Table of Contents
Vegetarian Main Courses
Cakes and Biscuits
About the Publisher
Having spent the last 18 years in practice as a nutritional therapist, I felt I needed to write this third book in the Cooking Without series to summarize the knowledge I have acquired during this time. I also wanted to include lots of easy recipes because, having learnt during the last 18 years to be much kinder to myself, I like to cook dishes that are uncomplicated as well as healthy.
My first book, Cooking Without, came as a result of clients asking for recipes because they didn’t know how to cook without wheat, sugar, yeast and dairy produce. When my self-published version was eventually taken over by Thorsons I added a section about detoxification so that the book could be used as a do-it-yourself manual by anyone wishing to put the regime into practice and improve their health. Next came Vegetarian Cooking Without, which has a section covering various health problems and the insights that I have gained over the years through dealing with my own health as well as that of my clients.
This book feels like the final one of a trilogy. It is a summary of the effect that ‘cooking without’ can have on peoples’ lives. In it I have used my own story, and those of some of my clients, to help explain the remarkable changes that can happen when detoxification takes place. It has always been my aim not only to alleviate the physical symptoms of my clients, but
In all the case histories quoted in this book the names and precise circumstances of individuals have been changed in order to protect their privacy.
to uncover the reasons why they became ill. Physical symptoms are just the body trying to talk to us, to encourage us to look below the surface and find the answers.
We need to reach a point where we can be in the moment rather than in the past or future, where we can let go of control and have trust and faith, where we can be in touch with our intuition rather than in our heads—a place where health replaces disease. This is what Cooking Without Made Easy and my other two books are about. It is, I believe, the work I came here to do and to pass on to others.
Where it all began
My interest in diet and nutrition really took off after the birth of my first son in 1974. Three weeks after my son was born he developed a throat infection. His birth had been long and difficult and I had accepted all the pain relief I was offered. I’m now sure that his first infection was his body’s way of throwing off the toxicity from the drugs that he too must have ingested. When the doctor gave him his first antibiotic I had an instinctive feeling that this was not the right thing to do. A month later he went down with another infection. His little body had overcome the suppression of the antibiotic and was now trying to eliminate the previous toxicity, along with that of the antibiotic.
Fortunately, there was a health food shop in the town where I lived and although in those days the supplements available were limited, it was suggested that I try vitamin C. It did the trick. When infections did occur over the years I always went to the doctor for a diagnosis, but he soon learned that I preferred not to use drugs. Sometimes I went away with a prescription just in case, but I always followed a visit to the doctor with one to the health food shop, and so my son avoided the antibiotic treadmill.
When my second son was born 18 months later, my own health began to suffer. For the first time in my life I was lacking in energy and my skin and hair felt lifeless. This spurred me on to examine and improve our diet. I started baking wholemeal bread, cut down on sugar and included more fruit and vegetables in the family diet. My health improved rapidly, my children blossomed and as a result I became a convert to healthy eating.
Healing physical symptoms
In the early days my use of nutrition was aimed at—and succeeded in—eliminating physical symptoms. Over the years, many of my clients have seen the dramatic effect that a change of diet can have on their physical health. Often, after only a few weeks on a new regime, the change is remarkable and many struggle to believe that diet can be so powerful. This was the situation in the following three case histories.
David came to me because he was suffering from anxiety symptoms. He was waking in the night feeling anxious, frightened and panicky, and had palpitations. During the day he was tired, couldn’t concentrate and often felt depressed, irritable and full of irrational fears. Three weeks after the start of a ‘cooking without’ dietary regime David was delighted with his improvement. He was less anxious, less tired and had had only one anxiety attack in the night. He continued to make improvements, becoming much calmer and less prone to mood swings. His concentration improved and life took on new meaning. David’s problems stemmed from an allergy that was causing his blood sugar to drop. However, once the problem foods were removed from his diet and his blood sugar was supported with the right kind of food at regular intervals, his problems ceased.
Gail had been suffering from arthritis for 15 years and migraines for 20 years when she came for a consultation. Within just three weeks she experienced an improvement—she had more energy, no headaches and fewer aches and pains. Six weeks later she was feeling really well and, for the first time in years, her periods were on time. Gail continued to visit me over the years whenever she had a problem and although she did have a little residual damage in her feet from the arthritis, her original problems did not recur.
Gail was a teacher and had spent years living on her adrenalin, taking more out of her body than she was putting back in. Once on a nutritionally-sound programme, her body was able to eliminate some of the backlog of toxicity that was at the root of her problems.
