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holistic chef hong kong

Food as Medicine

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Food as Medicine

Harness the power of food as a means to reducing inflammation in the body

 

Inflammation occurs when the body needs to heal – it’s the immune system responding to an injury or defending it against viruses or bacteria, but it can also be part of something more systemic.

 

When inflammation occurs white blood cells and the chemicals they produce flock to the injured area of the body to heal it. But there are two types of inflammation, one more short-term and reflective of the body trying to cure itself, the other chronic that can be extremely detrimental on health in the long-term.

 

Acute inflammation usually occurs when the body is injured. The effects, which can include swelling, pain and redness, usually subside after a few days once the body has healed itself.

 

Chronic or systemic inflammation, is long-term and is common in chronic and autoimmune diseases. It can be caused by bad habits or environmental influences, which can include an unhealthy diet, particularly one leading to obesity, lack of exercise, stress, smoking and pollution, to name a few. The symptoms are often not easily directly attributable to inflammation but heart disease, diabetes, lung issues, depression, cancer, anger disorders and skin issues have all been linked to chronic inflammation.

 

A carefully considered nutrition plan can, however, work wonders, particularly when anti-inflammatory foods are incorporated, the majority of which are healthy foods anyway regardless of the hard evidence promoting the efficacy of anti-inflammatory diets.

 

Like most healthy diets, the anti-inflammatory diet involves eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fats, incorporating small portions of nuts, reducing red meat consumption and even having a glass of red wine once in a while.

 

The best anti-inflammatory diets to follow are the Mediterranean or predominantly vegetarian diets. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale contain sulforaphane, an anti-cancer compound thought to inactivate the key inducer of inflammation while also encouraging enzymes that lower inflammation.

 

Quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant found in a range of fruit and vegetables, particularly red, green and purple-coloured plants, is another substance to incorporate into an anti-inflammatory diet as it can inhibit inflammatory pathways and functions and neutralise cancer-causing free radicals. It’s found in apples, peppers, dark cherries and berries, green vegetables, cranberries and asparagus, to name a few. Lycopene, too, has a combative effect on free radicals and work as an antioxidant. It’s found in watermelon, tomato, papaya, grapefruit, guava, mango, carrots and red cabbage.

 

When consuming fats, the focus should be on healthy ones, such as those found in olive oil and hemp oil. Reduce red meat consumption, instead focusing on plant-based proteins. And look to foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids –which can help to prevent inflammation. Walnuts contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids, while avocadoes contain omega-3 fatty acids as well as phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants, and polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols, all of which help in the fight against inflammation.

 

It is important to get enough fibre in your diet. Avoid refined flour, and focus on whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa and bulgur wheat. This fibre can help feed beneficial gut bacteria associated with lower levels of inflammation. This is also why fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut are recommended from their probiotic effect.

 

Herbs and spices, too, can be anti-inflammatory. Try incorporating fresh oregano, rosemary, ginger, cayenne, cloves and nutmeg into your diet, all of which have been shown in studies to inhibit inflammation. Turmeric is considered particularly potent for the anti-inflammatory curcumin it contains.

 

It’s not all about what you should eat, but as much about what you shouldn’t. Foods can be directly inflammatory, and it’s best to avoid the oils found in fried foods, dairy, sugar, artificial sweeteners and additives and processed foods in general.

 

These simple dietary guidelines are as much preventative as they are a means to reducing and combating chronic inflammation, and the results of following an anti-inflammatory diet will be beneficial in both the short and longer ter

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Turmeric for Inflammation

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Turmeric for Inflammation

The best spice for inflammation is turmeric. It helps ease digestive disturbances and is used fairly often in Indian cooking. Not only does it have anti inflammatory properties but it is used extensively in beauty products. Incorporating small doses into food and drink can really help the gut heal. I've seen this first hand . Especially with those suffering from digestive issues like IBS, gastritis, heartburn and pain. 

 

So the next time reach for your turmeric. 

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Feeding Hong Kong - rooftop garden

It was a great and successful event at the rooftop garden. Three students from HKU Space participated in this then. It was one of those events that was conducted on a very hot day, yet we all managed to pull off the feeding of 60 people

 

According to Gabriele, this event was to raise awareness on the need to have more rooftop gardens for Hong Kong to become a more sustainable and environmental place. 

 

These gardens can provide food where there is a need. It also educates children and adults alike on the benefits of planting rooftop gardens in urban areas.  This can be used as a carbon offsets tool. 

 

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If you would like to volunteer for the next event, please contact me at LTF@lovetruefood.com 

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Indian Fever Prep

We are prepping for the love true food special 'Indian fever' private dining. It is going to be an excellent experience for the participants as we have been cooking up a storm all day. 

 

We will start off with an amuse bouche, minced keema with guacamole and toasted sunflower seeds followed by a beautiful dhal soup and Kati kebabs. 

This is the set up of the kitchen. 

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 We are even serving special beer purchased by LTF. The beer brewery is called Moonszen by Laszlo and Michelle. Only hk$60/bottle. 

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Here are some of the "party in the mouth" canapés... We will top them with organic toasted sunflower seeds... 

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And keema... Yum 

 

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Stay tuned for more amazing menus... 

 

Lots of love and great food experiences ...

