Q&A with Chef Tilo Fola | By Diya SenGupta
The Alchemist’s Kitchen in the East Village of NYC is all about using plants for healing and well-being. Their herbalists and chefs, or culinary alchemists, focus on natural, local remedies and formulations for good health and longevity, and also offer courses of all kinds, for the community to learn about the power of plants. We interviewed Chef Tilo Fola to learn more.
1. What should you eat to overcome feelings of tiredness? And why?
There are two major factors to consider when you’re feeling tired: how hungry you are, and time of day.
I recommend that you go for our Sprouted Sunflower Hummus, it’s a completely restorative dish. The hummus is made up of sunflower seeds that have been sprouted overnight, and is served with vegetable crudités and dehydrated almond chips.
It’s a fully raw dish, and the fun thing about raw food is that it provides you with a full spectrum of the nutritive potential of each dish (meaning all the food’s particles are intact; when you heat food, it destroys the food’s enzyme particles).
2. What should you eat to overcome stress and feelings of being overwhelmed? And why?
If you are feeling emotional, or upset in any way, stay away from food! Your whole body is in a state of fight-or-flight, and your system is not behaving in a normal way.
Your body is doing all it takes to keep you alive, and by eating, you are just complicating and aggravating your whole system, making your body work extra-hard to digest food that you most likely don’t even need.
If you want to have anything, try our Kombucha Revitalizer. It’s a state-changing elixir that is designed to ground you. The liquid and gut-balancing kombucha does wonders — then just breathe!
If you’re feeling hungry after that, try our Buckwheat Tabouleh — a blend of buckwheat, parsley, tomatoes, and red onion. Grains have the ability to ground you as well. Why? They are incredibly cooling to your entire system.
3. What should you eat when you feel bloated? Why?
Bloating is one of the most common things you can experience, so do not fret when this happens to you! One of the most common causes of bloating is the inability to digest your food properly.
Most of us forget to fully chew our food, and that prevents digestive enzymes that are found in our saliva to make their way into our stomach and break down larger food particles.
Pair that with healthy or unhealthy foods, and you get an unhappy, bloated stomach.
The cure for that? Our Dulse Miso Soup. Dulse Miso is made up of a garbanzo bean paste and dulse flakes, so it’s completely natural and is vegan and gluten-free. The ingredients are made up of living organisms, and they help replenish your intestinal flora — which means a happy, healthy stomach that can more readily digest food!
4. What should you eat when you feel overweight? Why?
No matter how beautiful you are, it is completely normal to feel like you don’t match your ideal weight of ‘what you want to be’ — it’s a serious social problem, and your hormones are no help in that!
If you are feeling uncomfortable, I recommend you keep your food pairings as light as possible — head to our kitchen for Spicy Thai Sea Noodles.
The dish is a blend of raw kelp noodles in a spicy peanut butter sauce with dashes of fresh mint, basil, carrot, bell pepper, and spring onion. Raw, vegan, and gluten-free.
5. What should you eat when your skin is breaking out? Why?
When your skin is breaking out, it most commonly means one of two things: hormone imbalance, or overload of toxic particles in your liver.
When your liver is overloaded with toxic particles, it causes your blood to carry harmful particles all around your body. The best thing to do in this case is to cleanse your body with our Living Water — it’s water that is electrically charged to be highly alkaline (meaning it helps reduce toxins, stress, and inflammation in your body).
If you’re feeling hungry, try any of our raw dishes: Sunflower Hummus, Spicy Thai Sea Noodles, or our Garbanzo Tomato Wrap. The Garbanzo Tomato Wrap is one of my favorites — it’s made up of cauliflower, pumpkin seed pesto, tomato two ways, garbanzo purée, and arugula. Aaaand, it has two healthy liver stimulants: brown rice, and cumin.
Diya SenGupta ain't no hollaback girl. She's a Certified Raw Nutritionist & Reiki Healer who avoids processed food like the plague. She falls in love with life recklessly, and goes by the alias, "Love, The Alchemist." Get a little rebellious and connect with her on lovethealchemist.com.
Find Diya on Instagram at @lovethealchemist
Find Chef Tilo on Instagram at @tilo_fola