Food as Medicine – the Philosophy of The Banyans Executive Chef

Is health a destination? Or a journey?

I believe that understanding where we want to be in our lives is among our greatest challenges. I also believe that health is fundamental for getting there.

My approach to food has come a long way since starting my apprenticeship in fine dining many years ago. Over time, I have developed a deeper understanding of the role food plays in my own life and the lives of the people I have an influence on, particularly those I cook for on a day-to-day basis at The Banyans.

If you want to break it all down into critical elements, I think that humans need a few things for sustained great health and longevity – movement, rest, fuel, and love.

Interestingly, it was my time in fine dining that provided clarity in my approach to food. In these high pressure, often ego driven kitchens, there was no focus on what humans need in food.  The main approach was to manipulate the textures and structures of food to trick and excite the diner’s palate, often by using chemicals or obscene amounts of fats, salt and sugar.

I am not suggesting for a moment that there is no place for fine dining or this approach to food in our society. However, I have noticed we can easily neglect the essential reason we eat food as human beings…. so we can live.

By viewing food as a source of life, we start to make decisions with a perspective of our own longevity rather than just the moment of joy when something goes into our mouth.  Of course, I’m not saying that making healthier choices can’t be joyous and delicious!  Instead, I am suggesting that a simple shift in mindfulness and values can change our approach and excitement toward food.

Food has the ability to bring back strong childhood memories, from the first time you ate a piece of fruit straight from a tree, to the time your Dad tried to help out with the cooking and not even the dog would eat it. Yes, that happened to me!

Food also has the ability to heal. Grandma’s chicken soups ring any bells?

Food has the ability to create friendship, love and life.

The one common medium that everyone in this natural world has is that we all eat food.

If we look at food through a perspective of health, happiness and longevity, it makes sense to use food as medicine – not just as physical medicine but social medicine as well.

By Jarrod Huey – Executive Chef, The Banyans

 

Designed for integrated restoration, and with an expert team of addiction medicine specialists, therapists, health practitioners and wellness coaches, The Banyans Health and Wellness Residence is a place where body and soul prosper in an environment of rest, wellness, and inspired living.

Call us now on 1300 BANYAN (1300 226 926) or email welcome@thebanyans.com.au for a confidential discussion about how you or someone you care about can benefit from The Banyans.