fruit

More vegetables please.

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Something my clients hear me say a lot is to eat more vegetables, fruit and legumes because hardly anyone eats as much as is optimal. I don't advocate any one diet for clients (I am not vegetarian although some of my clients are and I support that), but hardly anyone eats even the government recommended 2 fruit and 5 veg servings a day. And I would say if you need to heal from chronic health issues, that would be an absolutely bare minimum.

One of the best things you can do for your gut health, heart health, cancer prevention, and to lower overall inflammation in the body, (which is an underlying condition for many chronic illnesses), is to eat more plant-based foods.

Many people fall back on bread or other grain-based products, as their staple- toast/cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, pasta for dinner- because they are so convenient, but they are a little acidic on the body, especially the white versions. Fruit and veg are alkalising and provide a much better foundation especially if one has chronic health issues or inflammation. Legumes are usually forgotten and I just want to remind people about them.

Not only do I recommend more vegetables, fruit and legumes as the basis for any diet, but also more VARIETIES of fruit, vegetables and legumes.

We live in an era and a place where we have such an abundance of variety! If you find yourself bored with apples and bananas, when was the last time you had black grapes, figs, persimmons, fresh raspberries, honeydew melon, mango or papaya? Or blood oranges, fuyu persimmons, or the many different varieties of plums available at the moment? They are not expensive compared to chronic illness, takeaway food, or a bottle of wine!

For vegetables, how about the different types of pumpkin now in season; fennel bulbs; orange or yellow capsicum; try a different type of onion than normal; okra; Chinese veg like pay choy; fresh asparagus, sweet potato; different cucumbers; or even a different type of potato than normal? These different colours and types all feed different beneficial gut bugs.

For legumes, which are particularly beneficial for our gut microbes with their fibre, there are chickpeas, black beans, brown or green lentils, butter beans, soy beans, cannelloni beans, kidney beans, and all the wonderful dhal lentils such as mung, urid , red or adzuki. There are even pastas now made purely from legumes.

I encourage you to try something new this week. Try and eat the rainbow every day! Recipes abound online- just google your ingredient! I am loving the Yum app on my iPad, which I keep in the kitchen when I am cooking. I can look up an ingredient I have in the fridge, and find dozens of recipes containing that ingredient.

I hope I have inspired you to have some fun with colourful plant foods and get healthy at the same time.

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Are you addicted to sugar? Here's an idea.....

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Are you addicted to sugar? Do you need that snack with sugar a couple of times a day- a chocolate bar, a "healthy" bliss ball, some icecream, a drink with sugar added? Its hardly a personal weakness....sugar is everywhere. It can seem very challenging to break the habit.

Years ago I got out of the sugar rut by going cold turkey. I just decided to stop when someone I loved encouraged me to. And in those days I was much more "paleo" and avoided much fruit and ate more meat. It worked. I haven't really eaten much sugar since then and I rarely crave it.

However it's not what I recommend nowadays, and I haven't found "just go cold turkey" particularly effective for most people. Addictions are tricky because we only have so much willpower, and with all the stress and things pulling on our quota of willpower, its pretty hard to use willpower to break an addiction. A stressful day, an upset, and our hand reaches for the sugar almost by itself and we watch it without being able to stop it. I have certainly been there.

What I realise nowadays is how valuable fruit is, and I eat lots of it- as in, a lot. So does Dave my husband. Fruit when eaten as part of a fairly lowish fat diet, does not raise blood sugar or act like table sugar in the body at all. It provides a whole food that feeds and nourishes the cells including the brain with the fuel they prefer, glucose.

Nowadays I recommend eating plenty of fruit to transition away from addiction to sugar.

Craving sugar? Have some grapes, a mango, or whatever takes your fancy. It is NOT the same as sugar, at all. Fruit is a food which feeds your cells in the way they love, directly. It is a whole food, with fibre and untold amazing nutrition, nourishing you in so many ways. It also assuages that craving for sugar.

I would suggest eating fruit freely, without fear, to move away from sugar addiction. But you might like to keep your fat intake moderated, as fruit and fat are not such a great combination.

I do eat fruit at the end of meals though. I often crave something sweet at the end of a meal and fruit does the trick. And yes, food combing rules tend to say that's not ok, but it works for me.

Do you love fruit but have been scared into thinking its just another form of sugar and therefore bad?

A Healthier Christmas and Holiday Season

A Healthier Christmas and Holiday Season

At this time of year many people are starting holidays and often that leads to drinking too much alcohol and snacking on unhealthy foods. It doesn’t have to be that way, and it can also be a time of rest, nourishment, sunshine and swimming, connection with family and friends, and looking after your health in ways you may not have had time for over the year.