Sunday, January 13, 2013


Hi Everyone,
As it’s the beginning of a New Year we thought you might like to read a short review of some of the principles for good, healthy eating that we’ve covered during 2012. 

What exactly are whole foods? Think unrefined, unprocessed, unbroken – for example:
wholemeal flour  - rather than refined white flour
unsulphured dried fruit
fresh nuts, fresh flours - not rancid
cold pressed virgin oils - not chemically refined
“Concentrated, refined foods lacking in vital substances cause us to overeat and make us sick. For our own wellbeing we need to eat less processed food and more raw food and whole grains.”

If you’re looking for an oil to use for high temperature cooking (above 200
C) don’t use extra virgin olive oil because of its low smoke point (207C), instead use un-refined high heat coconut oil, avocado or cold pressed canola oil (all available at Happy and Healthy).  Stay away from refined canola oil which gives off toxic fumes at even reasonably low temps. Here’s a site that gives you some information about smoke points for oils:

Are Rancid Oils Bad for You?  In a word, yes... not only are rancid oils reduced in vitamins, but they can also develop potentially toxic compounds that have been linked to advanced aging, neurological disorders, heart disease and cancer.
  • So, what does rancid oil taste like? Sniff it – a slight musty smell.  Taste it - it can have a buttery taste or taste slightly like crayons, putty, old peanuts, pumpkin.
  • If you value your health don’t feel bad about throwing out old olive oil - feel good about it!  In fact don’t feel bad about throwing out old flour, nuts or other old, processed grains while you’re at it.
  • A good, fresh extra-virgin olive oil tastes rich, has a fruity smell, a ‘bittery’ sensation in the middle of your mouth and a ‘peppery’ bite in the back of your throat.  It feels alive in your mouth.

WHOLEGRAINS FOR BREAD – the real price of a flour mill
Milling your own flour just before baking your bread ensures that you are getting fresh whole grain flour and maximising all the vitamins and minerals in the grain. It is also much cheaper. A kilo of wheat grain is only $2, about a third the price of “genuine” wholemeal flour. If you bake bread on a regular basis then you can pay for a flour mill in about 18 months. After that you get to keep the weekly savings, plus enjoy very nutritious home baked bread and have the delightful smell of freshly baked bread wafting through your home daily. We use our Wonder Mill all the time, producing fresh flour to make our own bread, pizza, pastry, biscuits, etc.

Need Gluten-free? Why Not Grind Your Own? Gluten-free diets are notoriously dependent on refined flours and foods. If you follow a GF routine I suggest you get yourself a good grain mill (or share one with another family) and buy your grains and legumes whole then mill them fresh yourself. Millet, brown rice, chickpea and buckwheat are especially recommended. Nuts can be “milled” into flour using a good blender.

You just can't beat sprouts for abundant nutrition - they are so good for you and they taste just great in your salads, or just for a snack.  Tip: If you soak and then sprout your lentils and beans before you use them in a cooked dish that calls for pulses or beans, you’ll reduce intestinal gas (aka flatulence), plus you’ll be making vital substances more digestible and more available.

Sweetness is something to be enjoyed.  We can get quite addicted to sugar though, and food manufacturers understand this very well.  Sugar tastes good, but is it good for you?

Refined sugars require many B vitamins to help in their digestion and utilisation in our bodies.  All naturally occurring carbohydrate foods contain an abundance of B vitamins and fibre and our bodies can assimilate these natural sugars well.  Unfortunately, what’s wrong with the stuff we call ‘sugar’ is that when we refine sugar cane or beet we also remove the B vitamins and fibre during the processing.  Our bodies then have to find these B vitamins from somewhere else and our bodies get robbed of this essential vitamin.  Fortunately there are some perfectly good substitutes for sugar - rapadura for one and stevia as another.

  • Principle #1:  Moderation in all things.
  • Principle #2:  Avoid all bad numbers! This means I always check food labels for numbers which indicate emulsifiers, preservatives, colouring, thickeners, stabilisers, anticaking agents, flavour enhancers and so on….some numbers are okay by the way.
  • Principle #3:  As unprocessed as possible – meaning that we eat things as they were created, before we’ve changed them into things humans think might be better (usually commercially better).
  • Principle #5:  Fresh is best.
  • Principle #6:  Avoid addictions - eat to live, not live to eat.
  • Principle #7:  Don’t always follow the crowd - don't just do it because it's the easiest or the accepted norm.
Educate yourself, you don’t have to be a fanatic, just be wise - dare to be healthy!  If we care about maintaining good health we’ll realise that the time and cost of investing for the long term is worth it.


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