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BREWING WITH THE BARN

As you know, our house coffees come from The Barn in Berlin run by the legendary Ralf Rueller. This is partly because of our relationship with speciality coffee shop Joe’s Dublin, but mainly because The Barn roast such fine coffee.

So we thought we'd share some of their philosophy on coffee with you, which will explain why we love working with them:

  1. "Being served by some of the finest coffee shops worldwide, The Barn represents the specialty coffee movement at its highest level. 
  2. Unique quality approach is what made us The Barn. We give farmers incentives to produce higher qualities. We never blend any of our coffees to showcase clean flavours and terroir. Everything we buy is fresh in season and scores 86 points or higher. This makes our coffee so very special.
  3. Nordic roasting at The Barn: We have perfected our production process to roast our coffees light and at the same time we develop the sweetness and body of our coffees. To keep them clean and tasty. The result is a fully flavoured cup.
  4. At The Barn only dedicated coffee lovers work. Everything is about making our coffees better. Our talented staff take ownership and great pride in their handmade craft. The customers experience a friendly, competent and passionate member of our crew.
  5. Integration is crucial. We run our quality control on highest levels. Feedback on flavour, roast, brew behaviour is given by our skilled baristas and flows directly into our production. This is how we achieve the great consistency of our roasts.
  6. Sustainable coffee farming is very important to The Barn. The only way to achieve that is to build close bonds to farmers, show them how to get better - and then pay up for the quality they are producing. We pay a price up to three times higher than Fair Trade. Premium pricing leads to premium quality. Simple as that.
  7. The Barn family: we like to stay close to all our business partners and friends. We guide them in using our coffees to get the best results. Those relationships are driving us to better performance."

We are very proud to be working so closely with Joe’s and Ralf and the Barn team!!

For more on The Barn, go here: http://thebarn.de/

Thanks.
Team Alchemy

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SUPER SALMON, TASTY TUNA

This week on the blog we have a really gorgeous recipe from Domini for Super Healthy Salmon and Tuna Fishcakes. And, as always, it is also easy to prepare!!

Super Healthy Salmon and Tuna Fishcakes

Ingredients

  • 200 g fresh salmon fillet
  • 200 g fresh tuna fillet
  • 1 piece lemongrass
  • 2 red onions (peeled and diced)
  • 2 lime leafs
  • 2 red chilli (de-seeded and diced)
  • small bunch coriander and basil
  • knob peeled ginger
  • 2 tblsp tamari or regular soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • splash sesame oil
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1-2 egg whites to bind

Method

  1. Dice equal amounts of fresh salmon and tuna and leave to cool in a bowl in the fridge. Process the lemongrass, red onion, lime leaf, red chilli, coriander, basil, ginger, tamari, fish sauce, sesame oil and fresh lime juice until smooth.
  2. Mix with the fish and leave for 1 hour for the flavours to develop.
  3. Remove from the fridge about 20 minutes before you want to start cooking and mix with one or two egg whites. Roll into balls or cakes and put in the freezer on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes.
  4. Roll the fishcakes in sesame seeds and then pan-fry for 30 seconds on each side before transferring to an oven to cook for 15 minutes at 180°C until fully cooked. Serve with lime wedges.

Thanks and enjoy.
Team Alchemy

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BEAUTIFUL BONE BROTH

It's January, so you need food that's hot and healthy ... just like our bone broth! Domini makes the Alchemy Juice grass-fed bone broth with ginger and turmeric and seasoned with Himalayan Pink salt. And, of course, simmered for 48 hours!

“Bone broth – when properly prepared – offers lots of nutrients and minerals, including the protein collagen which is great for gorgeous skin. It helps boost your immune system, heals your gut and is anti-inflammatory. An all round winner, I’d say," Domini says.

Here's more on the Authority Nutrition website about bone broth and its many benefits: 

https://authoritynutrition.com/bone-broth/

Pop in and get yours! And don't forget that we are now opening on Saturdays from 9.30am until 2.30pm!

Thanks.
Team Alchemy

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DOMINI ON LCHF

Here, Alchemy founder Domini Kemp talks about her journey to low-carb, high fat eating:

Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Photograph: Aidan Crawley

"Like many in my generation as well as my parents’, I grew up regarding fat as an enemy. As long as every dinner was home cooked and contained very little fat, then I was sure I was on the right track. I used to happily eat toast for breakfast – with no butter, of course, but lashings of honey or jam. Then I’d eat more carbs at lunch and a bowl of pasta for dinner with a tomato sauce or sautéed vegetables, again with no fat, which therefore implied it was healthy, right?

Wrong!

Following the standard advice at the time – which was to embrace a low-fat diet without really mentioning all those processed carbs – I thought I was doing great. But it’s clear looking back on it that it was skewed towards one main food group. I have always been against heavily processed foods, so although you could say the diet was weighted towards one food group, on the plus side at least I was cooking. But I thought nothing of sugar and how it cropped up in practically everything we eat.

But as I have learned more over the years, I realise this information is being turned on its head.

For example, our understanding of the role of fat is definitely changing. For years we were told fat was bad, or at best to be eaten only in moderation. But ‘good’ fats (no icky trans fats or hydrogenated fats, thank you) play a crucial role in keeping our bodies, digestion and brains supple and responsive. Some nutrients, including vitamins A, D, E and K, are fat soluble and therefore can be absorbed only if eaten with fat. Fats also do some seriously heavy lifting – in energy production, cell building, oxygen transport and blood clotting, for starters. No mean feat, I reckon. But it wasn’t always this way with fat. It used to be Public Enemy No. 1.

So although I was restrictive when it came to eating fat, I have always detested the processed spreads and low-fat convenience foods that are often touted as ‘healthy’. What nonsense some of those food companies peddle. To try to figure out what we should be doing, I listened to folks like Michael Pollan, whose sage advice includes snippets like ‘don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognise as real food’, then branched out into nutritional experts who have overturned the status quo, like Sally Fallon, who embraces fats with a vengeance and is vociferous about our use of seeded oils and our underuse of organ meats and fresh food.

