The more you eat, the less flavour. The less you eat, the more flavour.
There are literally thousands of diets out there, from the 5:2 diet, the Mediterranean diet, the Paleo diet, the Sushi diet, and even the simple calorie controlled diet. These diets can get quite complicated and the professional aficionados would love us to buy their books explaining the benefits of these diets and giving us lots of recipes that we’re probably never going to cook. As it happens I try to follow the tenants of a Mediterranean diet, simply because I like Mediterranean food. Conversely I would never follow a Sushi diet because I hate sushi and I firmly believe that raw fish is inherently unhealthy, to the point of being dangerous.
There is one basic truth about losing weight ~ eat less. The average female office worker only needs about 2,000 calories a day, and the average male about 2,500. A weight loss diet probably means a woman eating 1,500 calories a day, and a man about 2,000. There are a myriad of calorie calculators on the internet.
However, after some study of diets, nutrition, and health, I can give you some basic guidelines about what you should include and avoid in all those calories.
- Drink 3 pints of fresh clean water every day.
- Eating a little every couple of hours avoids and cures adrenal fatigue.
- Wild foods are good ~ especially healthy grains such as wild rice. Eat organic food whenever you can.
- Try not to eat processed and canned foods.
- Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is vital to our health. Apples, Banana, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Celery, Grapes, Leeks, Pears, Potato (especially potato skins), Spinach, & etc.. Avoid too much citrus fruit, it messes with the acid balance of our gut.
- Adding herbs and spices adds important phytochemicals to our food. Fresh parsley, basil, and rosemary are especially good.
- Eat grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, lamb, wild salmon, net caught ocean fish, shrimp, crab, and lobster. Avoid too much pork, (and if you eat pork make damn certain it’s properly cooked). Avoid farmed fish, (especially tilapia which is cheap whitefish), cheap chicken, bacon, and turkey. Eat shellfish at your peril.
- Don’t drink a lot of fresh milk, don’t put cream or half-and-half in your coffee, and don’t eat a lot of yogurt or cheese.
- Take vitamin and mineral supplements; B4, B12, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, (and if you are a menstruating woman take Iron supplements).
- Do not ever eat anything made with modern wheat; bread, cake, cookies, pasta, tortillas…..
- Avoid too much; complex carbohydrates, caffeine, sugar, and salt.
- Don’t drink too much coffee or ordinary tea, try green tea instead.
- Don’t drink diet sodas, or use artificial sweeteners. In fact really cut down on drinking any soda at all.
- Really, really avoid too much alcohol. One bottle of red wine a week is a good limit, (or if you can’t live with that, two bottles a week). Do not regularly get buzzed, and regularly would be once a month.
You may think that’s all too damn difficult, and probably expensive. Well, it takes effort to follow any guidelines, and good organic food carries a price premium, but really, how much is a healthier and longer life worth to you?
Take Good Care Of Yourself.
It turns out that the urban myth of red meat being bad for you is true after all. Which is sad, because I do enjoy a good steak.
The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook. ~ Julia Child
Eating a lot of steak, or roast beef, or burgers, or lamb, or pork increases your chances of dying from 9 major diseases by 26%, according to the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. Red meat raises the risk of death from cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, diabetes, a stroke, various infections, and kidney, liver, and lung diseases. (You can die from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.)
Processed red meat such as corned beef is even worse for you, as is eating offal, liver, kidneys, pate…
There is a lot of ‘bad’ stuff in red meat, including cholesterol, (although there is a lot of ‘bad’ cholesterol in other popular foods such as macaroni and cheese). As well as the fat in red meat having too much of the ‘bad’ cholesterol, (Low Density Lipoprotein), red meat also contains a lot of heme iron, and too much of that is very bad for you as well. Too much heme iron increases your chances of dying from cancer, a stroke, liver failure, or heart disease.
At the moment I am taking a daily iron supplement, because I was diagnosed with a low red blood cell count, (anemia), but when my blood count returns to normal I will stop taking iron supplements. Too much heme iron can result in haemochromatosis, which is a particularly nasty illness causing things like fatty liver, cirrhosis, and liver failure.
Luckily, regularly eating white meat, (chicken breast), and oily fish may reverse the damage caused by eating steaks. Just don’t eat the chicken skin, or processed white meat, or processed fish. In fact don’t ever eat processed meat or canned meat ~ canned food is generally very bad for your health.
We are what we eat. Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es. ~ Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.
