One of my favourite topics to discuss in lectures or workshops is Longevity. I’m interested not just in how long we are going to live for but how well we are going to live into our later years.
Okinawa, which is comprised of an archipelago of island, is a place of great interest to me due to the number of centenarians who live healthily into their twilight years.
Even compared to their compatriots elsewhere in Japan, a county hailed for longevity, Okinawans live lengthy lives. So why is this? This is a question we ponder in my Longevity workshops. We cover nutrition (looking back at the 1950’s when current centenarians were in the prime of their lives), considering some of the staple foods that keep this population relatively free from disease, we look at their regular but moderate exercise, their belief systems and their focus on social connections.
My overall aim is to offer useful and practical knowledge which can be brought into everyday life: colourful and tasty recipes using some classic Okinawan ingredients, how to make turmeric tea and how we can create our own medicinal herb garden.
This recipe uses "beni-imo" – the wonderful sweet potato. I once read in my bible (The Okinawa Way) that the sweet potato is so well respected as part of this healthy culture that a common greeting in which we, in the UK, may offer ‘How are you today’ in Okinawa you may hear
‘Nmu kamatooin’ which translates as ‘Have you had your Imo today’?
The addition of turmeric gives a further anti-oxidant boost. This spice is widely farmed in the region and has a wealth of health properties.
If you’d like to hear more about Longevity in a workshop or corporate setting please get in touch.
Serves 2 alongside a salad
· 1 red onion, 2 cloves of garlic
· 1 finger sized piece of turmeric
· 1 cube sized piece of ginger
· Small slices of red/yellow pepper (half each)
· 1 small sweet potato, scrubbed clean
· 4 free range eggs
· Salt and pepper
· Fresh thyme
Sauté 1 red onion and 2 gloves of garlic
Once the onion is translucent grate in a small finger of turmeric root and a knob of ginger, stir
Add slices of peppers, continue to sauté
Grate in a small sweet potato, stir the mix adding a little hot water to prevent burning
Add some leaves of fresh thyme
When the mixture has softened, whisk the eggs and add them to the pan.
Cook on the hob until the bottom becomes firm then finish off under the grill. I slice another clove of garlic and add to the top of the mixture before grilling for extra flavour and immune boosting!
Serve with a colourful salad.