What I want to achieve with The Whole Food Rainbow is to share the food I love to eat and that naturally reduces the symptoms of the health conditions I live with. Alkalising and anti-inflammatory, this food is healing. Not hocus pocus wave a magic wand and it’s all better healing, but real practical health benefits.
that is the power of food!
What we consume is the biggest controlling factor that we have over our health, and yet we are generally not taught to understand this, or indeed anything which will help us to take responsibility for our own well-being. I want to share my experience and insights into following specialist diets and a plant-based diet, and to be able to encourage and support other people while they are making those changes, to lead happier, healthier lives.
Some people can eat whatever they want, within reason, maybe have to watch their weight, but generally feel fine. Others are more sensitive to food. Many people develop sensitivities as adults, others have them from childhood. Some reactions are more severe than others, others may be difficult to identify but contribute to ill-health. Listen to what your body is telling you, assess your weight and health, and the people you are responsible for’s health, and decide if there are things you can do to help yourself, and them, feel better. All too often people live in a fug of ill-health and stress, just coping, I know how that is, and it doesn’t have to be that way. We are chemical beings, our food is composed of chemicals, and we are individuals with an individual makeup and reaction to our environment. Some people are sensitive to different substances in different foods. These sensitivities are worryingly on the increase, and this coincides with a massive increase in environmental toxins, plastics and processed foods, and an increase in autoimmune conditions.
I think we are, wherever we are from, railroaded into eating in a certain way, by what is out there to eat, by what those around us are eating, by our culture (and perception of what this means in relation to food and our identity), by our habits, and the way our bodies and minds react to certain additives and chemicals, to the ‘golden triangle’ of fat, salt and sugar, by marketing, by stress and our demanding lives, and also by fear of ill health. Perversely, the more we worry about health, often the more we shut down and compartmentalise, blocking ourselves off from the reality of what we are doing.
what we eat is the easiest, most habitual area of our lives in which to do the wrong thing over and over and yet not fully realise it.
We are compulsive about food and our relationship to what we eat is so complex. And yet it seems like a small thing, a moment in the mouth and it’s over, only it isn’t. We have to connect the dots. Intelligent people that we are, our minds are expert tools of self-deception, and that’s how the food industry (and the ‘sister’ pharmaceutical industry, scary connection isn’t it?) like it. To stop being railroaded we have to get to grips with our relationship to food, unpick it, understand it, and rebuild it into a stronger, healthier story.
Once you have a health condition, or more than one as is so often the case, you are swept along by medical advice (or lack of and the subsequent confusion), medication, and the patient-doctor power hierarchy, which is naturally strongly weighted away from the patient. At no point is wholesome food mentioned as an option, or rather a necessity for good health. What we need to really understand and face up to is that doctors are greatly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, that’s the system,a fact any self-respecting doctor would admit and bemoan (check out Clean Food Dirty Girl, Molly Patrick’s recent post for a working doctor’s testimonial, it’s an important read!). This relationship is so restricting and makes such a difficult job to do well, much harder. Doctors, local practice and specialist, have hugely important roles to play, and that’s the point, if only they were freed up to play those roles effectively and develop instead of being bogged down by the car crash that is happening to our health system due to lifestyle related conditions like type 2 diabetes, and their associated serious health complications. If the focus was on lifestyle and not medication, massive change would occur, empowering everybody.
you are what you eat.
It’s not the whole picture, granted, but it’s a valuable maxim nonetheless.
There is no place in our modern medical system for empowering individuals to help themselves and their families through diet, apart from basic food group info, which is just not good enough. Some of us are lucky enough to have support and information around us and the motivation to at least try to understand it. But there are so many, and so many children, who don’t have that, and who are suffering as a consequence of ignorance. So many children now are overweight and even have type 2 diabetes, check out Jamie Oliver’s Channel 4 Doc ‘Sugar Rush, it made me realise how serious the situation is. This is an emergency, I believe that it is our collective responsibility to change this, and that we must start at home. Not by judging other people. Not by feeling bad about the past, or beating yourself up about mistakes, but by accepting them as part of your journey, by embracing the future, your future, and understanding that it is a process. I know how hard it is to change relationships to food, but I also know how much easier it is than I had perceived. And I know the things that can help make the journey easier, more successful and more enjoyable too.
everyone should aim for the best health they can and look after themselves.
