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Chicken broth may as well be a slow cooker – meals that cook themselves; click image for recipe

Slow cooked pork belly in Chinese-style pancakes - cooks while you work

Slow cooked pork belly in Chinese-style pancakes – cooks while you work; click image for recipe

Slow cooked beef carnitas - tasty and healthy

Slow cooked beef carnitas – tasty and healthy; click image for recipe

Strange to think what you eat could heal or harm you. We’ve come to rely on doctors with flu shots and vaccines to prevent illness; drugs like aspirin for pain relief, antibiotics for internal infections; and packages of food of promises like folate enriched, vitamin D fortified, calcium rich. But could food do this for us though? Could you be in charge of your own health?

could you be in charge of your own health?

I’m not discounting the value of allopathic medicine; MRI, emergency brain surgery and corticosteroids saved my life. Food certainly wasn’t going to pull me back from there; I was too far-gone. But it’s most certainly been the key to my recovery, sans tumor that is. But how’s that possible, how can what we eat affect our health so much?

Firstly there’s the negative side of this. Research discoveries are telling us that our current eating habits could be making us sick. Very sick. Indeed, our food might be contributing to heart disease, cancer, asthma, allergies, arthritis, autism, depression, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, autoimmune disease – the list goes on. And some people are calling this way of thinking a revolution, others one of the biggest developments in medical research. Either way, there’s tremendous potential: maybe we can treat, even prevent, diseases by simply changing our diet.

Well it makes sense we have to get our nutrients from our food in order to get energy into our cells. That’s the simplest answer. Every cell that makes up every tissue that makes up every organ depends on the body’s digestive system to provide the nutrients it needs to keep on functioning.

The next thing is that 70% of our immune system is located in the gut, a vast network of lymph tissue referred to as GALT (gut associated lymphatic tissue). It’s not that we need to get some digestible immune food though – all digestion of food is in a sense our immunity.

But the idea of food as medicine is not new. Over 400BC Hippocrates famously said, let thy food be thy medicine. It’s his namesake too that our doctors take as the Hippocratic Oath. And it makes sense. Out gut has greatest exposure of our whole body to outside world. But what about our skin you might think with 2sqm? Your gut has over 200x that, equivalent to two tennis courts. That’s a lot of surface area to absorb a lot of good (and bad) stuff!

How to get good foods faster:

  1. The first step is to focus on eliminating foods that might be harming you and you’ll not know. Sugar Intervene seasonally and then gradually transition foods back in to now how you’re going.
  2. Work on including foods that heal and may be missing from your diet
  3. Regularly include slow cooking, meals that cooks themselves but also prevent the denaturing of proteins
  4. Get into leftovers – add a fried egg to last night’s dinner for a great breakfast, pre-packed lunch for work, or better still make more for dinners than you intend and freeze for later.
  5. Love your freezer. Frozen veggies (and braising greens) and defrosted pre-cooked meals are a godsend. And while you’re there, or shopping to go there, think easy cuts of meat that can defrost quickly, ground/minced beef, beef/chicken/pork stir fry (which can also be added to a magic broth)

A lot of these tips might seem far away from the idea of simple meals that heal, but healing our time as well as prioritizing and planning can make worlds of difference. There’s a lot more to life than food, and in fact I believe that in some cases it’s better to eat the wrong food with the right attitude than the other way around.

 

 

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