Eating - do's and don'ts
The modern diet is a prescription for obesity, metabolic problems, and all kinds of other chronic diseases
Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale.
Elsa Schiaparelli, Italian Fashion Designer
If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk
There's a great metaphor that one of my doctors uses: If a fish is swimming in a dirty tank and it gets sick, do you take it to the vet and amputate the fin? No, you clean the water. So, I cleaned up my system. By eating organic raw greens, nuts and healthy fats, I am flooding my body with enzymes, vitamins and oxygen.
Kris Carr, Wellness Activist and Cancer Survivor
If you want to turn your health and well-being around, pay attention to what you eat, how you eat and in whose company you eat.
Aim for the following for a minimum of three weeks, preferably for life. Why go back to eating foods that damaged your health in the first place?
Benefits:- glowing skin, loss of weight, increased health and vitality, control over or reversal of diabetes and some other medical conditions.
Some Do's and Have's
A cupboard and refrigerator clear out; out with all unhealthy foods, make way for the new. Checkout the what’s good and not so good here
Berries: as a treat and in moderation. With whipped fresh cream.
Dairy products: Always select full-fat options like real butter, real cream (40% fat), sour cream, Greek/Turkish yogurt and high-fat cheeses. Avoid flavoured, sugared and low-fat variations.
Eat All You Like – of the good stuff! Natural, unadulterated, that’s not been processed or packaged, in a can or carton. Make it preferably organic or grass fed meat to avoid all the antibiotics and other chemicals animals are fed these days. What’s in them comes into you!
Eggs: go organic when availability and finances allow. Eggs may be boiled, fried, poached, in omelettes.
Experiment eating “en famille” whether it be with your family, or a group of friends. Break bread, enjoy good conversation, enjoy the rituals of eating – saying grace, giving blessings, connecting, and laughing.
Experiment with eating in silence – and no distractions such as TV, mobile phones, electronic wizardry.
Fasting - try intermitten fasting - read the book by Dr Jason Fung, The Complete Guide to Fasting
Fish and shellfish: freshwater fish such as salmon, mackerel or herring are great. Avoid fish and shell-fish from factory farms. Cooking – steaming and poached is healthy, as is lightly fried in butter.Avoid breading and battering.
Meat: beef, pork, game meat, chicken, turkey. Feel free to eat the fat on the meat as well as the skin on the chicken.
Natural fat, high-fat sauces: use butter, ghee, olive oil, coconut oil and cream for cooking can make your food taste better and make you feel more satisfied.
Nuts: pecans, walnuts, cashew nuts preferred. Not masses of peanuts!!
Vegetables that grow above ground: asparagus, aubergine, avocado, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, courgettes, cucumber, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes.
Alcohol – except as a rare occasional treat. It has a high sugar and carb content as do the mixers that often come with it.
Anything that’s not real food ie food that has not been refined, processed, packaged, put in a can etc
Beer: full of rapidly absorbed carbs. Hence “beer belly!”
Fruit: very sweet, contains lots of sugar.
Grain – wheat, oats, rye, etc
Margarine: linked to asthma, allergies and other inflammatory diseases.
Root vegetables eg carrots, potatoes, and anything grown under and in the ground
Starch: Breads, baked goods, French fries, muesli, pasta, porridge, potato chips (crisps), potatoes, rice, and so on.
Sugar: Total! Be it in breakfast cereals, buns, chocolate, cakes, drinks, ice cream, pastries, soft drinks, sports drinks, sweets, and sweeteners. Minimise fruit intake.
Wholegrain products – they may be less bad than the above but are high in carbs and gluten.
Get up to date on
When I was a teenager, the fad was, that fat in food was bad. Nowadays we are seeing that that is a myth. In truth only some fats are bad (trans and saturated fats). Many others, such as monounsaturated (found in natural foods such as red meat, whole milk products, nuts and high fat fruits such as olives and avocados) and polyunsaturated fats (found mostly in nuts, seeds, fresh water and ocean fish, algae, leafy greens, and krill) are good for us, if not essential. They protect our hearts, nourish our skin, aid metabolism (a complex series of chemical processes that convert food into energy as well as establishing the rate at which your body burns calories) and our ability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, and help us feel full so we don’t overeat. This includes cooking oils – the healthiest being olive oil and coconut oil. Most others are not healthy.
Bad-boy butter has been on the “no” list for decades but natural, grass-fed butter is rightly having a revival as studies show that its fatty acids can help with weight loss and brain function. Present in butter is conjugated linoleic acid (helps reduce body fat deposits and improves immune function.) It is an anti-carcinogen that also inhibits artery plaque and diabetes – and butyric acid, which fights cancer and aids gut health.
Unless you’re lactose-intolerant there’s no need to give up cow’s milk. It’s a better source of calcium, Vitamin D and protein than nut or rice milk and is especially important in children’s diets. Opt for small amounts of organic full-fat milk if possible as it contains higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids that protect the heart and less – if any – chemicals, pesticides and antibiotics.
Who were those monsters back in the 50s and 60s who thought they knew best by banning butter, telling us to forget fat, and eggsisting without eggs? Once thought to be responsible for raising cholesterol in the body, eggs are back on the approved list since it was re-discovered that saturated and trans fat are the main culprits to affect cholesterol. Egg yolks contain the compounds lutein and zeaxanthin that help reduce the risk of age-related macular generation (eye disease). Eating eggs for breakfast satisfy appetite so we eat less during the day. Eggs are a very good source of inexpensive, high quality protein. More than half the protein of an egg is found in the egg white along with vitamin B2 and lower amounts of fat and cholesterol than the yolk. The whites are rich sources of selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, iron and copper. Egg yolks contain more calories and fat. They are the source of cholesterol, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and lecithin - the compound that enables emulsification in recipes such as hollandaise or mayonnaise. All we need is healthy bread for our soldiers.
Coconut oil is arguably the most nutritious of oils and has many health benefits. It is over 90% saturated fat and has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Coconut oil also has antioxidant properties and it helps in the absorption of other minerals. More than half of this is lauric acid, a medium-chain triglyceride that, when consumed, has been linked to raised HDL (good) cholesterol levels, reducing abdominal fat, and the easing of the symptoms of arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
There are many health benefits of olive oil. It’s naturally free of cholesterol, trans fat, salt, sugar, and gluten. In addition, olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat (that’s the good kind). Buy only cold-pressed virgin olive oil. Always read the label – many oils are blends from various countries and their “virginity” not always guaranteed.