It is a scientifically proven fact that our food choices affect our health. I know that if my diet is bad ~ if I drink too much booze, have too much sugar, eat processed foods, eat out, eat ready-meals, eat too much fatty meat, then I feel bloated, lacking in energy, and I gain weight. It is also a scientifically proven fact that an unhealthy diet will significantly shorten my life.
Health is the natural condition. When sickness occurs, it is a sign that nature has gone off course because of a physical or mental imbalance. The road to health for everyone is through moderation, harmony, and a ‘sound mind in a sound body’. ~ Jostein Gaarder
Like everything else in life, our diet should be moderation in all things. When it comes to my diet, I have tried various fads, including eating only one meal a day, being vegan, and never eating carbohydrates. Now I believe that a mixture of the Paleo Diet, and the Mediterranean Diet is right for me.
Some things I try not to eat include wheat, (bread, pasta, cookies), and some other grains, (white rice), processed food, canned food, and dairy products.
I need to eat more oily fish, such as salmon. Looks like I also need to cut down on steak too. Shame, especially as I like my steak well-done, and that is really bad for my health…
Europe’s the mayonnaise, but America supplies the lobster.
There are shellfish, and then there are scary shellfish. Shrimp are really easy to cook ~ it’s pretty much impossible for a reasonable cook to make a mess of a shrimp recipe, but after that maybe things get a little more difficult. This week we have a mixture of easy shrimp dishes and some other shellfish, which you may think are scary, but aren’t really.
For our first dish for this week, from Amanda at Chez le Rêve Français, we have these seared scallops on peas with chorizo. This is really an easy dish to make, and would be a brilliant light dinner or impressive starter. As it happens, I like scallops.
Seared Scallops on Peas with Chorizo
Here’s an interesting, gluten-free dish from Heather Christo. Paleo Beet Pesto with Spicy Herb Shrimp. This easy 25 minute recipe ticks so many boxes for me, including; Paleo, Gluten-Free, and Beets ~ beets are another of those superfoods… Anyhow, I also like shrimp.
Paleo Beet Pesto with Spicy Herb Shrimp
Andrea at Cooking With A Wallflower has this super quick and easy recipe for Spicy Garlic Soy Shrimp, I’ve made this dish several times, and I love it. Serve with rice, noodles, or salad.
Spicy Garlic Soy Shrimp
Another shrimp dish, this time from Chungah at Damn Delicious. This is a cool 5 ingredient dinner, Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp. I really like the look of this 25 minute dish. But then I really like all Cungah’s sheet pan recipes.
Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Shrimp
Well, I’m certain my friend in Orange County will love this dish from Anne at Tasting Everything; bright and healthy coconut soup with rice noodles and mussels. On the other hand, I can’t see my friend making this for herself, so maybe I’ll cook it for her the next time I visit SoCal. Personally, mussels aren’t my favourite shellfish, but this is a great recipe.
Bright and Healthy Coconut Soup with Rice Noodles and Mussels
This is a completely fabulous recipe from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes; Cioppino, a San Francisco Fisherman’s fish and shellfish stew. You need the freshest possible crab, shrimp, clams / mussels, and a good white fish, but it makes a brilliant dish. I love it.
And, finally for this week ~ Lobster. And we have a collection of 35 Lobster Recipes from Great British Chefs. This collection includes this classic Grilled Lobster from Bryan Webb. Just how impressive do you want to be?
Many, many thanks to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday.
Let Food Be Thy Medicine ~ Hippocrates.
Maybe because it’s winter here in England, but I don’t feel that I am eating a healthy diet. Maybe it’s because I’m in England in winter that I have a stinking head cold… Whatever it is, I have not enjoyed food over the last few days so let’s try something completely different.
Something is telling me I should eat more fish, and I don’t mean traditional English fish, chips, and mushy peas, thousands of calories and lots of carbs… Ergo, let me start off my new diet with some easy salmon recipes.
With healthy eating in mind we have a fabulous looking dish of Paleo red curry braised salmon with sweet potatoes from Heather Christo. Paleo is good, I think. This 45 minute recipe not only uses coconut oil and coconut milk, it also has enough garlic. Nice.
Paleo Red Curry Braised Salmon with Sweet Potatoes
This is a fabulous 30 minute entree from Jessica Merchant at how sweet it is; winter citrus butter salmon. Depending on who you like to read, butter is actually very good for you ~ like all things if not taken to excess. I love the look and sound of this dish. This Saturday I will try the taste test.
Winter Citrus Butter Salmon
Next, a fabulous recipe from Molly in Hawaii, beet cured gravlax. As well as salmon and the more traditional ingredients, Molly has added a few of her own, including beets. OK, this dish takes 3 days to cure, (at least), but being originally from Maine, I’m guessing Molly knows her fish. I’m looking forward to trying this.
