All posts by Henry Annette & Graham

Inspired In Berlin

Have you ever visited the German capital? It is extraordinary with its visible evidence of two very major historical events within the last 80 years, each of which must have contributed to the city it is today.

And what a city! We were visitors in Berlin last week and really appreciated not just being in Germany again (we first met each other in Germany several decades ago), but specifically having the chance to witness this vibrant, unified European capital. As is the case in many large cities now, eating out has become much more accessible for those of us who prioritise a plant-based diet. But in Berlin, and presumably elsewhere in Germany, food shopping says something very favourable about the values of the people who live there: to our delight, we were never more than a short walk from a ‘bio’ supermarket where almost all the items for sale are organic. For us in York, it’s a four mile round trip (usually a walk) to a shop that sells organic produce AND does so without plastic packaging. This was the other pleasant surprise in Berlin; fresh produce is consistently sold with minimal or no plastic packaging. It was really encouraging to see that it can be done and is clearly acceptable to customers. In the meantime, whenever we’re in UK supermarkets we leave the single-use plastic wrappings at the store. It’s a very small form of protest, but gradually more people are doing the same. And in case you were wondering, we can report that so far, individual members of staff in each of the stores we’ve visited have been very accommodating, even supportive of our actions!

Fruit & Veg display in Kaufhof, Alexanderplatz, Berlin

Not surprisingly perhaps, we’re even more inspired about food after our trip to Berlin and have already started trying out some new recipes for both raw meals and what we call ‘raw fusion’. Raw fusion is plant-based food, some of it raw, but all of which maintains the wholefood ethos that we’ve learnt from our immersion in the raw food culture, and we carefully consider cooking methods in order to ensure minimal loss of nutrients in our meals. Additionally, we always ensure that our ingredients are organic. Please contact us if you are interested in booking a raw food lunch with us and by all means let us know if a raw fusion lunch would appeal to you, rather than a fully raw meal.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Who We Are

Henry & Henry are Annette and Graham Henry. We have a shared passion for promoting natural health and we do this primarily through talks and classes, both small and large-scale. In essence we seek to bring balance where it is needed. We have each done this in our personal lives and both of us have resolved health conditions. Whilst food is central to what we talk about, there are always other factors to consider in restoring balance and we acknowledge, for example, the often significant role of the mind in health and wellness. The health and happiness of an individual is a constantly evolving and, we believe, worthwhile endeavour for each of us and it is our privilege to play a role in inspiring others to take new steps towards this in their own lives. We know too that happier, healthier individuals have a potently positive effect on those around them and when this is multiplied entire communities have a better chance of living and working more harmoniously.

Finding Calm in a Turbulent World

It’s probably fair to say that most of us will have found recent months challenging and uncertain for a number of reasons. Having limited or no control is a well-known contributor to stress and feelings of anxiety. How we respond to stress will be different for each of us and is dependent on multiple factors, not just age and personality but also life-experience and current physical and mental health.

Our own personal experiences over the course of the last year or two have compelled us to consider many of the issues relating to stress and anxiety and to get serious about understanding the root causes. Our contribution to this widely discussed but often misunderstood area forms the content of our talk at Friargate Meeting House in York on Monday 4th March. Click here if you’re interested to know more about it.

~ Diminishing the effects of stress, anxiety and panic

We also wanted to take this opportunity to promote a free to attend event at Derwenthorpe on Sunday 3rd March. This is the first ever wellbeing event at Derwenthorpe and comprises an introductory yoga session, taster sessions (chiropractic and massage) and talks from locally based practitioners and educators. There will also be a pop-up farm shop selling organically grown and local produce as well as artisan bread. Please click here for further details.

Being Well at Derwenthorpe

YouTube

How much more comfortable is the prospect of attending a class or talk if you have at least an idea of who will be presenting it? We’ve often recognised the relevance of this, but only recently have we found a way of doing something about it. This is what has inspired us to set up our own YouTube Channel with short unscripted videos on a range of the subjects that are important or just interesting to us. For example, in preparation for a talk next month on the subject of Chronic Fatigue, we’ve posted a conversation about something that’s (perhaps somewhat inevitably) overlooked. Here, Graham talks candidly about what it’s been like for him to live with someone who has Chronic Fatigue.

