VEGAN THAI SOUP - KHAO SOI SOUP (V+, GF, NF, V, GrF)

VEGAN THAI SOUP - KHAO SOI SOUP (V+, GF, NF, V, GrF, P)

''When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty'' - Thomas Jefferson

I am acutely aware that over the last few weeks my instagram feed has been either incredibly quiet or dominated by what dominated my life - The Women's March on London. Despite the fact that I'm keen not to make my food blog be more political than it already is (it's a vegan food blog, y'all. I mean, that in itself speaks volumes), I have also always used this space as an on-line, public, open diary to explore and express my thoughts and feelings.

So what can I say? Just that we - a handful of ordinary women - came together now, 11 weeks ago to try and make a positive difference. To stand in solidarity with those groups of people who were attacked and marginalised, demonised and hurt in one of the most vicious and divisive presidential campaigns ever. To raise awareness and consciousness and to bring people together. We never expected a turnout of 100,000 people in what police described as one of the most peaceful and positive marches ever (no arrests in London, if you're wondering). We never expected the outpouring of support we received. We never expected that this march would mean so much to so many people, many of whom were still distressed about the Brexit vote. We never expected that the march and rally would have such a profoundly positive impact, especially on young women, many of whom left inspired and uplifted. What we also hadn't expected was the huge amount of hatred and animosity that would be directed at us in the days leading up to and after the march. It's incredibly you guys, I won't go into details, but trolls are SO disgusting.

We also hadn't expected that we would need to 'justify' our march or our motivation to march (mainly to men, I hasten to add, though some women too). But most of all, I'd never expected to feel this huge weight of responsibility on my shoulders the day after the march. So many questions started to suddently formulate in my mind: What do we do now? How can we ensure that 100,000 people didn't march in vain? How can we continue to protect those most in need? How can we keep going when we're exhausted and wanting to find our way back to our old, 'normal' lives? How could we have been so naive as to think that one march would be enough?

I never ever thought I'd be an activist (I'm just like YOU, trust me), but I'm riding this wave that destiny has swept my way and am not afraid to see where it takes me. Tired, yes, but afraid, no. And now that resistance and everyday activism are my new normal, I've decided to embrace it and run with it because we STILL want our voices to be heard. Because we know that many people want to continue to protect human rights and be a part of this 'movement'. Because we will not go away until this terror STOPS. Because we won't let history repeat itself.

I will most likely not mention politics on the blog again (hopefully), but if I'm absent or quiet, you can bet your bottom dollar I'm plotting away with the rest of the girls - peacefully, positively but with hella determination! Because this is no time for retreating. This is a time for action!

Thanks for reading everyone.
See you in 2 weeks time.

P.S. If you'd like to support The Women's March on London, please e-mail us at womensmarchlondon(at)gmail(dot)com or if you want to do 'something' then check our 10 actions in 100 days on the website for ideas and suggestions, cuz remember politics is by the people, for the people; and that means YOU ;).

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VEGAN MINI LAYER CAKE WITH CREAM 'CHEESE' FROSTING + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! (ChF, GF, NF, V+, V)

VEGAN NAKED MINI LAYER CAKE WITH CREAM 'CHEESE' FROSTING + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! (ChF, GF, NF, V+, V)

SIDENOTE: If you are looking for the gluten-free version of this cute little cake, then please head over to Heal's blog for the full recipe + a handful of other pictures. Heal's kindly provided the totally lush grey linen you see in the pictures here and I'm super grateful for their generosity in making this blog post what it is :).  

ON TO THE MAIN SHOW ;): It's hard for me to believe that it's been less than a year since I met Aimee from Twigg Studios for the very first time. But despite our relatively new-ish friendship, it feels like we've known each other FOREVER. I mean we've baked together, we've been to France together, we hitch-hiked together and Aimee's been to stay so often that the guest bedroom in our house is now referred to as 'Aimee's room'. So when Aimee told me her second book Aimee's Perfect Bakes was on the verge of hitting the bookshelves and subsequently asked me to feature it on my little blog, you can bet your bottom dollar I shouted a loud, resounding YES!