My sister-in-law Doris Choi, a best-selling author and raw food chef from New York whom I met in 2008, really started to open my eyes about raw food, juicing and general well-being. Every summer we get to spend two weeks in the kitchen cooking for our husbands’ families (handy, huh? two of the brothers married chefs) and swapping tips and ideas.

Another important person also came into my life around this time: Susan Jane White, whose best-selling book, The Extra Virgin Kitchen, is all about wheat-free, dairy-free and sugar-free cooking. Over many dinners with Doris and Susan Jane, I began to learn about nutrients – which abound in natural foods – and also about the use of home remedies.

More and more, I started to see that diet was becoming increasingly confusing for those of us who are not in the business of full-time nutrition as more and more information became available. I liked parts of what everyone said, but found they couldn’t all agree on everything. But they did agree on lots of things, so it was really a question of trying to figure out what and how I could convert that into what I wanted to cook at home for my family for everyday nutrition and well-being.

So when my breast cancer diagnosis came, I knew what I wanted to do. For the most part, that meant lots of green juicing, reducing carbohydrates, avoiding sugar or anything processed plus drinking wheatgrass shots and using turmeric, garlic and ginger as much as possible. Bone broths and miso soup became staples. Fermented foods were introduced and I inadvertently ended up fasting a bit during chemo.

Don’t get me wrong: I do not eat a perfect diet and on occasion I take a more relaxed approach. Naturally, I would break out and celebrate if out with friends, but I tried to eat better 80–90% of the time.

The more I am learning, the more it seems so clear and obvious that although there are a few common mistakes with the dietary advice patients are being given, I think patients want to do more to help themselves and healthy people want to do as much as possible to prevent disease. Trying to stay fit and lean helps. Exercise is vital. And stress levels need to be kept in control – one of the trickiest things, I find.

It’s also about making some small changes, seeing how you get on and then if it feels good, following that path further.

Today’s advice

Now, I do not claim to be a nutritionist, but I am a chef with a keen interest in nutrition. I do know a reasonably small amount, but in the last few years I have made it my business to learn more, not just about how to cook, but about how to cook in ways that maximise nutritional uptake so our bodies make the most of what we put into them – all those vitamins, minerals and suchlike.

It can take time to introduce new flavours and textures to your weekly menu, however. Training your palate is a process, especially if your diet has been high in processed foods full of sugar, unhealthy fats and salt for a long time, as few foods can match the brain’s appetite for these substances; they send our pleasure receptors haywire. Really, then, you’re retraining your brain as much as your taste buds.

Or at least that’s the gist of it. For example, many of my recipes in The Ketogenic Kitchen are more like guides, really. This is because many ingredients, such as herbs and spices, can be successfully swapped for something else if that’s what you like and it works for you. Don’t like kale? Use spinach instead. Don’t like goat’s cheese? Sure, feta will do, and if you want to ease up on cheese, mash an avocado and season it up and you’ll get the required creaminess we often crave. It’s all about figuring it out as you go along.

Gaining the confidence to cook in this way takes a bit of time, and if you’re a novice cook it can feel important to stick to recipes as it builds your confidence. But as your skills and confidence grow, well, in theory the world is your culinary oyster.

Hopefully these small steps will help you and your loved ones to feel brighter, healthier and stronger."
 
This is an edited version of a piece written for Chelsea Green Publishing, the US publisher of The Ketogenic Kitchen

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HEALTHY NEW YOU (plus A TASTY RECIPE!)

As you know, Alchemy founder Domini Kemp shifted her focus towards healthier eating after being diagnosed with cancer in 2013. With experienced nutritional therapist and author Patricia Daly, she went on to write The Ketogenic Kitchen, a book about low-carb, high-fat diets and about the importance of eating healthily when undergoing treatment for cancer.

In this piece from Rude Health magazine, she talks about her approach to healthy eating. And at the end there's one of her favourite recipes from the book, for her Cracking Crackers.
 
What sort of exercise do you do to keep in shape?

"I have read research that 30 minutes of exercise a day can really help to prevent serious illnesses recurring, so I jog even though I absolutely hate it. I go to the gym and do weights even though I find that boring. I love boxing though and occasionally ride horses – I used to show jump professionally. I try to do 30 minutes exercise per day or an hour three days a week. I do yoga as well."

What sort of foods do you eat to stay healthy?

"For years I followed a high-carb, low-fat diet following the food pyramid as we are all advised to do. But after cancer the second time I looked at my diet and turned it upon its head. I did research and met nutritionist Patricia Daly, and switched to a low-carb, higher-fat and added exercise.

"For breakfast I would eat full fat Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with chia or flax seeds and raspberries and blueberries. I might add apple sauce from the health store. I no longer have honey. If I have more time I would cook eggs for breakfast.

"For lunch I go for soup or a salad. I try to eat light during the day. I cook dinner four to five nights per week and often go for something vegetarian, eggs, fish or chicken. We don’t eat huge amounts of meat. For my daughters, aged 18 and 6, I cook potatoes, sweet potatoes, quinoa or lentils and I might have a really small bit of these but nothing like the amount I used to eat. I now have more vegetables, a little protein and more fat. I like butter and it is filling and makes food taste great. This way of eating suits me – I have more energy and it is easier to keep my weight in check. I found it easy to change. Fat is very satisfying and filling. Eating carbohydrates made me hungry all the time – I used to get terrible sugar lows and feel cranky. It just didn’t suit me. Ketogenic porridge (which has coconut oil, coconut flakes, almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, chia seeds and spices) can keep me going all day. At home for dessert I eat 85% chocolate – so I don’t eat too much of it."

Is it hard to be healthy when you have to travel for work?

"I try to be good. When I order in restaurants I don’t dig into chips. I might have a spoonful of dessert. In France on holiday last year I had croissants for breakfast and really put on weight!"

Do you take any natural supplements?

"I take vitamin D because we don’t get enough sun in Ireland. I have B12 shots every month because I have anaemia. I use a magnesium spray too. I like health stores and would buy lots of things such as bee pollen, herbal teas, Super Life sprinkles, flax and chia seeds, coconut yogurt, spices, Epsom salts, beauty and cleaning products."

