If it is you’re probably trying to do too much too fast.
When it comes to making the transition, slow and steady is often more sustainable than fast and furious.
While I’m all for super healthy eating I can tell you I’m still cleaning out my kitchen.
It’s a journey
There are still items in our cupboards and fridge I want gone- I’m pretty drastic about getting rid of everything I think is unhealthy, but it’s a process with my family. And that’s OK because the transition is happening at a pace that allows us to all be on the same page about what we’re consuming. That buy-in from everyone in the household, especially among the grown-ups, matters a lot. I explain to my children why it’s best we don’t eat this or that. And if they do have a sweet here and potato chip there with friends I don’t get all twisted about it- We’re all on a journey.
What about going organic?
Organic food is, hands down, far better- but even if you’re not able to do the whole organic thing at the moment just eating more fresh fruit and veg, bought from a regular store, is FAR better than eating processed stuff that comes out of boxes and packets.
There was a time my husband and I did a coffee enema/juicing detox week where most of the food we used was not organic. At the time we just did with what we had and we still saw amazing results.
The power of starting
Folks sometimes put off healthy eating because they want to do it perfectly in one go. They feel they need to do a drastic sweep of their kitchen and get on the “health” wagon full on. Truth is, if you wait for that to happen you might never do it. Starting small is at least a start. Don’t underestimate the power of just starting.
Small steps matter
It’s taken us a long time to get our kitchen to being about 80-85% cleaned out. Even for us it’s still a process. But just the small changes we’ve made along the way- one change every now and then, has culminated in much healthier living overall for us.
Slow and steady. As long as you’re making those changes- good on You. You and the ones You love will enjoy the benefits of even the slightest changes.
With the days chillying up it’s good to have a few quick and tasty soup recipes up our sleeves.
Here’s my Delish Curry Lentil Soup (feeds 4):
2/3 Cup of *soaked Lentils (I use orange lentils, You’re welcome to use whichever lentils you prefer)
*1/4 pre-cooked butternut puree
1/2 an onion (grated or chopped)
1 clove fresh garlic (chopped or grated)
Tip of a pinky finger size fresh ginger (grated)
1 tsp Masala spice mix (or according to your taste)
1 tsp Curry Powder (or according to your taste)
1 tsp ground turmeric
Salt to season
*Soak your lentils overnight. To soak, place lentils in a glass bowl and cover completely with water. Cover with a dish cloth and leave overnight. When ready to use rinse the lentils thoroughly.
*Pureed Butternut is one of the ways I thicken sauces for my stews so I usually have some stored in my freezer. If you’re making your butternut from scratch cook it until soft and then puree a quarter of it for this recipe.
When ready to prepare the lentil soup:
Mix the washed lentils with all the spices, garlic and fresh ginger
Saute the onion
Add the spiced lentil mix to the onion and saute until the bottom of your pot is dry and needs water.
Add 2 cups of water and turn down heat to a low simmer.
When soup is ready add the pureed butternut.
Do you want your soup textured or smooth?
If you’d like your lentil soup textured simmer for 10-15 minutes (or until you feel the lentils are to your liking)
If you’d like a smooth soup cook the lentils for 20 minutes or until very soft and fluffy. If using a stick blender you can blend as soon as the soup is ready. If using a glass blender let the soup cool and then blend.
Growing up in Zambia I hardly heard of serious diseases like cancer.
The two most serious illnesses I came across as a child was my mom’s best friend’s sister dying from diabetes; Then when I was about 7 years old, we experienced the first member of our family being diagnosed with HIV.
We heard of High Blood Pressure here and there- most of it was stress related. But things like cancer and all the many terrifying diseases we hear of now- they weren’t as common back then.
Today though 10% of Zambia’s population is battling cancer.
Diabetes there is through the roof and High Blood Pressure has become far more common than it ever was.
Just recently I spoke with someone from Nigeria and they told me that
the number one killer among men in Nigeria now is Prostate Cancer.
The disease that’s most prevalent among the entire Nigerian population i.e. men and women is High Blood Pressure.
