I’m really looking forward to cooking for you during our Yoga Retreat for Foodies in a few of weeks. I’ve been planning the menus and feel really excited about preparing truly delicious nourishing food to share.
My love of cooking started almost 40 years ago when I learned cooking skills in home economic lessons at high school. My mum had never been keen on cooking, so my new interest and love of cooking meant I started to prepare our family meals on a regular basis. I would make buffets for parties and have made a few wedding and other celebration cakes over the years. Baking was always my great love with scones, cakes and chocolate brownies being my most popular bakes.
A number of years ago, during a difficult period in my life when I was very stressed I also became unwell with physical health issues. It was during my recovery from these health issues just over 2 years ago I attended my first yoga class. I very quickly developed a love for yoga and how it made me feel. I also decided to change my diet and began cooking in a more healthy way, focussing on the nutritional aspect of food. I gradually changed my diet, starting by cutting out refined sugar and processed foods, then began reducing meat and introducing more fish. I continued to make gradual changes as I learned more about food and nutrition. I didn’t count calories and never weighed myself and still don’t. It wasn’t about losing weight it was about how I felt. My confidence and self esteem were low and I didn’t like my body, to be honest I had never liked my body.
I really enjoyed cooking new dishes and experimenting with new recipes using more vegetables, grains, beans and pulses. I didn’t stop baking, but learned how to bake using dates, bananas and honey instead of refined sugars. It’s interesting how your taste buds change and now I wouldn’t be able to eat anything loaded with sugar, I just wouldn’t enjoy it. I still love chocolate, but eat good quality dark chocolate. As a result of my new lifestyle, which included lots of yoga and group fitness class at DP Wellbeing my body shape changed…this was a gradual process over a period time. I now wear clothes several sizes smaller than I did previously and I love my body, both how it feels on the inside and how it looks on the outside!
I’m not strictly vegetarian, vegan or gluten free but I do cook this way most of the time. I use lots of herbs and spices in my cooking, it’s really amazing the flavours that develop with fresh herbs and spices.
The food I will be cooking during for the retreat will be vegan based and a couple of the recipes will also come from a vegetarian cook book ‘The Yoga Kitchen’ by Kimberly Parsons. There is no definition of what a superfood is and there’s no official list of superfoods, but here are some of my superfoods I will be using over the weekend - hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, maca powder, honey, avocados, garlic, ginger, turmeric, berries, oats, nuts, broccoli, kale and spinach. I love Bear Gryll’s definition of superfoods “nutrient-dense food, very high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which have heath-boosting properties and provide exceptional health benefits” and you can be sure that’s exactly what you will enjoy during the retreat!