I can’t believe it’s over a month since my last post. I knew that life would be busy settling back in to the UK, but it really has been non-stop. Finally moved in to the new family home but still surrounded by boxes, things are beginning to settle down a bit. Even better, the internet man came today! So I’m back on line properly and can give the poor much-in-demand dongle and my old and rather temperamental netbook a rest!Despite being busy with the move and work, I have still been cooking and experimenting, so there’s lots to come!
Recently, I have noticed how the benefits of a wholefood, plant based diet are becoming more mainstream – it seems to be a bit of a Hollywood fad too. But not only does this way of eating help keep chronic diseases at bay, it’s great for helping you look young. In fact, since I’ve been eating this way, I’ve had comments about how I look younger now than when I left for India 3 years ago, had I had botox (!!??) and someone thought I was 11 years younger than I actually am. This of course made my day, year and possibly lifetime!
Research published in the last month highlights the negative aspect of eating processed foods such as sausages, pies and bacon http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21682779. Another one has found that full fat dairy reduces the chance of recovery from breast cancer http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21803580. And of course there is the wonderful horse meat scandal that has affected most of Europe in some way. The good side of this is that people seem to have started to think about their eating habits and buying less processed food, plus the larger super markets say they are changing how they source their food. This may or may not last. Ultimately, though, it’s down to each one of us to chose how we eat – and in an expensive economy, a plant based diet helps the finances as well as the waistline!
My daughter and I went to Vegefest in Brighton at the weekend, an exhibition about vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. It was heaving, which was great, and had a huge range of stalls offering various veg and vegan friendly products with lots of lovely free samples. Stalls with lunch options to buy wafted gloriously mouthwatering smells throughout the hall; we indulged in some vegan tapas, but to be honest I could have just stuffed myself with chocolate all day and not need anything else! Being a cake fiend, fabulous vegan cupcakes were a must, and we did buy a box to bring home, reluctantly sharing them with the boys! Gorgeous.After we left, I got to thinking about the products available. Yummy, yes. Healthy, maybe not.
One of the Vegefest tag lines is about promoting a healthy plant based, wholefood diet. Out of all the stalls there, only one sold vegetables (apart from the grow your own mushroom bag stall which I thought looked great but freaked my daughter out – are mushrooms weird?). There were supplements, replacements and alternatives to dairy and meat (including some gorgeous coconut based milk – Kara. Definitely worth a try!), but eating to heal and for health is not about eating yet more, if different processed food. No matter how gorgeous a vegan cupcake may be, it’s still full of sugar and fat.
So what’s the answer? Man (and woman of course) cannot eat cake alone. I’ve realised the 80/20 rule is pretty good guide to go by. Eating properly for 80% of the time, and enjoy the not so healthy and sometimes indulgently gorgeous 20% of the time. Dairy free indulgence, of course. So, where are those cupcakes then…….?