JANE FROM HALEO
Where do you live?
Brixton, London, (but originally from a small New Zealand)
What sparked your interest in health and wellness?
In September 2013, one phone call changed everything. I had just arrived back in London from New Zealand where I had been visiting Dad in hospital who had been battling stomach cancer. A team of 5 oncologists had just delivered the news that Dad had days, maybe even a few weeks to live and there was nothing more they could do for him. I had been summoned back home to spend Dad’s last few days with him until his time was up
Within 48 hours of landing in London, I was back on another 24 hour flight back home with Gray (my husband)– this was the start of our incredible journey. When you have no hope left, you begin to look for anything to get some sort of hope reinstated. We were told about 'apricot kernels' combatting cancer
They are natural and banned in the US, but have small dosages of cyanide and can slowly kill off cancer cells. They contain an incredible vitamin called B17, which can be found in other nuts etc. We were told by some incredible people we met through hospice about these kernels, and because of this, we were motivated to use 'Dr google' late at night and started to pick up on a trend with plant based food and natural products combatting cancer
We took Dad off all red meat, dairy, processed food, started giving him the kernels and a nutrient rich plant based diet - and a miracle was born. He didn't die - in fact, he looks the best he has in years. Slowly, but surely, the yellow went down and the liver seemed to start working again
When was Haleo launched?
When Dad got sick in 2013, there wasn't a specific website we could go to to find out the answers we needed for Dad, put in a simplistic way. What is cancer? Why does it happen? What is an antioxidant? What foods should we be eating and why? What are some recipes that utilise those foods?
Our journey of self education has been so empowering that we thought: why does something bad need to happen first before you learn about this stuff? Why wait to be sick before you act? So we decided we wanted to share what we’ve learnt with as many people as possible with the hope that, in doing so, we might protect or help a few people along the way
We decided to build a website which begins to answer questions like these - and we launched in June this year
Where do you source your products from to make your recipes?
Our recipes centre around vegetables (the way it should be). Our ethos is try to shop both locally and organically. We have an amazing farmer's market in Herne Hill which has an incredible selection. We have recently started ordering our seasonal produce from 'tasty misfits'. This is a great wee start-up - that creates a market for misshapen fruits and vegetables which some of the supermarkets shun as they aren't 'perfect' looking! Through getting our box each week we are supporting local growers, helping stamp out food waste and also getting tasty produce at a very good price! As they have just started out, we cannot pick exactly what is in each box - but that is where the fun lies. I now make my recipes around what is delivered in my surprise box on a Saturday
What is your favourite recipe and why?
Probably my Mushroom Stroganoff. It reminds me of my Gran's beef stroganoff recipe which I loved growing up. Ours however, is a vegan recipe. It is so flavoursome and one of my proudest creations - because it is packed with nutrients, is so flavoursome and filling. It goes magnificently with cauliflower rice so not too heavy
What are the ingredients you can’t live without?
Coconut oil, coconut milk, fresh ginger, coriander, garlic and whole almonds
Where are your favourite places to eat?
We love a lot of eateries in Brixton Village, but probably Negrill is one of our all time favourites (located on Brixton Hill). Simply-styled Caribbean food and vegan friendly too. They have amazing curries and use such fresh ingredients and spices. Since giving up red meat, we love a good Indian Dal (lentils are the business)
What is your typical:
Gluten-free oats made with almond milk, sprinkled with almonds, berries and cinnamon.
Either home-made soup, roasted vegetable salad on broccoli rice or a vegetable stir-fry.
Almonds or Brazil nuts.
Dal, avocado pesto courgetti or a raw lasagna. All our meals are naturally gluten-free, vegetable centred and fresh.
Frozen banana 'nice cream' - this is simply frozen bananas placed in a food processor. The bananas become like a soft serve. Simple and clean.
Where’s your favourite place in the world?
A place called Pukehina Beach in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. It is an untouched gem and has such incredible nature. Most of my most treasured memories have been there.
When are you at your happiest?
Around the dinner table with family and friends. One of the reasons I am so passionate about cooking is because sitting together and coming around the dinner table is so special. Conversations, laughter and stories happen over good food
Any thing else you would like to share?
I think we are experiencing a real shift in the food world. We are becoming more aware of what we are putting in our mouths, we are also starting to take more of an interest in exploring 'where produce comes from' - why organic is important and the link between poor diet and illness
It is frustrating that the likes of McDonalds and KFC are still around. I believe fast food is as bad as the tobacco industry. Legislation should come into force banning such food. They make it cheap therefore accessible and this contributes largely to obesity, poor diet and cancer