Food Matters

I’ve been travelling along comfortably for a while now, enjoying my breakfast of fruit with some cooked brown rice or quinoa, a large salad at lunch time with some cooked beans or chick peas, and a cooked dinner. I enjoy eating bananas as a snack, and have a vague memory of mentioning that I also enjoy a cappuccino – be it cow’s milk or alternatives such as rice or oat milk – just about every morning.

My Mum and I saw the movie Food, Inc. recently which reminded me of all the reasons that I avoid processed food, minimise the amount of animal protein in my meals, and endeavour to grow some greens and tomatoes to contribute to what I eat. There were parts of Food, Inc. that were somewhat confronting, but as I had previously watched the Fast Food Nation dvd which had similar themes, I knew what I was in for.

Then I noticed the Food Matters dvd at Wrays Organics and on the spur of the moment decided to buy it. I could be forgiven for expecting something similar to Food, Inc. or Fast Food Nation as both movies look at the food that we eat and what happens to that food before it reaches our plates.

But Food Matters is different in that it looks at how the food we eat affects our health. The dvd indicates this with the subtitle being a quote from Hippocrates: “Let thy Food be thy Medicine”. A significant part of the movie is taken up by discussing the importance of raw food, which I was more than happy to listen to after having spent a few months towards the end of last year romping through most of the recipes in Thermomix’s Rawlicious booklet.

I’ve had a lot of input since I first started playing with this little booklet. I’ve dabbled with what could be the standard raw food diet which includes nuts and seeds and even tried sprouting grains unsuccessfully. Then I moved on to the 80/10/10 diet with a high fruit focus and one meal each day including a large salad. Now I’m seeing members of my family following the Paleo diet which advocates a significant amount of animal protein along with fruit and vegetables (excluding root vegetables). I can see benefits in all these ways of eating and have started to incorporate more fish or organic meat into my diet to see if this makes any difference to my overall well-being.

I can’t help wondering why this isn’t easier. My grandmother lived till she was 90. She cooked most meals and had a few processed foods along the way in the form of shop-bought biscuits and cakes, but these foods didn’t form the major component of what she ate. It’s also possible that the ingredients in these products back when she was eating them might have been a bit more natural than what they are now.

The most significant advice I’ve heard from the FoodMatters dvd is to have 51% or more raw food at each meal. I’ve easily been doing this for my breakfast and lunch over the past six months, but have definitely failed the test at dinner time as I’ve recently become accustomed to eating my dinner cooked.

Actually, I should probably ask 51% of what! Is that 51% of the weight of the food I’m eating, or 51% of the calories? I could use this as a delaying tactic but have decided to go with the recommendation provided with the 80/10/10/diet which looks at the percentage of calories.

Most of what I have for dinner comes from the Food Connect box that I pick up each Tuesday. I believe that potatoes are the only item from Food Connect that can’t be eaten raw, so have good reason to think that it wouldn’t be that hard to meet this 51% criterion. It’s just my dinners that I need to reconsider and my cooked dinners that might be the hardest habit to change. The phrase “What to eat” has never been more pertinent.

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