High Blood Pressure also remains the number one killer among women in South Africa.
We have to ask:
We know our environment is far more polluted now- however Natural Health Doctors are telling us that what we eat and drink play a far bigger role in our health than the air we breath.
Growing up, the vegetable English Giant Rape, which is in the Kale family, was a staple. We had it at almost every meal.
Today the rest of the world’s calling Kale a super food- something we ate as part of our daily meals for thousands of years.
And that’s just it- most of us in Africa grew up eating what many people around the world are only now beginning to appreciate as “super-foods”. Yet we in Africa have abandoned the kind of eating that sustained us throughout our history- and traded our once wholesome eating for junk.
We’ve ditched the now popularised “super-foods” we ate daily for crap like highly processed white bread- processed meats, toxic pastas- deep fried everything and foods saturated in rubbish fats and sugars-
That is not progress-
It’s health complications just waiting to happen.
As a kid I remember most people would go home for lunch.
Lunch was a cooked meal with a variation of: dried beans, veggies, pap…
For many people meat was expensive and was eaten only once in a while.
Today lunch, for many people across the continent, is the fast food of choice for the day; With a massive serving of sugary drinks, deep fried things and foods from sources we don’t even know… many of us are eating sick animals packed with antibiotics and all sorts of hormones-
It’s no wonder we’re battling so many illnesses.
Our bodies cannot function properly eating like this.
I know how overwhelming it is to make major changes- so how about we just start with the little things…
When it comes to our health just going back to our primitive way of eating is an amazing start to healing our bodies.
One of the dictionary’s definition for “primitive” is unsophisticated.
Well let’s look at what our “sophisticated” way of eating has brought us- Is it really worth it?
It’s one of the most important fights of our time: the right to healthy food.
In a reveal all series about how GMOs are wrecking our health, causing deadly illnesses and a whole of filth that’s been hidden from us, watch GMOs Revealed.
It will shock You. It will infuriate You. It will make you sick to your stomach what’s been done to us and our children.
It’s one of the greatest evils of our age.
What are GMOs?
According to anti GM Group LabelGMFoods.Org.Za:
“Genetically Modified (GM) food is produced artificially by a technological process (known as modern biotechnology). Genes are taken from unrelated species such as viruses or bacteria and inserted into food crops. The major GM crops grown world-wide are maize, soybean, canola and cotton.”
What should make us MAD is that many countries around the world have banned gmos. But in South Africa our Government has actually allowed our staple foods, such as maize, to be genetically modified!
How many people in this country depend on maize meal for their daily sustenance?
What we need to know is that with every mouthful of GM pap or porridge we eat we’re being poisoned. Daily.
Imagine what it’s doing to our children!
The only way we can stop this disaster is to arm ourselves with knowledge and fight for our right to healthy food.
It packs a powerful disease fighting/immune boosting punch.
I use this instead of a store-bought supplement for my whole family (including my littlest who’s 2 years old).
The ginger and garlic give it a “burny/spicy” taste.
Have some water on stand-by and especially for the kids I find it helps to chase this incredible healing juice with a full teaspoon of raworganic certified honey.
The following recipe is for one adult OR three small kids (mine are 6, 5 and 2).
1 Celery stick (with leaves if available)
A pinky-size piece of fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 large florets of Cauliflower or Broccoli (you can do one floret of each)
1 whole lemon (peeled)
Juice all the ingredients and drink immediately.
Note: This recipe is for one adult OR 3 small children. If giving this to a child I’d suggest you only give them a third of this juice.
Honey is optional. I prefer to take the honey at a different time of the day to this juice. However for kids it helps to chase this juice with a bit of water and some raw honey.
I could go on, for a really long time, about what makes this such a powerful disease-fighting, immune booster juice; However instead of delving in-depth into each ingredient I thought I’d just tell you a little about three of the ingredients: Ginger, Garlic and Cauliflower. Each ingredient in this juice recipe has been chosen for it’s health boosting properties but it would take too long to provide information about each.