And if like me you have pain in your joints and in your body generally, if you have auto-immune conditions, or are fighting type 2 diabetes, as so many people are, what you eat is having a really big impact on your health.
you can feel better. You can live a happier, healthier life.
All of the health conditions I live with are controlled by food, and yet I have been given no real advice about this, and when I mention the effect that different foods have on my health conditions no-one is interested, this is because there is no professional context for them to take what I am saying on board. The relationship between food and health is so little explored and understood, officially speaking. Why would pharmaceuticals fund such research when it would damage their profits and improve the health of those whose ill-health they profit from in so many ways?
I have recently heard of several stories from America of local doctors prescribing fruit and veg to patients , which is I hope the beginning of more widespread change, and such a positive thing! Please share your stories and information on this subject!
If we empowered ourselves and made the right food choices, as a society, across the world, then our health organisations and professionals would have a chance to function and thrive, and so would we, and our children and grandchildren. People would obviously be happier, healthier, stronger, age less quickly and in general live longer with better quality of life. It’s a win win, (win win win!), except for the mercenary multinationals who pump us and our children full off bad food, additives and drugs in order to make their billions. It’s shocking but true, and we must face up to the reality of it, and take the power back. Look what they have done to our world! We must remind ourselves of this every step of the way, and reprogram our behaviour, individually and collectively. We’re all in it together, with the same weaknesses, the same human problems and ways of thinking, and we all have the strength to educate ourselves and make positive changes that will make our world a better place.
our power is in large part as consumers.
All the recipes on my blog are suitable for people who are pursuing optimal health. They cater also for various specialist diets ( drop down from the health info part of the top menu). The plant-based diet I follow has helped me with inflammation and pain reduction, allowing me to be more active, and to feel less tired and stressed, and has also transformed my once difficult relationship to food. Why shouldn’t such a diet help you or someone you know? Your doctor won’t tell you this, but it’s true.
natural whole food, fruit and vegetables are the foundation of good health.
It is important to listen to your body and its relationship to food and find out the foods that don’t agree with you and cut them out of your diet. Guard and nurture your health at every opportunity you can, it’s precious.
And onto today’s recipe. I have chosen a lentil soup to share that I love. Soups are a great healthy food. They’re easy to make, to digest, anti-inflammatory, low of unnecessary carbs (unless you want carbs when you can eat them with beautiful breads or dumplings), high protein, high vegetable. They’re filling and satisfying, cheap, easy to cook and keep and freeze well. They tick all the boxes for a healthy meal that will help you move towards optimal health.
I ♥ SOUP
Red lentil soup is a simple vegan and vegetarian staple. I like it for the above reasons, because it’s simple nutritious tasty food that keeps me going without weighing me down and helps me follow the specialist diets I need to follow, happily ♥
Squash are such lovely, vibrant, fantastical vegetables and I’m totally mad on them. I find them hard to eat though because they’re so beautiful and unique to look at I don’t want to cut into them, I tend to hoard them in my kitchen, but the Whole Food Rainbow is empowering me to embrace this next logical step of actually eating them!
- 1 1/2 cups of red lentils
- 6-7 cups of filtered water
- 1/2 medium butternut squash
- 2 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 medium garlic cloves, or to taste
- 1 1/2 tsp salt (I include a couple of pinches of black salt, this is recommended but optional)
- 1 tbsp bouillon powder (or replace this with veg stock instead of water)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Olive oil, or oil of choice
- Fresh basil or coriander
Cut your butternut squash in half length-ways, scoop out the seeds and score, down the length and breadth, making it quicker to cook. Rub it with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt, place the halves in an oven pan and pour a cup of water in in the bottom of the pan. Put in a hot oven for approx 30 mins, until soft.
While the squash is roasting, heat the coconut oil in a saucepan on a low heat, add the garlic and then before the garlic browns, after 20 seconds or so add the spices and bay leaf, stirring, for ten seconds or so. Quickly add the water and the rest of the ingredients, bring to a simmer and put the lid on, turning down the heat, stirring frequently as lentils can stick.
Scoop out one of the squash halves (the other is now ready for use in a variety of other dishes such as this or this or this, or can be frozen) and add to the soup. If you like a textured soup then stir in and serve as is, if you prefer a smoother texture then blend. Like-wise with consistency, adjust the water and seasoning to taste.