Inside Chef Alma Gabriel’s holistic healthy eating and body movement class

Food has a way to heal and nourish, but it may also cause harm. The role of food in supporting healthy immune systems has been emphasized by the World Health Organisation (WHO) especially during the pandemic.

While no food has been proven to cure Covid-19, eating healthy food and having active lifestyles have been encouraged across all ages to help boost immunity and keep a healthy emotional and mental state especially during these challenging times.

Our lifetime relationship with food determines whether we would enjoy life’s most cherished experiences in the long term.

Remember a time when you fell ill? This was no happy time for sure, even if you probably were in Disneyland. Travelling to majestic places, spending time with the ones we love – illness can take away the beauty of these experiences.

A Reader's Digest publication, "Foods That Harm and Foods That Heal" gives information about over 150 food from grains to meat to fruits.

Developing conscious eating habits – eating for nourishment and not just for the belly – has been a constant pursuit.

A Reader’s Digest book aptly titled, “Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal” presents a directory of more than 150 food entries that give information on the nutritional value of everything from almonds to zucchini.

As one learns from the book, holistic healthy eating does not have to bore a hole in one’s pocket. Many of the humble and inexpensive food we have in abundance is oftentimes neglected, despite them giving us nourishment that keeps ailments away like diabetes, cancer, even depression.

Lentils in all their varieties – green, black, red mung beans, white, speckled, black kidney beans – are powerhouse sources of proteins that are also more environment-friendly to grow. Moringa is another: Considered a superfood, it has been used for centuries due to its medicinal properties.

A person suffering from painful joints.

But also, certain foods can cause harm. Some plants can trigger the symptoms of hay fever. When eaten to excess, red meat can cause gout. It is good to investigate if indeed barbecued foods can cause cancer, or if commercially caught fish indeed have high levels of mercury.

So many are the dizzying advice from “health experts” about food that can help you lose weight, sleep better, or avoid ailments.

In a brand new class, Palate Sensations Culinary School’s Chef Alma Gabriel brings together holistic healthy eating and body movement. Read more below about what to expect in this 3-day class that promises to empower you to make wise food choices and combine this with body movements that will help you on your journey towards conscious eating and living.

Healthy eating and body movement class instructor Chef Alma Gabriel.

Q: In your experience as a chef and wellness coach, how have you seen food healed a person? How has food caused harm?

A: Food as a whole and not processed when eaten in the right quantity and while following the food pyramid prescribed for each individual will definitely help us to be well and healthy. 

Speaking from personal experience food has harmed me in a way that too much consumption of high purine foods (uric acid) without knowing that this builds up and could give me gout. At 42,  gout just suddenly attacked me without any symptoms. 

What heals me? I've taken medications and even jabs when I fell ill. These healed me temporarily but didn't help much to lower my uric acid.

Avoiding high purine foods and taking Kombucha regularly had miraculously helped me. This combination has helped me avoid gout attacks.

Q: Without visiting a dietitian, how can a person know he or she is eating a balanced and holistic diet?

A: I would recommend visiting a Dietitian for those who have a special condition or who have an existing illness and want to try a diet for them.

Not all diets are effective for everyone. Each and every individual has his or her own unique body structure, requirements and lifestyle.

As for those who don’t have any special condition, following the Food Pyramid for Asians is effective in maintaining a healthy well-balanced diet. 

Of course, we have to include some forms of exercise that will make us feel fresh and alive.

Q: Mental health and wellness have been a focus, especially during the pandemic. How can attending your class help students keep a healthy mental and emotional state with food and movement as the approach?

A: With the situation the world is experiencing now, Mental Health and Wellness is a very important part of survival, attending a Yoga class allows you to focus on your breath (PRANA- a life-giving force) and movement (ASANA- posture that performs in YOGA), and by practising regularly it allows you to have that connection with your body, breath and mind (meditation- state of focus and stillness). With this, it will develop your awareness of what you eat, and your lifestyle change.

Book Chef Alma Gabriels 3-day Building a Healthy and Holistic Lifestyle Class.

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