Introducing Asher Andrews - husband to Jess, father to Willa and Rumi, distance runner and whole food plant based vegan chef and coach.
He’s a man who is motivated to inspire us to love the plants on our plate, appreciate moments of living a simpler life and reconnect to the story of our food.
“Plants are the most nutrient dense and nutrient rich foods that you can eat. We need to eat the cleanest most nourishing foods on the planet”
In fact, he’s committed himself to something VERY BIG - to run from Cape Byron, the most eastern point of Australia to Steep Point, the most westerly point of Australia. 5,000km’s to draw us in and bring our attention to how much we can do on a plant based lifestyle, to ask us all to evaluate our connection to our food, our health and our environment, personally, locally and globally. He points out that we’re not an exception to the rule in Australia; our health and environmental statistics are on par with the rest of the developed world.
He urges us to reconnect to what matters the most.
“Throw your shoes on and head out. Connect to nature and be out in the fresh air, catch a sunrise or a sunset. Feel the breeze and connect to nature. Running aspect of it is about the environmental, the land and the connection that we need to draw ourselves back to.”
Asher is not asking us to be emotional about running on plants; pointing out that 97% of Australians are fibre deficient and that fibre ONLY comes from plants. We’re just not eating enough fruit and vegetables.
“An abundance of plants in your diet is the number one contributor to a healthy gut micro biome” because at least 70% of our immune function comes from the gut itself. So, we need to feed our gut what it needs to be healthy which is an abundance of plants.”
Then what are we eating? Too many animal products and processed foods containing highly refined oil, salt and sugar.
“Processed foods aren’t, in my mind, actually food. These foods are not contributing to a healthy lifestyle or a healthy planet. These foods are highly addictive. They’re not satisfying in a sensory way, they’re not satiating. They only pleasure our addiction”
So, if that’s the problem, Asher is definitely willing to help be part of the solution. He urges us to create more beautiful, more flavoursome, more colourful, more entertaining, more satisfying food using plants, including all the nuts, seeds, grains, fruits and vegetables.
“Plant based foods are not dull, flavourless or unexciting. We need our connection to food, we need to connect with how our food is grown, how its prepared, how to add flavour. There’s no connection left. We’re living in this instant gratification, fast food society.”
To help us get started on our journey of remember how great plant foods are Asher suggests we: cook recipes that we’re familiar with, set time aside to experiment, make up spice mixes that we enjoy and that have multiple uses, utilise the same foods in different ways. And that in the end, we won’t need recipes anymore, we’ll be creating recipes instead of following recipes!
“Go to the farmers market and experience food in its abundance, in its local capacity and its seasonality that you’ll only get at the farmers’ market where you’ll find what’s most nourishing. And you can start to get excited about the abundance of different foods that are out there.”
Asher Andrews – Grassroots Chef