Foodrevolution.org reports that a New Study found ginger to be 10, 000 (that’s ten thousand!) times more effective at fighting cancer than conventional chemotherapy treatment. Read that full article by clicking Here
Added to that ginger has been used in ancient healing practices for it’s healing properties which include it’s ability to:
Fight fungal infections
Regulate blood sugars
Lower cholesterol levels
Reduce inflammation (which could be why it relieves pain in places like muscles and joints)
Improve brain function (who doesn’t want this for their kids 🙂 )
Block Bacterial Infections
Promote Proper Digestion (lack of proper digestion is one of the leading causes of disease)
Contains properties that: Strengthen the body against disease; fight inflammation; help in the proper functioning of the brain and heart; improve digestion and detoxification; maintain eye health and help balance hormones. Cauliflower also provides high levels of essential vitamins and minerals especially vitamins C and K.
Most of us know that Vitamin C is powerful in helping us fight infection and boost our immunity against disease. Vitamin C is also very useful for proper digestive function. It’s an essential nutrient for the health of our bones and teeth and crucial for repairing body tissues (including wound healing), the proper absorption of iron, formation of collagen (which keeps us looking and feeling younger by properly maintaining our skin, cartilage and tendons. Collagen is vital for our body because it keeps these parts of our body strong and elastic. Collagen also boosts our metabolism thus increasing energy. Want more beautiful skin, hair, nails and teeth? Collagen’s our go-to nutrient for that. It’s also fantastic for liver and heart health. Collagen also helps with the overall health of the gut which in turns improves our digestive function. If we want the benefits of Collagen we need Vitamin C which is vital for the synthesis of Collagen.
Is essential for regulating normal blood clotting. Another very important role of Vitamin K is it transports Calcium throughout the body and enables the body to use Calcium properly. Calcium is most important for the health of our teeth and bones.
I’ll quickly also mention the benefits of Garlic. Some call garlic a super-food.; Considering the many benefits it possesses I think super-food is a right fit for garlic. Garlic is believed to fight against high blood pressure, heart disease and various infections (including colds). There is research that suggests that garlic may be effective at fighting some cancers. According to an article on website thetruthaboutcancer.com:
“In laboratory settings, garlic appears to kill leukemia cells as well as slow the growth of tumors in prostate, bladder, colon, and stomach tissue.”
That full article from thetruthaboutcancer.com can be found by clicking Here
Why we Juice:
Imagine trying to eat all the ingredients in this juice in one go- yikes! However Juicing them makes it a lot easier to consume the amazing benefits of each ingredient in it’s raw form. Also juicing enables the body to use the powerful properties in these foods very quickly as very little “digestion” is required for a freshly extracted juice.
For more healthy juice recipes email me: email@example.com
DISCLAIMER: The recommendations provided are never to replace medical advice. Recommendations provided in my program and all accompanying material are intended ONLY as information and education and should NOT be taken as medical advice. If you’re seeking diagnoses, treatment, help and treatment for specific illnesses (medical conditions) please consult relevant health practitioners, be it a qualified natural medicine doctor (and other qualified nutrition therapists), doctor or equivalent health professional. Neither I nor the Publishers accept liability for those who choose to use my program and related material provided therein. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, especially if you’re taking any medications.
I’m not specifying ingredient amounts in this recipe as you can use as much or as little of each as you need.
Fresh Ginger, garlic and chilies
Green Peppers (can also use red, yellow or a combination)
Fresh Whole Lemon (squeezed in at the end)
You’ll also need:
Grated Carrots and Tomatoes
Coconut Oil (If using oil)
Season with ground black pepper and salt (along with your own favourite spices)
If not using oil for this recipe: Add all ingredients in a large pot, season, cover with a lid and allow to simmer for 8 minutes. The veggies should release their own liquids- if this liquid is not sufficient add a few table spoons of water and let the veggies gently simmer.
If using oil (Preferably Coconut or Palm Oil):
Lightly fry onion (do not include spring onions just yet)
When onions begin to brown add mixture of chopped garlic, ginger and chilies. Fry for 30 seconds. (Garlic burns easily so do keep an eye on it).
