Do or Diet…


I heard a program on the ABC radio the other day regarding aging.  One person they interviewed was a 50 year old man who believed that by eating a controlled low calorie diet he could avoid all the new diseases of civilization.  He ate only 1600 calories per day and avoided all wheat and processed foods.  Apparently he looked like a 40 year old and his regular medical checkups showed good health.

Which leads me to ask – is it the low calorie diet which is keeping him healthy?  Or is it perhaps the lack of processed foods and wheat products?

My step-daughter, Claire also feels full of energy and fantastic by eating a 100% raw food diet.  Once again I ask – is it the raw diet which is making her feel so good?  Or is it perhaps the lack of processed foods and cereal products in her diet?

I’m continually hearing that someone has been on ‘this’ diet or ‘that’ diet and lost a lot of weight.  The last such diet I heard of was the ‘pig’ diet where she ate bacon and eggs for breakfast, then ham for lunch etc.  So, again I ask – is it the ‘pig’ diet which is making her lose the weight?  Or is it perhaps the lack of processed foods and sugar products in her diet?

It seems to me that all we need to do is to avoid eating lots of highly processed food which usually is full of sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, flour (wheat and/or soy), corn starch, poly-unsaturated oils plus soy oil etc…   From all our research it does seem that these items are highly suspect in assisting many of today’s ‘illnesses of modern civilization’ such as obesity, diabetes, cancers, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s etc.  So  by avoiding highly processed foods we can help minimise the risk of these diseases.

Easier said than done!  Especially in this day and age of convenience foods and ready meals.  We’re all rushing about between work, spouse and children, we think it’s quicker to have a pre-prepared supermarket meal in the freezer, ready to pop in the microwave and heat up.

Yet in reality if we compare the time spent to shop for fresh produce and then cook a very simple meal (such as steak, mushrooms and broccoli) to the time spent to cruise down the ready-meal isle in the supermarket, choose a selection of meals, then back at home – wait for the microwave to defrost and heat a pre-prepared dinner we’d probably find there’s not much difference at all.

It’s interesting to remember that the time taken by a microwave is proportional to the volume of food placed in it.  So to cook 2 or 3 or 4 platefuls for one meal (depending on the number of people in the family) takes a hell of a lot longer than just one plate.  Compare that now to cooking steaks and broccoli – it takes the same amount of time whether its for 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 people! It takes about 5 minutes to sauté the mushrooms and 4 minutes to steam the broccoli which can all be done while cooking the steaks for 8 minutes… And if the steak is cooked on the b-b-q there’s even less washing up to do!  And most people just put all the dishes in the dishwasher anyway…

Its not just ready-meals that are the culprit – it’s all the lovely smelling bread we have to walk past on the way into the supermarket, it’s the sandwich we eat for lunch whilst sitting at our office desk, it’s the potato crisps and soft drinks we put in our shopping trolleys.

That leads me to the low-fat campaign and all the associated problems…  But I think I’ll make that Part 2 of this rant!

It seems that unless we have a specific or rigid set of rules to follow regarding our diet it’s very difficult for us to resist eating these processed foods.  They’re all around us in such large quantities, easy to obtain and the peer pressure is so high!

Hence the need for a specific ‘diet’, whether it be controlled calorie, raw food, cabbage soup etc to make us resist all these highly processed food temptations. We seem to need tight rules to stop us straying!

But as everyone who’s been on a diet knows, they’re so hard to stick to for any length of time before temptation strikes us down again…

What’s the perfect diet which we can stay on for life and enjoy?  Well, I think Mike and I are getting there and I’ll keep writing about our personal healthy diet journey…

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