Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Food Chain


As I have some time on my hands so I have started doing some voluntary work for a great little charity called The Food Chain. It provides healthy food, groceries and educational courses for people who are HIV+ . It's a small based charity based in London that only has seven full time workers but hundreds of volunteers. People are referred to the organistation and each “client” then receives a personalised nutrition plan designed for their individual needs and then invited to courses on nutrition

HIV is a high profile disease, but most people, like myself have very little understanding of the disease. I know that it attacks the immune system and it's hard for them to fight off infections and other diseases. So food plays a vital part in helping in this fight, by boosting the immune system. Also the retroviral drugs have some nasty side effect which also impacts on the body, so again with the correct foods it can help them fight off the side effects.

I work with the Eating Positively campaign which organises courses for HIV+ people and was amazed at what is covered in these courses. Most of what is covered in the courses is actually what we all should be striving to achieve regarding healthy diet, but it is more important for people with HIV. I was also amazed at the wonderful array of recipes they create, serve and provide. I also didn't think for one minute about the ethnicity of people when it comes to providing food, why would a caribbean person want potatoes when yam is more of a stable part of there diet. Why would an african person want pasta as rice is again more of there diet.

Not only am I volunteering for the Food Chain, but I have also decided to help raise money by doing the British 10K run on the 8th July 2012 and I am shamelessly asking you to help me raise £400 for the charity. Now I don't expect you to do this for nothing, I have been given permission to write up recipes they use for their educational courses. So, not only will you get the pleasure of knowing I am going to suffer doing this run, but you're also get to read and hopefully try some wonderful recipes.

I have done a few charity runs over the years, so 10K is not a particularly hard run for me, but in the last 18 months I was diagnosed with cervical spondlyosis (the vertebrae in my neck are wearing out so discs are moving and trapping nerves causing considerable pain) In the last few months I've also been diagnosed with asthma so doing this run will not be as easy as it once was – see I did say I would be shameless :-)

As a little taster of the kind of recipes that I am going to provide is a humous recipe. I can almost hear you say what is special about that. Houmous is healthy, but it's very high in saturated fat because of the tahini, so this recipe uses brazil nuts, which although has a lot of fat it's high in mono and poly saturated fats which are very benefical to the body. Also the brazil nuts contain selenium which is also very good for the immune system. Other recipes are black bean soup, oven baked salt cod patties, dal kichdi and more.

So if you would like to sponsor me you can do at www.justgiving.com/keiferderrin

If you would like more information about the Food Chain and even better if you would like donate direct or even volunteer please go to www.foodchain.org.uk.

Thank you in advance and I hope you enjoy the recipes to come.


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