A Balanced Approach to Wellness!

Archive for the ‘Food & drink’ Category

My farmers market haul

farmers market haul

Every Monday I head to the nearby, one-day-a-week, farmers market and buy beautiful produce. The vegetables and fruit I buy inspire me to prepare nutritious and delicious meals.

Today I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the produce I bought, so I arranged them on my table to take a picture for sharing. You can see how inviting the colors and shapes are (although some people might feel overwhelmed by the thought of cooking all that food!).

Before I put the produce away, I’ve separated out the orange-colored veggies to make Orange soup. The soup contains pumpkin, sweet potatoes and carrots, which provide the beautiful orange color. I’ll put this delicious and not-too-difficult recipe on my Yumtritious Eating website soon. We’ll make a spaghetti sauce full of onions, garlic, eggplant, and cauliflower (didn’t buy zucchini today). For dessert–fresh strawberries and pineapple! Yummy!!

I’ve written about the value of farmers markets in the past. See the post “Farmers’ market balance“. Buying fruit and vegetables when they are out in all their glory is so much more inspiring than buying them packaged in plastic and styrofoam. Whenever you can, head to your nearest farmers market and bask in the magic of the wonderful gifts from nature!

Dessert Substitutes

Sweetness can come from many places.

A relaxed walk after a satisfying meal can offer the body a “sweet” treat that aids digestion and boosts the mind. A conversation filled with smiles and kind words can satisfy the desire for security, even more than chocolate can. An after-dinner enjoyment of a favorite pastime or hobby can assuage the appetite for sugar. A meal that gives entertainment to the senses through appetizing aromas and flavors needs no aftertaste of dessert.

Dessert that is nutritionally sound provides sweetness within context of a nutritionally sound meal. Dessert that is nutritionally bereft tantalizes the eyes and pleases the mouth, but upsets the digestive system and causes myriad negative irritations in the body.

When the urge for sweetness overcomes sensible treatment of the body, remember that there are dessert substitutes that satisfy the calls for momentary gratification, escape from unhappiness, or sweet addiction.

Eating to be Fine

tomato-sorrel-salad

Food is SO confusing. We want it to taste good. We want it to be appealing. And, oh yea, we want it to nourish us.

Actually, many of us forget about the nourishing part of food and focus on the tastiness. Delicious is the main word, not nutritious.

Tasty satisfies for the moments the food is in the mouth, but once it has been swallowed, tasty becomes irrelevant. Nutritional value becomes key.

If the food was tasty and nutritious, the taste buds, digestive system, and body are satisfied. If the food was tasty but devoid of nutritional value, the taste buds were satisfied, but the body feels betrayed.

Our bodies can’t understand why we would insert food that harms us. The body then has to process the harmful foods as best it can. Continuous consumption of harmful foods leads to mutiny by the body—diabetes, diverticulitis, stomachaches, constipation, inflammation, and blockages, among other ailments.

Eating to be fine means putting the body’s health first: eating an apple rather than an apple fritter; saying no to cola with the meal; ordering whole grain items from the menu to encourage restaurants to provide whole grain options; sharing dessert rather than consuming the whole thing; ignoring marketing attempts to get you to buy highly processed foods.

Eating to be fine adds years to life and wellness to years. Feeling good beats a momentary taste pleasure hands down!

Fruit and veggies

The ingredients of tasty and nutritious meals!

Destruction Through Food Consumption

tom-bathroom-scale-800px

Eating can be dangerous to your health if you eat way too much or way too little. Here is a discussion of too much and too little from the book Oneself -Living.

“In modern societies, weight control—or rather, weight-lack-of-control—is a focus, an obsession, non-sustaining. Obsessubstantiality, which is obsession about weight issues, wastes time, energy, resources, opportunities, relationships, and trust.  Wasted efforts! Wasted moments! Wasted lives!

Caring for one’s health is an imperative. Purposely harming one’s health is ill-advised. Eating too much and eating too little have different causes, but they are cousins, related in a somewhat close way. T-t-t-too much! Too much food or too much restraint. Same thing—too much. Too obsessive. Too wasteful.

