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Depending upon our diet, genetics, lifestyle and possibly other
factors; we all absorb nutrients into our bodies and end up with a very
different nutritional status to everyone else.
Each of us has blood
flowing through our veins with a cocktail of nutrients that varies to
the cocktail flowing through the next person.
If you want to improve the cocktail of nutrients in any one individual, you need to understand everything that is unique about that person -what is and is not in their blood; and what is not right in that mix.
The Moringa or drumstick tree (Moringa oleifera) is often called the
“miracle” tree, as many parts of this prolific plant (leaves, seeds, pods,
flowers and roots) are all edible and nutritious and the tree is easily grown
in warm climates. The seed pods are long
(up to ~30 cm) and thin with tapered ends, hence the name “drumsticks”. The pods have a delicious taste, somewhat
like mild asparagus, and are cooked in a similar ways to green beans. They are especially delicious cooked with
lentils (see picture above and recipe below), vegetable curries or mince (for
non-vegetarians), enhancing the flavour of the whole dish. When young, the pods
can be eaten whole, but when older the outside skin becomes a bit woody, so they
are best cut into short pieces prior to cooking. The insides can then be eaten after cooking—like
artichoke leaves—scraping out the delicious soft insides with one’s teeth
(discard the outer parts)! The inside
flesh can also be scraped out from the pods and then cooked with onion, garlic
and spices for a delicious vegetarian dish which is eaten with rice. The leaves
are small and are cooked in a similar way to spinach or kale (they taste
similar to spinach), often best steamed or cooked with a little olive oil,
onion and spices.
Taking some time out for yourself every day from the daily grind can be a positive experience and help reduce your stress levels. Remember the reason that you are doing the activity- for yourself. If you are looking about and comparing yourself with others or judging your performance, it may not be beneficial to you. Besides increasing your fitness, activities will also increase your endorphins and help you feel good all round. Here are 5 activities that you could try out to reduce stress and make you feel great!
Your Health and Soil Health—Affected by the Fixers, the Mixers, the Vampires and the Skeletonisers
Our good health is linked to a range of beneficial microorganisms in our body, particularly in our guts. However, we have inadvertently destroyed many of these by eating highly refined foods, overuse of antibiotics and other unhealthy practices. Likewise, intensive agriculture has often reduced soil biodiversity which is essential to long-term plant health, through reduced organic matter, overuse of inorganic fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides, and heavy tillage. To get soils back to better health, they need a diverse range of functional soil organisms, a good supply of organic matter and reduced tillage, among other things. Healthy soils grow healthy, nutrient-rich foods, with fewer inputs and fewer consequences to the environment.
Orthorexia is an obsession with eating healthy food and can significantly reduce your quality of life.
Simply choosing healthy foods does not mean you are orthorexic. However if you answer 'yes', to four or five of the following questions, it may be time to loosen up about food (adapted from the The Bratman Test for Orthorexia).
1. Do you spend more than 3 hours a day thinking about your diet?
2. Do you plan your meals several days ahead?
3. Is the nutritional value of your meal more important than the pleasure of eating it?
4. Has the quality of your life decreased as the quality of your diet has increased?
5. Have you become stricter with yourself lately?
6. Does your self-esteem get a boost from eating healthily?
7. Have you given up foods you used to enjoy in order to eat the ‘right’ foods
8. Does your diet make it difficult for you to eat out, distancing you from family and friends?
9. Do you feel guilty when you stray from your diet?
10. Do you feel at peace with yourself and in total control when you eat healthily?
A balanced approach to healthy eating should have a positive effect on wellbeing without reducing the enjoyment of life or affecting relationships. Click here if you want to learn more about nutrition and balanced eating.