Do you ever worry about your health?

"I don’t obsess about it. I have checkups every six months. I am aware that five years is the magic number. The older I get I am more conscious of wanting to be healthy and feel good. When you are in your 40s you can’t treat your body the same way as you did in your 20s; you have to work harder at it and be less self-destructive."

How do you relax when you are not in the public eye?

"I am a big bookworm and love reading. I don’t watch much TV, but I like watching good films. In the evening I enjoy cooking dinner. I like to sit down with friends and catch up. I definitely drink a lot less than I used to."

Do you have any health tips for Rude Health readers?

Stress less – it is crucial to keep a check on your stress levels. When I have thought I wasn’t stressed I have been tested and found that my cortisol levels have been sky high, so I obviously get more stressed than I realise.

Exercise regularly – that feeling of being physically worn out is good for me and I know it is doing me good.

Just get on with life – I no longer sweat the small stuff and get as wound up about things.

Cracking Crackers

Ingredients

  • 75g sunflower seeds
  • 60g chia seeds
  • 45g psyllium seed husks (most health stores have these)
  • 45g flaxseeds
  • 30g pumpkin seeds
  • 20g sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds (10g)
  • 1½ tsp sea salt or Himalayan pink salt (8g)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (1g)
  • 3 good tbsp coconut oil (81g)
  • 200ml boiling water (200g)

Makes about 12 crackers

Method

These crackers were adapted ever so slightly from the original recipe from Sarah Britton’s book, My New Roots. The trick was to remove the oats. Oats in general are a great food, but they are mega high in carbohydrates. After many attempts, here they are: low-carb, grain-free and absolutely delicious.

Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Next, add the coconut oil to the boiling water so it melts. Once this has melted, add this to the dry ingredients and mix well to form a wet dough that’s kind of cement-like.

Pour the sludge into the lined baking tray and smooth it out with a spatula. If the mix is being really uncooperative, sprinkle it with water so it gets a bit wetter and therefore spreads easier. It just means you’ll have to cook them longer. Press down the mix roughly so it spreads out, then place a second sheet of non-stick baking paper on top of the cracker blanket and carefully apply pressure to make the mixture thinner and so that it covers the whole tray. It’s easier doing it this way than with a rolling pin.

When that’s done, remove the top piece of baking paper and bake the crackers for 30 minutes. If you can, use a flat surface to flip them over (like you would one half of a cake) and bake for another 20 minutes. If you find the outside bits are going nice and brown but the inside is still a bit raw, break off the cooked bits and keep cooking the middle. They need to be really crisp and golden brown, not raw and wet or soft. Turn off the oven and leave them to cool fully and dry out before breaking up into rough squares or rectangles for serving.

If after a day or so you find they need to be crunchier, stick them back in the oven for a blast. The main thing is to let them truly cool down before you store them, or any residual heat will make them sweaty and soggy. Ewww!

You can also buy The Ketogenic Kitchen here: http://www.easons.com/p-4101768-the-ketogenic-kitchen.aspx

Many thanks and enjoy!
Team Alchemy

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OPENING HOURS

Folks, we are open here on Leeson Street until Thursday, December 22nd from 7.30am until 4pm. Then we close from Friday, December 23rd until Tuesday, January 3rd.

When we reopen, we will have all your healthy juices, smoothies and salads ready to go for a happy, healthy January!!!

Thanks.
Team Alchemy

PS Don't forget that you can also get our juices, smoothies and salads in Joe's Coffee in Arnotts Department Store and in Kildare Village, both of which are open all over Christmas (apart from Christmas Day).

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CHRISTMAS RECIPE

We get asked so often how we make our bone broth, so we thought we'd share Domini's recipe with you. This will be good to make over Christmas and even better for the new year when we'll all be eating more healthily!!!! Well, let's hope so . . .

Ingredients

  • 1 leftover chicken/turkey carcass
  • Small bunch spring onions
  • Bunch fresh coriander
  • 2 sticks lemongrass (outer leaves removed), finely chopped
  • 4 lime leaves
  • Large knob ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp miso
  • Salt & pepper
  • Juice of 2 limes

Method

Simmer your roast chicken or turkey bones in three litres of water for at least four hours with a splash of cider vinegar, with a lid on it. Even though you have a lid on it, you might need to top it up so that the bones are covered.

After it has cooked for four hours, take the lid off and let it reduce down by a third. At this point, I spoon out the bones and throw them away. Then I cool the stock down by putting the pot in a cold “bath” in my kitchen sink.

After about an hour, it should be cold enough to be transferred into a smaller pot or bowl, which can then fit in your fridge.

When you are ready to make your broth, it couldn't be faster: in a large saucepan, heat the broth and then add all the other ingredients except the fresh herbs and miso. Simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse, before stirring in the miso (which shouldn't be boiled) and serving with chopped fresh coriander.

Thanks.
Team Alchemy

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Domini Kemp: Beware of nutribabble in revised food pyramid

Alchemy Juice founder Domini Kemp wrote the following opinion piece for The Irish Times this week. Well worth a read!

'Those telling us to eat more veg than carbs have been saying the opposite for decades'

It is long overdue, but encouraging nevertheless, that the Government has revised the older food pyramid and opted for a new one with more emphasis on fruit and vegetables in its fight against obesity.

The old food pyramid: Fruit and veg were in the No 2 slot, behind processed breads, rice and cereals

The old food pyramid: Fruit and veg were in the No 2 slot, behind processed breads, rice and cereals

New food pyramid: It makes better sense than the previous one, but is still a compromise between science, the Government and the food sector.

New food pyramid: It makes better sense than the previous one, but is still a compromise between science, the Government and the food sector.

These days there is a lot of confusion about what and what not to eat, about what is healthy eating and what is not. Indeed, there are even those who will argue that only “registered dietitians” are allowed to recommend what people should eat.

As a chef, a mother and a cancer survivor, I absolutely do not agree with that. If that were the case, GPs, consultants and nurses would be banned from speaking about diet and telling people about the healthiest options. Take it a step further and parents would not be allowed to tell their children what they should be eating because we are not “qualified”.