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HIBISCUS POACHED BERRIES WITH VEGAN CASHEW CREAM (V+, V, ChF, GrF, GF) + THOUGHTS ON FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY 4

HIBISCUS POACHED BERRIES WITH VEGAN CASHEW CREAM + THOUGHTS ON FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY 4

Hey everyone! It's another fact filled blog post today, which I'll break into 3 sections for ease. Meaning that you can just skip to the bits that you're most interest in. Sound good?

Great, so in today's blog post I'll be talking a little more about some key food photography lessons I learned during my #InFranceWeCook workshop. You can find the corresponding blog post and all the photos taken during the workshop here AND you can also see a little behind-the-scenes video at the very bottom of this blog post :).

Secondly, I'm over the moon to tell you that I'll be co-hosting a food photography, yoga and creative gathering event in North Devon with Aimee from Twigg Studios and Carole from Mademoiselle Poirot. If you're interested to learn more and wish to join us then do read on ;).

Finally, I'll sharing today's vegan recipe which I developed together with Carole from Mademoiselle Poirot at her gorgeous South London home. Therefore, if you'd like just came for that, I suggest you scroll down to the very bottom of the blog post to find what you're looking for ;)

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RAW VEGAN TURMERIC CHIA PUDDING + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! (ChF, GF, NF, R, V+, V)

RAW VEGAN TURMERIC CHIA PUDDING + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! (ChF, GF, NF, R, V+, V)

Hi everyone. Hope you're all well :)

I've got LOTS in store for you this week. which is why I thought it would be helpful if I break this week's blog post down for you, so you can skip to the bits you're actually interested in ;). Cuz - just so you know - this is a looooong one and I don't want you getting bored ;).

This week you can find info on...

1. SUPERFOODS
I've been dying to write about superfoods ever since I started my little plantbased blog and with turmeric as the star ingredient in this week's vegan recipe, I coudn't think of a better time to share my thoughts on superfoods. This means I'll give you a list of the 7 superfoods that I believe truly live up to their name and should appear on your plate every single day! 

2. BLOGIVERSARY + A COOKBOOK GIVE-AWAY!
It's actually my blogiversary this week. Eeeeek! I STILL feel like a novice, but here I am finishing my second year of blogging. Crazy stuff! To celebrate I'm giving away a copy of Jessica Sepel's new book The Healthy Life. This give-away is open to UK and EU residence, so do check it out:). I'll provide a short review of the book and then I'll let you know what you need to do for a chance to win it.

3. TURMERIC RECIPES
I'm sharing 2 superfood recipes this week. One is this healthy raw vegan breakfast come snack recipe (the BOMB by the way). Two is a crazy sexy superfood Turmeric Cinnamon Tea on the Rocks recipe which you'll find over on Heal's blog this week. Just cuz turmeric is SO good, I had to create 2 easy and delicious recipes so you've got no excuse not to give this spice a go ;).

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RAW VEGAN ACAI SMOOTHIE BOWL + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! (V+, V, ChF, GF, GrF, P, R, NF)

RAW VEGAN ACAI SMOOTHIE BOWL + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY! (V+, V, ChF, GF, GrF, P, R)

I posted the following statement under this image of Xochi Balfour's new healthy lifestyle book 'The Naturalista' on instagram the other day:

'FACT I get lots of cookbooks sent to me. FACT I buy lots of cookbooks,. FACT I'd never recommend something I don't wholehearted believe in.
So if I say that the healthy living book 'The Naturalista' by @xochibalfour is INSANELY AWESOME you better believe it's true. I hope this treasure gets the attention it so deserves when it comes out at the end of April. @xochibalfour you should be darn proud of this looker.'