Moderation has been touted throughout the ages. Weight obsession has become more important than moderation because it generates revenue, buzz, and conversations. Moderation is thought to be dull. Overdoing or underdone-ing is interesting, gossip-worthy, distracting.

Moderation is actually fascinating! No easy feat is moderation. It requires attention and control and vigilance. And sometimes, rethinking and reworking. Moderation is the pinnacle of conscientious living. Moderation contributes to self-control, which in turn brings balance. The more one lives in moderation, the more one can accomplish.

Regarding eating, moderate eating provides the appropriate amount of fuel to run the body. Not too much, not too little. Moderate eating leads to enjoyment of food and to better digestion. Food that is not ejected or is not over-consumed is food well used. Food that is eaten for sustenance is food well used. Food that is eaten, not only in the correct amounts, but also in nourishing environments, nourishes the body and the soul. Soulful eating. Soul-fulfilling nourishment. Nourishing the soul includes the body’s nourishment. Enjoying the food, appreciating the food, understanding that food is for energy, all connect to elevate the process of caring for the body.

Obsessubstantiality is an affliction of people who have lost the importance of being themselves. Perhaps they care too much about other people’s opinions of physical attractiveness or perhaps they care too little.  Perhaps they feel “in control” of something in their life—mistaken assumption—because obsessubstantiality is a loss of control, a turning over of control, a control coup. Other causes can be caregiver passing-on of obsessubstantiality, improper understanding of beauty, surrender of self-caring, or incorrect focus on food as a substitute for attention or love.

Too much or too little. Both are misguided. Is one worse than the other? Yes. Too little eaten on purpose (not in a famine situation) is more destructive than overeating, unless the overeating is done for the purpose of intentional destruction.”

Obsessubstaniality and other important aspects of modern life are discussed in Oneself -Living. It is available for purchase through amazon.com: Cover-Oneself-Living

The harm we bring when Fresh finishes last

Fruit and veggies

  • A dinner at Restaurant A delivers a cooked meat portion, rice, and a fried vegetable portion. The parsley sprig is decorative.
  • A dinner at Restaurant B delivers a pizza with meat and canned mushrooms.
  • A breakfast at Restaurant C offers eggs with potatoes or eggs with meat. Bread on the side.
  • An on-the-run food chain provides the meat in a bun with a piece of tomato and lettuce. The tomato and lettuce were cut much earlier.
  • A bakery that serves meals creates dishes that tantalize the eyes and nose, but challenge the small intestine. Only the decorative fresh peach slice lessens the challenge.

Today’s dining specializes in challenges to the small intestine, pancreas, and brain (and other organs and systems in the body). The missing fresh fruits and vegetables harm the body’s ability to heal. Healing requires the qualities that fresh fruits and vegetables possess.

A vitamin and mineral tablet can’t replace the capabilities of the fresh fruit and vegetables. A meal-in-a-bar can’t replicate fruit and vegetable power. Fruit drink isn’t related to fruit in its peel. Ketchup is not tomato at its best.

When fresh finishes last, health becomes compromised. When fresh finishes last, emotions erupt. When fresh finishes last, future health is less secure.

The food pyramids that show fruit and vegetables at the bottom are correct. Fruit and vegetables are the fuel providers that our bodies need to function effectively. A balanced diet provides vegetables in salads, main dishes, and soups and fruit as snacks, desserts, and appetizers.

Tangy Banana Ice Cream (dairy-free, sugar-free, vegan, raw, and gluten-free)

Tangy banana ice cream

Giving up sugar doesn’t mean giving up sweet treats.

A couple days ago, I signed a contract to overcome cravings by giving up sugar (see the post “My Contract for Overcoming Cravings“). I still eat fruit and use sweeteners such as unprocessed honey, agave, and maple syrup.

Here is a recipe for a mock ice cream that doesn’t feed the sugar beast, and satisfies the desire for sweetness. It’s on my Yumtritious Eating! blog.

