Why eating good pays off
OK, I get it. It can be hard to make food from scratch. You’re busy with work, family, house chores, social things. The list goes on… But, where do you think you get the energy to do all that on your list? Where do you get that mental sharpness from? Food, my friends.
The food we eat turns into energy – pure biology and there is no way of avoiding it. Plus, all vitamins our bodies need – such as vitamin C for immunity, B vitamins to combat stress, selenium and iodine for thyroid and many others – all come from food.
Except of course, if you're taking good food supplements. Even then, food should be the first choice and supplements second.
Hippocrates (the father of medicine) said it over 2000 years ago, "Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" and used to emphasise the importance of nutrition to prevent or cure disease. But, somehow, we forgot about this. We forgot that food can cure us.
So, why don’t we invest a bit more time and energy into the food we eat?
“Too busy” is the obvious answer, right? But, most of the time, this is only an excuse. You know that, and I know that. So, a good start to eating better is just cut the b*s* and that personal bias that we eat well and admit that we just don’t eat that well.
Admitting to ourselves we are not eating as well as we could is a big thing. And the first big step into transformation. And, honestly, with some help, this can easily be done.
A lot of us buy processed convenience meals, we order takeaways once, twice maybe three times a week. Deliveroo and Just Eat are doing amazing – good for them, but it's heart-aching for me, as a nutritionist!
We don’t know (or don’t want to know) about food preservatives and how come our cereals have an expiry date of two years plus. Is that natural?
Yet, those preservatives (E numbers) can trigger asthma, cause hyperactive behaviour in young children and some are found to be cancer-causing. On the other hand, steroids in our meat and milk will over time interrupt our bodies hormones and make things grow faster like boobs in very young girls.
This article is not meant to freak you out. Eating healthier is not that difficult. What eating healthier is, is small changes over time. That’s the key.
So yes, making things from scratch does require a little bit of your time and effort but you know exactly what you and your family are eating. It’s so worth it. And, for a lot of people (me included), this is so satisfying and reassuring thought – wouldn’t you agree?
A fantastic family granola recipe
Below I have put my family granola recipe together for you – it’s delicious (even my hubby loves it and he’s not into sweet breakfast). Make it and enjoy it.
- 3 cups of rolled oats (gluten-free)
- 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
- 6 tbs melted peanut butter or almond butter or any other nut butter of choice or coconut oil
- 1 tsp real vanilla essence
- 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
- 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt (or real sea salt)
- 1/3 cup of slivered (or other) almonds
- 1/3 cup of pecans nuts
- 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup of maple syrup or honey
- 1/3 cup of goji berries (soaked in water for five minutes so they're not too dry)
- 1/3 cup of raisins (or chopped apricots or cranberries)
- 1/3 cup of ground flax seeds
- 1/3 cup of chia seeds
Please note: omit items that you don’t have or you are not a big fan of. I usually double all the ingredients when making for myself.
- Preheat oven to 150°C/300F/Gas Mark 2 and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Combine the first 10 ingredients in a big bowl and spread the mixture onto the baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, check and stir once or twice, making sure it doesn't burn. After 20 minutes, mix in goji berries and raisins and bake for another 15-20 minutes. You want to toast it until granola is just golden brown.
- Take out of the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, add the chia seeds and flaxseed and mix (you don’t want to cook those as delicate healthy oils inside). Put in an air-tight container.
- Enjoy with a milk or milk alternative of your choice. Almond milk goes brilliantly.
I like to use Ceylon cinnamon as the other, more common Cassia cinnamon contains a liver toxin that you don't want to be consuming on a regular basis.
Always purchase your flax unground and grind at home in an inexpensive spice grinder. This prevents the delicate oils from going rancid. But note, your flax must be ground to reap the benefits!
You can use whatever nuts and seeds you like in this granola, so don't panic if you don't have all the ones I've listed above. These are just the ones I typically like to use.
Store in a glass airtight container for up to a month. Enjoy.