Kirsty tells her story
‘When I first began seeing Barbara, I was feeling tired, bloated and constipated, and I had been putting weight on steadily for five years. I had gradually become anaemic and was at a loss as to why this was happening, as I had not altered my diet or lifestyle. After overcoming the shock of such a drastic change in diet—I had to eat six times a day and a minimum amount—I started to feel better and found I had more energy and was calmer and more relaxed.
But the biggest change came when I cut out all dairy produce (an allergy test had proved that I was intolerant to dairy from any animal). I stopped having digestive rumblings, wind and constipation, and my sinuses cleared up. I also started losing weight—30kg in a year, which translates to 11b per week, a healthy rate. I have not needed to see Barbara for some time now, but I still keep pretty much to her diet.
Although over the years most clients have seen some improvements in their health by their second appointment, not everyone experiences overnight success. Nutritional therapy is a little like detective work—it involves looking for signs that the body produces, in order to diagnose and prescribe, and then watching how the body reacts to any changes. Most clients have a few ups and downs, as we untangle the causes of their problems, before they eventually settle on the road to recovery.
Bernice had ulcerative colitis, which caused cramping pains and urgent visits to the loo with the passing of blood and mucus. She was tired all the time and depressed because of her ill health. By her second visit she had much more energy, she was less depressed and the ache in her colon had disappeared. Bernice was enjoying feeling much better so she made the most of it and started catching up on all the jobs she had left undone. Unfortunately, her health soon began to deteriorate again. At this stage in her recovery there simply wasn’t enough energy available for healing and catching up. But at least Bernice was learning. Her next lesson, once she had improved still further and started venturing out into society again, was how important it is to stay with the diet. She was feeling better and starting to enjoy life, so the diet slipped—as did her health. We had another year of ups and downs as Bernice adjusted to her new regime but now at least she has an answer to her problems.
Sarah was quite poorly when she first came to see me. She had serious digestive problems, which included severe pain, bloating and constipation, as well as very poor energy levels, and thrush. It was obvious that Sarah had intolerances to several foods and although coming off these produced a slight improvement in her health, we had a long way to go. Over the course of a few years, Sarah and I learned a lot about her body as we untangled the web of clues that her illness threw up. Sarah’s body was so finely balanced that any major change caused a reaction, therefore we had to proceed very slowly.
We discovered that Sarah’s liver was struggling to cope. When it was happy the severe pains she had in her shoulder disappeared; when it wasn’t happy the food she ate just sat in her stomach. We learned that foods with a warming energy (I talk about the energetics of foods in Vegetarian Cooking Without) helped her digestion, while too many foods with a cold energy shut it down. In fact, Sarah became so good at knowing the energy of foods because of her body’s reaction to them that, in the end, she was teaching me. We learned that too much protein overloaded her digestion, but equally too much carbohydrate or vegetables and she had a reaction. We tried the ‘Hay diet’ and the ‘Eat right for your type’ diet but in the end we had no option but to follow the diet that Sarah’s body was determining and, as a result, her health improved.
Body, mind and spirit
In all the above case histories the individuals were able to alleviate their symptoms—but only if they followed the diet. However, what started to interest me as far back as the 1970s were the reasons behind why people became ill. In those days, as well as reading all I could find on nutrition, I studied astrology, spiritual healing, Bach flower remedies, yoga and anything else I could find on holistic health. The link between body, mind and spirit was starting to become clear. Over the years, however, not all my clients have been ready to delve deeper and look at the reasons behind why they became ill. Many just wanted their physical symptoms to disappear so that they could carry on with their lives. While it is not up to me to decide when the time is right for anyone to delve deeper, I was often responsible for giving people the odd nudge, which sometimes did and sometimes didn’t make them think.
When ready to consider the deeper reasons for their illness, clients come into the consultation room and instead of talking about their physical problems, will say things like ‘I’ve been thinking’. Suddenly their physical health, which was their priority, is no longer paramount and their desire for a greater understanding takes precedence. I’m always thrilled when this happens because it means that we can move on to a deeper level of detoxification. Eventually, when their mental and emotional bodies are satisfied, they come into the consultation room saying things like ‘Why am I here?’ or ‘Do you believe in a higher power?’ At this point it’s time to move on to the next stage—the spiritual. This progression never ceases to amaze and delight me and I’m forever in debt to all the clients who have allowed me to be part of their journeys and taught me so much along the way. But it also makes me so aware of how much society’s loss of spirituality is in direct proportion to its dietary decline.
