The Food We Eat

With Alison (mum) away in Bali for two weeks, she’s passed on the honour of writing our weekly enews to me and the practitioners. She has left some big shoes to fill.  So, with some trepidation, here goes. 

I thought I’d talk to you about food! My partner, Andrew, and I did a 5 day juice fast a couple of weeks ago, so food has been a big topic in my life since then. It all started when I watched the documentary ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead’, a catchy title I know. The documentary follows the journey of an Australian guy who makes some serious life changes after getting fed up with all of his health issues. He starts a 60 day juice cleanse while travelling around America. His thoughts were that if you can have nothing but juice in the burger capital of the world, you can probably do anything.  He lost a remarkable amount of weight during the 60 days and felt better than he ever had before. He was able to stop taking all of his prescription medication and his health issues were no longer an issue. He also changed the lives of quite a few people along the way, inspiring them to take control of their own health! Including me!

After considering our schedule for the upcoming weeks, I decided that we’d start a 5 day Juice cleanse on a Sunday night after a weekend away. That way we’d finish the 5 days by the following weekend and could have a nice dinner on the Friday night. So we headed to the shops for our supplies! And we received a number of interesting looks and comments when we loaded the trolley up with fruit & veg.  I thought, how is it that we live in a world where our trolley contents is so out of the ordinary that people feel inclined to comment! Shouldn’t the majority of all our trolleys be fresh food? If someone had a trolley of chips and ice-cream would you look twice? Where have we gone wrong?

One of the recent ‘food’ documentaries I watched said something along the lines of
‘You couldn’t have designed a better diet to create the health crisis we’re in.’ So had we intentionally set out to make everyone fat and sick, all we’d need to do is start selling processed food in supermarkets and at drive thru’s. Job done! These foods are full of additives, fillers, preservatives, colours, flavourings, sugars etc. And to top it off, they’re also addictive!  They have an almost drug like affect on us, leaving us forever wanting more. So how can we not have a health & obesity crisis on our hands?

I think the first step we can take is education. We help a lot of people at Simply Natural Therapies to lose weight and achieve their health goals, but I think we need to start younger and be thinking about prevention not just cure. Understanding the nutritional information on our food should be taught in primary school, every child should leave high school knowing how to prepare and cook 5 or more HEALTHY meals and at least one meal of the day should be had as a sit down meal where you prepare with your family, housemates or partner, involve the kids if you have them, turn off the TV and sit down together. It may take some getting used to, but who knows what affect it will have. All you need to do is start and it will eventually become just another habit for health, like brushing your teeth!

I recently watched a TED Talk by Jamie Oliver in 2010 called ‘Teach every child about food’. I do think Australians are far better educated about food than the US, but we still have a long way to go. One thing that he said that stuck with me was that in school canteens most of the food available is ‘hand held’ eg. A burger, sandwich or pie. And that we’re teaching our kids that meals are meant to be eaten on the go. So why wouldn’t those children grow up and continue doing what they’ve always done, and eat ‘convenience’ foods? Something as simple as being involved in the preparation of your food and having to sit down and eat it with a knife and fork every day could potentially make the world of difference.  Here is the link to the TED talk if you’re interested in watching

So just for this week or even just for the rest of the day, I challenge you to have a think about what you’re putting into you and your families’ bodies. A juice cleanse is definitely an extreme option, so maybe just try to decrease the amount of processed food you consume. A good tip is to try to choose foods as close to their natural state as possible. eg. Choose brown rice over pasta, or a steak over salami.

If you are interested in trying a juice cleanse, I would recommend waiting a few months and doing it when the weather is a bit warmer and also consulting your GP or natural health Practitioner before starting. Our Naturopath, Anna Talaj, gave me some great advice; I only wish I’d spoken to her prior to starting, not on Day 3.  I experienced almost all of the common side effects that come with juicing, which could’ve potentially been avoided had I had some professional support before I started. Anna is available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. So just give us a call to make an appointment. My skin did look clearer, I’m waking up feeling refreshed and the portion sizes I’m eating have decreased, and doing the cleanse also made me appreciate food, and have a good think about my food choices and diet.

And don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s OK to indulge in unhealthy foods sometimes, as long as you know that they’re unhealthy and eat them for pleasure!

I’m not sure if Alison agrees with me, but she can put her 2 cents in when she gets back from Bali. I hope you enjoyed the read this week.

Next week some of our practitioners will be putting together some articles on how to prevent illness & dis-ease and how you can nurture yourself.

Warm Regards,
Leah Ryper

Simply Natural Therapies
41 Tunstall Square
East Doncaster
VIC 3109
03 9842 7033