TODAY'S GREEN MANTRA: An 80/20 Alkaline Diet will aid me in my transition away from excessive dairy, meat and fish consumption, keeping my body and my planet in better balance
Day 27 / 365
Before I started understanding the circular story behind my food and how seasonal eating played a its part in that tale, I had decided to try to return to my vegetarian roots by way of the alkaline eating.
My sister-friend's (sister-in-law's) dad had switched to an alkaline diet after being diagnosed with Cancer, he was the one to first introduce the idea to the alkaline way my sister-friend's wedding to my eldest brother and it made an impression after he shared with me that he believes this way of eating has saved his life and continues to. The Alkaline diet is known in the medical community to boost the effectiveness of certain types of chemotherapy treatment, it's also known as a preventative measure too.
Eating an 80/20 Alkaline Diet is one way to reduce your dairy, meat and fish consumption to a level the planet can handle, and a level that is ideal for your body.
Balance is key in all things, and the pH level in our body is no different. Alkaline-forming foods include most fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, seeds and herbal teas. When we eat enough alkaline-forming foods each day it allows our body to have access to minerals such as calcium, phosphorous and magnesium, which helps it run nicely. In contrast, acid-forming foods, which includes most grains, meats, dairy products, fish, processed foods...and pesticides ... creates a different environment entirely. When we're eating too many acid-forming foods (and not enough alkaline-forming foods) our body is forced to pull the minerals it needs from our bones, teeth and organs, instead, which will eventually compromise the immune system, causes fatigue, and make us vulnerable to viruses and disease.
As I'm not the most creative cat in the kitchen, I bought both of Natasha Corrett's Honestly Healthy cookbooks which give you heaps of incredible recipes that give you recipe options which perfectly replace your cosy (acid causing) favourites in favour of alkaline-forming ones instead.
To simplify the seasonal and alkaline eating methods, I downloaded this Alkaline Diet Food Chart which I then highlighted in 4 colours to indicate the seasonal availability of my ideal food list ready for me. I then converted it to a pdf and saved it in my iBooks for easy access in the market (because I've got the memory of a gold fish!)
One of my favourite winter recipes from both the cookbooks combined is one of their lentil bakes, which you can add or take away from depending on your preferences. I often add roasted beets to mine and use regular goat's cheese (as I can't find goat's cheddar in France), but it is a great winter recipe to use as a base for dinner munching and you don't need to be a foodie genius to add to it or pull it off.
- PUY LENTIL AND GOAT CHEESE BAKE -
- 125g (4oz/scant ²/³ cup) Puy lentils
- 100g (3½oz) butternut squash, diced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 200ml (7fl oz/generous ¾ cup) coconut milk
- 80g (3oz) goat’s Cheddar, grated / vegan cheese
- 40g (1½oz) flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to garnish
- ½ red chilli, finely sliced, to garnish
- Watercress or Spinach, to serve
- Roasted Beetroot (if ya want)
- Place the lentils in a small pan, cover with water, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10–15 minutes, until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Place the diced butternut squash on a baking tray (cookie sheet), drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and bake for 10 minutes, until nearly tender. Leave the oven switched on.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a pan and sauté the garlic until softened. Stir in the lentils and squash with 50ml (2fl oz/scant ¼ cup) of the coconut milk and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into an ovenproof baking dish or 4 individual ramekins, pour over the remaining coconut milk and bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle over the grated goat’s Cheddar and return to the oven to melt the cheese.
- Serve with some watercress and sprinkled with chopped parsley and the sliced chilli if you like a bit of heat.