Beet Cured Gravlax
Here’s a collection with a difference for you, from Jess at Paleo Grubs, 43 Paleo salmon recipes everyone will love ~ including this simple dish of roasted beets with salmon, broccoli and avocado. All good ingredients.
Roasted Beets with Salmon Broccoli and Avocado
Chungah Rhee at Damn Delicious has a fantastic recipe for Asian salmon cooked in foil ~ and trust me, this is a brilliant way to cook salmon. This dish uses fresh ginger and lots or garlic, as well as honey ~ all on the superfoods list.
Asian Salmon in Foil
Angeleno Girl Karen from Honestly Yum has an interesting winter salmon salad. I like this because, as well as salmon, it’s got some really cool ingredients; avocado, grapefruit, radishes, and fennel. Really cool medicinal food is your basic fennel ~ I need to do a post about that.
Winter Salmon Salad
Most of my meals are cooked in less than 20 minutes in my small wok. So here’s a dish from The Woks of Life, (cooked in a skillet… ha ha ha). This is an easy 30 minute dish, and I know my friend in Orange County will adore these salmon teriyaki bowls.
Salmon Teriyaki Bowls
Here’s another collection for you, from Real Simple Magazine, 10 healthy salmon fillet recipes, including this spicy salmon with bok choy and rice. This dish is quick, easy, and very healthy ~ at least I believe it’s a very healthy meal.
Spicy Salmon with Bok Choy and Rice
And finally for this week ~ I was idly wondering if one could make a decent salmon soup, it turns out there is a shed-load of brilliant salmon soup recipes around on the internet. From Yummly I can offer you a collection of the 10 best salmon soup recipes, (trust me there are a lot more than 10 salmon soup recipes on this site). Looking through Yummly’s recipes I found a super salmon chowder from Andrea Beaman at Further Food, (which is another cool site). Who knew you could make a healthy chowder?
Super Salmon Chowder
Thanks ever so to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday
Mens Sana in Corpore Sano
For most of my life I have had the vague impression that something was wrong with me. That I didn’t quite fit in. That I was different from everyone else. It’s not until recently that I discovered I have been suffering from something called Borderline Personality Disorder for most of my life. It was then that I made what I think is the wisest decision of my entire life; I would get myself well.
I’m so good at beginnings, but in the end I always seem to destroy everything, including myself. ~ Kiera Van Gelder
Fairly obviously, I had no really clever ideas when it came to mental self-help, so I decided to begin by trying to be physically healthier and fitter. I sort of invented a fitness programme, which had some dramatic results, like I lost 18 pounds of excess weight in 6 weeks.
For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories. ~ Plato
Very recently, something very interesting has been happening to me. As well as being physically fitter and healthier, I am also getting well from these Borderline Personality Disorder personality defects, or negative character traits, or bad habits, or whatever you want to call them.
This recovery from suffering from mental ill-health to enjoying mental health, has almost exactly matched my recovery from physical ill-health to physical health. It’s not that I was physically sick before. The fact is I was just not physically healthy, in the same way that most of modern society is not physically healthy. Like most people I was a little overweight, my blood pressure was far too high, I wasn’t eating right, I was drinking too much coffee, for a while I had been drinking far too much booze, I wasn’t getting enough exercise… But now, I have turned my unhealthy lifestyle around into something much better and much healthier, including eating a mostly Paleo Diet. (The dish pictured opposite is Thai salmon in foil )
Looking good and feeling good go hand in hand. If you have a healthy lifestyle, your diet and nutrition are set, and you’re working out, you’re going to feel good. ~ Jason Statham
Now, as my physical body is becoming fitter and healthier, so my mind and spirit are becoming fitter and healthier. Dramatic improvements in my mental and spiritual health have exactly matched the improvements in my physical health. I’m not only physically, mentally,and spiritually well, I now also believe in myself. I know I am not strange or different. Now I am confident and happy in just who I am.
Just like your body and lifestyle can be healthy or unhealthy, the same is true with your beliefs. Your beliefs can be your medicine or your poison. ~ Steve Maraboli
The Ancient Greeks and the Romans knew all about this more than a couple of thousand years ago. Hence the Latin quotation above. Mens Sana in Corpore Sano ~ a healthy mind in a healthy body.
To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. ~ The Buddha
I firmly believe that I cannot have good health in just one aspect of my being, without also being healthy in the other two. To be well, I need to be fit and healthy in body, mind, and spirit ~ just one or two out of three can’t and won’t work.