Cooking plant based food
While there are many different opinions on what constitutes a healthy diet, it is accepted that we should all eat more vegetables. A major theme of Lorraine‘s book, ‘Why the Chinese Don’t Count Calories‘ is that in China the word ‘cai’ means both a dish of food and a vegetable. In China ‘the vegetables are the dishes’. This is central to our ethos at Valley View. We offer vegan, vegetarian and Ayurvedic cooking. And we use Chinese, Indian – and our own home grown – herbs and spices. We look at how to balance flavours to nourish the whole body at different times of year. Our Wellness sessions include recommendations on how to combine foods to aid digestion. Moreover we can help you understand what to eat for different ‘Dosha’ or body mind types.
The dishes we make and teach are not time consuming, although some of the ingredients may be unfamiliar. Introducing ingredients and helping to source them, or suitable substitutes, is a key part of what we do.
We serve home grown and plant-based food at all our retreats and events. The vegetable gardens at Valley View are extensive. Our ethos is vegetarian and we are big supporters of Compassion in World Farming. The Go Vegan movement is terrific as it has brought a new awareness to environmental and animal welfare issues. Most of our cuisine is vegan. However we do currently use a few carefully sourced dairy products in some dishes. And we use eggs from our very happy ducks and chickens.
If you are a vegan who worries about getting enough nutrients, we can help you at our Wellness Retreats. Or if you are considering a vegan lifestyle then we can teach you tasty and nutritious plant based dishes. Moreover, if you are neither vegan nor vegetarian we hope we can inspire you to include more vegetables in your diet. And we will show you how to present them in tasty and interesting ways.
There are strong arguments for plant-based diets for optimum gut health, and in particular, eating locally grown food in season. The food we grow at Valley View is truly fresh – usually picked the same day. There is an Asian influence in our cuisine and we create balance and harmony in each meal with different flavours, textures and colours to help nourish the whole body without overloading the gut. Our Ayurvedic recipes use spices to help you absorb vitamins and minerals and often combine rice and pulses to make a complete protein. For these reasons they are ideal for vegans.
Another key aspect of good gut health is avoiding incompatible food combinations, or foods which are heavy to digest, as these can often cause chronic health conditions along with food sensitivities. So sometimes you can be eating ‘healthy’ food and still feeling uncomfortable. This is often the case when people convert to a vegan or even a healthier diet. we can make recommendations for simple changes to your diet that will make a big difference.
‘Grow your own’ and wildlife cultivation
At Valley View we grow enough organic vegetables to feed ourselves and our guests all year round. At the same time we foster the amazing array of wildlife in our protected site. Mark is passionate about these subjects. He gives informal tours or more structured workshops.
Once you have tasted our food you may well be tempted to grow your own too. Mark offers advice on growing herbs, fruits and vegetables at home. He has lots of foraging knowledge and experience too. Mark can also help you manage your own garden in a way that encourages wildlife and minimises environmental impact.
Eating for health
Total Wellness Retreat and Women’s Wellness week-ends all include food and cooking workshops with emphasis on eating for health. A home grown and home made lunch is provided at all our Day Events. And if you want to learn how to eat in line with your mind body type, individual recommendations are part of a Wellness Consultation.