And, though it's been a few weeks now since I first received the book, I still feel mega excited about it and super duper lucky to have been given a copy. Yup, it's THAT good. So, what about it is so special, you might wonder? Well, ...

1. The voice behind the book - Xochi is engaging, genuine, so, so sweet and I read the story of her journey to health with great interest. It's one that so many of us can relate to. (I'm not telling you more. You just gotta buy the book ;)). Plus, I've had the pleasure of meeting Xochi in person and I can tell you, she's not a brand. She's the real deal :). 

2. The stunnig, healthy and most importantly achieveable recipes - I have literally bookmarked every other page - banana almond pancakes, kale and avocado rice with pickled carrots, smoky beet hummus etc.. I mean there are soooo many recipes to get excited about and most of them require ingredients that are easy to come by. However, please be warned - there are a few non-vegetarian recipes in this book. It doesn't bother me as you can count them on 1 hand, but I'm aware that for some of you this may be a deal breaker, which is why I'm pointing it out.

3. Drop dead gorgeous photography - In case it's not totally obvious from the hours I spent writing about it, I'm obsessed with good food photography. And this book's got some of the most stunning shots I've seen in a long, long time. In fact, if I ever photograph a cookbook I kinda want the pictures to look like the ones in Xochi's book *blush*. 

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VEGAN MATCHA PISTACHIO TRES LECHES CAKE WITH TWIGG STUDIOS AND SALVIA+LIMONE (V+, V, ChF, GF, R)

VEGAN MATCHA PISTACHIO TRES LECHES CAKE WITH TWIGG STUDIOS AND SALVIA+LIMONE (V+, V, ChF, GF, R)

I am never sure how I come across on social media. If the person you envisage me to be, is anything like the person I really am. If you hear my voice in your mind the way it actually sounds (deep-ish, subtle American accent, that's gone a bit British – think Madonna in her Guy Richie days) or if you're totally off the mark ;). So in case it's not blatantly obvious – and just for your info - I am a social creature. Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE my own company and have no problems being alone, but I thrive mostly in social situations. Hence going from a busy office full of chatty, like-minded social workers to a quiet studio (AKA the guest bedroom) where I work in solitude has been an interesting change. I am extremely happy I followed my heart and moved into blogging/food photography/recipe development (you can read more about that change here), but that's not to say being on my own during the day hasn't required some getting used to.

Consequently, I relish any given opportunity to replace my hours of solitude with moments of chatter and laughter surrounded by talented, creative and lovely women. Women who are eager and open to share their special gift and unique talent with me (I feel so lucky!). Women whose generosity made today's blog post possible.

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GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD DOUGHNUTS + A GIVEAWAY! (V, GF, ChF, NF, V+)

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD DOUGHNUTS (V+, ChF, NF, GF, V) + A COOKBOOK GIVEAWAY!

Before I started writing my blog, I read blogs. Loads of them. All the time. And what I noticed as I did so, was that many of the food bloggers I followed got cookbooks send to them. For free!!!! Sometimes even before they were released in the shops!!!! I mean if getting free cookbooks isn't the best thing EVER about food blogging, I don't know what is. And (confession time!) though the hope of receiving free cookbooks wasn't the main reason I started The Little Plantation ;), it sure did play a teeny tiny role (*blush*).

So when insanely talented food photographer, stylist and blogger Aimee, from Twigg Studios, asked me if I wanted a copy of her brand new cookbook, Love Aimee x, to review on the blog, I don't think I actually even let her finished her sentence before shouting a loud, resounding YES!!! In fact when Aimee asked me, I may or may not have nearly choked on the toast I was munching on as we sat in a quaint little cafe in the heart of East London's Spitalfields. And, in case you're wondering, yes, she is just as sweet in real life as she comes across on her blog ;).

