On the 12th of November Heather Verry, Chief Executive Diabetes NZ, and I attended the media launch of Diabetes New Zealand’s new recipe book Eat Well, Live Well at Simon Gault’s restaurant Giraffe, writes Masha Mackie.
Jax Hamilton and Marsha Mackie, with Roasted Salmon with pesto-tossed Veggies
Heather Verry and Dame Valerie Adams.
The event was attended by some of the book’s contributors, namely Dame Valerie Adams, Kit Perera, Jax Hamilton and Claire Turnbull along with a number of food writers, dietitians and radio and TV personalities who were there to learn about the book, why it’s such a valuable resource and why we’re so excited about it.
Whilst Simon Gault wasn’t a contributor to the book having the launch at this restaurant seemed appropriate because Simon has long been a supporter of Diabetes New Zealand, has type 2 diabetes and has a staff member with Type 1.
Following Heather’s speech, Simon regaled us with his diabetes story. What he did, or didn’t do, after his diagnosis and what his turning point was. He explained that when he was first diagnosed, he thought he could continue along the same path, eating whatever he wanted, so long as he took his metformin. He continued to eat the same foods, continued to pile on the weight and continued to feel terrible. Metformin wasn’t the magic drug he hoped it would be.
Simon’s turning point and dose of reality came in the form of an old school friend, turned GP, who sat him down for a sobering conversation which put having diabetes into perspective for him. He finally realised that if he didn’t change his ways there was a chance there could be drastic consequences such as the loss of a limb or his eyesight and both those things would have a massive impact on his young family.
Simon immediately jumped onto his computer to do some research and found an organisation in the UK that promised to teach him everything about diabetes and how to manage it holistically incorporating healthy food, exercise and meditation. He was promised he’d feel like he was floating on air by the end of the course. So, he flew to the UK full of cynicism that it would work but was prepared to give anything a go to get back on track to a healthier lifestyle.
By the end of his 4-week stay Simon had lost a significant amount of weight, was full of life again and he did feel like he was floating on air.
Simon highlighted the fact that if a recipe book like Eat Well, Live Well had been available when he was first diagnosed it would have made his transition to a healthier lifestyle much easier. He encouraged all the media present at the launch to help promote the book because people need to know that having diabetes doesn’t have to be a life sentence to boring food. Healthy food can still be tasty and nutritious.
Niki Bessant from the NZ Healthy Food Guide magazine was present at the launch and will be republishing Eat Well, Live Well’s Healthy Boil Up in their next publication. A representative from the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly was there and subsequently sought permission to republish two of Eat Well, Live Well’s Thai recipes and Mike Puru of The Café was in attendance also. His presence marked the beginning of a full week of publicity on TV3’s The Café with Kit Perera, Jax Hamilton and Claire Turnbull all cooking one of their recipes from the book.
All in all, it was a fantastic event which garnered Diabetes New Zealand and its new recipe book some wonderful exposure during Diabetes Action Month.
Mike Puru and Claire Turnbull
Kit Perera with his Monkfish Curry recipe
Inspired by this story and have one of your own to share - read more here.