LIVE LONGER. LIVE BETTER
Increase your lifespan and optimise your health with wholesome, plant-based recipes from the The Healthspan Solution for a longer and more vibrant life. By Priyanka Elhence
Healthspan is the period of life spent in good health, free from chronic diseases and aging disabilities. We are living in a society where everything revolves around food. So it’s quite apt when authors and leading plant-based nutrition experts Julieanna Hever and Ray
Cronise say in the introduction to their latest cookbook, The Healthspan Solutions, “Food is probably the single lifestyle modification anyone can make to significantly increase healthspan and add quality years of enjoyable life to the end.”
The duo hits the nail on the head when they say that one of the biggest problems in changing diets is the fact that the word 'diet' is synonymous with weight loss; and that sustaining a caloric deficit and eating for healthspan and weight maintenance are two completely unrelated goals and physiologies. After having spent over a decade researching diet and nutrition, analysing longevity studies, and helping their clients achieve sustainable, lasting health benefits by adopting a whole food, plant-based diet, comes The Healthspan Solution. 100 ordinary, sustainable plant-based recipes to choose from. modelled after the same healthy, eating habits – not because I aspire to live to a 100, but because I was intrigued to see what such a simple, yet wholesome diet would entail. For once, it was all about healthy ingredients rather than complicated cooking techniques.
Unlike other cookbooks that categorise recipes into specific meal options, the choices herein are refreshingly organised into the 4S’s - soups, salads, sides and sweets.
My first choice was the Garlicky “Ginger” Zoodles, with mushrooms, red cabbage and homemade dashi. I was more than excited to try out a single-dish recipe that was brimming with so many superfoods. If you can’t get your hands on wood ear mushrooms, a simple substitution to shiitake mushrooms as recommended work out perfectly well too. Essentially inspired by a healthy Japanese noodle soup, zoodles are used in place of soba or ramen, while ginger, garlic, miso, nori, mushrooms and dashi complete the dish. It was almost hard to believe that something so nourishing and comforting could be so easy.
I then decided to road test the recipe for the fiery, but vibrant Guay Tiew Tom Yum, inspired by Thailand’s most popular hot and sour soup. Again, very mushroom heavy (read super healthy), my interest was piqued when I read of umami notes coming from homemade Magic Mushroom Powder, and that the broth was a choice of coconut water or a richer, homemade cashew cream. While both versions work well, I preferred the lighter coconut water, especially with the addition of rice noodles, as the heaty notes were less muted against the creamy goodness of the cashews. And a sprinkling of the umami mushroom powder really does add depth to the dish. Honestly, once again, there was nothing complicated or demanding about this recipe either, and yet knowing how healthy it was, made me question myself why my own home cooking wasn’t like this more often.