Although I am delighted that the Government has introduced a new version of the food pyramid, we must remember that, since 2011, the standard food pyramid was heavily promoted on the website of Safefood.eu, the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute and other organisations. It was quite clearly outdated and should have been binned years ago.

As Ivan Perry, professor of public health at UCC, said recently: “Food pyramids in all countries are a compromise between science, the government and food sector. The idea that they are purely based on nutritional science is not true.”

Sweetened science

Ideally, large food manufacturers should have no place in influencing government policy on diet. We have only recently heard how the US sugar lobby in the 1960s paid scientists to blur sugar’s role in heart disease. Naturally, fizzy drinks companies, sweet manufacturers, pasta producers and bread-makers will commercially want to have their input, but should they really be allowed to dictate government policy?

Have a look at the old food pyramid. Was it right that the bottom level consisted of processed, high-carb foodstuffs such as white bread, pasta, rice and cereal? Equally, ask yourself if it’s appropriate on the new food pyramid that there appears to be a picture of an actual Weetabix. Having well-known branded products seems like advertising, to me.

Yes, up until December in 2016, it was still recommended that people eat more high-carb processed foods than fruit and veg daily. Does anyone honestly believe that to have been a good recommendation? If ever there was a piece of nutribabble, this is it. And yet the very experts entrusted with recommending what we should be eating now have been recommending it for decades.

My seven-year-old brought a copy of the pyramid home from school the other day, and even she knew that there are better options.

Let me be clear: as a cancer patient who has done vast amounts of research, I am a big advocate of low-carb, healthy-fat eating. But as a chef I love all food. I run a range of cafes and restaurants and some of our menus feature plenty of processed carbs, such as bread, bagels, blaas and pasta. (We also serve beer and wine, but I still don’t think alcohol should be consumed excessively.) Other menus feature plenty of kale!

However, it is how we eat at home, regularly and predominantly, that should be influenced by the best and most up-to-date nutritional advice.

Vital healthy fats

There is a growing worldwide movement, including doctors, medical researchers and registered dietitians, which argues that a low-carb diet works better and is easier to stick to for most people, and that “healthy” fats are vital to good health. Indeed, many argue that the high-carb, low-fat diet recommended over the past few decades has contributed to the obesity crisis and growth of type 2 diabetes in the western world.

Some brave GPs and dieticians have bucked conventional advice and drastically reduced their prescriptions for insulin and other diabetes medications, and instead put their patients on low-carb, healthy fat diets. The impact, financially and medically, is huge.

The Irish Government is tackling obesity in various ways, one of which is changing the food pyramid. This is a good start, and hopefully other organisations will adapt the new lower processed carb pyramid when it is produced. But the new pyramid is still predominantly a high-carb, low-fat pyramid. It does not go far enough, and the reason this is so critical is that governments around the world use the food pyramid as a basis to feed millions of people, from schools to hospitals to prisons.

The disconnect is breathtaking: recommend high-carb, low-fat diets (against the latest nutritional evidence) and then watch the fallout from the inevitable results of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer in our overstuffed healthcare system. It is self-defeating at best and a ticking time bomb – that we can’t afford – at worst.

The Government is taking a move in the right direction. But as we’ve heard before: A lot done, but lots more to do.

Domini Kemp is a chef, co-founder of Alchemy and author of The Ketogenic Kitchen

This article was first printed in The Irish Times on Thursday, December 8th, 2016.

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SOMETHING SPICY!

This week, on the blog, we have a really tasty, really healthy recipe by Alchemy founder Domini Kemp. And guess what? It's also nice and simple to make! Perfect for the family this weekend or if you're entertaining!

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts, sliced into half-inch strips
  • 1 tbsp five-spice powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 400g broccoli stems
  • 200ml water
  • 2 tbsp cashews
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Method

  1. Start by marinating the chicken in the five-spice, sliced garlic and tamari about half an hour before you are ready to serve.
  2. When you’re ready to cook, heat the coconut oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken until it’s coloured a little – about three minutes – before adding the  broccoli stems and the 200ml of water.
  3. Cover tightly with a lid, turn the heat down to medium, and steam cook for about five minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the stems are al dente.
  4. Remove the lid and check the seasoning (it shouldn't need salt) before adding the nuts and sesame seeds, tossing the whole together and serving on a bed of ‘rice’ like wild rice or cauliflower rice.

Thanks!
Team Alchemy

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DISPELLING THE MYTHS

Domini Kemp, Alchemy founder and author of The Ketogenic Kitchen, appeared on the Ciara Kelly radio show 'Alive and Kicking' on Newstalk last Sunday to discuss the book, the diet, low-carb eating and the scientific evidence backing them up. It was a fascinating discussion, as always.

However, some people still tend to dismiss it as 'nutribabble', so we are posting this article by Domini and her co-author Patricia Daly to clear that up:

"Since we published our book “The Ketogenic Kitchen“, there has been some misinformation spread about the ketogenic diet. We would like to clear this up with the following facts.

FACT: The ketogenic diet is not a fad diet. It is currently being used effectively in the treatment of epilepsy in some patients. It is a diet that should be pursued only with the approval and involvement of members of your multi-disciplinary medical team.

More info available here:

FACT: Scientific, evidence-based research has shown that a ketogenic diet can also have benefits as an adjuvant in the treatment of some cancers, particularly brain tumours. These are pre-clinical trials, but are showing positive results that cannot be ignored. We believe it is worth cancer patients knowing this information.

More info available here:

FACT: To date, the best (known) way to treat cancer is with surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Immunotherapies are becoming increasingly available, too. There is no ‘silver bullet’ preventative measure or treatment for cancer. Nowhere in our book do we claim this.

FACT: When undergoing the above treatments, it is vital that patients are in the best physical health possible, which is why exercise and a healthy diet are recommended. Our book uses the most up-to-date research from around the world to show what the most appropriate diet now is. However, we stress: no one diet fits all.