Having originally trained as a home economist, I eventually retrained as a nutritional therapist in the mid-eighties. During my training I began to learn the principles of detoxification, which involves using strict dietary principles (as outlined in Cooking Without) and supplementation to assist the body to eliminate toxicity. It was this training that made me realize that nutrition can be used as a catalyst for detoxifying the body on various levels. Once the physical body starts to heal, detoxification moves on to a mental and emotional level, and finally reveals a spiritual body hidden beneath.
Once I started to detoxify I started on a journey of self-discovery. As well as improving my physical health, I started to uncover the real me that had been buried beneath the layers of ideas and conditioning that I had taken on board from others over the years. It was like peeling off the layers of an onion. The more dysfunctional our past, the more layers we develop in order to cope and protect ourselves. These layers build up from early childhood and directly influence our view of the world.
As babies, we come into this world with nothing in our heads but a strong intuitive drive to meet our needs and be true to ourselves. Watch a little child playing. One minute it is totally engrossed then suddenly it has had enough and moves on to something else or comes for a hug or a drink. If a child were allowed to grow up keeping in touch with its intuition then as an adult it would build up far fewer layers. Unfortunately, children are continually being told to use their heads and not their hearts, ‘finish your maths before you go out to play’. Some of this is necessary, of course—our heads tell us to look both ways before crossing the road or not to eat food that is too hot. However, living too much in our heads means that we lose touch with our sense of self. As always in life, the art is in finding a balance. Here I am talking about healthy children in good homes, but imagine the damage that can be inflicted through neglect or physical and mental abuse.
Losing our sense of self means that we are being, doing and thinking what others have taught us. Detoxification is about stripping off the layers and uncovering our core self, which is always a beautiful expression of our soul. I believe that one of the things we are all here to do is to peel off the layers in order to reach our intuition and true potential, and hence follow the path our soul chose.
I think that we all come into this world with the potential to be something special. I don’t mean famous or rich, but with a potential to be a good mother, a special friend, a great teacher…It’s as though our souls decide before we are born and they know what we are meant to do—but, when we are born, no one lets us in on the arrangement. However, if we can learn to trust a higher power and be in touch with our intuition, then the universe can guide us along the path we are meant to tread. There will still be difficulties along the way, as these are necessary in order for us to grow, but it’s when we rely on our heads and want to be in control that we create the most problems. When we flow with life and are open, the universe guides us gently forward, creating synchronicities and coincidences. Opportunities and directions appear and we know—rather than think—that we are doing the right thing.
Uncovering our life path
There are many ways of uncovering our intuition, the real us and our life path, and each individual must choose the right way for themselves. Everything that we need to know is inside us and we must find a way of going inside to find that information. What is right for me and what is my truth may not be yours. It’s as though we are all little spiders heading back to a higher consciousness on our own little threads. I cannot jump onto your thread and you cannot jump onto mine. Our intuition is the higher consciousness talking to us, so the ideas contained in this or any other book should only be considered right for you if they resonate with your truth.
The method I found of uncovering the real me, and the way I’ve used to help my clients find their truth, has been through diet and detoxification. The only way that I can know that an individual is better is when they have uncovered the reasons why they became ill and have found their path in life.
Julie came to me after an operation for cancer. The cancer was a wake-up call and Julie knew that she had to change if she was to survive. However, she didn’t know what changes she needed to make and the thought of making any filled her with fear. Julie embarked on a serious detoxification regime that, day by day, led her to new insights about herself and her lifestyle. She had a mundane office job that was way below her capabilities, but it enabled her to act as a support system for her husband and family. I remember Julie on her first visit: she had her blonde hair swept up in a very eighties’ style and was dressed in a flimsy suit and camisole on a cold winter’s day. I wanted to wrap her up in a warm sweater and jeans, but the image she portrayed was the one her husband liked—the feminine woman who needed him, was there for him and who didn’t rock the boat.
As Julie progressed she started to read alternative books, make new friends and became vegetarian. She studied counselling at nightschool and although she wanted her husband to be part of her new life, he was clearly not impressed because she wasn’t always there at his beck and call.
Julie blossomed and grew stronger as the months passed. Eventually the inevitable happened and she left her husband. She was willing to stay, but only if her husband was prepared to accept the person she was—but alas, he wasn’t. He wanted life to go back to the way it had been because that meant he didn’t have to face his own issues (Julie had always rescued him from these). Leaving was very tough for Julie, as she had to face many fears. Would she be able to support herself? Would she be able to stand up for herself and cope with the running of a home on her own? Would the children understand why she was doing this?
