Wednesday, 11 March 2015
Inspired Nutrition and Yes to Life take on Brighton
Today’s post is about our recent Cookery Well-being workshop which took place at Brighton Cookery School last Saturday. The morning was hosted by the wonderful Jenny Philips and Jeraldine Curran of Inspired Nutrition who brought a whole load of tasty recipes, years of expertise, a sunny vibe and plenty of jovial flair to the kitchen. If you missed it we are running two more workshops with Jenny and Jeraldine this year, keep up to date with our events calendar for more info.
Think of that person in your life who has cooked for you, gathered fresh ingredients, laboured over chopping boards and stoves with the passion of nurturing you: a mother, grandmother, sibling, friend, partner…then you have some impression of what it felt like to walk into Jenny and Jeraldine’s kitchen. These women are not professional chefs but they are something far more important, cooks who understand the power of food to heal, support and protect.
Although they are both qualified nutritional therapists, it is Jenny and Jeraldine’s personal experiences as much as any qualifications, which make them both such incredible fonts of knowledge. Jenny recovered from breast cancer ten years ago and Jeraldine has been a close support for family members with cancer so they both understand the topic inside out and were happy to share their stories. The selection of dishes they prepared were designed to support the body through any stage of cancer diagnosis, and it was possible to tailor each to specific requirements…they were also delicious!
The morning got started with a Superpower Green Juice, which was genuinely uplifting with the glorious sharpness of lemon cutting through the veg. They might not look too pretty but green juices are a great way to ensure your body is getting the vitamins and nutrients it needs, particularly for people who may have lost their appetite for solid food. A perfect start to the day!
Jenny then talked us through one of her breakfast favourites, Broccoli Guacamole served on rye bread with toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Whilst cooking she discussed the importance of eating cruciferous veg (broccoli, cauliflower etc.), the harms of eating wheat and processed grains and the benefits of including seeds in your diet. It was far chattier than your average breakfast preparation with people asking questions and Jeraldine chiming in with her own suggestions before we got to sample the simple but tasty dish.
Next Jeraldine got going on a Lamb stew (chickpea version for vegetarians). Many people choose to go vegetarian or even vegan when they have cancer but Jenny and Jeraldine believe that including animal protein in your diet is beneficial for most people on the condition that the meat is organic. Jeraldine lamented the state of the modern meat industry which is harming both us and planet and stressed the importance of knowing where food comes from. But we wouldn't get to try the stew until a little later…
In the meantime we enjoyed a creamy mushroom soup, made with coconut cream rather than dairy. It was a resounding hit and a good go to option if solid food is not going down so well. Souping after all is the warm brother of juicing! It was becoming increasingly obvious that a blender could quickly become your best friend! Mushrooms – love em or hate em there are some incredible health properties to be gained from including them in your diet, and as Jeraldine said ‘once it’s blended you can almost forget it’s a mushroom if you find them offensive!’ Both cooks agreed however that it was all about finding a diet that worked for you and not getting stressed about what you should be eating.
Jenny kept us going with a Gram flour wrap with grated carrot and baba ganouche (aubergine dip).
One of the most interesting and delicious dishes the cooks prepared was raw Satay Noodles, made with courgette ‘spaghetti’, mange tout , peppers and mixed sprouts topped off with a divine almond paste dressing. It was fresh, tasty and quite frankly made raw food a whole lot more tempting!
When the lamb stew Jeraldine had been preparing was ready the giant pot disappeared within minutes. Warm hearty and nutritious, Jeraldine told us this was a favourite in her family and you could see why. People were beginning to ask if it would be possible to clone Jeraldine and Jenny for personal use… Unfortunately we are yet to develop the technology!
Life wouldn't be complete without something sweet and if you are avoiding sugar this can be a big issue. Jenny and Jeraldine had the answer in the form of an Almond and Pineapple smoothie (Jenny talked through the process of making your own almond milk) and chia seed muffins…just right to round up the morning.
The food itself was both nutritious and delicious, with lots of new ideas and suggestions for alternatives for people on restricted diets. The best bit about the workshop however was Jenny and Jeraldine themselves, who lived up to their name and made the whole process fun and inspiring. Rather than making a healthy diet seem like a chore they re-framed it as a creative challenge and focussed on the undoubtable benefits. They weren't preaching, they were speaking and cooking from a place of genuine experience. It was a pleasure to share the morning with two such down to earth yet highly skilled and knowledgeable women who made you feel like you could try these things too, and find your own path to better nutrition and better health.
Find out more about Jenny and Jeraldine’s company InspiredNutrition which offers tailored nutritional therapy.
Check out Jenny’s recipe section on the Yes to Life blog.