Fad, fashion or function? Turning healthy scepticism into truth
The thing about common sense is that it’s not very common. Take Michael Pollan’s healthy dose of wisdom, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”, for example.
It couldn’t be more straightforward yet year after year the pandemic of obesity and diabetes rises incrementally. The evidence is out there, but so too is the easy access to highly processed convenience foods. Sadly it’s more cost effective for many to eat poorly rather than cross town to seek out healthier options, organic ingredients and those mysterious superfoods with their movie star cache.
Back in the ’70s health fans were encouraged to eat high protein diet. Then in the ‘80s packet pasta became ‘all the rage’. Like the great margarine myth, we were lead to believe that a diet rich in carbohydrates was the go – this processed wheat based diet reeked havoc on the collective Australian digestion due to excessive gluten consumption.
In the 30 years I have been working with food I have never heard any one say “Dish me up a double dose of that deep fried saturated fat so I can die faster”. However I do hear this often, “I just wish healthy food could taste good” – and that’s where the unprocessed wholefoods, fresh herbs, seasonings (like the Japanese sesame salt Gomasio – recipe below) kick in to boost the flavour of a clean eating diet.
Clean eating doesn’t mean eating or skimping. It means simply that food that has not been processed or changed in anyway from its original, naturally occurring state and that can be enjoyed in its natural shape, such as fruit, vegetables, fish, meat – think roasts and cutlets – nuts and seeds are wholefoods. If it comes from a packet, think twice. Look out for deadly trans fats, artificial sweeteners and preservatives – these are the chemicals your body simply does not recognise – and has great difficulty breaking down.
The combination of a rainbow of fresh ingredients, simply prepared and lightly seasoned is what benefits us the most. We call this “food synergy” and it’s about how to produce a combined effect greater than the sum individual components that we eat every day.
Ultimately it is the interaction of what we eat that correlates directly to how we feel.
Sam Gowing’s Gomasio
Gomasio is the principal table condiment in the Macrobiotic way of natural foods diet. Use it in lieu of salt to season your food at table, giving hearty delicious taste. It has a powerful ant-acid biochemical effect, strengthens digestion and improves energy immediately. Together with a simple diet of slow-cooked whole grains and legumes in iron pot, Gomasio will accelerate the de-acidification of the digestive tract and improve the assimilation of the food.
Cook daily with sea vegetables such as Dulse, Kombu, Wakame, Hijiki and Nori in your legume dishes; add wakame in soups like miso; add nori or dulse flakes into grains and legumes while they cook to help detoxify your body and boost your mineral intake.
¼ cup raw, unhulled sesame seeds – black or white
1 teaspoon Murray River, Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
¼ cup dulse flakes – a purple coloured seaweed flake available from health food shops
1. Place seeds in a clean, dry, frying pan and toast on low heat, stirring often until they start to pop
2. In a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder, combine salt, seeds and dulse
3. Store in an airtight container for up to one month
4. Sprinkle as a garnish to add extra zing to your salads and stir-fries