Cooking with Dr Libby (+recipes)

By Grant Allen

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Sweet treats can be good for you as well as tasty, finds Grant Allen

Libby Weaver demonstrates to Grant Allen just how appealing and tasty healthy treats can be. Photo / Doug Sherring
Libby Weaver demonstrates to Grant Allen just how appealing and tasty healthy treats can be. Photo / Doug Sherring

As I raced to get myself organised to go and meet Dr Libby for this story, I got thinking about her book Rushing Woman's Syndrome.

What about "rushing men"?

I don't know about you, but I think we all feel the increasing pace of life and are conscious of not eating properly and trying to fit too much into our day. We know we should do better at balancing our lives, but then, whoosh, another week has sped by and we haven't acted on our own good intuitive advice.

My question to Libby Weaver was what can we do about this? I totally related to her answer.

"We all think we can cheat nature but our bodies need sustenance, rest and we need to care for ourselves."

We already know that, of course, but it's hard to change our bad habits.

Libby is not trying to be a know-it-all expert or a grumpy old headmistress, she's a gorgeous picture of happy health in person.

What she is trying to do is impart her well-researched, evidence-based findings about us as human beings. We are not machines, our bodies need sustenance and support and we are the only ones who can choose to look after ourselves.

Libby's mission is to "educate and inspire people, improving their health and happiness, and through that process, create a ripple effect that transforms the world."

Libby is a real doctor, but not in the medical sense. She did her PhD in biochemical and nutritional factors in children with autism. It was through this work that Libby came to better understand the role various hormones play in influencing our body shape and size, our appetites, our responses to exercise and stress, clarity of thought, sleep patterns and a range of other behaviour.

Libby's concepts are often described as "life-changing". During her time working as programme director at a leading Australian health retreat, Libby formed a relationship with its chef, Cynthia Louise, who is now one of Australia's top organic chefs.

The two were passionate about educating and empowering people to make food choices that would serve their health and about showing people truly delicious ways to do so.

This resulted in their book Real Food Chef.

One of the book's messages is that sweet food is not necessarily bad for you. Libby brought along a range of desserts that are really yummy and really good for you. You can find the recipes in Real Food Chef, which has a partner video in which chef Cynthia shows you how to make them while giving some great inside tips about organic cooking. We feature some of their recipes today.

Interested in hearing more? Libby will be at The Food Show at the ASB Showgrounds in Greenland, Auckland, this week from Friday to Sunday.

Get along there and take some of her sweet advice.

It could change your life.


Brain balls
Cashew hot chocolate
Carrot cake with cashew coconut icing
Beetroot chocolate mud cake
Strawberry cream pie

- Herald on Sunday

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