FACT: A low-carb, high healthy fat diet is consistently being shown as a compelling option for patients being treated for cancer, as well as for wider society seeking to stay healthy and lean.

More info available here:

FACT: Sugar – and how our body reacts to it – is now being shown to be the root cause of a range of metabolic diseases. This is now accepted by many well-respected institutions.

For an overview: Sugar the evidence.

FACT: Experts in the field of metabolism report that on a carbohydrate-rich diet, the body is often not capable of “maintaining a constant level of glucose”. In many people – especially those with metabolic derangements (which includes a lot of cancer patients) – blood sugars are NOT constant. Rather, they go constantly up and down and in some people they end up staying elevated (so-called “hyperglycaemia”). Unless this is taken control of, this is not good news for cancer incidence. A low-carb and possibly a ketogenic diet, alongside other lifestyle factors, has been shown to stabilise blood sugars at a lower, steady level.

As Peter Attia, MD, states on the subject of ketosis: “If you want to actually understand this topic, you must invest the time and mental energy to do so.” And that’s what we did. We invite other healthcare professionals to do the same!

We would welcome the opportunity to continue discussions that contribute to the best possible dietary suggestions for patients undergoing conventional treatment for cancer, such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Why? Because we don’t think the current guidelines are sufficient. We leave this statement open to interpretation. And because as two people who have had cancer twice each and who have done an immense amount of research into many different approaches, we believe we can help.

Reports suggest only about 5 per cent of cancer patients see a dietician. Our book empowers patients to look at diet themselves and allows them to become part of the treatment process. It is widely accepted that this integrative approach to treatment is what is best for patients.

“The Ketogenic Kitchen” contains ideal recipes for this, some of which are also very calorie dense if a patient suffers from any of the cancers that are particularly susceptible to weight loss- namely lung, gastric, head/neck and pancreatic cancer. The book gives cancer patients what they need most: options!

Thank you.

Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly BA (Hons), dipNT, mBANT, rCNHC, mNTOI

For more, go here: http://theketogenickitchen.com/

And The Ketogenic Kitchen can be bought here: http://www.easons.com/p-4101768-the-ketogenic-kitchen.aspx

Thanks.
Team Alchemy

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THIS IS A MUST-WATCH

As part of its Autumn Series, the Fumbally Stables hosted a very informative talk entitled 'Food and Cancer' by Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly. If you are interested in healthy eating, diet and cancer, this video is really fascinating. 

These are two cancer patients who have been through it twice and who empowered themselves to find out as much as they could about what was happening and how best to get through treatment.

You can watch it here: 

Thanks.
Team Alchemy

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US BEST-SELLER

It was amazing to see The Ketogenic Kitchen on several different best-seller lists on Amazon.com in the US this week. Such a huge market to break into, particularly for non-US writers. So huge congrats to Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly for that achievement!! They have put so much into this book so it is really really wonderful to see that effort being recognised internationally!

Picture: Domini Kemp's Cracking Crackers from The Ketogenic Kitchen. Photo by Jo Murphy ( joanne-murphy.com )

Picture: Domini Kemp's Cracking Crackers from The Ketogenic Kitchen. Photo by Jo Murphy (joanne-murphy.com)

They were also featured on one of the world's most popular natural health websites, mercola.com, under the headline:

'Cookbook Demystifies Process of Following a Ketogenic Diet'

It included this fascinating interview by Dr Mercola with Domini and Patricia: 
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/10/30/ketogenic-kitchen-nutritional-ketosis.aspx

It really is so great to see the work of these two Irish-based cancer survivors being picked up in the US.

Thanks.
Team Alchemy

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SUPPER CLUB!

There is a Rosanna Davison ‘Eat Yourself Fit’ Supper Club on on Thursday, November 10th in the Itsa Cafe in Harvey Nichols in the Dundrum Town Centre from 7pm–9pm.

The renowned nutritional therapist, model and former Miss World will present the evening which will include a delicious three-course meal from her new book ‘Eat Yourself Fit’. The evening will be hosted by Alchemy founder Domini Kemp who will also be preparing your evening meal with her chefs.

The meal will be followed by a Q&A and book-signing session with Rosanna who will be on hand all evening to talk about her book and her approach to healthy eating.

Tickets cost €35 per person (which includes your three-course supper) and can be booked through Eventbrite (plus booking fee): 
https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/the-rosanna-davison-eat-yourself-fit-supper-club-tickets-28254414715

It should be a great night!!!

Thanks.
Team Alchemy

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A FEAST OF DATES!!

Folks, there are three events coming up which will be of interest to anyone with a passion for healthy eating!

Photo: Balsamic Roast Chicken by Joanne Murphy (http://www.joanne-murphy.com/) from The Ketogenic Kitchen

Photo: Balsamic Roast Chicken by Joanne Murphy (http://www.joanne-murphy.com/) from The Ketogenic Kitchen

First, on Wednesday, October 19th, Alchemy founder Domini Kemp and nutritional therapist Patricia Daly will discuss their personal struggles with cancer from a food perspective, including the adoption of low-carb, high fat and ketogenic diets. The event is free but registration is required. The venue is The Fumbally Stables, Dublin 8. Details here: 
http://thefumballystables.ie/events/food-and-cancer/

Then, on Thursday, October 20th, lifestyle writer Kate O’Brien will discuss her new book “Your Middle Years” (written with dietitian Paula Mee) at a Supper Club in the Itsa Cafe in the Dundrum Town Centre. Domini will host the event. Tickets cost €35 per person (which includes your three-course supper) and can be booked by emailing: harveynichols@itsa.ie or through Eventbrite: 
https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/your-middle-years-supper-club-hosted-by-kate-obrien-tickets-27932655324

And on Saturday, October 29th, Domini and Patricia will be at the Savour Kilkenny food festival to discuss The Ketogenic Kitchen and to cook a recipe from the book. The event is free but registration is required. More here:
http://www.savourkilkenny.com/the-ketogenic-kitchen-with-domini-kemp-patricia-daly/

Thanks.
Team Alchemy

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ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!