Add all ingredients along with preferred spices.
Fry for no longer than 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve.
I prefer to place a wedge of lemon on each dish I plate-up as individuals may want varying levels of tang/sour.
This veg stiy fry is pretty filling on it’s own; However you’re welcome to include a small portion of organic chicken strips.
Season chicken strips with ground coriander, salt and black pepper. Prepare separately.
When chicken strips are done add them to the already-made stir fry.
You can also add pineapple to the veg stir fry (with or without the chicken)
If adding chicken it’s best to not also add a starch.
Starch accompaniments to the veg stir fry (if not adding chicken):
This veg stir fry can be eaten on its own. If you’re detoxing for health purposes rather don’t include a meat protein. For a more filling meal include a whole starch such as whole boiled Potato (with skin on), Brown Rice, Roasted Sweet Potato, Butternut, or Sorghum Pap*
*Pap (called Nshima or Nsima in Zambia, Sadza in Zimbabwe and Ugali in Kenya and Tanzania), is traditionally made from maize meal. It’s polenta-like and has many different names across the African continent where it’s a staple for millions. While Pap may have tremendous health benefits, most nutrients are stripped through refinement (as is the case with most store bought maize meal). Pap made from whole ground maize meal can be used with this dish (as long is it has not been refined). Most store bought maize meal is highly refined which is why I prefer to use whole ground sorghum which is also gluten free.
For a full meal plan to get you slimmer, sexier and healthier in just 7 days, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve heard it so many times that “an apple a day…” that it could be that we overlook just how profound that statement is.
Apples are packed with loads of goodies that would go a long way at preventing disease in our children.
However instead of apples and other wholesome foods we’ve been duped into the culture of eating rubbish and feeding it to our kids too.
Kids love apples right? Well most of them do- so how come instead of apples and other delicious wholesome foods we’re also struggling with childhood obesity in this country?
Backstory: My battle with weight
I was a fat teenager.
I don’t want to sugar-coat it and say I was “over-weight”- because the political correctness we have around excess fat and how it’s ruining lives is an enormous part of the problem.
At 13 I was fat and not one bit aware of how unhealthy I was.
At that age I wore the same size clothes as my mom- I looked about her age- (seriously, no one believed I was her daughter)– it was horrible.
With all the horrors of adolescence: the bullying at school- hormone fluctuations, my struggle with academia, I had the added burden of navigating through all of that with more weight than my body should actually have been carrying.
What got me fat
I grew up eating only wholefoods.
Things like chips, sweets, biscuits and sodas were considered a luxury we either couldn’t afford (most of the time) or they just weren’t readily available.
If I had continued to eat that way I would never have gotten fat.
Then we moved to South Africa…
When we moved to South Africa never had I seen such an abundance of food!
In a bid to treat us my parents would take us to places like Sweets from Heaven– my goodness did I feel I was in Heaven.
Pizza Hut was our regular hang out-
Candy was super cheap and I could eat anything from cheap chocolates to peanut brittle and other junks I loved.
The easy access to all of these substances along with my heavy eating, every day after school, was a terrible combination.
When I think back to how I grew up until age 10, we only had three meals a day. Snacks were rare. And if we did have “in-between” foods they were whole foods like mangoes, corn or sweet potato and tea.
My terrible state hit home when…
My excess weight only begun to really bug me when people would ask if my younger brothers were my kids-
The bad shape I was in truly hit home when, after a long time of being in South Africa, we visited family in Zambia and no one recognised me.
My family didn’t intend to be mean; I knew I wasn’t being punked when home after home we visited, none of my relatives knew who I was.
One Aunt gasped, “Oh my! I thought she was the kids’ nanny!”
I was only 13!
That was my first battle with weight loss.
Realising how urgent my situation was I took action.
I couldn’t stand being thought to be so much older than I actually was.
I watched what I ate. I started swimming every day.
