By Miranda Innes 

Make 2019 the year you make your microbiome happy. If your gut is happy, you’ll be happy. Vital, bright-eyed, perky. Daphne Lambert, the energetic nutritionist who founded Greencuisine (website mandatory for anyone interested in remaining feisty) has a few, simple prescriptions to enhance your inner world and, incidentally, the one we all inhabit. 

She advocates probiotics, which are probably familiar to you – they are why you buy yoghurt and kombucha, sauerkraut, proper soya sauce, proper cider vinegar, miso too. They are half the story. She would also have you delve into the arcane world of pre-biotics. Who’d have thought that your poor malnourished viscera craves asparagus, artichokes of whatever breed, dandelion root and buckwheat, or that its good little bacteria are also crying out for starch? A low-carb diet is not the way to go, but it must be the right carbs.Twice-cooked potatoes? Twice-cooked rice? Yes! Those notorious culinary crimes are called resistant starches, essential for good interior functioning. Boil it, cool it, keep it in the fridge and then cook as you need it for a further five minutes. Easy and convenient batch-cooked staple food, and better for you. 

Inflammation is today’s arch villain, held responsible for all manner of debilities. Maintaining a healthy 3:1 ratio of essential fatty acids omega-6 to omega-3 is important. If there is too much omega 6 in relation to 3 this can lead to excess inflammation in the body potentially raising the risk of various diseases. Sunflower, corn, soya, peanut, safflower & sesame are all high in omega 6. Linseed is high in omega 3 and hemp has 3 & 6 in a good ratio.

Daphne is a huge fan of hemp, and for those who prefer not to use dairy she suggests making your own hemp milk by simply blitzing the seeds with water. With hearing protection, that is a great way to use your Nutribullet, and the result need not be the pricey, watery substance to be found in a supermarket’s esoteric department. Hemp used to be grown in this country, at Hemel Hempstead for example, and hempen homespun made the varlet’s doublet of choice in Shakespeare’s time. It is first mentioned in a Chinese reference dated 2,800 BCE. There are something like 2000 uses for it. Daphne did consider growing it herself for which a licence is required. Growing hemp is subject to inspections, and has to be grown from approved seed.

She has not consumed any animal product for thirty years, and is a sparky tribute to veganism. She is not a finger-wagger, accepting that most people are omnivores and that, for the sake of the planet, this needs to be regulated. Ideally we would halve our meat consumption. Industrial meat production is horrific for the animals, our health, and the planet. She supports the idea of bio-regions each with their own ecological and social framework which can provide as much food as possible for the inhabitants. Compare this – small, local farms working in harmony with nature selling real meat, dairy and veg with ‘Beyond Meat’ (check out the ingredients) or ‘Clean Meat’ (check out the method). And the back story of the coconut, pineapple and almonds we innocently chuck into our smoothies reveals environmental havoc. It’s time we spared a thought for the planet, while encouraging health and happiness for our internal world. 

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