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ROASTED RED KURI SQUASH WITH SUMAC, POMEGRANATES AND GREENS (V+, GF, Gr, V, P, NF)

ROASTED RED KURI SQUASH WITH SUMAC, POMEGRANATES AND GREENS (V+, GF, Gr, V, P, NF)

#prayforhumanity

On September 11th, 2001 I was at my parents' house in Madrid, returning home for a brief stay whilst in my final year at university. We were in the living room watching some television when the news broke that something odd had happened in New York. We switched to a news channel and watched reporters frantically try and make sense of what was going on when suddeny, in front of my eyes, the second tower was hit by a plane. I remember feeling sick to my stomach and watching my dad move across the room in total disbelief. We'd never seen anything like it before.

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SIMPLE VEGAN BLACKBERRY CRUMBLE (V+, V, GF, ChF, NF)

SIMPLE VEGAN BLACKBERRY CRUMBLE (V+, V, GF, NF, ChF) 

WARNING: This is a long post mainly about food blogging, food styling and food photography whilst abroad. If that's not what you came for, feel free to scroll down to the recipe. I won't be offended ;).

As those of you who read the blog regularly know, I'm on a 6-week adventure this summer. My first stop gap was the beautiful island of Curaçao where I stayed for a week. Thereafter, my son and I continued our journey and headed to our second destination for the summer: Ecuador. Our first week was spend in Quito, the capital city where we stayed with numerous relatives and friends. It was a joy seeing my son run riot with his cousins, but I was starting to miss my time in the kitchen and the creative process of blogging.

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During our second week in Ecuador, we moved further north to a small, ancient indigenous market town called Otavalo, which is where my husband is from and where we set up camp for 2 weeks. Throughout that period we stayed with my mother-in-law and for the first time during our travels I felt able to allow myself to dream of writing a blog post or two.

THE PERFECT LEAFY GREEN SALAD! AND THOUGHTS ON FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY 2 (V+, V, R, P, GF, GrF, NF)

THE PERFECT LEAFY GREEN SALAD AND THOUGHTS ON FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY 2 (V+, V, R, P, GF, GrF, NF)

WARNING: This is another looooong blog entry, mainly about food photography and food styling. So if you're just here for the recipe – no offence taken – just scroll way down to the bottom of this post and you'll find what you're looking for :).

You still here? Great, cuz it's a blog post I've been feeling really excited about sharing with you. But first the backstory: I'm a complete total first born. I think as a first born you always feel responsible and you always want to make things better for everyone. So if someone comes to me and tells me their problem – I go into first born mode. I'm a sympathetic listener, sure, but mainly in the back of my head I'm thinking: OK, this person is upset/sad/frustrated, what can I do to make everything alright? How can I solve their problem and make them smile? Cuz that's what you do as a first born, you fall into that psydo parenting role, right? At least I do.

So what's that got to do with food photography? Well, loads actually. See this time around I was the one with the problem that needed fixing. I just got so bored of hearing myself moan about not knowing how to take good enough pictures (BTW I don't feel that way anymore, but at the time I did ;)). So, I thought about all the ways I could make things better and solve my problem. Ah! Attend a food photography and food styling workshop of course...

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EASY CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY TART WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE MATCHA GLAZE (V+, ChF, GrF, GF, V, P)

EASY CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY TART WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE MATCHA GLAZE (V+, ChF, GrF, GF, V, P)

In many ways I have always been a city girl at heart. I was born in a big city - New York in case you were wondering - and have lived in countless cities all over the world. My frequent moves were partly the result of my parents' work (they were in the airline industry when I was growing up) and party the result of my gypsy ways getting the better of me in adult life.

After spending time in the lovely, small and quaint Williamsburg, Virginia (of all places right?!) for my undergraduate studies I knew with every bone in my body that I desperately needed to get back to the bright lights of urban life. Hence it's no coincidence that after a few detours here and there, I eventually landed in London.

