Mother of three, Bernadette Bohan is a Dublin housewife who beat cancer twice and has become an advocate for changing one's lifestyle to beat disease. To help herself through a second diagnosis of cancer treatment, Bernadette researched how the food we eat can help or hinder our health and she made radical changes to her diet and lifestyle that brought about her recovery.
Since then, Bernadette has written four books and developed a programme for change and increased wellness. In her latest book, 'Eat Yourself Well', published by Gill & Macmillan, she shows how to achieve better health by kicking sugar and caffeine habits and adopting a plant-based diet.
Bernadette recommends juicing to supercharge your daily vitamin intake. She makes juices from trays of wheatgrass that she grows herself but you can buy them in stores. And she won't be without her dehydrator, an inexpensive drying machine, with which she makes alternatives to crisps, snacks, biscuits, crackers and main meals.
"When you add nourishing foods into your diet, you have fewer cravings," explains Bernadette. "Health challenges don't just magically disappear, you have to make an effort."
Bernadette separated her recipes into two groups – transition for those who want to make small changes to improve their health and therapeutic for those who want to overhaul their lifestyle. For more information, you can check out the website changesimply.com
Sugar blue smoothie (transition)
If you have the sugar blues and cannot pacify your sweet tooth, this is sure to chase them away.
Having a sweet alternative in the transition phase will help wean you off sugar.
Learning to manage blood-sugar irregularities will mean you won't give in to cravings.
Strawberries and raspberries are at their best when they are in season. If you want to improve your skin, strawberries are amazing.
They promote the production of collagen which is a part of the connective tissue that helps the elasticity and constant renewal of skin cells.
Raspberries, meanwhile, clear out nasal passages of mucus.
The secret with this self-indulgent drink is not to have too many refills. Serves 1.
YOU WILL NEED
¼ cup of strawberries
¼ cup of raspberries
¼ cup of pure water
Three drops of stevia
A handful of ice
Blend all the ingredients until the desired consistency is reached. Add ice and serve.
Juices are a wonderful way to recharge your batteries and boost your immune system. It is my absolute number one recommendation to improve health. Juices have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory components, as well as essential enzymes, vitamins and minerals which help keep all kinds of ailments and diseases at bay. Health challenges don't just magically disappear you have to make an effort, and what better way to do this than with some delicious juices. Bottoms up!!!!
If you are short on energy and want to recharge your batteries, this will do the trick. The ingredients are easy to find, but try to buy organic. If you cannot source organic fruit and veggies, then peel the ones you have.
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is great for the eyes as carotenoids help keep UV rays from causing cataracts. They are also rich in absorbable calcium, whereas the calcium in many synthetic supplements cannot be absorbed, this juice is good for bone health. Serves 1.
YOU WILL NEED
1 apple (including seeds)
¼ lime with skin
Simply wash the ingredients, juice them and you're ready to go.
Wheatgrass is one of the most nutrient-dense, vitamin-packed plants nature has to offer. It has a distinctive taste which not all palates appreciate. Ginger will not totally mask the unfamiliar taste fully, but it does complement it ever so delicately. It boosts your energy reserves to overflowing, especially if you are feeling rundown, sluggish or lethargic. Some people report that it gives them a buzz similar to caffeine, without the unwanted side-effects. Serves 1.
YOU WILL NEED
1 shot of wheatgrass
¼ piece of ginger or a squeeze of lemon
Crushed ice (optional)
Cut and wash a third of a tray of wheatgrass and process it through the juicer along with the piece of ginger or the lemon juice. Pour over ice if you like.
This is a powerful, cleansing juice which staves off free radical damage in the body and slows down the aging process.
Kale is packed with chlorophyll. Consuming foods that are rich in chlorophyll is important if you want to look and feel younger. Ginger is a wonderful aid for digestive problems. Cucumbers hydrate and this green juice is excellent at helping you clean out your intestines.
YOU WILL NEED
2 celery stalks
A handful of kale or parsley
1 small chunk of ginger
Process all ingredients through the juicer. If the cucumber is large enough, this recipe will serve two people.
People eat a lot of takeaways and this meal is so easy and quick to prepare, it will soon replace the bought-in alternatives.
If you are not eating as many veggies as you would like to, why not try this delicious Chinese meal. It is not fried so you will get all the benefits of the nutritious ingredients.
The addition of bean sprouts and tamari (soy sauce) is reminiscent of Chinese stir fries. Tamari is excellent for quick marinades and you simply add it to some oil. You can serve the finished vegetables with some low carb rice which is made from parsnips and macadamia nuts (the recipe for which is in my book). Serves 2
YOU WILL NEED
1 cup of mushrooms
1 garlic clove
1 red pepper
2 cups of bean sprouts
2 cups of spinach
2 tbsps of tamari
2 tbsps of olive oil
Chop the mushrooms, onion, garlic and red pepper and place in a large bowl. Add the bean sprouts and spinach.
Coat the vegetables in tamari and oil and place on a dehydrator tray until the vegetables become warm and slightly softened. This will take approximately half an hour.
If you like Bernadette's recipes, you'll find more in her book 'Eat Yourself Well'.
Irish Independent readers can buy it for just €12 (plus free p&p within Ireland). Usual price €16.99. To order call (01) 500 9570 and quote INDGM