Julie not only survived, but went from strength to strength. She finished her counselling course and was asked to go back and do some teaching. She set up a private practice and became very successful—and guess what? She changed her hairstyle and threw away the flimsy suits.
Maralyn tells her story
‘I had suffered from bouts of depression for 30 years when I went to see Barbara. During these times I was incapable of work and lost interest in everyone and everything. I had tried all the usual antidepressant drugs and had seen psychiatrists and psychologists, but nothing seemed to help.
Initially, Barbara reviewed my diet and explained that with intolerances (I had become aware that I was intolerant to yeast) a restricted diet was important but until the emotions were dealt with, the allergy would not resolve itself. Through detoxification, vitamin and mineral supplements and dealing with my emotions relating to a very unhappy, restricted childhood, I slowly started to feel much better.
I can honestly say that since meeting Barbara I have never suffered a repeat bout of depression. That was over five years ago and now I really understand the saying ‘We are what we eat’.
Looking back at my own childhood
I was the second of two children, with a brother two years older. We grew up on an isolated farm and my parents worked very hard, so they had little time for looking after children. My father was moody, heading towards manic depression and locked in his own inner world of torment. He had lost his mother when very young and had had a tough upbringing. I soon learnt that it was best not to have any needs if I wanted to please my parents and, as a result, I began to cut off from my emotions at an early age. I learnt to smile rather than cry, even though I was hurting inside. I also learnt that if I did something exceptional I received some attention—and so I became a people pleaser and an over-achiever. I started losing touch with my intuition by spending time in my head trying to be what everyone wanted me to be and assuming that I was the cause of any deficit. Not surprisingly, this resulted in an unrealistically negative self-image, which laid the foundations for a life that would need many knocks to get me to examine, and begin to peel off, the layers I had developed through childhood and beyond.
Being in touch with our true selves and our intuition doesn’t prevent us from making mistakes, but it helps us recognize when we’ve made them, because things don’t feel right. I had stopped feeling, therefore it was very difficult to distinguish between what felt right and wrong.
Logic versus intuition
When I talk about being ‘in our heads’, I’m talking about using the left side of the brain, which is the logical side. This logical side works things out by analysing the criteria rather than by assessing how things feel. In contrast, our intuition whispers to us between our thoughts. When we go with our intuition we are using the right side of our brain and we feel comfortable with what we are doing. Frequently, when clients are trying to work out what job they would like to do, they make the mistake of trying to work it out by analysing what they are good at. They may think they are good at maths and so start looking at jobs where they could use this skill, such as accountancy or teaching. However, it’s more important to look for something that feeds the soul—if it doesn’t, it can become soul-destroying. We won’t ever reach our full potential in life or be really happy if we don’t follow our hearts. I believe that when we find our true path in life, our job will feel more like a hobby. When I discovered nutritional therapy I simply wanted to read and learn everything I could about the subject. It was a natural extension to turn it into a job.
Helen tells her story of a change in direction
‘I had a high-profile job in marketing when I first went to see Barbara. I was travelling the country, working long hours, and although I earned a good salary, most of it was spent sustaining my working lifestyle. By the time I reached 31 I had undergone four operations to remove endometriosis, but it always came back. I turned to nutritional therapy out of sheer desperation. Within three weeks I was looking and feeling much better. I wasn’t putting in the same hours in the office because I needed time to shop and cook, but the work I produced reflected a new clarity and confidence. Even my boss commented on it.
Over the next few years I made some major changes in my life. I let go of the security and trappings of my career and left to set up a consultancy. As I downsized I realized that the freedom and satisfaction I now felt easily replaced the big salary and company car. Creating more space in my life meant that I had time to walk, horse ride and spend more time with nature and the people who mattered to me. I felt much more in touch with myself as I began to live more from my heart than from my head.
My next major change came when I took off with my partner on a 16-month, round-the-world trip. That really was a leap of faith, to let go of everything and just trust. It turned out to be the most amazing time of my life. While travelling I started to write a travelogue, tapping into a creativity that had lain dormant since my schooldays. Now I am working on this material and hope in the future to become a travel writer. Combining travel and writing would be my dream way of life. And the endometriosis? It just disappeared, much to my consultant’s surprise. I am so glad that I took those first steps towards controlling my own health and my life.’
Detoxification is like a life jigsaw
When I look back at the person I was before I started to detoxify I can hardly believe that I’m the same person. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that ‘I’ve arrived’, as I’m constantly gaining new insights and growing stronger, and will continue to do so until the day I die. But looking back lets me see how eating the right food has enabled me to recognize the next stage in my development; to see issues that needed working on as they appeared and then, after working through these, moving on again, rather than staying stuck and repeating the same mistakes.
