More Food For Thought

Published 06.08.2015

EAT WELL, LIVE WELL. It is hard to understand why so many people hardly care about what they eat.

I totally agree, eating should be fun, a pleasure. But that is no reason to not think about what to eat and what to eat less – or even what to leave out of your stomach. Remember, your body is like a motor, it only works well with the appropriate fuel!

Photo: One apple a day …

FIRST STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR NUTRITION

Do you ever watch what people have in their carts in supermarkets? I often do and I am often surprised. Tons of (cheap) meat and sausages, frozen pizza, white bread, processed food “nicely” wrapped in plastic, canned stuff and sugared juices – almost everything but nothing fresh. Just crap! Many people care a lot about the latest technical gimmicks, about fashion brands and the best cars – but the awareness of good food is pretty low. Don`t get me wrong, I am far away from being a disciplined ascetic nor am I a vegan (some people think I am but they don`t know the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan … and on top I still eat some fish and seafood). Yes, I love potato chips! And yes, I can hardly resist a good piece of fatty cake! But I try to reduce my consumption of these “goodies” – not that much because of calories (luckily, my metabolism works well even at an advanced age) but because of all the crap that is in those items. I also try to reduce the harm by just buying cooked organic potato chips (not fried) and I usually eat dark chocolate – this has even very positive effects and you will never eat so much since it is pretty strong – my stomach is very grateful because it obviously does not like milk chocolate too much. And cakes are just for a Sunday treat (well, mostly ...) – more than anything else this is food for my soul! And who wants to do without a nice glass of wine from time to time? Certainly not me. And many studies suggest that a moderate (not a bottle per day...) consumption of red wine is good for your health – cheers!

It is no secret that all kinds of veggies and fruits are healthy – unless you are allergic to them, of course.

Needless to say that they should be fresh and processed in the most “gentle” way – don`t fry or cook them to death! I remember eating veggies in a company canteen – they must have been boiled for ages. They were so soft that you could drink them – no kidding! And imagine that many people go to that canteen every day. They should take vitamin pills to make up for this crappy food, honestly! Ah, talking about vitamins. Some doctors strongly recommend them. Others think that they are not necessary if you eat well. I think that a blood test can tell you more. Ask your doctor for an extensive test, not just the usual one.

Photo: Nothing better in summer than fresh fruit with some mint

SO MUCH ARTIFICIAL STUFF…

Yes, it is not always easy to eat well – in particular when you are travelling. I know that situation very well – you are in long meetings, at trade shows and you can just get junk food – all these cookies on the table. At one point you are so hungry that you just grab whatever you can get. Yes, I know that. When I am in a situation like that I make sure to have energy bars and fruits with me. And when shopping I carefully check what the food contains.. Did you ever look at the ingredients of a regular chocolate bar? It can get scary. Nothing but chemical stuff, artificial flavors. And what can you expect of a so-called fruit yoghurt that only costs EUR 0,29? Nothing. It contains everything but fruit. The price war in the food industry is ridiculous and dangerous. But hey, we, as consumers, have a lot of power! Simply don`t buy all the crap. Ask yourself how veggies may have been treated if they have come a long way. Read carefully what is in the food you want to buy. Don`t forget that the food industry is not interested in your well-being. They want you to buy their stuff … and to make money. Potato chips contain chemicals which may want you to eat more and more. And the bags are done that way that you love the noise when opening them. Yes, they want you to become addicted to their products! And just make this test – buy organic and regular carrots and put them in your fridge- You will see how long both will last. That`s the simple difference between processed and natural food. And yes, I know that not every organic product is perfect. There are black sheep. But I strongly believe that organic food is always better than “regular” items – in particular when it comes to pepper, tomatoes, grapes and most berries.

Photo: Some studies suggest that berries can even reduce your risk of cancer

THE “LIGHT” HYPE

The food industry is smart … and voracious. They are very creative in finding ways to cheat us. 70% less fat (based on what?)! No sugar (ok but what did they put instead to make your drink sweet?)! And everything is light – false promise in particular for those who want to lose weight. And often this promise is a bluff package. The share of fat may be reduced but often the share of carbohydrate and sugar substitutes is even higher. Or they simply reduce the quantity of their “goodies”. Again, read what`s in the nice little package you are buying – and be critical.