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CURRIED POTATO, CAULIFLOWER AND BROCCOLI SALAD (V+, V,GF, NF, GrF)

CURRIED POTATO, CAULIFLOWER AND BROCCOLI SALAD (V+, V, NF, GrF, GF)

'You will run and try to hide
but I will never turn away 
I know you 
are tired and broken
I know you 
are fallen and feeling held down
so you raise another glass to fall apart
I know you
are tired and broken' 
 SUMERA

Isn't family a wonderfuly funny thing? I mean has it ever crossed your mind that we don't get to choose our mother or father or our sons or daughters? And we certainly don't get to choose our brothers or sisters. Yet that bond we establish with these special people is incredible. No matter what happens, no matters what c**p you go through together, at the very end of the day, they are there for you, just like you are there for them. Always. No questions asked.

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My sister Sumera and I are, well - how shall I put it? - total and complete, polar opposites. Sure, the 7 year age gap means we were never likely to be into the same stuff, but I dare say, it was always more than that. Whereas I was a planner, she was pretty impulsive. I loved social situations but she was more introverted. When we were growing up I easily adapted to the rules of academic settings. In contrast Sumera was super clever, but too free-spirited and creative to even have the desire to thrive in school. In short, I was the quintessential first-born, whereas Sumera lived up to the stereo-type of being the middle child. Needless to say, our different temperaments meant that we often clashed; though there was never a shadow of doubt in either one of our minds or hearts that we deeply, deeply cared for each other. 

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Photo by: Joost Vandebrug

SAVOURY BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CHESTNUT PIE (V+, V, P, GF, GrF)

SAVOURY BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CHESTNUT PIE (V+, P, GF, V, GrF)

A few weeks ago, Agnes, who writes the beautiful blog Cashew Kitchen asked me on Instagram what 10 things made me happy. Little did Agnes know though that the day she posed this question, I was anything but happy.

My son had just started school, so I was feeling quite fragile. We had builders and gardeners turn our house upside down and it resembled more of a chaotic pigsty than a stylish family home. And I had literally tried to juggle way too many things with just two hands, resulting in me dropping and breaking my laptop :(.

Not the best time to thinking about happiness, or was it?

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ANDEAN CABBAGE CURRY (V+, V, GF, NF, P, GrF)

ANDEAN CABBAGE CURRY (V, V+, GF, NF, P, GrF)

12 years ago this week, I married the most amazing man I have ever, ever met. Seeing he was born in the Andes, it feels like the perfect time to share this dish with you....

Please, please, please do not judge this curry on its appearance! What it lacks in looks, it makes up totally, utterly and completely in taste. This dish is so unique and its flavours so unexpected, I’m really, really proud to be able to feature it here on my blog. 

The inspiration for this recipe comes from high up in the Andes.
When my husband was little and lived in the mountains of Ecuador, there was an old lady who used to sell cabbage and potatoes in a rich pumpkin seed and peanut sauce. She was the only person selling a vegetarian dish in the whole of the town. The old lady had her small stand on market day, just on the corner, where she stood behind a big black pot filled with boiled potatoes, cabbage and sauce.

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UPDATED! BACK-TO-SCHOOL GRANOLA (V+, GF, V, NF, ChF) & HOME-MADE SEED MILK (V+, R, P, GF, NF, Chf, GrF)

UPDATED! BACK-TO-SCHOOL GRANOLA (V+, GF, V, NF, ChF) and HOME-MADE SEED MILK (V+, R, P, GF, NF, ChF, GrF)

NOTE: The pictures were updated and the recipe improved in June 2015.

I write this blog entry on my 4-year-old son’s first day of school (which is a few weeks ago by now). I had mixed emotions, to say the least, about him starting his formal education so young and would have preferred he spent another year or two climbing trees instead and letting his imagination run roit. But alas, the English education system didn’t allow for it.

My son must have picked up on my feelings as - before starting – he said he thought school was 'dumb' (I think he’d have loved to have used the ‘S....D’ word, but that isn’t permitted in our house – just for your info ;)). However, to my surprise, he whizzed into class today with a big smile on his face, barely able to contain his excitement. In fact, he was so quick he never did see my tears (Thank you God!).

