Many years ago in the early 70’s I cut my culinary teeth in a very large and busy transport cafe on the A21 to Hastings, and learnt a lot about how to cook greasy chips and boil cabbage to death. Luckily, by the mid 80’s with more than a little help from my friends, I became the manager and head chef for The Ploughshares Cafe in Glastonbury. Our ethos was ‘Nutrition into the 21st Century, animal free, sugar free, wheat free, dairy free.’ We were fairly cutting edge at the time, and developed some lovely recipes to allure our customers, including the production of our own fresh Tofu, a staple for the busy kitchen.
I have taught and given consultations in the arts of healthy eating for over 20 years now, working with adults and children, chefs from the main stream and establishments such as The Bristol Cancer Help Centre and Liverpool Social Services, and also for the past 5 years have been a practicing colon hydro therapist at The Fisher King Centre. Well, you can imagine, having concerned myself with what goes into the mouth, I am now more than a little interested in what comes out ’tother end, and I see that for the nourishment of our bodies it is essential that we look to the good health of our digestion. Dr Bernard Jensen, one of the founding fathers of nutritional medicine, says: ‘It is the bowel that invariably has to be cared for first before any effective healing can take place.’
We understand that the raw materials we fuel ourselves with need to be nutritious and prepared with love and care, and with the internet at our fingertips and an abundance of book shops, healthy recipes are not hard to find.
However, even though we may eat the correct foods we may not always derive the maximum benefit from them. Toxicity and acidity occurs in the body as a result of incomplete digestion caused by low stomach acid, a natural consequence of old age, stress and non-observance of the 5 golden rules of eating:
- Chewing well. This sends neural messages to the brain to introduce digestive secretions.
- Eating little and often. This ensures the digestive juices are not over taxed.
- Not drinking with meals. This ensures digestive juices are not diluted.
- Practicing food combining. Therefore not introducing conflicting bio-chemical secretions.
- Not eating protein meals after 6 pm. Therefore not interfering with digestive function as the liver’s metabolic clock has turned off.
Complete digestion is the name of the game, and here at The Fisher King Centre, we offer a practical and effective program to facilitate the elimination of toxic compaction caused by incomplete digestion. The fit and healthy may not feel the necessity to engage in the subject of bowel health, but our experience shows that compacted matter is a consequence of all our modern-day life styles where processed foods, hybridised glutinous wheat, excesses of salt, sugar and saturated fats, increased meat and dairy consumption all seasoned with goodly amounts of stress and possible anxiety affect us all.
This first recipe is an example of what stimulates the secretion of good and strong digestive juices at the onset of our meal. This is because the food is both cool and raw, and includes optimal ingredients such as alfalfa sprouts and flaxseed oil.
I do hope you enjoy preparing and eating this dish, and I look forward to introducing you to some more fresh and healthy recipes over the coming months.
Salad of Quinoa and Avocado
Serves 2-3 people
½ cup quinoa
1 cup alfalfa sprouts
1 unwaxed lemon
¼ cup flaxseed oil
1 cup fresh herbs. eg parsley, coriander, chives, basil
2-4 pieces of crisp lettuce leaf
Method: Pour the quinoa into a pan and add 1 cup of water. Put on high heat. When it comes to the boil turn down the heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to rest for 10 minutes with the lid on the pan.
Zest the lemon and mix with the flax oil and put to one side.
Juice half of the lemon. Put to one side. (Drink the other half of the lemon’s juice with water, it will alkalise and stimulate digestion; just the right appetiser!)
Cut the avocado in half and remove the stone. Scoop the flesh out into a bowl and mash till smooth. Add a good splash of the lemon juice and mix till creamy. Add seasoning if desired. Again, put to one side.
Finely chop the herbs, mix with the remaining lemon juice and place to one side.
Keeping about two or three teaspoons back for presentation, add the rest of the flax oil and lemon zest mixture to the quinoa and mix well.
To assemble the dish, place one or two pieces of crisp lettuce on a plate and spoon in a small mound of the quinoa. Lightly flatten the top and then add the alfalfa sprouts. Press down again and put the avocado mixture on top and then the herbs. Drizzle the remaining oil on and around the stack and over the plate to show off the wonderful vibrant colours. Serve immediately so as to retain the fresh vitality and nutrition of the dish.
Home Mixed Muesli
8 cups or 1kg. Porridge oats/Quinoa and Millet flakes.
1 cup or 125.grms. Pecan nuts &/or Almonds.
2 cups or 250.grms. dry Pineapple.
1 cup dry Goji Berries. Optional.
¾ cup or 100.grms. dry Linseeds.
¾ cup or 100.grms. dry Pumpkin seeds.
¾ cup or 100.grms. dry Sunflower seeds.
Mix all the ingredients into a large pot and cover with a tight lid.
To serve, place 2 large spoons of the mix into your cereal bowl and cover just to the top of the mix with apple juice &/or water. You may like soy milk or any other plant milk of your choice. Soak over night and eat in the morning or as a snack through the day. Can be warmed up too!
Fiona Bruce 01458 831182, email@example.com
Watch Fiona at www.ploughshares.co.uk