By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach
1. Buy and cook with globe artichokes. Even if you're not sure how to prepare and cook them, and even if you're balking at the price consider that a glass of wine is about $10 from most wine bars. An artichoke is about $2.50 and they are a wonderful tonic for the liver which we abuse when we drink too much wine! Artichokes contain cynarine which may prevent fat accumulation in the liver and help produce bile acids required for digestion.
2. White rice is not great, brown rice is better, brown long grain rice is better still and black rice is the best yet! Black rice is loaded in extra phytochemicals and has a depth of flavour that goes way beyond regular rice. Black rice may be more expensive than regular white and brown rice but consider that as a good thing because you'll eat less of it!
3. If you're gearing up for spring and ready to spring-clean your home then consider buying your home a weekly bunch of flowers. This week the best floral buys include cherry blossom, stock, tiger lilies, tulips, poppies, sweet peas, lupins, long stemmed kangaroo paws, violets, ornamental kale, jonquils and daffodils. Flowers are a much healthier "cheer me up" than chocolate and they usually last longer too!
4. Consider becoming more active with a Fit Bit! Can I just say that Fit Bit are not paying me to say this but I did invest in one the other week and I love it. This little electronic device sits on your wrist and measures the number of steps you walk and climb each day. It also measures your sleep and heart rate and, if you fancy, you can program how much water you drink and how many calories you eat. I reckon even the most uncompetitive person will be spurred into activity with this little gadget.
5. Consider the full fat vs low fat dairy debate. Lots of people are turning their backs on low fat dairy, and when it comes to cheese I'm kinda on their side: But then again I don't recommend you eat much more than 30 g of cheese a day which won't contribute greatly towards with your daily calcium requirement.
The argument in favour of full fat milk and yoghurt because it's a wholefood is, in my opinion, flawed particularly when you have to watch your weight. Set aside whether you like milk in coffee or yoghurt on cereal and consider them purely for their functional benefits. Both low and full fat milk and yoghurt are an excellent source of calcium. Low fat has most of the fat removed which makes it lower in calories and saturated fat. As a woman in my 50's I am supposed to get 1,300 mg of calcium a day which is achievable if I consume; 2 cups low fat milk, 1 cup low fat yoghurt, 30 g goat's cheese and 30 g almonds. Each day that intake will clock up 2,339 kJ. The full fat equivalent adds an additional 860 kJ which is much more usefully spent on something else - such as a piece of salmon!
6. Take your cues from nature. I will harp on about this until the day I die despite each year forgetting my own advice! During winter we swim against the seasonal current. We get up too early, we retire too late and we try to keep the pace and energy we have throughout spring and summer. We are creatures of nature and we should observe the trends.
There are 2 weeks to go before the new season officially strikes and you may like to consider this: Take the time to rest your body as deeply as you can. Take gentle walks, breathe deeply, drink less, cut down on stimulants such as coffee and chocolate which can cause your mind to be overactive, go to bed early and take it easy.
We are approaching a new energetic season: Are you ready for it?