Function, Fad or Fashion – How to turn your scepticism into belief when it comes to healthy eating.
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 – then processed wheat-based diets reeked havoc on the collective Australian digestion due to excessive gluten consumption.
In the 35 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 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.
Gomasio (right hand spoon, pictured) 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 bean/legume dishes; 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
- Place seeds in a clean, dry, frying pan and toast on low heat, stirring often until they start to pop
- In a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder, combine salt, seeds and dulse
- Store in an airtight container for up to one month
- Sprinkle as a garnish to add extra zing to your salads and stir-fries
Sammy’s Sugar Free Bliss Balls
2 cup almonds
½ cup macadamia nuts
½ cup sultanas
½ cup goji berries
1 vanilla bean, scraped
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil
Desiccated coconut for rolling
- Combine all ingredients except coconut in a food processor until it forms a crumb like texture
- Shape into golf ball sized balls, roll in coconut and chill for at least 20 minutes to firm
- Or freeze for up to 14 days
Beet top, lemon and ginger tea The rich, red colour of this tea helps to tonify the blood and cleanse the liver. Because beets have strong detoxifying properties, as they are high in chlorine, this little tonic will assist in the cleansing of the liver, kidneys and bloodstream. It is also rich in potassium which may help to balance the metabolism. Recipe
Lick an Umeboshi plum – to balance out-there feelings from toxins. A Macrobiotic remedy that suggests having salty or contractive taste to balance the sugar from alcohol and other toxins. It really works but tastes awful! Get recipe
A protein rich breakfast – poached eggs and spinach or muesli with nuts, seeds and yoghurt. The liver produces elevated levels of C-reactive protein after injury or trauma. This substance is thought to be involved in inflammation and alcohol hangovers, so repair with healthy protein replacement.
A Milk Thistle supplement will help to re-energise hepatocytes (liver cells) is an anti inflammatory, antioxidant, and reduces toxic fatty degeneration of the liver.
Wheatgrass juice is the bomb to alkalise the blood and powerful antioxidant, superoxide dismutase. Magnesium. See my article on wheatgrass here
Vitamin B – especially B1,2,3 – will help circulation and blood cleansing. Think Black Betty Bam, miso soup, molasses and brown rice as examples.
Beetroot, carrot and celery juice This ol’ chestnut contains carotenoids and flavonoids which heal and cleanse. Celery juice is great for beer excess conditions such as gout as it breaks down the purines that cause pain, and helps to reduces inflammation.
Drink plenty of filtered water. Aim for 2 litres a day to promote kidney function and liver clearance.