Friday, January 10, 2014

Traditional Diet Advantages

Well, we have just come out of the traditional week of festivities, partying and over indulgence - all of which should have been enjoyed with great vigour ! However, when the tinsel has been taken down and the final bon bon bad joke shared, the last new year fireworks display erupted and glass of champers drunk, we tend to throw ourselves into physical 'self betterment' with equal gusto. But before you dial Jenny Craig, or reach for the protein shakes, think of the lifestyle strategies of your forbears.

We are now a more obese culture than at any time previously in history, and yet the diet of the mid 20th century  (when our physical shape was universally slimmer) would not pass muster according to todays health authorities - lashings of butter unrestrained, creamy cheesy meals, and as I remember fondly, desserts, cakes and cookies on frequent occasions...homemade of course !!

So what is the difference today? How can our ancestors, only one generation ago, have kept a healthy weight when today, with our knowledge about health care, we are spilling out of our clothes everywhere?
Opinion varies, however, my observations come down to a couple of things:

1. Less time playing on the computer and being entertained, and much more time entertaining ourselves - climbing trees as kids, making 'stuff' (sewing our own clothes, growing our own food or building our own furniture instead of buying everything), playing outside - bike riding with the kids instead of taking them to the movies. In short, our everyday lives were far more active 40 years ago.
2. Serving sizes have increased. Food is abundant in our rich western society and our plate sizes have made room for this abundance.
3. The food itself. A meal from the 1950's would look something like this......some sort of meat, peas, honeyed carrots, mashed potatoes, and dessert that was often stewed fruits with ice cream. Yes, the old meat and three veg diet regularly. For many busy people (although, I stress, not everyone eats this way), todays meal looks something like this......Takeaway noodles, or pizza if in a rush, a soft drink to accompany, and an ice-cream on a stick for dessert. My forbears probably ate a meal like that as a 'treat' maybe 4 times a year. We may not eat pizza every night of the week, but I bet we eat it more than 4 times a year ! And that is the point. Middle of last century, vegies and fruits were regulars in the diet, even if served mashed with butter and cream. Today vegies and fruits just don't appear as frequently.
So, before you begin your stint with weight watchers, perhaps think about simply readjusting your lifestyle to include more activity, eat a little less, and enjoy more fruits and vegetables regularly.....then you can relax with your lemon curd tart and coffee at Koondrooks Long Paddock Café now and then - completely guilt free !
Here are some facts about fruits and vegetables to inspire you further....

Banana's can:

Lift Your Spirits thanks to the presence of a chemical called tryptophan and Vitamin B6

Ease menstrual pains also thanks to vitamin B6

Increase Your Brain Power from the presence of potassium

Reduce the effects of a hangover due to their high mineral content

Assist with quitting smoking - certain vitamins and minerals found in Bananas reduce the physical and psychological effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Regulate temperature and calm morning sickness in pregnant women 

Regulate the acidity of some foods in the stomach effectively soothing ulcers

Ease mosquito bites by rubbing the inside of the peel on the affected area

Fertilise rose bushes - simply throw the skin at the foot of your rose for healthy blooms

Apples Can:

Protect your brain from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's by preventing the breakdown of brain particles (
Help you loose weight if eaten regularly

Decrease the effects of asthma
Reduce the risk of lung cancer

Zucchinis can:

Lower Cholesterol
Prevent certain cancers

Fight oxidative stress through the presence of powerful antioxidants and vitamins C and A.

Keep you in good prostate health

Function as an anti inflammatory inhibiting the symptoms of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis

Contribute to heart attack and stroke prevention

Lower Blood Pressure

Carrots can:

Improve Vision

Prevent cancer

Fight aging and slow down the aging of cells

Give you healthy glowing skin - when eaten for internal skin health, or applied topically for external skin health

Provide a powerful antiseptic and can even be applied to cuts

Prevent Heart Disease

Cleanse the Body

Give you healthy teeth and gums

Prevent Stroke

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