The Facebook link to the event itself is here. We are keen to convey that this talk, whilst intended primarily for those experiencing Chronic Fatigue, is also open to family and friends of those who have it. The class is on Monday February 18th. By all means share the Facebook link above with anyone who might appreciate knowing about it.

And finally, if you want to take a look at the evolving YouTube Channel, you can find it here.

New Year’s Realisations

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? The two of us seem to have let go of this tradition, mainly because we’ve come to realise that if something’s worth changing, it’s worth changing now … whenever now is. Significant changes can be justifiably classed as resolutions, but what do we call a progression of minor tweaks, adaptations and almost imperceptible shifts? They can amount to something really special, but on an individual basis, they’d likely remain nameless.

It seems that human beings really do enjoy the ‘comfort’ of labels and categories, or at least it makes our logic-seeking minds happy. We, Graham and Annette, have noticed our own and others’ unease when the realisation dawns that a category cannot easily be applied to our way of eating. Whilst some labels come close, they’re never a perfect fit.

But there’s an upside to this: freedom. Freedom to evolve. Freedom to keep making little changes that align with where we are, what we need and what we need to let go of or reduce. In terms of our food, which is constantly evolving little by little, we find we’re currently enjoying a fusion of raw and cooked foods which is probably unsurprising given the weather. The ‘fusion’ isn’t simply a case of having raw and cooked food on the same plate, although that frequently is the case, it’s also about drawing on the ‘wholefood’ principles that are emphasised in raw cuisine so that recipes don’t include artificial colourings, flavourings, bulking agents, raising agents, fillers etc. This and other tweaks to the way we eat are keeping us engaged and excited by the meals we prepare for ourselves.

Of course, it’s all well and good to recommend that we all “align with where we are and what we need”, but how does that process even start?! The answer has something to do with becoming aware, aware of why we do the things we do, especially those that we might be better off doing differently. This factor alone provides much of the motivation for our first talk of the year. It’s The Food Story ~ Where it Went Wrong. One of our fascinations over recent years has been the big food and health challenge that seems to be so prevalent in western societies. We sincerely hope that this talk will pique curiosity, inform and inspire some changes if they are desired.

The Food Story

Monday 21st January at 10.30 – 11.30

Friargate Meeting House – The Lonsdale Room

Ticket Price £8.00 (pre-payment required)

We’d be delighted to play a part in some of your new year realisations. This and our other talks are listed here, and on our calendar where we’ve also suggested dates for some of our one-to-one classes. Happy New Year!

Henry Talks 2019

It’s fair to say that we live and breathe the content of the above, so condensing them to just one hour is possibly our greatest challenge. Our aim is to inspire, not just through information but equally by promoting new ways of looking at some of the big issues that impact so many on a day-to-day basis.

To access information about all of the talks along with the schedule and venue information, please click here. 

New In 2019

The Christmas lunch on our calendar, Sunday 16th December, marks our final publicly advertised lunch. Lunches will still be available on request, but our calendar postings will emphasise talks in 2019. Talks provide a forum for us to share with others findings and discoveries that have excited us. We love to inspire others to question some of the accepted health-related wisdom, and become curious about doing things differently.

To that end, we have four talks in the calendar to get us started. These are at a central venue in York and each of them will take place on a Monday morning. The talks are:

Monday January 21st – The Food Story Where It Went Wrong

Monday February 4th – The Fascinating MicrobiomeGut Feeling, Gut Healing

Monday February 18th –  Chronic Fatigue The Mystery Illness Explored

Monday March 4th – Calm InSight Diminishing the Effects of Stress, Anxiety and Panic

——All the related  information and booking options can be found by clicking here.——

Where a group already exists, whether in a work-place or social or community setting, we have a range of options for providing talks if you would like us to come to you. This page outlines some of the areas we talk about. These can be adapted to correspond more closely with the group’s requirements.

