By Dorota Trupp, Nutritionist
Many people ask Walter and I about our own personal dietary orientations. Are we vegans? Do we eat meat? Are we raw-foodies? Do we subscribe to the Palaeolithic diet? Do we consider the principles of Ayurvedic or Chinese medicine? Have we learned about our nutritional typing? Are we followers of the blood-group dietary plan? You name it, we’ve probably been asked it!
Our approach to diet is actually influenced by a combination of our traditional upbringing, our education, the knowledge we’ve gained as food professionals, and, most importantly, by listening to our own bodies through trial and error.
Over the years there have been periods where we have cut some foods out or introduced something new. When we learn about a new dietary approach in the field of nutrition, something that is interesting and makes sense, we try it to gauge its effects, to see what it does for us. We have always experimented and will continue to do so as new knowledge and ideas come to light.
We also use food as medicine. When one of us is sick, we adopt a particular dietary treatment plan that helps the body to recover from illness. We also use nutritional supplements.
There is no doubt that, as individuals, Walter and I have distinctly different dietary orientations. Walter is more vegetarian-oriented and loves raw and spicy foods. He also has a thing for anything sweet, which I can live without. I like to have more meat in my diet, but like Walter, I still love my raw greens. Unlike Walter, I enjoy sour flavours, including pickles, and soups of any kind. These preferences aside, the major difference in our food choices has to do with our constitutions: Walter uses food to ‘chill down’, whereas I use food to ‘warm up’.
In fact, things haven’t gone well when we have gone against our own constitutions. Some diets have made us feel terrible, even to the point of making us unwell. For example, Walter got really sick when he was on the Atkins diet, and I was not my normal self during a recent experiment with a 100% raw-food diet.
Walter and I have researched and trialled dietary systems that have been adopted or promoted by everyone from our ancient predecessors to modern-day experts. But to date, we are yet to find one that puts us in the same category. Food that makes one of us feel great can make the other feel poor. For this reason, we both have a hand in shopping for and preparing our own food, and we try to communicate well on the topic of ‘What’s for dinner?’. This ensures that we both satisfy our individual needs, and it helps to keep each other in balance – although Walter’s dishes taste so much better than mine!
If there is something in which Walter and I are completely in step, it is that over the years of our journey towards better health, we have discovered that removing processed foods of any kind is always better. We have also found that a selection of whole organic/biodynamic foods best satisfies our individual constitutional needs and supports our health.
The dietary approach we take at Trupp Cooking School is similarly liberal. We’re aware that people have different needs, and we can tailor our classes to accommodate this. We teach vegetarians and vegans how to prepare tasty salads that deliver complete proteins, and we teach meat lovers how to debone chicken and lamb and cook stews. We also have lots of fun with courses that cover traditional cuisines such as French and Spanish.
Above all else, we teach you how to cook using whole, unprocessed foods!