THE MIX – A Loving Blend of Plant-Based Recipes is a gorgeous book. Cleanly presented and easy to navigate, each section and recipe has a beautifully shot photo and others offer glimpses into the life of the author. Created by Health Food Chef and certified Nutrition Expert, Liora Bels, THE MIX is a labour of love that delivers as a coffee table book as well as a manual on how to eat well.
THE MIX is a nourishing book in more than one sense. It has a calm and peaceful energy about it and encourages healthful eating and conscious living in a gentle and simple way that seems easily approachable. It feels like a celebration of food, flavour and nourishment.
The recipes are easy to follow and require few ingredients. They can be tailored to individual tastes which makes them inviting.
A clear guide advises how and why to soak nuts, seeds, grains and legumes, foods to include for extra benefit and which superfoods will enhance health. Sections include Plant Milks, Sweets, Breads and Batters and a handy index allows recipes to be looked up by ingredient.
The recipes we have made so far – Cashew Curry Cream, Maca Energy Oat Milk, Almond Hummus, Back to the Roots, Cashew Yogurt Bowl – are flavourful, creamy, delicately balanced and decadent enough to seem far from health food. Easy to prep, create and well enjoyed means we know this book will be well worn in little time, almost a shame considering how beautiful it is.
This is a loving book; it is clear the author has found a way of living that deeply resonates with her and wants to share this with others. This is achieved in a way that is less passion and more bliss; a quiet desire to pass on the knowledge and appreciation she has found for the flavours and ingredients she writes about.
Liora dedicates the book to her parents who she says allowed her “to grow, to learn, to be courageous and yet mindful.” It is a book “about pleasure, the joy of eating, and the culinary celebration of the wonderful produce nature has to offer…This book is made for everyone!” We wholeheartedly agree.
We spoke to Liora and asked her some questions about her inspirations and lifestyle.
What inspired your interest in diet?
During my childhood the kitchen was the place where it all happened. My beloved dad was a wonderful hobby chef, a virtuoso in the kitchen. He was all about taste, herbs, texture, and he was deeply passionate about experimenting with ingredients. Cooking and eating was always a celebration!
Natural food is a gift from the earth to us.I feel that we need to respect that gift, nurture it, and nurture ourselves with gratitude and love.
But what influenced me the most was his philosophy that food not only nurtures, but also brings people together, that it can make you fall in love and that the taste and scent of it creates memories. It can bring us back to our childhood, remind us of special moments, take us to faraway places and make us dream. The beauty of nutrition; the aromas, natural colors and how the aesthetic allure of refined cooking work together to spark our emotions, the joy of eating, the celebration of the wonderful produce nature has to offer inspired me tremendously.
Why plant based?
It’s a blessing to live in a world where eating plants and whole foods is not only abundant, but also the most beneficial way to eat for our body and mind. I can personally feel and see that.
I love the emotional aspect of food. It not only nurtures you but also brings people together.
I believe that wholesome plant-based food has a tremendous impact on our health and on our lives in so many wonderful ways. I love food and want to create a scrumptious, beautiful, vibrant cuisine with health benefits – one that is fun, indulgent and inspiring and that can create substantial changes in our wellbeing.
Are food choices a part of a wider lifestyle choice?
I believe in a holistic, balanced approach to life. By creating daily rituals of eating nourishing foods, adding more plants to your diet, sleeping well, incorporating time management, and working out in the way that’s right for you, you can create a sustainable positive effect on your life today and in the future. The benefits of a healthy routine are truly limitless.
Conscious living is holistic.
What does a conscious lifestyle look like to you?
Understanding that time and health are the most precious gifts we have – I personally have learned to set priorities for myself and, over time, have discovered what feels good and healthy to me and how and with who I want to live.
Living a balanced way of life is about the combination of eating whole, delicious foods that are nourishing and energizing, taking care of yourself and others, and about the sustainable coexistence of people and nature.
I focus on what I perceive as fundamental in life; on my inner space, on spending time with people I love and who love me, who let me be and bring out the best in me. Moreover, I pursue my work with great passion – I am lucky to be able to say “I found my calling”. Daily rituals are very important to me – I call it “The Magic of Rituals”. They support me in putting a holistic approach to life into practice. It is dear to my heart to celebrate gratitude and love for everything that has been given to me! It is my way of appreciating life.
What are some of your daily rituals?
My favorite and most important ritual is practicing gratitude and cuddling with my kids.
Other than that I love to start my day with oil pulling. I use coconut oil that has strong antiviral and antimicrobial properties for oral health and hygiene. After brushing my teeth I drink lot’s water for hydration.
Healthy choices can be incorporated into everybody’s lifestyle no matter what dietary preferences one may have. Taking better care of your body helps flourishing your wellbeing. I don’t believe in food labels. Taking the time to listen to our body instead of just following trends that suggest that there is only one right way to eat or live helps to find the way of eating that feels good to you. I recommend incorporating lots of nourishing, fresh, wholesome foods to your diet, lot’s of veggies, legumes, nuts and seeds and plenty of water for hydration.
The pleasure of eating and the celebration of it also makes a huge difference!
Eating well must not be stressful, but rather a celebration of the goods nature has to offer.