 

chef Lakshmi 

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A home-style private dining experience

One of the things I miss most about living in the US is having the space to entertain. My friends would come over, open a bottle of wine and sit around the kitchen table while I cooked. We could be ourselves and didn’t have to worry about reservations, crowded tables or bad service. Now every time a special occasion occurs or I want to plan an intimate gathering, I have to rack my brain to think about where to book. I’ve tried multiple private kitchens in Hong Kong, but some of them have an insane waiting list or aren't very flexible with special food requirements. At the end of the day, planning these get-togethers turns out to be more work than I bargained for.

Luckily, one of my friends introduced me to Love True Food’s private dining. It’s unlike any other private kitchen I’ve been to because the home kitchen studio consists of an island where 12 people can sit around the kitchen. So, not only do you get a delicious meal, but you get to be part of the cooking experience. During our four-course dinner, we got to watch Chef Lakshmi Harilela create a flavourful South Indian lentil stew and succulent cumin rubbed lamb chops. The fragrant aroma of the spices left us all salivating, and we couldn’t wait to dig in. I felt so at home because all the food was served in the middle of the table, so it was just like family-style dining. We were also able to bring our own wine at no extra cost and play our own music

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health chef hong kong, food photographer hong kong-2

One of the things I liked most was how easy it was to plan the dinner. Love True Food offers a variety of menus featuring different cuisines from Tex-Mex to Moroccan. There are also menus for vegetarians, vegans and people who follow the macrobiotic diet. Since Lakshmi Harilela trained at New York’s Natural Gourmet Institute and is a certified Ayurvedic Nutritional Therapist, she’s equipped to deal with all types of dietary requirements. Another aspect that differentiates Love True food is that they only serve high quality ingredients, including grass-fed organic lamb and sustainable seafood.

So, if you’re looking for a place to celebrate a special occasion or just want to enjoy a home-cooked meal with your nearest and dearest, my stomach and I would highly recommend visiting lovetruefood.com to learn more about their private dining experience.

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WORKSHOP - RAW

RAW FOOD WORKSHOPS COMING UP IN MARCH... See below for a full description. Early Bird Booking Price HK$3,000 before February 9th, 2014 Thereafter HK$3,600

If you refer a friend, you get HK$250 off the original price.

Kitchen Gardening Class Description

The Living Foods Diet, started in the 19th century and pioneered by Dr. Ann Wigmore, is a healing diet ideal for recovering from illness, losing weight, building immunity, aiding digestion, and maximizing health and vitality.

In Kitchen Gardening you will learn: • How to make fermented foods like Rejuvelac, Coconut Yogurt, and Sauerkraut, which aid digestion and build the immune system. • How to grow sprouts, wheatgrass, and young greens--living foods rich in enzymes, protein, and nutrients. • How to make Orange Sesame Dressing • How to make raw delicious non-dairy herb cheese

Menu: Rejuvelac, Sauerkraut, Sprouted Garden Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing, Herb Cheese and Mango Coconut Yogurt. Tasting: Kimchi, flax crackers

Wrap and Rolls Class Description

Everyone loves to eat with their hands and to take food "to go"-- which explains the popularity of finger foods such as sandwiches and burritos. But the typical sandwich is high in carbs and can leave you feeling weighed down. Raw Wraps and Rolls are the solution to energizing food on the go.

In Wrap and Roll you will learn:

• How to roll picture-perfect California rolls • How to roll Vietnamese salad rolls. • Nut Salmon (vegetarian) Pate • How to make assorted dips and spreads, spicy miso paste, mock peanut sauce and pate).

Menu: California Rolls, Vietnamese Salad Rolls, Assorted Dips and Spreads, Spicy Miso Paste, Mock Peanut Sauce, Eggless Mayonnaise

* As this is a workshop, all participants will be awarded certification at level 1 from Love True Food Ltd.

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CASHEW CHEESE RECIPE

REMEMBER THOSE DAYS OF DAIRY WHEN CHEESE MEANT THE WORLD!!!Well the dairy industry is corrupt and thus most milk products are tainted with hormones and the kind of stuff that wrecks havoc on your body. I'm not saying all dairy, but the majority of it is tainted. In Ayurvedic medicine, dairy is considered sattvic, meaning that it is a great food item for stilling the mind, and adheres to the principles of Sattva (purity).

In Ayurvedic medicine however, the milk is't tainted with growth hormones, and so its use is actually healing to the body and mind. Although some types of milk are still conducive to healing and health, at the LTF home kitchen studio, we've managed to find alternatives for the dairy and cheese cravings. One thing that we've found works great is cashew cheese. It's rich creamy texture gives way to amazing satiation on the taste buds.

Here is a great recipe for the cheese itself.

Vegan Cashew Cheese

Makes 4 cups

1 1/4 cups raw cashews 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (depending on the saltiness, use more or less according to taste) 2 teaspoons sea salt 2 teaspoons garlic powder 1/8 teaspoon chilli powder 1/8 teaspoon white pepper 3 1/2 cups plain unsweetened almond milk 1 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) agar agar flakes 1/2 cup canola oil 1/4 cup yellow miso 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

How to do it:

1) In a Blendtec, ground the cashews (do not allow the cashews to turn into a paste). Next, add the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, chill powder, and white pepper. Pulse 3 more times to blend in the spices.

2) In a saucepan, place the almond milk, agar, and oil and simmer over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, until all the agar is combined with the milk.

3) Keeping the Blentec running, gradually add the almond milk mixture through the feed tube and into the cashew mixture. Blend for 2 minutes, the mixture will be a creamy smooth consistency, once this is achieved, add the miso and lemon juice. Readjust the seasoning if needed.

You can use the cheese as is, or place in the fridge until a harder cheese is formed.

The cheese lasts for 4 days, in the fridge

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