Take a walk on the wild side with Doreen

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  • Sweet offerings: Doreen Williams James with her vegan desserts (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Sweet offerings: Doreen Williams James with her vegan desserts (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Desserts and puddings that incorporate Bermuda's wild flora (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Desserts and puddings that incorporate Bermuda's wild flora (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Desserts and puddings: incorporating Bermuda’s wild flora (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Desserts and puddings: incorporating Bermuda’s wild flora (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Unexpected pleasure: Stinging nettle cupcakes (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Unexpected pleasure: Stinging nettle cupcakes (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Flowerful taste: Nasturtium cookies (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Flowerful taste: Nasturtium cookies (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

  • Family effort: Doreen Williams James and father Hillary Williams (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Family effort: Doreen Williams James and father Hillary Williams (Photograph by Akil Simmons)


Convinced that a plant-based diet reversed her father’s diabetes, Doreen Williams James started cooking.

She’s now offering her savoury and sweet vegan dishes to anyone looking to make a lifestyle change.

“As a funeral director, I see the results of people’s lifestyles and their choice of eating habits plays a big part in disease,” said Ms Williams James, owner of St George’s Alpha Memorial Chapel. “My father is a true testimony.”

She took her father, Hillary Williams, to the Wildwood Lifestyle Centre last August after his diabetes led to ulcers on his feet.

For more than 75 years the Georgia clinic has promoted a diet without meat and dairy as helpful for reversing disease.

Ultimately, her father lost both his legs but Ms Williams James believes the new diet saved his life.

According to doctors, he’s diabetes-free.

The 50-year-old took the experience to heart.

For the past three years she has run foraging tours through her company, Wild Herbs and Plants of Bermuda, to educate others about the benefits of including wild flora in their diet.

On returning from the trip to Georgia with her father, she switched to a vegan diet and worked on getting the public to join her.

“Being convinced with what was done for my father, I decided now was the time to make a lifestyle change,” she said. “Everyone is tapping into the vegan lifestyle but, personally, I wanted to live a healthier life.”

She holds monthly tastings of her dishes at Penno’s Wharf; the next one takes places on Sunday, February 25 at 3pm.

She also offers weekly meal plans catering “to different health issues”.

A health assessment is included in the cost, which starts at $150.

Her seasonal menus might include stinging nettle soup, aloe brownie balls, natal plum scones, nasturtium cheese or prickly pear cheesecake.

“The base is made from cashews and coconut milk and the crust is made from dates and nuts,” she explained.

“It’s also diabetic-friendly; it’s still sweet but healthy.”

Lemon stinging nettle cupcakes are a favourite of hers. The plant is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and promotes hair growth, relieves arthritis and stops nose bleeds.

Her father, who turned 81 on Tuesday, loves the food.

“He’ll shake his head sometimes at stinging nettle soup or nasturtium,” Ms Williams James said.

“He’s not much one for salads, but he’ll start smiling and laughing. He enjoys every bit of it.”

For more information e-mail wildherbsnplantsofbda@gmail.com or visit www.wildherbsnplantsofbermuda.com

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Published Feb 5, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 5, 2018 at 8:52 am)

Take a walk on the wild side with Doreen

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