“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates
Here at Organic Spoon, I believe in balance. I believe in listening to the wisdom of YOUR body (not mine nor your best friend’s) and I believe that healthcare begins in the kitchen.
In my quest for remission from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (which you can read in About) I have become more conscious about what I put into my body and eventually came to a realisation: the quality of our modern food has been severely degraded due to factory farming, mass production and over-processing of raw goods.
In our grandparents’ lifetimes, all food was ‘organic.’ Today our fruit and vegetables are covered in dangerous amounts of chemicals like pesticides and insecticides. Animals are mass farmed in cruel conditions and are pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, which remain in the meat and are carried through to dairy and eggs.
The reason farmers and food manufacturers need to do this is because of the vast growth in population which means huge demand on these industries. They need to grow and rear these foods quickly with minimal damage but in turn this has damaged the environment, and subsequently, our health. Cancer cells feed off of chemicals and autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system isn’t supported enough through a healthy lifestyle. There is good news though: we can change all this.
My food philosophy is that nature knows best. Choose organic, grow your own where possible, and prepare your meals in a way that keeps the raw products as close to their natural state as possible. Soon you will feel the difference – increased energy and a feeling of purity from within. The aesthetic rewards (weight loss, glowing skin, strong hair and nails) are just an added bonus!
There are already many people worldwide on this same journey, striving for a healthier future for themselves and for their children. On the way, you might learn some things you wish you could unlearn (like the ugly truth of factory farming, or just exactly what refined sugar does to your body) but I hope you will join me on this path to a healthier you and a happier planet.
I am not a doctor or a nutritionist, I am totally self-taught, but I have put a lot of energy into finding the recipe for being my happiest, healthiest self. Here are some of my tips:
- Drink plenty of filtered or mineral water. Our bodies need to be kept hydrated but tap water (especially in London and other major cities) has chemicals in it including fluoride. Fluoride reduces your vitamin B12 levels and we need these to stay at the optimum level in order for our nervous systems to work properly. If you can get fluoride free toothpaste, this will help too!
- Eat organic! Every non-organic fruit or vegetable you consume has chemicals in it… Keeping your body free of chemicals helps to prevent disease.
- No processed food. The further away from its natural state your food is, the less nutrients it contains. Eat fresh! Cook everything yourself. Yes, it takes longer, it’s not as convenient and it’s more expensive, but can you think of anything more important than your health?
- Try to start your day with a hot water with lemon, this clears the digestive tract and aids digestion for the day ahead.
- Follow this with a green juice. It is difficult to consume enough of the plants we need to sustain ourselves with the right nutrients. By juicing, we help fill our bodies with these nutrients and cleanse the cells. This creates new, healthier cells instead of feeding old ones with what they need for cancer to emerge. Since our cells constantly regenerate, we can get rid of disease altogether if we do the right things.
- Cut out dairy. You don’t need milk or yoghurt to benefit from highly bioavailable sources of calcium. In fact, contrary to popular belief, most dairy products do not possess any type of calcium that is easily absorbed in the body. The pasteurisation process involved in the manufacture of most dairy products creates calcium carbonate which has absolutely no way of entering the cells without a chelating agent. When we drink milk, the body pulls the calcium from the bones and other tissues in order to buffer the calcium carbonate in the blood. This process gradually weakens bones, instead of making them stronger! Milk also has little to no nutrient density because pasteurisation destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6 and kills beneficial bacteria. It’s the main reason pasteurised milk promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. Many natural food sources have high bioavailable calcium, meaning they are absorbed and become available for the body to utilise physiologically after consumption.
- For added protein use chia seeds, hemp seeds, spirulina, chickpeas, quinoa, avocados and nuts or nut butters. Although meat ‘technically’ contains all the protein we need, human bodies do not absorb these proteins as well as carnivorous animals, so we need to find other, more bioavailable sources of protein. As an example, 100g of spirulina contains 57g protein, whereas 100g of chicken contains a mere 16g of protein. If you do eat meat, make sure that you source the best-quality meat which has been reared organically and humanely. Be careful of meats that claim to be free-range but in fact are not. The best way to know where your produce comes from is to buy from small, farm-direct suppliers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
- Try cutting out gluten. Although wheat is naturally produced, modern wheat (which has only been around in its current form since about 1960) is much lower in nutrients and much higher in gluten. The name gluten actually comes from it being glue-like. Gluten is what gives dough elasticity and what helps bread to rise. When gluten reaches the digestive tract and is exposed to the cells of the immune system, they mistakenly believe that it is coming from some sort of foreign invader, like a bacteria. This can cause the immune system to start attacking it, which is what causes bloating, cramps and irritation of the immune system.
- Cut out refined sugar. Our bodies can’t metabolise fructose. Most processed sweet things have high fructose corn syrup in them, which the liver turns into fat and stores (usually on your tummy or hips!) Refined sugar contains no vitamins or minerals; it is simply empty calories. It will affect your cholesterol, insulin levels and it’s addictive. Remove any sugary drinks and foods from your diet immediately (this should be first on your list of changes to make, and if that is all you do, you will have achieved a lot.) You might crave them at first but eventually you will notice a huge difference in how you feel without them. Once your taste buds adjust you will realize that sugar is overly sweet and flavourless and you will in fact prefer the taste of natural sweeteners such as honey, dates, or organic maple syrup. Stevia is a good option for diabetics, as even honey, dates and maple syrup are high in natural sugars, which, while fine in moderation for a healthy person, can have very negative effects for a diabetic.
- Don’t replace your regular sugary drink with ‘diet’ drinks. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame are highly toxic and have been known to cause MS, arthritis and eventually, can contribute to causing cancer too. Stay away from artificial sweeteners.
- One of the most important supplements you can take is probiotics. The immune system begins in the gut. If the gut is strong, your immune system will be strong. Probiotics encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gut, enabling us to have stronger immune systems.
- Exercise… go to the gym, go for a swim, ride a horse (like Raine), do yoga, go for a walk or a run or just follow a YouTube workout video. Whatever you do, try to get moving! Not only will it help you feel better physically by keeping your heart healthy, lowering cholesterol and boosting your energy, it will also help you feel happier by sending endorphins to your brain.
- Try to take up meditation or some form of relaxation technique for at least ten minutes every day. Studies show that by meditating for ten to twenty minutes a day, you will find improvements in your concentration, creativity, happiness and relationships with other people.
- Lastly, try and do all of this about 85% of the time, but if you are out for dinner with friends or at your mum’s house, don’t worry about it too much. Know that you are nourishing your body with exactly what it needs for the majority of the time, therefore the odd treat won’t hurt you, and as our mums always told us, ‘a little bit of what you fancy does you good’! Enjoying your life is as important as keeping healthy; you can’t have one without the other.
I hope this helps!