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Vegan meals on wheels

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A Belco engineer who said he technically died after a road traffic accident eight years ago, before gaining a second chance at life at King Edward Hospital, and who went on to study alternative medicine in a remote, Honduran village with a controversial “medicine man”…..has now opened a vegan lunch wagon.

The food truck with the company name, Alkaline Triangle, is operated by Jamel Minors and his best friend Alisha Harvey.

But he is still looking for a permanent city location to site the business. City permits are hard to secure.

He is hoping for an arrangement with a private lot owner. He is hoping for any, suitable, Hamilton location he can find.

Mr Minors had great success at the Cup Match food court at Somerset Cricket Club. Well-received during Harbour Nights, he also shuttles between Warwick Long Bay and Shelly Bay locations.

But he says a city location is the goal.

Earlier, he had researched restaurant locations, spurred on by friends and family.

“It was the early idea, but way too expensive for me,” he said. “That’s what led me to the food truck, something I could purchase with my savings, and with overheads low enough for me to make a business out of it.

“Coming out of the pandemic, you have to watch costs in order to survive.”

But the new path for Mr Minors that led him to the lunch truck business literally began from that life and death hospital experience, when he acted on his interest in natural healing, and went to the Honduran jungle in search of answers from self-styled herbalist, the late Dr Sebi.

“In 2014, I was in a bike accident,” he told us. ”I actually passed away. I flatlined in the hospital!

“But I came back. Later, I was laid up at home and told to expect six months to recuperate.”

The accident had left Mr Minors with a fractured left femur, lung contusions, two fractured ribs and a collapsed lung.

“During my healing process,” he said, “I watched videos about Dr Sebi on YouTube. I ordered his herbs and felt they sped up my healing. So, I hopped on a plane and went to his Usha Village, near La Ceiba, Honduras.”

The village is at the foot of the Nombre de Dios National Park on the Caribbean Coast of Honduras.

Even now, the clinic is maintained by Dr Sebi’s family. Treatment includes a rigorous diet, steam baths from the natural hot springs, and bathing in thermal waters.

Mr Minors continued returning for even longer periods, sometimes with a group of other health-conscious Bermudians.

“The village is four to five hours drive to the mountains. The first time, I knew no one and they spoke Spanish. I heard it was a dangerous area, but I guess I’m a risk taker. I learnt so much.”

He recalled: “Dr Sebi’s nephew took me into the mountains where I learnt about healing plants and I recognised some that grow in Bermuda.

“I kept returning to Honduras, sometimes for weeks, months and saw their techniques cure so many people from all over the world with cancer, HIV and other diseases. I’m watching him cure people of this stuff and it was mind blowing for me.”

Mr Minors was inspired by Dr Sebi, but he also studied separately, looking for universal truths in the human diet.

His study of plant-based medicine and plant-based food included direct learning in the village, but also through personal study.

He not only soaked up what he could from the clinic, but continued his study with medical books about how the human body worked and how it fed.

He also delved into herbal foods, herbal medicine, plant-based medicine and vegan food.

“I learnt a lot from the village. But I also travelled to Brazil and stayed with some indigenous people in the amazon and learnt about herbs and diet there.

“Dr Sebi learnt from a Mexican, so I went to Mexico and studied with herbalists there, as well.”

He spent time in the kitchen cooking with Dr Sebi’s niece. By 2017, he was back home cooking vegan meals for family and friends, all imploring him to open a restaurant.

He wrote a cookbook in 2017, and said he is in the process of updating it for re-release.

Studying about how things worked was quite natural to him.

He studied engineering at Cambrian College in Ontario and became a 3rd class power engineer.

“My grades were good and I was lucky enough to leave the island for schooling with a scholarship from the National Training Board and help from the Southampton Princess Hotel, where I had also worked. Between the two of them, they fully paid my way.

“My family didn’t have the money to send me to school, so that was a blessing for me. I came back and continued to work for Southampton Princess for a couple of years and then worked for Belco.

“But it wasn’t until I got to Honduras that I felt I had found my purpose – what I‘m here to do.

Jamel Minors is among those who believe western medicine saw Dr Sebi and his teachings as a threat.

The lunch wagon is ablaze with Dr Sebi’s iconic image and the business name – Alkaline Triangle – is derived from Dr Sebi’s famous/infamous alkaline diet.

In part, it also comes from the Bermuda Triangle.

“How many times are Bermudians asked about the Bermuda Triangle.”

Not all of Dr Sebi’s original principles have stood up to scrutiny, with some aspects of the alkaline diet rubbished by researchers.

He had no medical degree. Sebi wasn’t even his real name.

A self-styled herbalist healer, born Alfredo Darrington Bowman, he was dogged by controversy and a stand-off with western medicine, especially after exporting his frowned-upon medical ideas to the United States.

He was arrested in New York, accused of practising medicine without a license, acquitted in 1985, but later charged in a civil suit that barred him from making therapeutic claims.

He was arrested in Honduras in 2016 for alleged money laundering, and during several weeks of detention, mysteriously contracted pneumonia and died in police custody. The Associated Press said he was 82.

The controversy followed him to the grave. To this day, there are two distinct camps, one labelling him a quack, and the other portraying him as a misunderstood and maligned naturalist healer, squashed by the fear of western doctors and big pharma. Among the believers are a large population of African-Americans.

Naysayers point to concerns among dietitians that the alkaline diet does not completely satisfy the human organism.

Dietitians, doctors and other health professionals in droves, however, recommend a plant-based diet, because of health risks linked to animal products.

Dr Sebi’s numerous celebrity clients included Eddie Murphy, Michael Jackson, Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes, Steven Seagal and John Travolta.


Alkaline Triangle: Jamel Minors has a new lunch wagon serving vegan cuisine (Photograph by David Fox)
Alkaline Triangle: Jamel Minors has a new lunch wagon serving vegan cuisine (Photograph by David Fox)
Alkaline Triangle: Jamel Minors has a new lunch wagon serving vegan cuisine (Photograph by David Fox)
Jamel Minors wrote the Alkaline Recipe Book in 2017 to share some of his culinary creations. He is now in the process of updating it (photograph supplied)

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Published August 09, 2022 at 7:56 am (Updated August 10, 2022 at 7:30 am)

Vegan meals on wheels

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