The Wholefood Journey
As I go further down the wholefood journey, my understanding of this incredibly healing dietary approach deepens. Eating processed foods that are full of refined, hormone-disrupting ingredients such as white sugar, vegetable oils, preservatives, and white flour was the main underlying cause of my variety of illnesses. I dealt with obesity, acne, pre-diabetes, eczema, and hay fever for most of my life, and of course, had to taken medications to control these conditions. Antibiotics, acne washes, steroid creams, and anti-histamines were part of my routine. Eliminating the ingredients listed above went a very long way to healing my body and I no longer needed medications. You can read my story here.
Wholefoods are the most natural foods available. Wholefoods was the only way to eat until the beginning of the industrial age where ultra-refined ingredients started appearing.
Eating wholefoods means you’re eating only natural ingredients that humans have been eating for millennia. These are tried and tested ingredients that we know to be healthy.
Focusing on wholefoods is one of the most powerful ways of promoting health, and if they are sustainably and ethically grown, are positive for the planet too.
Over the past few years, I have spent a great deal of time thinking about wholefoods, and why they are so profound in their healing abilities. I am not as healthy or vibrant as I would have been if I had grown up on wholefoods, but I can safely say that I have managed to avoid the trajectory of chronic illness. I still deal with residual issues from the diet I had in the first 31 years of my life and am still impacted by the medications I took over those years. I am not upset about this as my remaining health issues continue to motivate me to inspect deeper layers of healing. As I move down the wholefood journey, I lean more and more to foods that are closest to their natural state as possible.
From the perspective of processing food, wholefoods can be looked at as a spectrum, with meat, fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds being the purest form of whole foods. Some ingredients like palm sugar and rice flour are still widely considered whole foods, being far less processed than say white sugar and vegetable oils. In my view, most foods, with some exceptions, become less healthful when processed. As we begin to refine a whole food, it starts losing its ability to nourish and heal us. A healthy body is resilient and can handle the occasional load from moderately refined ingredients. However, I believe that in general, nothing trumps food with an intact cellular structure.
- 60g chia seeds
- 300g peeled sweet potato, cut into chunks
- 330g almond meal
- 130g olive oil
- 90g honey
- 200g almond milk
- 1 Tbsp vanilla paste
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 400g granny smith apples (peeled and cored weight), chopped into 1 cm cubes
- 250g smooth almond butter
- 40g honey or to taste
- 200g creamy coconut yoghurt (we make our own coconut yoghurt, but for this recipe, we prefer using Vanilla Coyo, which is less sour and creamier than what we have managed to make at home)
- Dry rose petals, for presentation (optional)
- Preheat oven to 150C.
- Line the sides and base of a 24cm spring form cake tin with baking paper.
- Place chia seeds into TM bowl and mill 15 sec/speed 10. Set aside.
- Place sweet potatoes in bowl and chop 5 sec/speed 6.
- Add milled chia, almond meal, olive oil, honey, almond milk, vanilla paste and spices. Mix 40 sec/speed 5 using spatula to assist.
- Empty cake mix into a mixing bowl. Add apples and mix well.
- Line the bottom and sides of a 24cm cake tin with baking paper. Place cake mix into tin and and use a spoon to press to the sides and smooth the top.
- Bake for 1.5 to 2 hours (depending on how hot your oven runs). Keep a close eye. The top should be brown but not burnt. (guys please provide feedback how long it took for you to bake). To check if done, insert a skewer into the cake. It should come out clean if the cake is done.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in tin or place on cooling rack.
- Place cake on serving plate.
- Mix honey with almond butter. Spoon almond butter on top of cake and smooth the surface, allowing some of the almond butter to spill down the side.
- Spoon coconut yoghurt on top of the almond butter and spread evenly. Sprinkle rose petals on top if using.
- Chia seeds can be milled using a spice grinder.
- Sweet potatoes can be chopped using a food processor.
- Mix cake ingredients by hand using a spatula until well mixed, then mix in apples.