As much as I loved peanut brittle, huge fat Chelsea buns and loads of soda- I knew I would loathe the rest of my adolescence if I didn’t part ways with these substances.
The desire to enjoy my body as a teenager (and not a thirty year old mom of two) was far greater than any craving I had.
Support support support
Throughout that part of my weight loss journey, my parents watched me closely and helped me not get too carried away with my weight loss goals that I went overboard-
My dad kept reminding me how beautiful I was.
My mom praised my every effort.
They’d never made me feel any less loved when I was huge but them acknowledging better choices regarding my health was wonderful.
Eventually I managed to get myself to the right amount of weight for my height and age at the time.
I hear advice about not making kids “conscious” about their bodies- that’s stupid advice.
Kids should be made aware of what’s happening to their bodies when they over-indulge in bad foods like I did.
We are not doing them any favours by telling them they’re “OK” just as they are. Because under that excess weight is diabetes waiting to be triggered, an attack just waiting to stop their heart and other conditions they shouldn’t have to deal with at this stage of their lives.
Our children need our unconditional love and they need our support.
What they don’t need is us giving them the green card to remain unhealthy when there’s so much to this part of their lives they won’t be able to enjoy in an overweight body.
It’s far worse than we think
Today I’m a mom of three- my concern for all children are reports that tell us that if obesity in South African children continues to increase at the current rate, 3.91 million school children will be overweight or obese by 2025.
The issue isn’t just the excess weight; it’s the many health complications that come with that excess weight.
It’s madness that lifestyle conditions like Type II diabetes and even heart attacks are becoming more and more prevalent in children-
Some respiratory conditions, skin problems and various other health concerns have been proven to be successfully treated by changing what kids are eating.
Enough bad news- what can we do?
We can start by changing how we think about food.
Food is meant to be fuel for our body.
If food is anything but that therein begins an unhealthy connection to food.
Like many parents I used to use food to calm my kids, distract or reward them.
If my kids seemed unhappy I’d offer them food-
What was I essentially teaching them? When you feel rubbish, eat.
Most times the child isn’t hungry- they could be thirsty, bored, tired, irritated, wanting attention etc. To feed them every time they seem unhappy is a recipe for disaster.
It used to be that when I went shopping I’d buy my kids junk like chocolate and potato chips- because for me those foods were “treats” for my kids.
Those things aren’t treats- they damage our children’s bodies so they crave these substances.
For many children breaking away from the rubbish we taught them to eat is a battle they might struggle with for the rest of their lives. Yes, it’s that serious.
Now I “treat” my kids with delicious fruit they enjoy like mangoes, apples, papayas, watermelon- They also love pickled cucumbers, sliced carrots and tomatoes.
We make our own juices and smoothies often.
Because I’d constantly feed my kids they seemed hungry all the time.
Then I learned this was a bad habit I’d taught them and started to teach them that we ate three times a day.
The constant eating came to an end.
If it so happened that they were truly peckish between meals I’d have fruit and fresh veggies they enjoyed readily available.
GMO free (homemade) popcorn and brown rice cakes are also a fun healthy snack.
When we go to the store my kids still ask for chips, soda, shelf juices, chocolate etc- I just say no.
Having heard no as many times as they have my children are asking for these things less and less.
It hasn’t been easy but I had to learn to say no to myself first when it came to those things so I could have the resolve to say no to them.
P.S. 100% store bought juices are not as healthy as they’re marketed to be. Rather make your own juices at home.
Three wholesome meals a day is where our children should get most of their nutrition from.
The process of getting my kids a lot healthier has been a process.
There are times when I’ve been amazed at how they’d gobble up wholesome meals I didn’t think they’d like- and there’ve been times they’ve taken one bite of a meal and pleaded to not have any more.
I’m learning what works and what doesn’t.
When it works it’s great and I’m super stoked!
When it doesn’t I apologise for a meal my kids didn’t like but remind them that we’re going to be a lot happier eating this way.
When my kids ask for more of a gorgeous gluten-free pasta I made– or devour mangoes and watermelon instead of junk food- I know we’re already a lot happier with this kind of food.
