Well-known gastro pub Bumpkin (South Kensington location) partners with yogi Julie Montagu to launch a brand new healthy menu!
Julie Montagu, the Flexi Foodie, yogini, health coach and wellness warrior is the brains behind the "healthy options" concept. She teamed with Bumpkin’s Marissa Hermer and head chef to personally designed all the recipes.
In addition to her wellness business she also teaches energetic yoga classes & I met her at a yoga class she was teaching at Triyoga Chelsea.
Bumpkin, a great spot for a cosy but classy dinner out with friends or a relaxing Sunday brunch, sources local food grown on British farms. But as a vegetarian it isn’t always easy to find healthy options - (but I do hear the meat dishes are very good!)
So I am thankful Julie stepped in to provide a diverse selection of salads and juices!
I do not consider myself a health expert by any means and wanted to fully understand the benefits of these dishes so I called in OM Exchange’s good friend and ‘expert nutritionist’, Sybille Gebhardt to join me for lunch!
Sybille, a trained naturopath and yoga teacher, contributes her healthy recipes to OM Exchange subscribers in our monthly newsletter.First ‘star’ we awarded was for variety on the menu (4 juices and 4 salads to choose from!)
All of Julie's juices are ‘hydraulic cold-pressed’. If you have a blank stare after reading that and have no idea what it means, you are not alone & now I can explain...
Thankfully Sybille could share with me the theory behind cold press juices. They are prepared this way so it does not destroy the enzymes, which can be done through the typical process of juicing which involves heating the fruit & vegetables while they spin in the juicer. This theory has not been scientifically proven yet (someone is likely working on it as I write this) but based on what is known about chemical reactions in enzymes, it makes sense. Second star for Julie’s menu!
We both chose to go with the ‘Lean Mean Green Machine’, a vegetable-based juice made from kale and containing spirulina, a type of seaweed. Sybille explained Spirulina has been in the human diet for many years since long before the days of agriculture human survival entailed living close to water.The Lean Machine had the most green vegetables of the four.
The other juices on the menu:
“Don’t Beet Around the Bush”
All are healthy choices but these three are higher in natural sugars because they contained fruit (or veggies with higher sugar content like beets). Sybille explained that for anyone with a low thyroid, the more sugary options would be beneficial. People with under-active thyroids should avoid too much kale or raw broccoli.
We both agreed the Lean Mean Green Machine was delicious! Three stars!
Next up? Time to pick a salad!
Three of the four salads are gluten-free (GF) and all are vegetarian but either chicken or prawns can be added if desired. The option of GF led me to ask Sybille more about whether there was solid evidence against eating gluten or was it all a little "over-hyped"?
She shared the evolutionary case for not eating wheat-based products which is based on looking at the grand scheme of human life (46 million years). We've only introduced wheat into our diets 10,000 years ago (relatively recently!) and therefore it is considered by some to be unnatural and difficult to digest.
But we both agreed, everything in moderation! Also, everyone's body is different and Sybille explained that a person’s metabolic rate needs to be balanced. Some people are naturally more energetic (might need to consume more carbs) where as others who are naturally more relaxed (may need less). Makes sense to me!
In the end we opted for...
Malt glazed allotment carrots, roasted hazelnuts, pearl barley, spirulina, topped with goji berries, bee pollen and a sesame dressing - (vegan but contains gluten)
Pearl barley, Sybille explained is a very good source of grain. Humans have been eating it for a very long time and it has a low-GI level (as opposed to the breads and pastas we eat today which we have not been eating very long and contain a higher blood sugar content and are harder on the pancreas to digest.)
Braised celery & green lentils salad with wild mushrooms & granola clusters with chestnuts - our absolute favourite item! So delicious! You must, must go to Bumpkin to try this salad! Fourth star! (This salad alone deserves 5 stars!)
Julie has done an excellent job of introducing some truly healthy but excellent options for Bumpkin’s most health-conscious clientele or regular customer looking for a change from the regular menu.
As Sybille pointed out, from her own experience, creating such a healthy menu which can also be translated into cooking for larger groups in restaurants is tricky. It can take a bit more time, effort, & creativity. All evident in Julie’s creations - Five stars!
Thank-you Julie for inviting OM Exchange to come down! Looking forward to coming back again very soon!