Where Foodies and Health Meet
Food is fuel for our bodies and using the right fuel has an effect on our hearts, brains, moods, creativity and much more. In Windhoek, a group of passionate foodies, who wanted to share their healthy eating journey, have started a proudly Namibian deli that caters to healthy eating lifestyle choices, empowering you to make better food choices.
Earth Deli offers a variety of choices that can support all your nutritional needs, whether you’re a vegan, paleo or banting fan, are against gluten or just want to increase the fresh goodness you put in your body.
99FM’s MYD Heart caught up with the team behind this health deli and catering service, Dunja Berger, Rowan Carstens, Aleksandra Ørbeck- Nilssen and Elzaan Nel, to find out more about the healthy eating movement and some of the benefits of trying healthy food and conscious living, today.
“Our idea was to create something that is accessible for people who are on this journey as well. People looking for something that’s sugar free; dairy free; wheat free or people that have sensitivities to food or have been diagnosed with diabetes or glucose intolerance for example. Often in these cases people are not able to eat out, we want to be an eatery and deli that can cater to this. For a lot of people it can be a stretch but we explain and go through all the elements in the dishes and once they taste the food, they are very pleasantly surprised because there is this dogma that healthy food is not delicious.” Explains Dunja who is an Integrated Health Coach and partner of Earth Deli.
“The deli is an introduction to healthy food and being able to eat something nutritious and wholesome for lunch. Our focus is going to be a lot more than that.”
While Dunja explains the ethos behind this little deli with a lot of heart, a team of passionate chefs in the kitchen prepares exquisite delicacies using only fresh and healthy ingredients. Right now Earth Deli is a health food deli and lunch restaurant, but the team will soon be adding breakfasts and have recently launched a catering component to the business. “The deli is an introduction to healthy food and being able to eat something nutritious and wholesome for lunch. Our focus is going to be a lot more than that.” From incorporating locally sourced uniquely Namibian produce using ancient knowledge, to educational events that demonstrate the many ways to cook and eat clean, it is clear the Earth Deli is on a mission to improve lives through healthy food offerings.
“A lot of people feel very passionately, because if you’ve grown up with something your whole life and now all of a sudden you’re told it’s not good for you, it’s not easy. But you also can’t say that one diet or way of eating works for everyone. For some people, they can digest dairy and they have no negative side effects whatsoever, whereas others have all sorts of symptoms related to eating dairy. Also not all dairy is created equal. For example, cows that are grass feed and not fed antibiotics produce a very different type of milk. You need to ask yourself, what process the food you eat has gone through before it got to you; how long has it been on the shelves; how far did it travel? We try and use local produce, nutritional local produce, because it’s the best for you ultimately and it also supports local farmers.”
If you’re still unsure about nutrition, Dunja advises, “The number one thing is to know is that one diet doesn’t fit all. So try something that works for you, experiment a bit. Secondly, it’s better to add in and then crowd out the bad stuff rather. It should not be about depriving yourself but just try new things. Develop your taste buds and get a feel for different foods and the different ways that food makes you feel. It is about energy because food is nourishment, not just for your body but for your soul.”
“Thirdly vegetables. Add more vegetables to your diet, especially green leafy vegetables, which give you the most nutrition. It’s a myth that you can’t get iron if you are on a green leafy diet, there’s a lot of iron in spinach, watercress, broccoli and so many other vegetables. The idea is to eat a rainbow of vegetables so that you get maximum nutrition.”
“We all have many stressors in life, but eating the right kind of foods can mitigate a lot of the damage to your health that come from lifestyle factors.”
“Anyone can be on this journey, there is so much inspiration worldwide because it is a big movement. We would just like as many as possible to try it and see the effects. It’s not just the body that changes but there are many more effects like having more energy or your skin clearing up. We all have many stressors in life, but eating the right kind of foods can mitigate a lot of the damage to your health that come from lifestyle factors.”
“There are so many things you can do, just be brave enough to try something new and if you stuck, reach out to the different communities out there. Find like minded people who are on this journey.” Such as the many you’ll find at Earth Deli in Windhoek whose locally sourced organic dishes and specialties mean you now have more choice when it comes to the fuel you put into your body.
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Written by Kirsty Watermeyer