Thai Red Lentil & Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:A Life in Words

1 tblspn coconut oil

1 onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2 heaped tblspns red curry paste

4 cups chicken or veggie stock

½ cup red lentils

1 potato, chopped

700 grams pumpkin, chopped

300gm coconut cream

Method:

Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, adding the onion, celery & carrot cooking until softened. Add the curry paste, stirring until fragrant then add the stock, potato, lentils and pumpkin. Bring to the boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the coconut cream then blend thoroughly and serve.

 

Indian Spiced Lentil Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup green/brown lentils

Spices: 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 tspn grated ginger, 1 tspn grated turmeric, 1 heaped tspn curry powder

1 tblspn coconut oil or butter

6 asparagus spears, cut into approx 2cm lengths1383015_10152057730506833_351550818_n

½ capsicum, chopped

6 mushrooms, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

3-4 kale leaves, roughly chopped

juice of 1 lemon or lime

handful of rocket, roughly chopped

handful of baby spinach, roughly chopped

1 shallot, sliced

olive oil

Method:

Place lentils in a saucepan with 2-3 cups water, bring to the boil then simmer for approximately 20-25 minutes (or until soft, but not mushy). Drain, rinse & allow to cool.

Meanwhile, sauté garlic, ginger, turmeric & curry powder in coconut oil/butter for 1 minute over a medium heat then add the mushroom, capsicum, zucchini and asparagus. Cook for 3-4 minutes before adding the kale and a splash of the lime/lemon juice, until the kale has wilted

In a large salad bowl, place chopped rocket, spinach and shallots then add the cooled lentils. Add the spiced veggie mix, toss with a generous splash of olive oil and remaining juice and serve, seasoning with salt (Himalayan or Celtic Sea) & pepper if desired.

Notes:

Canned lentils may be used instead of fresh if you wish to save time. The lime juice is stronger and more tart than lemon so I’d recommend trying lemon if you have the choice.

 

Happy Birthday Mum

mummy koalaIt’s painful looking at this picture. It physically hurts. To think this beautiful little girl should have been turnings 69 years of age today, but she never made it. The big C, the very same disease that is taking so many other lives, ended hers just months after her 68th birthday. I’d never imagined, never dreamed that she would’ve left this world that early. She wasn’t a party girl, at all. She lived as cleanly as any other, with whatever health information is available out there to the Average Joe.
So what hurts is knowing that that little body ended up so inflamed that its immune system couldn’t win the fight. Granted, it wouldn’t’ve helped having an autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis). I suppose she was already “on the back foot”, so to speak.
It hurts but it’s also frightening. Just how toxic is this modern world? Mum was born in 1944. Where in the years between then and now did this happen? Cancer has always existed but it seems to me that its prevalence may have been kept in check because our environment (both internal and external) was never as toxic as it has become in the past century.

Mum had been a smoker. She hadn’t touched a cigarette for over ten years before she passed away, but the damage was well and truly done in the twenty-five years prior to that. Well before her death, she knew – we all knew – that “Smoking Kills” but I believe it is by far the most toxic, most inflammatory choice you can make. I recently heard a cardiologist, Dr Ross Walker, state that one cigarette triggers 3 trillion free radicals in your bloodstream. There’s no way I could begin to calculate the total of free radicals mum would have ‘triggered’ in her bloodstream – from smoking alone – during my life, let alone prior.

And she bore me and my sister from that inflamed internal environment? What does that mean for us, our individual immune systems? Billions of humans brought into this world since the middle of the last century have potentially begun “on the back foot” as well, whether their parents smoked or not. Passive smoking aside, environmental toxins have increased dramatically – or so the pro-climate change scientists would purport and the internal environment has never before been so heavily bombarded by the chemicals in our heavily processed food, pharmaceuticals, miscellaneous drugs and alcohol; the contraindications of significantly less movement, more sitting and Stress.

If there’s one thing mum’s death has brought me, it’s an added depth of intensity to my passion for health. If there’s a present I could give to her today, it’s to promise to continue encouraging individuals to change their lives, potentially better their chances for longer lives, through better lifestyle choices.