Pride 2020, Plate Up Style: Cooking with Barbara Cox, Author of Rainbow Recipes
It’s June, so you know what that means... Pride! Every year during the month of June, people come together to celebrate, protest, unite and stand in solidarity with the LGBT community.
Without a doubt, the most prominent feature of Pride is its parades. Across the globe, cities host huge events with some of the world’s biggest artists, musicians, comedians, DJs and activists. Just last year, Ariana Grande headlined performances at Manchester Pride while Brighton Pride was headlined by Kylie Minogue. What a performance by the way, Kylie; I watched it on YouTube and I just can’t get you out of my head!
Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic Pride parades have either been postponed or cancelled this year. No need to despair, though, as celebrations will still be happening, just virtually! Prepare for a cyber celebration as the world’s biggest ever LGBT event is coming with the Global Pride Celebration. Really, you’re going to want to psych yourself up for this one as Global Pride is streaming 24 hours worth of content from Pride organisations, activists, civil society groups, politicians and world leaders online.
Being here at Plate Up, I thought that it’s only right to celebrate Pride in the way we know best: through cooking! And, what better way to do some celebratory cooking than through the recipes of Barbara Cox, author of Rainbow Recipes?
If you haven’t already seen her profile in the app, Barbara Cox is an award-winning entrepreneur and nutritionist. In addition to Rainbow Recipes, Barbara is author of Eat to Be Fit and believes in antioxidant-rich, colourful diets for healthy living. She’s really done it all, too; Barbara was a professional ice skater in Canada where she grew up, she’s been a nutritionist for the GB paralympic team and, in 2008, she won Britain’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the Chamber of Commerce. Well done Barbara!
Where did it all start? Barbara’s journey began in her twenties when she was working in Australia. Specifically, it was in the restaurants of Sydney where she started to really appreciate good food, falling in love with the wide variety of cuisines on offer. Love must’ve been in the air as she also met her first future husband here before returning to the UK with him to get married and then jetting off again to Japan to teach English.
Quickly embracing the culture, Barbara and her husband were mesmerised by Japan; the mountains, parks, temples, shrines and, of course, the food. Feeling enthusiastic about the delicious, delicate flavours of Japanese food, it certainly came in handy when Barbara befriended a lady named Kiyoe who owned one of the top restaurants in the town that she was living in. Kiyoe gladly taught her some of the secrets of Japanese cooking and Barbara gave her English lessons in return.
Barbara was amazed at how much energy she had after eating Japanese cuisine, noticing how the food tended to be light with only small portions of protein accompanied by plenty of vegetables. The fitness of the Japanese people and their high life expectancy was also notable to her, prompting her to investigate the link between the Japanese diet and Japan's relatively low levels of cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Barbara keenly enrolled in a distance-learning degree and specialised in nutrition.
Fast forward to 2003, Barbara and her husband came back to the UK with two daughters. Eager to put her nutrition degree to use, her and her husband founded Nutrichef in 2004; a healthy meal delivery business that combined meals for the western market with the health benefits of Japanese food. Together, they grew the business to operating on a national scale and were serving over 100 clients a day!
Barbara and her husband sold Nutrichef in 2015, giving her more time to focus on consultancy. This was also the year that her first ever cookbook, Rainbow Recipes, was published! In the cookbook is a collection of recipes, tips and articles to help you in improving your diet and health in the long-run. She explains which antioxidants are found in different fruits and vegetables and how these biochemicals help to fight cancer.
Co-authored with Chris Woollams, author of The Rainbow Diet, Barbara and Chris passionately champion the significance of maintaining a diet abundant in a wide variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables in Rainbow Recipes. Barbara stresses that variety is vital as each different fruit and vegetable gives us different key nutrients, and that colour is important due to the fact that the pigments that give fruits and vegetables their specific hues are actually antioxidants which are key in fighting disease.
“Colour is a power which directly influences the soul” - Barbara Cox
So, if you’re like the Plate Up team and plan to celebrate Pride with Barbara’s colourful recipes, head to her profile in the app! From the red Caribbean-spiced Bean Burgers to the purple Blueberry, Almond & Cherry Smoothie and the orange Kedgeree, Barbara’s collection of recipes really are a rainbow. And, of course, it goes without saying that they’re absolutely, 100% delicious. Thanks Barbara!