 

The Supplement Debate

Over the course of the last few days, most of us will have experienced first-hand the transition from an unseasonably mild Autumn to a much colder version, which serves to remind us of the close proximity of winter. This is typically a time when we are subjected to the doom and gloom brigade about the bugs and infections which are waiting in the wings to leap and slip through any chink in our armour and attempt to wreck our chances of a smooth journey through the course of the next few months.

It was with this in mind that we both tuned in to a recent episode of ‘Horizon’ on the BBC entitled “Vitamin Pills : Miracle or Myth?”. We were interested to see the researcher’s take on the efficacy (or not) of the supplement industry to aid in boosting our immune system in readiness for any attack.  Unfortunately, the programme turned out to be rather superficial and it probably left many viewers with more questions than answers. 

We have our own ideas and we share the view that we derive the best nutrition from food. Not only do the nutrients in food work synergistically, each supporting one another, but additionally, we still don’t really know the full extent of what natural foods can offer us; man-made versions of nutrients simply cannot cover the balance and diversity found in nature, and it is natural foods that we have evolved to fully utilise throughout our time on this earth.

But there are also ‘man-made’ challenges which may indeed require some of these ‘man-made’ solutions. Many of these challenges are, historically speaking, very recent and include

  • soil erosion through intensive farming practices meaning our plants grow in comparatively nutrient poor soil,
  • a bombardment of new chemicals and other invisible stressors in our homes, in the air we breathe, in our water and in our food,
  • the pressures and stress of life today.

In short, our bodies are subject to onslaughts which are very different from the manual labour challenges of previous eras and our food is not always fully able to meet the demands of the way we live. We do therefore believe that food supplements have their place; deficiencies are likely due to any combination of the above, but nutrient deficiencies are measured according to the Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) which is the minimum required to prevent disease, such as the vitamin C deficiency disease, scurvy, meaning their role is to avert disorders rather than support optimum health. If we seek optimum health (and why wouldn’t we?) then supplementation at certain times may well be relevant, but it can never outperform real, natural food; in fact, supplements have a better chance of making a noticeable difference if there is a good dietary basis assisting their assimilation and effectiveness. For us, food comes first every time, but we wouldn’t be averse to assistance when it is needed.

With this in mind, we want to inspire anyone wishing to be inspired to enhance that ‘good dietary basis’ and hopefully get excited about learning new ideas to make it happen. We think the best way to do this is by sharing ideas over lunch and for this reason, the next class on our calendar, entitled Winter Warmers is all about suggestions for making a high raw diet possible in the colder months.

Motivation, Inspiration & Encouragement

At some time or other, we all need some (or all) of the above. Inspiration to spark something new, motivation to implement it and encouragement to keep going, especially when it seems hard, or when it seems like we’re making strides but there aren’t many others going that way with us. We (Graham and Annette) certainly recognise all of this and often look to others for encouragement, inspiration and motivation from the books we read, the restaurants we visit, and the speakers we listen to, all of which keep us buoyed up, ignite new ideas and give us fresh information to consider.

Equally, we love to put ourselves on the other side of this equation whereby  we set out to inspire, motivate and encourage. This is the primary purpose of all of our Talks, and we continue to add new talks to the list. It’s also why we’ve created a new series of classes, all based around lunch because inspiration to make new food is much more likely if you’ve already tried something and you know you like it.  There are three Lunch Classes, each addressing questions that we’ve become aware of: how to use natural wholefoods to make things quickly / easily / in advance; how to make salads sufficently varied that eating one a day is a pleasure and never a chore; and how to make raw food appealing in the colder months. Dates for these classes are published on our calendar, but we can also take private bookings for between 1 and 4 people.  Details are on the new Lunch Classes page.

And finally, if you fancy a day out in Pateley Bridge, we’ll be exhibiting at the Pateley Wellbeing Festival on Saturday October 27th. It’s being run to coincide with the Food Festival so there should be plenty to see, sample, and talk about. Do drop by and say hello if you’re there, we’d love to see you!

Action for Happiness have created a new calendar for this month which they’re calling ‘Optimistic October’. We’d certainly like to second that sentiment!

~ Annette & Graham