"Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process, heal our own."
- Wangari Maathai

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Good Food for Health

I have wittered on about what I refuse to eat because it is bad for the body and now I want to just mention what I do eat because it is good for the body. 

Good nutrition/food is what the body can digest and utilise and contributes to its overall health over time.  Bad food is what the body cannot digest or utilise and harms the body over time. 

Unfortunately, because our bodies are so resilient a bad diet sometimes only becomes apparent over many years and we often don't connect the dots.  Imagine if, after guzzling a piece of chocolate cake, we instantly put on 20 pounds around our waists!  Or if the body refused to take in anything that was harmful and chucked it out every time we had our little 'indulgences'.  I bet we would not be so keen on the 'just this once can't be bad' attitude.

For anyone who has just joined me - use phantasmagoria here - and picture the above scenes....instant ballooning or instant hurling.  Not pretty huh?

Anyway, for the sake of our health, we have to learn to 'see' the long term effects of our eating habits.  Long-term effects of bad eating habits are terrible and sometimes, irreversible.  Keep on picturing that the next time you eat whoppings of saturated fat and sugar.   

Here is what I do eat:
  1. Fresh fruit and vegetables.
  2. Nuts, seeds, olives and avocados (good source of essential fats needed by the body)
  3. Lean meat, chicken, fish and eggs.
  4. Some dairy (very little hard cheese)
  5. Olive, avocado and various seed oils (cold pressed)
  6. Various herbs, spices and vinegars for flavouring.
Cooking methods:  Baking (without oil) using non-stick cookware or steaming. 

We cannot exercise enough to counteract bad eating habits.  A friend of mine once told me that in order to burn off one slice of chocolate cake I would have to run from Johannesburg to Pretoria and back again (a distance of about 100kms).  She also told me (she is a personal trainer) that when people first start exercising they believe that they deserve to go and have a muffin or a piece of cake after their workout and they end up eating more calories than they ate before they started exercising.  The results are obvious - they get even fatter and, they blame it all on the exercise, not what they are stuffing into their faces every day.  Very curious indeed. 

Maybe one day everyone will see the consequences of their actions in time to change them.  That is my hope.

Diana Elsmere