Wholefoods are what our bodies were designed to eat.
Our bodies were not designed to eat processed foods.
The processing of food is our body’s job- it is not the job of junk food manufacturers.
Things like sweets, packet potato chips, sodas etc have very little actual food in them if at all. Most of what is in those things are wonderful tasting chemicals our bodies cannot use for anything except store as a disease waiting to happen.
Our bodies were designed to eat foods they needs to break down and process themselves; Essentially foods that come directly from nature to us.
These are the foods our children should be eating most of.
How often we eat is also important.
Food is fuel. The fuel we need to operate. Anything outside of that boundary is an abuse of food. Even if the food is good and wholesome.
Most people don’t really know what true hunger feels like.
Many folks eat throughout the day- hungry or not.
And between those “regular eating times” we eat whatever we can get our hands on.
Some people were taught this way of eating- they pass it on to the kids… a perfect recipe for a family legacy of dire health.
The notion of eating all the time is not only unhealthy it’s not normal.
Children and grown-ups do not need to eat all the time.
Food is for fuel
If I’m honest my parents, especially my mom, tried to help me not stuff my face as much as I did as a teenager but I’d learned to eat for comfort- something I think a lot of people struggling with weight can relate to.
We’re now teaching our kids that food is for fuel.
If they say they’re hungry between meals, I ask them: “Are you really hungry or bored? Or tired? Or thirsty? Or…”
Most times it’s not food they want- it’s something else.
I think just teaching them to ask this of themselves helps them to learn the true essence of what food is for- and what it’s not.
We’re hoping to teach them how to handle their other needs appropriately instead of artificially filling those spaces with food.
I was horrified to learn from a school tuck-shop owner that kids would rather go hungry than eat healthy foods.
She told me how they’d tried to make brown bread sandwiches for the kids and the learners chose to go hungry rather than buy those healthier options.
School lunches are a challenge- I get it.
But just like we teach our kids the alphabet, math and various other life skills- there needs to be uncompromising diligence when it comes to their health at school too.
Some healthy foods for school lunches include:
Brown rice cakes, sandwiches made of wholesome breads, fresh fruit, chopped veggies they enjoy- or even last night’s leftovers (some kids don’t mind cold food if it’s yummy).
When it comes to what to drink for school the options should be: Water and Water.
No child “needs” juice or soda for school.
At home we can teach kids about making their own juices and smoothies with fresh fruit and veg. These are not ideal to take to school though as the live enzymes are lost over time and children end up with a sugary substance that’s not much better than a store-bought juice.
Kids won’t starve
There’s a weird, unfounded panic we parents have when our kids refuse to eat.
The thing to remember is our kids do not hold us hostage when it comes to what they eat- if they decide they’d rather not eat the healthy food we pack- don’t worry too much; eventually they’ll realise there are no other options. It’s this or nothing. Survival instinct kicks in and eventually kids will eat.
Remember, eating disorders are not about food.
A child will not develop an eating disorder because their diet changes from junk to healthy.
As that shift happens kids’ taste buds go back to what is normal and they begin to desire healthy foods.
Also some parents worry that if their kids don’t eat they’ll be malnourished.
Most kids are severely malnourished with the junk they’re eating now.
A person does not have to be underweight to have malnutrition. Obesity is also a form of malnutrition.
Will there ever come a time when our kids won’t want sugary foods and other junk? Very sadly perhaps not. Wouldn’t it be awesome if it were that easy?
But the transition is possible. And so necessary.
The changes may be uncomfortable, a little more time consuming- we may even have to deal with tantrums- but our kids are worth us going through all that because they will be healthier and a lot more happier eating this way.
P.S. Please remember always to be gracious with yourself. Transition is often hard- especially in the area of food. I often remind myself that if I focus on the “law” whatever the law may be, I’m bound to struggle and even fail. But if I keep focused on grace, God’s grace for me and my family then I don’t have to do this alone- Never beat yourself up or feel guilt over meals. Go easy on yourself, go easy on your family and be gracious always.