Folks, due to changed circumstances, we are finishing up in our Grafton Street shop this Sunday! We have had such a great time there and enjoyed a really great working relationship with both BT2 and more recently The Brand Store.

However, it's now time to move on . . .

TO LEESON STREET!

Yes, our shop just off Stephen's Green is up and running if you're looking for juicy juices, smooth smoothies, tasty treats, super salads and speciality coffee from The Barn Berlin!!

Our opening hours there are:

Monday-Friday:  7.30am-4pm Saturday: 10am-3pm.

AND . . . whisper it . . . we may be opening a new full-on Alchemy cafe/restaurant in a new location soon!! WATCH THIS SPACE!!

Meanwhile watch this:

We have also relocated all staff throughout company so no jobs have been lost!!

"We would like to thank all our amazing customers and everyone who worked on the first Alchemy store, from the branding to the amazing custom furniture. It has been wonderful to see how well-loved Alchemy has become with our customers and we're delighted with the new location on Leeson Street," say Domini and Peaches.

"We also have further plans for an Alchemy café for 2017 as well as an Alchemy pop-up in Kildare Village in their new trailer food trucks."

Thanks everyone!!! We love food but we love you, our customers, even more and we really appreciate your support and loyalty!

See you on Leeson Street!!!

xxxx
Domini, Peaches and all at Alchemy

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THE LOW-CARB LOWDOWN

 

If you want to know more about the benefits of low-carb, high fat diets and the ketogenic diet, this Q&A session between Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly, authors of The Ketogenic Kitchen, and their US publishers Chelsea Green Publishing is excellent and very informative.

Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly

Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly

Chelsea Green (CG): It’s clear from the book’s subtitle that a ketogenic diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, but what does “ketogenic” actually mean in terms of the diet’s impact on the body?
 
Patricia Daly (PD): When somebody is eating ketogenic, the goal is to get the body into a state called “nutritional ketosis” (not to be mixed up with ketoacidosis!). This means that the body is starting to use fat instead of sugar as the main energy source. Blood sugar levels will stabilise at a lower, steady level, which has many effects on overall health and well-being. Ketosis can be achieved by reducing carbohydrates to a very low level and also by keeping protein relatively restricted. The missing calories are then replaced with fat in the form of oily fish, avocados, olives, coconut products, and also fatty cuts of meat, for instance. I prefer to talk about a “lifestyle” rather than just a diet because there are so many other factors that impact and enhance the effects of ketosis: stress, exercise, toxins, and sleep are among them.
 
CG: How did you come to write this book? And how did you meet each other and form this collaboration?

Domini Kemp (DK): We didn’t meet until I went to Patricia for a consultation at her clinic after I had finished chemotherapy. Up until that point, I had done my own research and was feeling quite frustrated about the lack of good information, as well as all the misinformation available to patients. Patricia and I got on immediately, and her consultation gave me huge confidence that what I was doing was right for me and that I was on the right track regarding sugar, exercise, and nourishing foods, as well as fasting, which I was inadvertently doing. Over time and because of the encouragement (read: bullying!) of mutual friends and family, we decided to write a book that we both wished was available when we were diagnosed with cancer.
 
CG: The book is actually “two-books-in-one.” Why?
 
DK: We both follow different diets. I am a chef and food writer and run cafes and restaurants here in Ireland. Sometimes I eat carbs, so following a low carb diet 80-90% of the time works really well for me. But going into ketosis for 2-3 weeks a year potentially has lots of benefits and is well worth doing. Many gyms use it to help clients lose weight—which is a great aspect of the diet—but it gives you a sense that you’re recalibrating your body to some extent.
 
PD: I’ve been following a ketogenic diet for over 4 years now. Conventional treatment in 2008 put a (temporary) stop to the growth of my tumor but management via diet is clearly key for my ocular (eye) melanoma. Two years after my relapse in 2010, I struggled with significant side effects from my treatments that really impacted me in my daily life. I took a leap of faith and started going into ketosis while being monitored closely. The effects were visible within weeks only—the swelling in my eye went down, my vision started to come back, excess blood vessels disappeared, and there was just a general “calming down” noticeable around my tumour. I also had a tumour outside the eyeball, which was still unchanged after radiotherapy, but then completely disappeared once I adopted a ketogenic lifestyle. The interesting thing is that my diet is so second nature to me now although I keep researching, fine tuning, and optimising my protocols depending on what’s going on in my life. I’d say I spend less time planning, cooking, and eating now than I used before going keto!
 
CG: How do the recipes differ in “The Low Carb Way” and “The Ketogenic Way”?
 
DK: The amount of carbs in the Ketogenic section are much more limited and food needs to be measured a bit more carefully when going into ketosis. Low carb—for me—is easy to implement and stick to. You have to do what works for you!
 
CG: Ketogenic diets have been used for decades to prevent seizures in children who suffer from epilepsy, most notably by The Ketogenic Diet Center at Johns Hopkins University, and the diet is also used sometimes for weight loss. But your book is the first to claim that a ketogenic diet can be an effective strategy in the management of cancer. What evidence has emerged—or is emerging—to suggest this?
 
PD: The strength of this approach lies in the metabolic aspect—meaning that we teach our body to generate energy in a very different way compared to somebody whose diet is reliant on mainly carbohydrates. As you can imagine, this is a powerful approach that leads to many changes in the body. The first and probably most obvious advantage for a cancer patient is that blood sugars are kept at a low, steady level. Many studies and well-respected researchers have shown how cancer cells thrive on glucose. It’s their favourite food. This “quirk” of cancer cells is being used to diagnose the disease via a PET scan. Once a patient manages to keep blood sugars low for a while, many things start to happen: In response to low blood sugar and also insulin levels, the body starts to produce ketone bodies from fatty acids. These become the main source of fuel for most healthy cells but can’t be readily used by cancer cells—on the contrary, there are studies showing how they can make a cancer cell’s life very difficult. If someone implements a ketogenic diet in a safe and effective way, it has wide-ranging effects on many hallmarks of cancer (i.e., angiogenesis, gene expression, and inflammation, to name just a few) but also on general well-being. Many of my clients report, for example, better mood and focus, better digestion, more energy, reduced cravings, and clearer skin, possibly because of improved hormone balance. I’ve been in ketosis for over four years now—every single day, without a break. But my way of eating now is certainly very different to what it was at the beginning because my body is so adapted to burning fat now.
 
