Let your food be your medicine lunches is part 2 of this interesting topic; it continues on from our very popular breakfast page.
There's no question of it; if you want to enjoy your meals and be healthy, then you have to get back to our philosophy of slow food; made fast is the slogan, where possible.
Fast food that is wolfed down, on the run so to speak, means there will have to be a pill box in front of you loaded with drugs and supplements. And that's exactly what we are trying to get away from; is a life without medication a pipe dream?
Neither my wife nor myself take any medication on a regular basis; it's no coincidence; we work hard at following Hippocrates' edict. Plus I must add, we exercise daily and stir our brains in 101 ways. Mindless television is a rarity; we find the soaps so boring and passé anyway, so that's no sweat.
Obviously if you take lunch at home, it's a little easier; if it's to the office some time and aforethought are essential, otherwise it's the fast food restaurant. Time is money, they will argue; come eat with us. What they don't tell you is what was put into that meal, and more important what was omitted.
Let's take the staff of life as an example. Proper bread, the kind that is very difficult to find, is made from 100 percent wholemeal; it contains all the germ and bran which are where the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals like lignans are to be found.
Supermarket and fast food restaurant bread rolls you can be sure have much or all of the bran removed; those lignans, which have a chemical structure very similar to oestrogen, compete with circulating hormones at the breast. Taking it out is what makes women vulnerable to cancer. Of course it has many other beneficial properties too; like fibre for a healthy colon.
So too, millers add in extra inorganic calcium to compensate for all the minerals and vitamins that they have removed in the processing. Disturbing new research has found that supplemental calcium, but not that which is found naturally in your food, is deposited in the arterial walls as well as the bones, significantly increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Could that store bread be the cause of your high blood pressure? Yes, sir, it certainly could. Let your food, naturally, be the source of your medicine. Granny, too, incidentally should come off calcium supplements, as should all women.
This loaf, made from 100% wholemeal flour takes only five minutes to prepare; it contains all the lignans, calcium, a host of other minerals and B vitamins; you will no longer need to take vitamin E capsules.
Likewise, because of all those complex carbohydrates and added protein it has a low GI and is not fattening.
If you are serious about getting rid of that pill box, and want to let your food be your medicine, lunches, then dust off your breadmachine, get a few basic ingredients and bake your own loaf; five minutes is all it takes, once you're in the groove. Trust me, I'm a doctor! It's my responsibility in our home every single day. It tastes divine and contrary what all the diets will tell you, neither of us are in the slightest obese.
Let your food be your medicine; lunch is what we're discussing here, and proper bread should have pride of place. More, butter is back, and should never have been banished to Coventry so to speak. Absolutely avoid the hydrogenated fats in margarine; the research is unequivocal.
Let your food be your medicine lunches continues in the same vein as our breakfast page, following the advice of Hippocrates, the father of virtually all healthcare; acupuncture, perhaps, excepted.
The second principle, before we get into the nitty gritty of let your food be your medicine LUNCHES, is that every day we should be enjoying at least five coloured foods, and preferably ten. Scientists following a large group of people over twenty years found those eating seven to eight had a 35 percent lower all cause of death; that's massive.
At breakfast, most of those colours would be coming from fruit; at lunch we'll be getting them from our salads with several different greens topping the list.
Your coloured foods are where many of the phytochemicals lurk that help promote health and prevent disease; what's known as functional medicine.
You don't need to know the details but, for example, it's the eugenol in sweet basil and the capsaicin in peppers that act as powerful anti inflammatories in your lunch; likewise the lutein in young spinach and the choline in eggs.
Enjoying foods like these on a daily basis reduces the anger in your muscles and joints and means you too won't be needing NSAIDS from the pillbox in front of you every day; they have dreadful side effects; don't accept it from me, but read the medical literature.
Food of course varies enormously according to culture and tradition; yet there are some fundamentals that none of us can avoid if we don't want that pillbox. Eating fresh, natural and unprocessed meals is the real deal; yes, it takes time, though a lot less than visiting the pharmacy and the doctor; not as painful and expensive either.
So, here goes, let your food be your medicine lunches.
On Monday we are going to focus on lettuces; it's no coincidence that they have such bad press because they really do go limp and miserable very quickly, so I'm going to start with a plug for growing lettuce.
Notice there are at least five different kinds of lettuce here, plus the baby spinach arrowed. They all have subtle and largely unknown different mineral and vitamin profiles, but what they have in common is a very rich supply of a vital vitamin called folate; a deficiency, even before a woman knows she's pregnant causes very serious neural tube defects; cleft lip and spina bifida. Research also shows that children enjoying a diet rich in greens perform much better in school.
Don't take folate supplements; let your food be your medicine; lunch is the subject of today's blog.
This lettuce patch has been bearing for at least a month, and will go for another; one leaf from each of these with lemon juice and olive oil forms the basis of Monday's lunch. Add a few sprigs of parsley and a couple green shoots from the spring onions, a radish or two and a couple slices of tomato and you have a meal fit for a king; and his queen.
Soup is the flavour of the day on Tuesday, and it's so easy because last night's supper can be heated up for let your food be your medicine lunches.
I prefer soup for lunch because so many of us have hiatus hernia defects and soup for dinner will mean heartburn and indigestion when you go and lie down; it trickles up into your oesophagus carrying strong acid with it.
Soup should always be at the beginning of the meal, and the solids placed on top a little later; it's definitely the leisurely lunch.
This is a sourdough bread that we make; it also takes five minutes to mix the dough and, twice a week, a little longer as you have to feed the culture some raw honey and rye flour.
The taste of sourdough bread is to die for, but its real virtue is that it is more digestible for those suffering from a gluten intolerance; the lactobacillus in the culture breaks down the proline that is the offending amino acid.
The research world is entirely divided over the place of dairy in the diet, so I remain undecided; certainly if you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease the cream and cheese would be suspect; but otherwise we enjoy milk and yoghurts without any problems; perhaps a few sniffles.
Eggs, like butter, are back; they too should never have been sent to Coventry; even the American Heart Association is endorsing them.
Eggs are a rich source of two vitamins that by their anti inflammatory properties protect the inner lining of the coronary and of course other blood vessels; by providing B12 and choline they actually protect us from heart disease.
If you can find genuinely free range eggs, then they are a good source of another anti inflammatory substance, not a vitamin but the omega-3 fatty acids.
Never have red meat more than once a day; even that is probably too much since the WHO researchers stated that it is 'probably' carcinogenic.
A green bean salad is a wonderful vegetable protein. Blanche lightly and then add to a dressing of bean water, salt, lemon juice, olive oil and half a clove of finely chopped garlic.
Fatty fish like salmon and herring is the best source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA so on Friday we'll have a smoked salmon dip to go on our bread; you can make it in a jiffy.
On Saturday you have a little extra time; a barbecued chicken makes a good social occasion. Apologies for this make your food your medicine lunch photo; it looks charred but isn't.
I like to put the chicken in a hot oven for half an hour and then grill for another twenty minutes with a sauce of olive oil, fresh herbs and chopped jalapeno.
Always make your own salad dressing using olive oil; it's not high in omega-6 seed oils which are inflammatory and has no added chemicals.
Sunday is an open day to enjoy as you please; you've earned it after a six days of health food. Enjoy these kinds of let your food be your medicine lunches and you can indulge in a lamb roast, or your favourite.