When I stood up to address a few thousand Maasai at a recent Maasai Olympics awards ceremony, words from my father years go resonated and I added a twist that evolved into a mantra we now use at Great Plains…
To be happy, we need “a Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body in a Healthy Environment.”
A compromised environment with sick air, diseased water, injured landscapes, and diseased biodiversity is not conducive to a healthy human body. When we feel sick, we aren’t in a good frame of mind. But we are most of our environment’s product, so polluted air particles and toxic water from fracking poison us. And if we are foggy and sluggish or start skipping exercise, and slide into making food just for something we eat because it is there, smothered in salt or sugar to hide the fact that it doesn’t actually feed us anything helpful to our wellbeing, then we cannot possibly expect our brains to be alert and functioning.
Healthy mind, healthy body, healthy environment.
We have taken this very seriously over the years, but well over a year ago, Beverly and I decided to switch to a totally plant-based diet and dropped all meat. We have never felt better or been fitter. Our camp staff already had significant training around this because, at Great Plains, they have to cater to every dietary need and always come up with delivering stunning meals that feed the healthy body.
Now having tested this eating style ourselves, we are rolling it out throughout all our camps and last week started upgraded training around this. In Kenya, that is happening under the guidance of Antonia Stogdale, and our chefs have been turning out incredibly delicious plant-based meals. In Botswana, Executive Chef Tiaan has been doing the same with our camp chefs, so we’ve decided to assemble all of the great recipes into a Great Plains Plant-Based Recipe Book which we are starting production on soon.
I am reminded of a night a while ago where I sat at our long dining table at Selinda Camp, enjoying a conversation with a guest from New York, when the waiter, having carefully and quietly served her special dishes, placed a delicious chocolate-based dessert in front of her. She interrupted our conversation to push it aside and remind the waiter that she could not have the prominent crème on the dish.
He quietly said: “Yes, I know about the allergy, but this is not lactose. It is coconut, so you can actually have that.”
She studied the dish again and pointed out the crusted biscuit base. He added: “Yes, that one too, it’s Gluten-Free,” and finally, she eyed the overall chocolate presentation with a decisive “But the sugar-“ to which he kindly replied, “it is not sugar, but stevia-based. You can enjoy all of this.” She was delighted and then looked at everyone else’s plates by now half-finished amidst oohs and ahs.
“But this looks the same as everyone else’s!” to which our waiter, Junior, leaned in slightly and whispered: “It’s all the same but don’t tell them that!”
You can make something delicious that is good for you without compromising on taste, and that is what our upcoming book will be all about.
On the 1st of November, it is World Vegan Day, so in celebration of that, I just wanted to let you know that it is not just our Great Plains Gin you can look forward to when visiting us again, but now spectacular and delicious dining options that will take you into a fresher, healthier, safari.
When the next Maasai Olympics convenes, an event run by Big Life Foundation, and partly funded by our Great Plains Foundation, the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative, and others, we will offer you the chance to visit this event, go on a run with some of the warriors, (the greatest long-distance medalists of the world come from Kenya) and to be a part of the Healthy Body, Mind, and Environment philosophy at Great Plains. We look forward to sharing the details on how you can join us in this experience in the future.