Smoothies

Hollywood celebs cannot live without them. One of Germany`s best female tennis players, Andrea Petkovic, has become a vegan and believes in the power of smoothies. What is the secret about this? German doctor Ingrid Gerhard says they

  • help to detox,
  • saturate and supply valuable nutrients (and just a few calories…),
  • neutralize your body
  • heal your intestine
  • make you feel good (better sleep, better fitness)
  • protect your immune system

She recommends the following ingredients:

  • green salad
  • rocket
  • spinach
  • collard greens
  • just the greens of carrots, cabbage, garden radish
  • eggplant
  • cucumber
  • zucchini
  • tomato
  • herbs such as parsley, mint, basil
  • fresh fruit
  • good quality water
  • moringa
  • wheat or barley grass
  • chlorella
  • a little bit of ginger

Don`t add potatoes, nuts, cereals, legumes, animal fat such as cream, sweeteners! Needless to say that the ingredients should be organic and well cleaned. Get a good mixer and drink them sober in the morning. I have started to drink a spoon of barley grass with still water in the morning which I believe is showing effects. It is my firm intention though to give up my laziness and prepare a full fresh smoothie before having a nice breakfast!

VEGANS, VEGETARIANS AND MEATLOVERS…

Just to name a few because this list goes on … there are people who just eat raw food, others only eat stuff that falls from trees and so on. Well. If you have read my first blog “Food for thought” you know my opinion about meat consumption. I have given up eating meat 20 years ago – for all reasons that exist. The following number may help you to reduce your intake of meat products: in 2014, 1,200 tons (!) of antibiotics have been fed in German “farms” – and no doubt that this is similar in other countries. And guess who is getting all that stuff at the end of the food chain? Yes, it is YOU.

I still enjoy eating dairy products, eggs and fish/seafood from time to time, mostly organic. I have all respect for vegans – did you know that, just to name a few, Jared Leto, Ellen DeGeneres, Alec Baldwin Johnny Depp, Demi Moore, Bill Clinton, Ben Stiller and Michelle Pfeiffer belong to them?

And I am always impressed with the German chef and bestseller author Attila Hildmann – a young guy who was pretty overweight before becoming a vegan and now is in top shape (look at his creative recipes on his website)! So, guys, vegans are not necessarily softies (unless you consider only a man with a potbelly a real man ;-) – but aren`t those times long gone by?). And do you consider Mike Tyson a softie? I must confess that I could not do without good cheese and eggs (an omelette with fresh herbs is my source of protein after a gym session) – and real chocolate, of course. I tried vegan cheese but that`s – in my opinion – not a solution. It already falls apart when looking at it and the taste is something between gum and just – nothing. Thanks but thanks! And for the many people who are suffering from lactose intolerance, you will already find many

Photo: Healty and tasty – dark chocolate! Make sure that the cocoa share is very high.

lactose-free products that taste well. In that regard, the food production has made big progress! – Coming back to meat, as already said I strongly believe that we should reconsider our consumption – for our own wellbeing, against animal torture and finally for the sake of the environment. Read more in my first food blog.

www.attilahildmann.com

http://www.richroll.com/bio

http://deliciouslyella.com

http://www.andreapetkovic.de/en

SUPERFOODS

They are nature`s gift since they are offering a tremendous dietary and healing potential.

With their sources of proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants and “good” fats they help to improve our health and vitality.

Many of us know the excellent benefits of apples, parsley, spinach, blueberries, eggplants and others but there are also rather new and exotic superfoods which are worth to think about.

Here are a few:

  1. Chia seeds – originating from South and Central America, first cultivated by the Maya. They are an excellent protein source and an omega 3 superfood, helping with joint inflammation, brain and skin health, a healthy heart and cholesterol reduction.
  2. Chlorella – a fresh water algae which is mostly cultivated in Asia, a daily food for many Japanese (and we know how old these people get sometimes)! It is excellent for detoxification, removing environmental pollutants and other stuff your body does not need. It may also help your digestion and even Crohn`s disease, colitis and ulcers. And they say it is a perfect food for anti-aging, so I will consume it more often ;-)!
  3. Goji Berry – also coming from Asia, mainly from the Himalaya. Tibetians consider it as a “key to eternal youth” since it contains antioxidants and helps your heart, digestion, eyes and joints. Let`s go for these berries and stay young!
  4. Turmeric – a part of the (likewise very healthy) ginger family, grown in East Asia. It is key for ayurvedic nutrition and helps your digestion. Likewise, it has antibacterial and antioxidant effects. Just be careful when touching it – you hardly get rid of its yellowish colour!

And I have already mentioned the positive effects of wheat grass (not wheat itself) and barley grass.

These are, of course, just a few examples. Mother nature is offering so many great plants – and there are many efforts going on to identify more, some of them sitting in the deep sea. Who knows, maybe in a few years we will have superfoods that can really help to tremendously slow down our aging process. For more information have a look at

facebook.com/NealsYardRemediesAustralia

You can calculate your BMI online here.

Photo: Chia seeds – their history goes back to the Maya in Latin America! Not cheap but recommendable.

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