About one and a half cups, for 3-4 small servings

Ingredients

2 large frozen bananas

juice from 1 or 2 tangerines or clementines to make 1/3 cup juice

1  1/2 Tbsp carob powder

Steps

  1. Juice the tangerines or clementines and measure out 1/3 cup juice. Pour into a food processor with the S blade.
    Clementine oranges
  2. Add the carob powder to the food processor.
  3. Preferably, the bananas were cut into chunks before they were put into the freezer. If not, cut the frozen bananas into medium-size pieces. Add the banana pieces to the food processor.
  4. Process the ingredients until smooth. Process the mixture quickly so that it doesn’t melt. You might need to stir by hand to mix in all the juice and carob powder.
  5. Spoon into dishes and serve immediately!  Yumtritious!

I’m going to make a sweet treat with strawberries this afternoon. If it turns out yummy (because for sure it will be nutritious), I’ll post it on Yumtritious Eating!

Child Abuse with a Spoonful of Sugar

sweets for children

My childhood contained many spoonfuls of sugar. It started off with sweetened formula. There were doughnuts and ice cream, sugar cubes and sodas. Lollipops and candy canes were gifts at doctor appointments and my parents’ business friends’ offices. Halloween provided weeks of sugary treats. The other holidays had their special sweet treats and customary sweet dishes. My family’s snack drawer was full of snack cakes, cookies, and sno balls. At school, lunches included a sweet treat and the food provided was often sweetened. For breakfast, I ate sweetened cereals, sweetened oatmeal, and instant breakfast drinks.  Family trips to the local ice cream parlors and baseball games led to sweet celebrations galore.  Ice tea was always sweetened as were the fresh strawberries. Sunday morning pancakes smothered with imitation maple syrup were the weekly food highlight. Crackers, canned savory foods, spreads, and fast foods were sweetened as well. My diet was sweet foods with occasional breaks for the unsweetened things. My diet was typical of children growing up in the 60s and 70s in the United States. All that sweetness influenced my health, my eating habits, and my thinking.

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This blog post is written to parents and grandparents to make them aware that their choices to sweeten the lives of their children and grandchildren delivers misery instead of the intended happiness. Sweetening a child’s life is love misguided.

Note: This blog post is not my opinion although I do agree with it. The wisdom presented here is straight from Spiritual Presence.

Parents and grandparents,

“Most of our diet is meant to be non-sweet. The sweet part should be about 8%, and of that 8%, all should be from natural sources—that is how our bodies are designed. .” …from the post “Sweeteners: The Facts

More than 8% sweetness leads to:

  • changed appetite (wanting foods for their sweetness rather than for their satisfaction of hunger)
  • emotional turmoil
  • malfunctioning of the processes that handle sweetness
  • reduced resilience of body parts (for example, teeth)
  • illness
  • compromised attention capabilities
  • over-desire for sweetness
  • reduced muscle activity
  • feelings of negativity towards self

from the post “The Facts: Living in a World of Sweetened Sustenance

Through sweets, well-meaning parents feed their children emotional turmoil and compromised attention capabilities. These changes to natural temperament and attentiveness cause problems with peers and in school.

Through sweets, well-intentioned parents offer their children reduced resilience of body parts as rewards for good behavior and grades. Even parents who know the facts about sweetness succumb to societal pressure to provide their children with changed appetite and over-desire for sweetness. Combating the pervasiveness of sweetness in society is not easy.

Rewarding children using sweets that contribute to feelings of negativity towards themselves is building people who are unsure of themselves. Rewarding children with causers of malfunctioning of the processes that handle sweetness is mistaken gifting.

Sweets that are natural, such as fruit and pure maple syrup, are building unless they exceed the 8% limit. Sweets that are destructive, such as sugar and corn syrup, cause disruptions in functioning and in future functioning.

Going against the typical way of pushing sweets onto children is not easy. Defying the advertisers and makers of sweet things is work. Understanding what you are doing each time you give your child a soda or a candy bar or a sweetened cereal, might help you change your outlook on how you stock your house and how you supply nutrition to the children you love with all your heart.

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