If you’re overweight and unhealthy, you should be able to easily identify with Adam Hart’s position some years ago, before he discovered the power of food.
Today, he lives in Squamish, where he moved to pursue a passion for mountaineering and founded his company, the Power of Food, in 2003. Now Whitecap Books has published his book by the same name, which includes the story of his journey from poor health to excellent health and fitness, along with an explanation of his 11 action steps, and recipes for what he calls his six power foods: nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables.
Hart is an inspirational speaker on the benefits of eating a healthier diet without giving up the foods you love.
However, be aware that his recipes include many ingredients you won’t find in the average pantry, including hemp, chia and flax seeds, amaranth, nut and seed milks, goji berries, buckwheat, cacao nibs and oat groats, so you may have to go to the store before cooking.
A dehydrator and blender are essential tools in his kitchen too.
Unfortunately, many of his favourite ingredients are not locally-grown, including exotic fruits, nuts and seeds, so you’ll have to venture further afield that I normally recommend.
However, I agree with him about the importance of some of the nutrient-dense foods he talks about in replacing the overly-processed diet of many of the populace.
Eating ‘living’ foods like fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds, whole grains and legumes is key to good health.
There’s a tendency for pre-packaged, processed food and take-away to make up far too much of the diet of too many families. It’s going to kill us.
His book, the Power of Food, is just out and available at bookstores.
Marathon Runner’s Kale Salad
I know many of my readers run marathons so I thought this would be an important recipe to include, plus it looks yummy, and most of the ingredients can be grown locally, unlike avocados and mangos.
1/4 c. (60 ml) dried cranberries
1 bunch of kale
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 red pepper
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
Soak the dried cranberries in a half cup of water for 30 minutes.
Chop the kale, pear, apple, red pepper and carrot.
Meanwhile put the chopped kale and lemon juice into a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, massage the kale and lemon juice together. The acid from the lemon juice will help to break down the kale and make it easier to digest.
After the cranberries have finished soaking, discard the water and add the soaked cranberries to the kale.
Next, add all the remaining ingredients except the sesame seeds and gently mix together.
Add a little Classic Ginger Dressing and serve garnished with the sesame seeds.
Classic Ginger Dressing
This looks like a delicious dressing, but I would tend to add a bit more ginger.
3/4 c. (185 ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. (30 ml) toasted sesame oil
juice of 1 lime
2 tsp. (10 ml) soy sauce
3 tbsp. (45 ml) maple syrup
1 tsp. (5 ml) grated ginger
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until well-mixed.
Store leftover dressing in an airtight glass jar in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Makes 1 cup.
Adam’s Pistachio Mango Salsa
I’ve been put off pistachios since I discovered a wriggling worm in one I was just about to pop into my mouth, but Adam Hart may have convinced me not to be so hasty at dismissing them from my diet. He suggests adding any number of seeds or nuts to this mix to create a salsa for every occasion.
This salsa is not only a power food, it’s also delicious on many levels. A handful of fresh, B.C., hand-peeled shrimp is fabulous in this as well. Incidentally, fresh Okanagan peaches or nectarines are terrific substituted from the exotic mango when they’re available ripe from the tree in the coming weeks.
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 red onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 c. (125 ml) cilantro
1/2 c. (125 ml) pistachios
1 tbsp. (15 ml) lemon juice
1/2 tsp. (2 ml) Himalayan crystal salt
Into a medium-sized serving bowl, peel, pit and dice the mango and avocado and dice the tomatoes and onion (I used a vidalia instead of the red onion). Mince the garlic and finely chop the fresh cilantro.
Squeeze the lemon juice over it all. Chop the nuts or leave some whole.
Combine gently, being careful not to mash up the avocado too much, and top with the salt.
Makes 4 cups.