Remember when I posted a while back about being on a mission to get a happy healthy body because mine isn’t? Well I’ve been good and started making that a priority recently. With it being Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day I thought today might be a good day to talk about my attempts at making healthier choices when it comes to what I shove in my face. My approach to this has come from a few different places, with what I want to make better and I believe a lot of these things can be changed from within.
Motivating problem number one: My skin. It has alwaaaays been an issue since I was a teenager. As soon as I was in secondary school I had pretty bad acne, not the worst but definitely enough to make me want to pull my hair out and photoshop all my photos, it’s how I learned a vital skill that I use today in my career so there’s a positive. I visited a GP after a couple of years, probably when I was about 13 or 14 and he basically told me to wash my face more, I will never forget that. I didn’t go back to another GP about it till I was in my early twenties and they were shocked to hear I was given that advice and that I’d dealt with it for so long. Having bad skin is something that makes me feel down and knocks my confidence when it is going through a rough patch… It’s certainly better as I’ve gotten older but it’s not gone. I was put on antibiotics and my skin cleared up a bit but not extremely well, and it’s only really treating the problem and not the real cause, which is different for everyone who has it. I’m over the halfway point of my twenties and I’ve been dealing with this for over half of my life now. I feel it’s a bit ridiculous, I’m fed up and diet I feel is half of the battle.
Motivating problem number two: I keep getting ill. My immune system needs rebooting and building up.
Motivating problem number three: I did a body mass index scanner at work back in December when we had a gym visiting for a week to try and get people to sign up. The results weren’t especially good, thank you desk job and pizza. I’m a fairly average body type, but I have more fat than muscle, which on this scanner translated to being ‘metabolically obese’ around the tummy area and upper body. I think the media term is skinny fat, and I recently learned it can put you at risk of getting diabetes. Fun! Definitely time to sort this out.
So I did my research, mainly looking into skin. Turns out what you put in your body has been found to make a big impact on what shows up on your face. But chocolate (dark chocolate) is safe. The main culprits are dairy, which I eat a lot of but I’m fairly certain I’m allergic to it anyway… Sugar, which I’m addicted to… and foods that have a high glycemic load that spike your blood sugars. There are also some trigger ingredients which don’t help matters. There seems to have been a fair amount of scientific research done into this so it seemed like it might be worth experimenting cutting out dairy and refined sugar from my diet, and putting low GI foods on my plate. This kinda leaves me with good grains, fruits, vegetables, tofu, meat and fish – also trying to avoid the strange additives that get put in food, where I’m asking what the hell it is. I want to make sure the food I put in my body is actually good enough to eat. So I started this experiment with myself just over a week ago and I feel it will impact on the other two problem areas as well – with some other work of course.
The hardest thing has been sugar, and cheese. I’ve tried culling sugar from my diet before because I know it’s a problem, but always failed. Day two or three I feel tired and I just want a cup of tea with one sugar and some milk and I give in. This time pretty much every day since I started I’ve thought about cake. I don’t even eat cake that often and I kept thinking about that and chocolate. Today was the first day I’ve not thought about it. With cheese I’ve been wanting to add it to the food I’ve been making, because who doesn’t love cheese? I’ve stuck to my guns though and made it through to day 9 now. Apparently it takes 10 days for sugar to leave your system to get off the habit, so nearly there. But for results to show on your face it apparently takes a few weeks – so here’s my attempt to hold out. I can say, I already feel a bit lighter in everything for it.
One of the reasons I’m bringing this up is because I’ve had to do a boat load of research and spend a lot of time getting here, and honestly I feel it should be easier for people to learn this information. It seems a lot of things come about from your diet, and the values in food seem to be put on producing it cheaply and of course making food that you can sell more of (hello sugar in everything). I totally understand this but surely the bigger importance for big companies that control all food output should be making sure that their produce is healthy and nutritious. Governments should fund more nutritional research and make its advice more available, simplified and easy to understand without it being corrupted. Which is why I agree that the food revolution thing is important, if you’re going to start somewhere, start with the people who will change the future right, those little people in schools right (sign the petition here by the way). I’ve spent months looking at this stuff, I’m certainly no expert and trying to find my way through the hoards of crap out there. It should just be easier to learn about this.
I’ve compiled a few of my favourite recipes from the last week and a bit that don’t use dairy or sugar if you’re interested in seeing what happens too.
EGG & AVOCADO TOAST If you mush up the avocado with lemon, salt and pepper it’s awesome. I especially like poached or scrambled egg on top, with sriracha drizzled over (though that has sugar in so avoiding at the moment).
SPICED GRILLED FISH WITH AVOCADO SALSA (Loving the avocado) We had this with cod instead of salmon which was delicious, on top of basmati rice. Basmati is on the lower end of the middle GI spectrum.
MUSHROOM COCONUT SOUP We made ours with baby chestnut mushrooms, onions, garlic, vegetable stock and coconut milk, and a little bit of cornflour to thicken. Dark brown bread and tastiness in a bowl is yours to conquer.
MUSHROOMS WITH PEARL BARLEY (Also loving the mushrooms) The pearl barley gives a lot of bite while the mushrooms add a lot of yum.
I’ll see where I get with this experiment and update with how it goes. I may also go into the issue of skin problems a bit more so anyone who is interested might be able to see where I’ve found some of the interesting things, as food was only one aspect of a solution to observe. Happy food revolution day everyone!