Confessions of a foodie

I’ve known my body for a long time now. We’re old friends. We go back years. We’ve had good times and bad. I guess like many longstanding friendships there can become a point where we begin to take things for granted. I’ve treated it badly sometimes and yet it’s been good to me.

I’ve had early mornings, late nights and all-nighters. Once I didn’t go to bed for three days as I was writing solidly in the office for a deadline for my last employer; 72 hours in the office without a break finally pushed me to self-employment. I eventually took the long tube ride home and went to bed. I woke up with mumps and was quarantined for 2 weeks.

My body spoke to me over those three days in the office and I didn’t listen.

Over the years, I’ve drunk too much, eaten too much cake and then had no wine or cake and been to the gym for a few weeks to compensate.

I’ve taken up yoga, pilates, boxing and swimming. I’ve eaten vegan, gluten-free, nightshade-free and coffee-free.

How many times have I bounced from one health kick to another?

Many times. Nothing has lasted for very long.

Yet really, how often have I really really paid attention to little aches and pains and responded by giving my body what it truly needs?

Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

Photography: Dawn Langley

Rarely.

When I first discovered a plant based way of life, I was challenged to eat salad and seeds for 10 days.

I was told it would be good for me and I would feel better.

Those 10 days confirmed so much to me. They confirmed that I wasn’t at all into a raw food diet.

They confirmed to me that I was a complete and utter cooked foodie.

The experience confirmed that I love Patisserie Valerie, a comforting bowl of warm soup on rainy days and slurping ramen with friends. It confirmed that I quite like the aroma of a casserole in the oven and sinking my spoon into an unctuous fruit custard. It confirmed to me that yes I like my body, but…. I like food.

The struggle is real.

It took ten years for me to learn to make raw plant based food that tastes every bit as delicious as cooked food. It didn’t happen overnight. It was years of trial and error, training and bouncing back to old favourites but I knew that ultimately, if I didn’t change, I would pay for it with my health.

So this is what I did.

I learned to make raw soups as comforting and warming as any cooked soups. I developed a blueprint to make them work every time because let’s face it, cold blended vegetables are disgusting no matter what people tell you.

I learned to make raw cakes that look and taste just like the ones you get in Patisserie Valerie so I didn’t feel deprived… and if I’m honest with myself I feel pretty pleased that they look every bit as amazing. We eat with our eyes too, don’t we?

day-one-img

Photographer: Dawn Langley

I learned to make lattes, ramens and all the foods that I enjoyed before as cooked but didn’t serve me at all. I learned to make them raw and completely vegan and out of plants  – and importantly every bit as delicious as the cooked versions, if not more so.

I learned to create raw food that will completely transform any fine dining experience you may ever have. And nothing gives me more pleasure than to see people’s faces when I tell them that they have just eaten a decadent chocolate dessert containing a courgette and black olives.

You can do this too.

I wasn’t going to be fobbed off with a salad and handful of seeds as I’m not that kind of eater. I never have been and never will be. If it’s not delicious enough to stand up against a bowl of tiramisu, it won’t make the grade.

So if you’re a foodie just like me but you know that your body is telling you something, maybe try making these small changes every day and see if things will slowly turn around to eating more plants.

Photography: Dawn Langley

Photography: Dawn Langley

Next time you make a drink, make it a green one. Or next time you make a soup, make it a raw one to keep all the goodness in but serve it warm in a heated bowl to make it extra cosy. The warmth will also bring out the flavours of the soup. Try the soups on my website, they are 100% tested and delicious.

Or perhaps, instead of visiting the patisserie, or the deli counter or M&S Food Hall, you make a raw cake instead and keep it in the freezer for those moments when only a little piece of temptation will do?

If you feel like making a change, I have created so many recipes on my website to help you.

Because I think your body might be talking, are you going to listen?

I suspect it is going to have the final word.

Photography: Dawn Langley

Photography: Dawn Langley