CG: How do you respond to critics that say this type of diet could be harmful to cancer patients?
 
PD: First of all, we make it incredibly clear in our book that the ketogenic diet does NOT replace conventional therapies but is a supportive and complementary tool. With low carb, it’s definitely different because there aren’t such dramatic metabolic changes involved. While I think it’s a good idea to monitor bloods on a regular basis (which most cancer patients should be doing anyway), it’s not compulsory on a low carb diet. Like with any dietary approach or indeed treatment, the ketogenic diet is NOT suitable for everyone. There is a list of contraindications in the book, which explains who should not attempt a ketogenic diet (mainly due to genetic metabolic dysfunctions). We also emphasize the importance of a multidisciplinary approach, regular blood monitoring, and involvement of professionals. Many people “out there” attempt a ketogenic diet on their own based on their internet research, which indeed can be harmful. We point out that certain individuals have risk factors that need even closer monitoring. Our book is aimed at people who are at the information gathering stage, who are planning to get support or indeed are already implementing a ketogenic diet but need a lot more carefully calculated meal plans and nutrient-dense recipes.
It’s important for health professionals to understand the clinical implications of a lack of resources/studies into this promising area of cancer research. Public interest is ever increasing—there’s no stopping this trend, whether our book is on the market or not. Online resources are growing on a daily basis—some good, others of very poor quality. When using our book, cancer patients can be assured that the information is up-to-date, well researched, and endorsed by top notch scientists, researchers, and medical professionals.

CG: Can the ketogenic diet also be effective in the management of other serious illnesses?
 
PD: As we outline in our book, the ketogenic diet has been used for centuries in the management of uncontrollable epilepsy, and a number of randomized controlled trials have shown that it’s a safe approach. When it comes to other diseases, we have strong evidence for the use of the ketogenic diet for weight management, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. In other areas like cancer, PCOS, or neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, we’re only just at the beginning of obtaining “hard data” from clinical trials. There are clinical studies underway now, and it’s my assumption that medical doctors are waiting for the results before being able to implement any protocols. But the issue is that this might still take months if not years, and unfortunately, many chronically ill patients don’t have the luxury of time. We actually already have a considerable amount of evidence in the form of laboratory data, and new studies appear on almost a weekly basis. It’s such a rapidly evolving field now that it can no longer be ignored.
 
CG: In some ways, the ketogenic diet represents a shift in thinking about cancer—one that is less of focused on genetics and that views it as much as, or more of, a metabolic disease. This idea was first proposed by Otto Warburg in the early 20th century and is now garnering renewed interest and appreciation. How does the ketogenic diet fit, or not fit, into Warburg’s ideas about cancer as a primarily metabolic disease? Is that mutually exclusive or compatible with the more recent and prevailing focus on genetics?
 
PD: There is a convincing—and growing—body of research that questions the origins of cancer and whether cancer is really a genetic disease. What most of us have learned about cancer is that it originates in the DNA of a cell when a series of mutations in a single cell happen. Mutations that affect cell division (particularly those that allow cells to divide uncontrollably) can be the start of many forms of cancer. That’s why some people call cancer “a genetic disease.”

For the past 50 years, this so-called “somatic mutation theory” (i.e., mutations that take place in non-reproductive cells) has been the prevailing paradigm in cancer research. But genomic instability hasn’t always been considered the primary cause of cancer. German physician Dr Otto Warburg was one of a number of researchers in the early 1900s who came to the conclusion that cancer is primarily a mitochondrial metabolic disease. Metabolic diseases are conditions in which the metabolism—or in other words, the creation of energy from the food we eat—is abnormal or defective in some way. Warburg demonstrated in his studies that cancer cells used sugar (glucose) as their preferred fuel, even when oxygen that healthy cells use for energy generation was present. This so-called Warburg effect has been confirmed in many studies and today is a well-established hallmark of many types of cancers (Hanahan and Weinberg, 2011). And yet the concept of cancer as a metabolic disease has still received little or no attention from the oncology world since the 1930s.

But recently, an increasing number of scientists have been looking for other approaches to cancer management. What if cancer has little to do with genes, but metabolism is much more important? One of the scientists at the forefront of the notion of “cancer as a metabolic disease” is Professor Thomas Seyfried from Boston College, who has been carrying out extensive research for many years now. He took a particular interest in so-called “nuclear transfer experiments,” which we explain in our book.

In my opinion, it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation when we talk about the origins of cancer: what was there first, mitochondrial damage or mutations in the DNA? Fact is, these two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. We have preliminary (and I have quite a bit of clinical) evidence that the ketogenic diet—or even “just” a low-carb approach—can be beneficial for patients undergoing chemo- and radiotherapy. Side effects tend to lessen, and some studies show that the effects of conventional treatments can be enhanced.

The ketogenic approach is complementary to other therapies, and it should not be considered an alternative or stand-alone treatment. I also see a role of low-carb and ketogenic eating in prevention of chronic diseases, which obviously should be a key priority given the soaring rates of cancer and other illnesses.
 
CG: Superficially, the ketogenic diet resembles some other diets such as Atkins and Paleo. How do you distinguish it?
 
DK: I think it differs, as there are so many more vegetables in it. When you think of the Atkins diet, you imagine eating steak for breakfast! But going Ketogenic is much less geared towards reliance on protein. I love the focus on healthy fats, leafy veg, nuts, seeds, eggs, avocados, and oily fish.
 
PD: Atkins tends to be very focused on animal proteins and many people following an Atkins diet might not be in very deep ketosis—this depends on their activity levels as well. A Paleo diet can be very similar or incredibly different to keto, depending on how it’s implemented. Some people still eat loads of fruit, sweet potatoes and other starchy tubers on a Paleo diet, which would certainly be very far from a ketogenic diet. As Domini said, plant foods play an important role in a well-formulated ketogenic diet, and there are many ways of incorporating highly nutrient dense foods into the protocols.
 