I often liken detoxification to a life jigsaw. It’s as though a jigsaw has been put together but the pieces are not all in the right places. When you start to detoxify it’s as if someone has thrown your life’s jigsaw onto the floor and it has smashed into hundreds of pieces. It is then up to you to fit it back together—only this time with all the pieces in their right places. At first this is difficult because you know that your life doesn’t work but you haven’t a clue what the jigsaw is meant to look like. At this point you need a certain amount of trust and faith that your new direction will appear. And it does.
You find yourself considering a piece of the jigsaw that holds the key to a certain area of your life. It may be a piece about guilt, or pleasing people and you spend a few days or weeks thinking about how this affects your life and how you could change it. Then one day you consider another jigsaw piece and have a new insightful realization, and suddenly you’ve fitted two pieces of the jigsaw together. And so it goes on; as you peel the layers from yourself you gradually build up a new picture of the real you. I’m still working on my jigsaw; I still have issues with lack of self-worth but the universe keeps providing me with opportunities to grow.
My lack of self-worth
My parents were basically good people who loved me in their own way, and they were doing what they thought was their best. However, their attitudes to parenting were based on their own dysfunctional upbringings. They were very money orientated—to them, money in the bank equalled security. I had very few toys or books, the most basic of clothes and the home didn’t contain any of life’s luxuries. I remember birthdays and Christmases with nothing to open—instead my parents put money in a bank account for when we were older. We never had a Christmas tree or bedtime stories; I didn’t go on holiday or have friends to stay. The message that I constantly received as a child was that I didn’t matter but money did. Self-worth was one of the lessons my soul obviously came here to learn.
Wanting the perfect marriage
My lack of self-worth and inability to be in touch with my feelings have drawn many lessons to me throughout my life. Because of my relationship with my father, I was attracted to emotionally unavailable men, whom I hoped would fulfil my every need—if I loved them enough. Basically, there was still a little girl inside of me desperately wanting the love of her father, so I transferred this on to the men in my life. My husband had come from an equally cold and dysfunctional family, where he was taught fear and learnt to control in order to allay his fears. Once married, I also gained an equally controlling mother-in-law and so my self-worth took another battering and my ‘people pleaser’ ran on overdrive. I wanted to have the perfect marriage and I was willing to suppress any discomfort I felt in order to make this happen. I loved being married and I loved being a mum to my two boys. I went to no end of trouble to make the home a warm, comfortable environment and was determined to make sure my children felt loved and secure. But I also felt trapped and controlled. No one was interested in how I felt and whether my needs were being met and I didn’t have sufficient self-worth to put my case forward. If I did try to assert myself then I tapped into my husband’s fears, and he couldn’t cope, so I suppressed my feelings yet again. And, of course, I never dreamt of talking to anyone outside the home, as my sense of self-worth was invested in being perfect.
Eventually I was introduced to astrology and I started to question what life was about. I read alternative books and looked at what was going on in my life from a different perspective. The floodgates of emotion eventually burst when my dog was accidentally killed. I remember finding her and wanting to cry but not being able to at first—but when I did start crying, I couldn’t stop. I wasn’t just crying for her, devastated though I was, I was crying for me and all the hurts and injustices I’d suffered throughout my life and had never cried about before. That marked a turning point in my life. I could no longer be what everyone else wanted me to be; I had to start standing up for what I needed.
It was hard, however, to put the blinkers on and follow the path that was revealing itself to me. I felt like I was on a long, straight road that disappears into the horizon. On each side the land was lower than the road and all along were people trying to pull me off my path and divert me. It would have been easy for me to use everyone else as an excuse for not following my own star, especially as I didn’t know where my star was taking me. We are, however, always aware of the next step and the rest is revealed to us one day at a time.
Facing the fear
When I eventually re-trained and set up a healing clinic in the mid-eighties I was full of fear. Alternative medicine wasn’t exactly popular in Manchester, and nutrition was at the bottom of the list. I was fearful of failure, of not being able to help people, or being thought of as foolish. But more than that, I was frightened of putting myself, and my growth, first.
Self-growth, however, is like giving birth—you can’t stop it once it’s started, and so I kept moving forward and taking the next step. I was facing the fear and doing it anyway.
I also learnt to trust in God and the universe. For God is like a kind, caring father, who’s going to push a little so that we grow, but he will never put us in situations where we really can’t cope. And so my clinic was a success. The more I trusted God and handed over control, the more he helped. I was frequently guided to treatments or found myself uttering statements that I didn’t know I knew.