration. Green vegetables are rich in dietary fibre, folic acid, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and magnesium, as well as containing a host of phytochemicals that can reduce inflammation and eliminate carcinogens. They contain a variety of carotenoids, flavonoids and other powerful antioxidants that prohibit the oxidation of molecules in the body and are thought to prevent several degenerative diseases. Some green vegetables are also a major source of iron and calcium. In addition to these, sea vegetables (many of them a dark green-black), contain all of the 56 elements essential for human health in bio-available form, together with important trace elements like selenium that are often lacking in land vegetables due to soil demineralisation.
Over 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates said that all illness begins in the gut. And today many experts still believe there is a lot of truth in that. How can we expect to power our hardworking engines if we don’t prioritise the fuel we put into them? Some of the recipes in this book may use a few more ingredients and seem a little more time-consuming than you are used to, but they are certainly not dificult to make and they are well worth the effort. Anyone can put something on a plate and call it supper, but only those who know how to combine flavours and use all the varied aromatics nature has to offer, will serve up a meal that is not only medicine for the body, but also food for the soul.