By Terry Walters
Review by Virginia Farrow
Brace yourself; this scintillating cookbook will change your life. From the author of the best selling and highly acclaimed book, Clean Food, comes an already award-nominated follow-up, Clean Start. After just a short read I was inspired to reorganise my little garden to bear room for a Clean Start-style “appotment”, so I could put Terry Walters’ teachings into practice. Terry Walters is a widely celebrated nutritional and culinary expert and educator, who is keen to lead the way in the Clean, Green and Local approach to food across North America and the Western world.
I have always been a keen clean-foodie in theory, but putting it into practice is a complicated and intimidating prospect if you don’t know where to start. This book carefully and sensitively guides you along a path of healthier eating, without insisting upon a do-or-die attitude. Terry’s advice is gentle and insightful, offering informed philosophies and suggestions, summed up astutely with the mantra, “Eat clean, live well”.
The common misconceptions about clean or healthy food are that it is boring, brown, or raw and that you have to be militant in your approach and wear a lot of hemp and tie-dye. But the truth is much more delicious and appealing, as Terry explains:
“ It’s simply about making healthy choices, one at a time, and doing the best that you can do, empowered with knowledge and motivated by intention… CLEAN START is about YOU living a delicious, vibrant and sustainable life”.
Its not so much a cookbook as it is a textbook or culinary bible, promoting a way of life rather than just a collection of recipes. It invites the readers to review and address their own eating and grocery-shopping habits in order to minimise the use of processed ingredients and maximise nutrition and satisfaction, at their own pace. My favourite piece of advice is to “buy and try one new clean food each time you shop”, which I think is a fantastic segue into a healthier lifestyle that you could even make into a game to encourage healthy dietary-enthusiasm in children.
The recipes are divided into four chapters, one for each season. This encourages the macrobiotic approach of utilising locally grown, in season fruit and vegetables, maximises nutrition, freshness, and variety whilst minimising airmiles, over-processing and lack-lustre hydroponics produce.
Every recipe sounds so fresh, unusual and delicious. They are all free from meat, dairy, gluten and refined sugar, promoting the use of whole grains, fresh produce, non-animal proteins and healthy fats. As they are free from so many additives it means that any meal you prepare will be accessible to almost anyone, even Vegans and Coeliacs- a rare and welcome occurrence for many of my friends and family.
Even if you’re not that concerned by processed foods or sustainability, its impossible not to be seduced and inspired by this book’s recipes and photographic illustrations, which have a truly Pavlovian effect upon anyone that looks at them…