Eat Live & Breathe

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Archive for Health

Would You Like a Tomato with Your Salt?

I have recently been to see a dietist with the intention to lose weight. Having presented her with my pain-stakingly honest diary of all the food I had eaten the previous week, she happily informed me that I am eating well. Her only advice to me so far is to be ‘conscious‘ of what I am eating and how much. This I have to say, has helped me a lot.

But I am not only bringing into my awareness how many slices of bread, or portions of potatoes I am eating, but what exactly I am putting on them. In particular, how much SALT.

Food for me always has to taste good, healthy or not. And the only way I seemed to be able to do that was to put just the right amount of salt and pepper/chili on my food. That said, I am now coming to realize just how much salt is going into my food, unnecessarily. I am awakening to the joys of an avocado sliced up on bread with a sprinkle of pepper and squeeze of lemon juice, without a trace of sodium in sight, bar the light cream cheese beneath the green slivers. I am for the first time in my life finding out what food really tastes like, and appreciating its taste.

I’m not cutting out salt completely, just being aware of how much I use on a daily basis and asking myself if what I am eating really needs the extra shake of salt. I am really beginning to understand what the likes of nutritionists Gillian McKeith have been saying. Sometimes, we think we need a taste, but it’s that we have damaged our taste buds from years of over seasoning our food, that we can’t really taste that what we are eating is perfectly seasoned.

What I was also really excited to find was that too much salt in a diet can cause a person to retain weight. I am purely quoting my dietist here, who stated that eating salty food causes the body to retain water, so it’s essential that after a salty meal to drink plenty of water, including the next day, to flush it all out. Please correct me if I or my dietist is wrong.

i for one am going to continue in this direction and hope to report back soon with my findings. I would also love to hear from you about your experiences with food, and in particular with salt. Please feel free to share!

Happy and healthy eating!

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How Do We Eat Food?

It has been hectic at work these past few weeks and have had almost no time to post regular blogs. I did make a feast last weekend and promise to upload the highlights very soon.

But for now I pose this question: Why do we eat food? And, perhaps more importantly, how do we eat food?

I find myself thinking about this almost everyday. The factual answer to the first question is that we eat so that we can fuel our body with all the nutrients and energy it needs to perform everyday.

If we don’t eat a balanced and healthy diet then our body will not function as properly as it should. But somewhere along the way we have forgotten that this is the reason we eat. We should eat for necessity and not pleasure. But I do believe it is essential to have pleasure in what you eat. A balance of both.

Now, how de we eat? I’ve noticed that there are many people in the world who eat dishes which they like, regardless of its nutritional content or benefit to their health.

For example, there is an abundance of junk food being consumed in the world, and it does worry me. If you haven’t seen the film Supersize Me yet, I recommend you do.  I’m not saying it’s a brilliant documentary, but it will definitely open your eyes to how much fast food can affect your health. OK, the guy ate a specific brand of fast food 3 times a day for a month, which is what 90 visits to the fast food restaurant? I wonder if visiting 90 times in ones life will have an affect too?

I have to say that I used to eat a lot of junk food myself. I went through a stage of eating 5-6 packets of crisps (US: chips) a day, and basically having a no bars off eating habit. If it tasted good, I ate it. Consequently I piled on the weight…

I feel that we spend too much time eating the kind of food that makes us happy, gives us a good feeling, or even for nostalgic reasons. For example, last month I went back to London for a week and was together with my brothers who also have been away from the UK. The entire week it felt like we were constantly eating! Eating food that we missed like fish and chips, kebab rolls, meat pies, cheese and onion pasties and donner kebabs. And most of the time these were eaten in-between meals… Not very healthy, but we did it, and I watched myself and my brothers as we indulged.

It is a very real thing to eat for pleasure, nostalgia and so forth, but it is not a very healthy thing, and should be acknowledged. Next time you reach for a belly fix take a moment to ask yourself why you are eating it. Try to understand why and how you eat, you never know you may just realize something!

Disclaimer:

I am not a scientist or a dietist, so do not quote me on this. These are just my personal thoughts and musings.

Starbucks or Starsucks?

I don’t really have a vice of any kind. I don’t drink, smoke, eat too many sweets or chocolates, and when it comes to food I insist on the very best and healthiest of choices. Coffee has also been off my diet for the past several years, until I was introduced to the wonders of the Nespresso machine at work one tiresome afternoon.

It had literally been a month since I began my 1-coffee-a-week regime when I arrived in the land of Starbucks. And I asked myself, “where has Starbucks been all my life?!” It being 28 odd degrees in New York City at the time I opted for a tall, skinny, coffee frappucino. (That’s a small, low-fat iced-coffee drink to those not familiar with the local lingo.) I had one everyday, and since my return to Amsterdam I have been in pursuit of finding the next best thing, sadly nothing even comes close.

This past week I did make a trip back to my own hometown in London, and was pleasatly surprised to find a Starbucks at Amsterdam’s Schippol Airport, and not only that, London has its own fairshare of the coffee chain. Now back on Dutch turf or water, I am obsessed in finding a Starbucks closer to home, and thanks to a quick search online, there appears to be one at Amsterdam Central Station!

But having revealed my new obsession to my partner in crime, he was quick to send me this shocking (and dear I say tear jerking) link today: Ten of the Worst Artery Cloggers in America. Ten guesses what was at the top of the list? Yup, FRAPPUCINOS.

Well, I always ordered the tall skinny ones, but according to this article that’s a no-no as well. Well, all I can say is, it was good while it lasted 🙂