Here in the land of food, or Foodland, we’re exploring the terrain of restorative food and drink. Think of
your body as a broken, out-of-date, worm-holed mansion, desperate for a lick of paint from Mr Farrow and Miss Balll. The eaves of your mansion rock in the wind and bits drop off or warp out of their normal shape. Regardless, you need doing-up, you need your basement damp-proofed (don’t we all), and you need repointing, stuffing and sanding. Unlike a dirty old house, physical restoration is more gentle and calm, if you like that kind of thing, putting nice things into your body rather than, well, not so nice things.

So let’s get on with it, here’s some things I have researched that help, not with the cleaning though.

Yes. I put ‘raw’ water, don’t bail out on me. Apparently ‘raw’ water means water that has not been touched, that is from the very spring it sprung from, that
has fallen from the heaven into one’s own gob. The person that labelled this ‘raw’, needs a moment or two to get over themselves and learn the meaning of words but far be it for me
to judge. Unadulterated water is the key to universal well-being. We all know that but it doesn’t taste like Fanta or make you do impressions of Greg Wallace swearing.

Honey iz repair. Manuka honey, with its numbers that I don’t understand, people buy to put on their wounds and their animals’ wounds and it works, it really does.  It possesses antioxidant and antibacterial properties that aid the digestive system, and its natural sugars are known to speed up the oxidation of alcohol by the liver. While it’s common knowledge that honey soothes sore throats, it’s used as an antiseptic that helps keep wounds clean and free of infection

A lightly effervescent tea-based beverage that the Chinese have called the ‘elixir of immortality’, kombucha is made by fermenting different varieties of tea with a solid mass of yeast and bacteria. It is a raw, living food that is rich in bacterial acids and enzymes that the body produces and uses to detoxify itself, which provides huge benefits to the liver. The tea element can also help boost metabolism and promote weight loss. Yes, the tea we are all looking for but it’s not as simple as that, there is guidance that is needed and there are many fermenting workshops popping up……….watch this space

Hippocrates, whom many revere as the Father of Medicine, was often overheard referring to elderberry as his medicine chest. Extremely rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, elderberry is one of nature’s most powerful immune-system enhancers for combating flu and cold symptoms.

Wheatgrass tastes disgusting but is so good for your health (allegedly), you should knock it back. It helps increase energy, improve digestion, metabolism and blood circulation. Wheatgrass also is supposed to reduce bad breath and body odour while fighting against tooth decay and high blood pressure. Where are we if we are not having wheat grass? Just scraping along in the Tudor non-sewaged gutter, screaming for some solace, some reality, something, some food that tastes nice.

Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil has been proven to reduce stress and depression, while lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels to help prevent heart disease. If you have read my page before you would probably know what a firm believer I am in omega 3. If you don’t want it in liquid form there is still the age old cod liver oil tablets. I read once that three of those a day keep you looking supremely young, like a seal cub. Aaaah, a seal cub. The Icelandic population are supposed to have the best diet in the world, due to their largely unprocessed diet but plus the freshness and abundance of fish and its oil. I always imagine Tove Jansson and her amazing diet, while she rowed to her island and expanded her imagination on her diet of restorative simpleness.

Chinese rice soup also known as congee, is a food that the Chinese use to boost the immune system. Generally chicken soup is known to be a very restorative food but Jook is a much cooler word and means that you are cool and might own a beard.

Here is a simple recipe for Jook:
1 cup uncooked white rice, long or short grain (basmati or jasmine will work as well)
1/2 pound raw pork or chicken bones (optional)
1 nub peeled ginger, about the size of a wine cork
1/2 tsp salt
8 cups of water
Optional garnishes : soy sauce or Tamari, sesame oil, chilli oil or chilli sauce, green onions, coriander, thinly sliced carrots or ginger, minced chinese sausage, spinach tofu

1 Place all the ingredients into a large pan. Bring to the boil and then lower to simmer
2 Let it cook for 60 – 90mins, stirring occasionally and adding more water as necessary.
3 The Jook is ready when the rice is cooked to the point of nearly falling apart. The consistency of the finished product is up to you, it can be thick and gloomy or you can add more water for a more broth like consistency.


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