CG: What are some of your favorite recipes from the book?

DK: I regularly make all the dishes in the low carb section, but I am addicted to the keto granola bars in the Ketogenic section. They are divine to eat and really keep you going all day. The meat pizza is also delicious. A little bit “Homer Simpson,” but rich and delicious.
PD: Domini has a number of fab recipes, and I love her spicy fish cakes, Harira chicken soup, the sun-dried tomato tapenade, and the Caesar salad dressing is to die for, too. My keto section obviously contains all my favorite recipes that I’ve been developing over the past four years. Only the best made it in this book.

For more on Chelsea Green, go here: http://www.chelseagreen.com/

And you can buy The Ketogenic Kitchen here: http://www.easons.com/p-4101768-the-ketogenic-kitchen.aspx
The ketogenic kitchen by Domini Kemp | 9780717169269
www.easons.com
Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly, who have both recently come through cancer, have discovered a life-changing way of eating. In The Ketogenic Kitchen

Thanks.
Team Alchemy

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A CRACKING GOOD RECIPE

As you know, The Ketogenic Kitchen, a best-seller in Ireland, has just been published by Chelsea Green Publishing in the US and is getting rave reviews as there is such huge and growng interest in both low-carb, high-fat diets and the ketogenic diet. You can read about it here on the Chelsea Green website: https://www.chelseagreen.com/food-drink/the-ketogenic-kitchen

To coincide with that, below is one of our favourite recipes in the book, Domini Kemp's Cracking Crackers. There's also a brilliant video here in which Domini shows how to make them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ONamf6ZQ7w

Photo: Jo Murphy ( www.joanne-murphy.com )

Photo: Jo Murphy (www.joanne-murphy.com)

Cracking Crackers

  • 75g sunflower seeds
  • 60g chia seeds
  • 45g psyllium seed husks (most health stores have these)
  • 45g flaxseeds
  • 30g pumpkin seeds
  • 20g sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds (10g)
  • 1½ tsp sea salt or Himalayan pink salt (8g)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (1g)
  • 3 good tbsp coconut oil (81g)
  • 200ml boiling water (200g)

Makes about 12 crackers:

These crackers were adapted ever so slightly from the original recipe from Sarah Britton’s book, My New Roots. The trick was to remove the oats. Oats in general are a great food, but they are mega high in carbohydrates. After many attempts, here they are: low-carb, grain-free and absolutely delicious.

Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Next, add the coconut oil to the boiling water so it melts. Once this has melted, add this to the dry ingredients and mix well to form a wet dough that’s kind of cement-like.

Pour the sludge into the lined baking tray and smooth it out with a spatula. If the mix is being really uncooperative, sprinkle it with water so it gets a bit wetter and therefore spreads easier. It just means you’ll have to cook them longer. Press down the mix roughly so it spreads out, then place a second sheet of non-stick baking paper on top of the cracker blanket and carefully apply pressure to make the mixture thinner and so that it covers the whole tray. It’s easier doing it this way than with a rolling pin.

When that’s done, remove the top piece of baking paper and bake the crackers for 30 minutes. If you can, use a flat surface to flip them over (like you would one half of a cake) and bake for another 20 minutes. If you find the outside bits are going nice and brown but the inside is still a bit raw, break off the cooked bits and keep cooking the middle. They need to be really crisp and golden brown, not raw and wet or soft. Turn off the oven and leave them to cool fully and dry out before breaking up into rough squares or rectangles for serving.

If after a day or so you find they need to be crunchier, stick them back in the oven for a blast. The main thing is to let them truly cool down before you store them, or any residual heat will make them sweaty and soggy. Ewww!

You can also buy The Ketogenic Kitchen here: http://www.easons.com/p-4101768-the-ketogenic-kitchen.aspx

Many thanks and enjoy!
Team Alchemy

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WE ARE GO!!!

Our new shop on Lower Leeson Street just off Stephen's Green is now open, bringing you the best in raw food, juices, smoothies, healthy lunchboxes, speciality coffee from The Barn Berlin, tasty treats and much, much more!

Here's Domini talking about the new shop, the philosophy behind Alchemy and her approach to healthy eating: 

 

Our full menu is here: 

http://www.alchemyjuice.ie/#menu

Thanks and see you on Leeson Street (and, of course, in The Brand Store on Grafton Street).

Team Alchemy

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SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW

Two snippets of news this week on the Alchemy blog! First, as you know, the brands in BT2 Grafton Street have moved across the road to the main Brown Thomas store. However, Alchemy is still here in the same place on Grafton Street serving our full range of juices, smoothies, treats, lunch boxes and specialty coffee from The Barn Berlin. And there's also the fab new BRAND STORE in the rest of the shop! Well worth a browse!

Secondly, our new store is almost ready to go! All things going according to plan, we will open on Monday, September 5th!! The new shop looks pretty cool from the oustide as you can see! And inside will be fresh and cool and healthy too! It is just off Stephen's Green and opposite the East Side Tavern. We can't wait to see you next week.

Thanks.
Team Alchemy

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VIDEO TIME

Folks, we are delighted that the best-selling Ketogenic Kitchen by Alchemy founder Domini Kemp and nutritional therapist Patricia Daly is about to be launched in the United States by Chelsea Green Publishing. It is so great to see an Irish book like this be given its own launch in the US and we are very very proud of the boss.

If you want to know more, these two videos featuring Domini and Patricia will give you a really good introduction to both low-carb, high-fat eating and the ketogenic diet:

Introduction to low-carb, high-fat eating by Domini Kemp: 

Meet Domini Kemp, an author of The Ketogenic Kitchen

Introduction to ketogenic cooking by Patricia Daly: 

Meet Patricia Daly, an author of The Ketogenic Kitchen

To find out more about the US launch, go here: http://www.chelseagreen.com/the-ketogenic-kitchen

And you will find this dedicated website is also a great resource with recipes and more videos: http://theketogenickitchen.com/

Many thanks and best of luck to Domini and Patricia.

Team Alchemy

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