THE GREAT BRITISH RAW VEGAN CHOCOLATE PUD (V+, V, R, P, GF, NF, ChF, GrF)

THE GREAT BRITISH RAW VEGAN CHOCOLATE PUD (V+, V, P, R, GF, NF, ChF, GrF)

As you know from last week’s post, I’m on a mission to show that British food can be beautiful and tasty. So during my second and final week of celebrating British Food Fortnight I wanted to show off what food culture in this country is really all about and tackle a national favourite: The British pud!

Just like last week, I used cookbooks from the 1920s, 1930s and 1950s as my starting point. This time around, the thing that struck me was how much space each cookbook dedicated to desserts. In fact, about 50% of each cookbook was solely and completely about the art of preparing a good pudding that would make your fellow middle class female friends grind their teeth with envy and blush in awe. Fascinating stuff this thing of stepping back in time.

Looking through those cookbooks also showed me how the Brits’ obsession with a good old pud goes wayyyyyy back. It’s practically in their DNA. So the pressure of coming up with the goods was on.

GOLDILOCKS'S RAW VEGAN PORRIDGE (V+, R, GF, NF, V, ChF)

GOLDILOCKS'S RAW VEGAN PORRIDGE (R, V+, NF, GF, V, ChF)

Tada, so here it is! THE post I’ve been hinting at for a quite while now. I am beyond excited about the video (watch it here) and I’m so keen to hear what you all make of it. I do you enjoy it.

The day of the shoot was loads of fun (with some boring and repetitive bits in between, but it’s all for a good cause, right?). I got to work with the lovely husband and wife team, Jo and Raf from Joasis Photography, who also took the pictures of me on my ‘about’ page. They are talented with a good eye for detail and they are always the people I turn to for anything to do with photography. So when the idea of a video came up, it felt natural to approach them about it. They were super enthusiastic and had lots of ideas and this, my friends, is the end product!

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It was a given, pretty much from the start that my little sister Sumera would lend her beautiful voice and song writing talents to this video and I’m so, so pleased that this collaboration has turned into something so beautiful. The song we used 'Try' is my favourite song from her last EP and I’m dying to hear her new stuff, which is due to be released in October. You can follow Sumera on facebook, check her out on youtube or listen to her last EP here.

RESTAURANT REVIEW - LE JARDIN DES SAMBUCS - CEVENNES, FRANCE

RESTAURANT REVIEW - LE JARDIN DES SAMBUCS - CEVENNES, FRANCE

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”
Lewis Carroll

Sorry it all went a bit quiet last week, but I was out of town, in the most magical place and I am so excited I can finally tell you about it! Where to start? Gosh, well my husband, son and I spent 7 wonderful days and nights on our yearly yoga holiday hosted by the lovely Gingi and Ella from the Shala in London (more about that soon ;)). The week long retreat took place in a quiet country village in the Cevennes, a breath-taking, luscious mountain range in South-Central France, about an hour inland from the coastal city of Montpellier. Oh, it was so enchanting…

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HEALTHY COLESLAW (R, V+, V, P, GF, NF, GrF)

HEALTHY COLESLAW (R, V+, V, P, GF, NF, GrF)

Today I wanted to muse a tiny little bit about the raw food movement, especially because I often get asked if I am a raw foodist and what my stance is on the matter. I know many of you are well aware what ‘eating raw’ means, but I also appreciate that not everyone has heard of raw foodism, so I thought I’d very briefly outline what it is all about.

As I understand it, some people choose to eat uncooked and raw plant based foods because they believe that fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables’ nutritional content is at its highest when in its raw, natural, whole and unprocessed form. They believe that once foods are cooked over 42C, they lose most, if not all of their nutrients. Raw foodists often refer to raw foods as ‘living foods’ because it is their belief that uncooked fruits and vegetables contain natural, living enzymes, which the human body needs to build proteins and to maintain optimum health. Many raw foodists argue that humans have thrived on raw, unprocessed foods for centuries and that cooked foods build up toxins in the body, thereby depriving us of much needed nutrients. They also believe that raw foods help us fight off illness and maintain youth.

Interestingly, some raw foodists are vegans, others include raw dairy products in their diet and yet others also consume raw meat and fish.

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INTERVIEW WITH HERMANN KEPPLER - PART 2

INTERVIEW WITH HERMANN KEPPLER - PART 2

Entrepreneur, visionary, public figure and senior naturopath Hermann Keppler explains why complementary practitioners are facing a major challenge, why a drug-based approach may not hold the key to wellness and how you can help your body to heal!

In Part 1 of The Little Plantation’s Interview with Hermann Keppler, he shared his inspiring journey to becoming a naturopath (please read more here). But during Part 2 of the interview the focus shifted to the wider issue of natural therapies with Hermann revealing the depth of his passion to defend and promote them.

‘Natural therapies’ position in society has taken an interesting course’ he explained. ‘Up until about 3 years ago, natural therapies were embraced and accepted as a genuine, alternative route to health. For example, major broadcasters ran regular and popular radio programs on nutrition and mainstream newspapers frequently featured positive articles on natural health. But as complementary therapies have become more popular, it seems as though the media has turned its back on them.’

Hermann explained that many broadcasters have withdrawn programs that promote natural therapies. And newspapers articles have become more sceptical about the benefits of natural therapies. ‘In fact, many newspapers have started writing about the terrible ‘dangers’ of homeopathy and acupuncture and the Advertising Standard Agency will now no longer allow natural health practitioners to use terms such as ‘treatment’ or ‘therapy’ or to imply that they can treat medical conditions.’

I asked Hermann why he thought this shift had occurred. Hermann was cautious in his response, but clear: ‘There is a strong feeling within the natural health movement that there is a drive to denigrate the positive impact of therapies which empower people to improve their own health naturally. If you have vested interests in making a significant percentage of the population lifetime-consumers of expensive drugs, you will not welcome increasing awareness about the effectiveness of natural therapies.’

‘However there is a certain irony that denigrating natural therapies does not stem interest in them, quite the reverse in fact. And when even the World Health Organisation admits that a healthy diet has a positive impact throughout life, the tide can’t be turned back indefinitely! In my opinion, the outlook is fantastic for natural therapies, we simply have to keep up awareness through more imaginative routes.’

I noted that generally speaking there seems to be some acceptance of natural therapies’ capacity to manage minor ailments, but can natural therapies support health at every level?

‘Conventional medicine tends to make one crucial mistake – it often defines a symptom as a ‘disease’ and only treats the symptom - the mere end product - without looked at the origin of the patients’ condition. Instead it tries to suppress the symptoms leaving the original cause of the illness unaddressed.’

‘With natural therapies, the object is to give the body the tools to work towards healing itself. We ask crucial questions: Why did this symptom develop in the first place? What is its underlying cause? We look at the person as a whole, focusing on their lifestyle, diet and intake of nutrients.’

‘It is fundamentally important that the body is as strong as it can be. If the body is run down, unnourished and under stress, how can it be or stay healthy purely through the provision of chemical-based medication?’

I asked what diet we should follow and lifestyle choices we should make to obtain optimum health and give the body the strength to find its own path to wellness. ‘There is no magic formula or a ‘top 5 list of foods, herbs or nutrients’ as we are all individuals, but a natural lifestyle that incorporates regular exercise and healthy eating establishes the best foundation for good health. Stay clear of refined sugars, junk and genetically modified foods and nourish the body with energetic foods – lots of organic vegetables and fruits, sprouts, seeds and fibre. Natural is best!’

Hmm, I think I’ll stick to a plant based diet for now, how about you?

To get more information about the Advertising Standard Agency’s powers and to sign the petition against its control of natural health please follow the link provided here.