Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Old Switcheroo

A lot of the time when I think about improving my nutrition it seems pretty overwhelming. I think we can tend to be a bit all-or-nothing in our thinking, and this means we sometimes don’t improve our health until we feel ready to “do it all”. But the real changes are the tiny ones, that we implement as we slowly evolve our lifestyles and don’t feel the need to resist or procrastinate.

Some of the changes I have made to my nutrition in recent years were just a simple switching of basic ingredients. These don’t affect the foods I prepare, but do make my diet cleaner and more nutritious.

So here’s 8 switches that I made, see if any of them could be right for you:

8 nutrition switches

The brilliant thing about stevia and coconut sugar as sweeteners is that they’re both natural, won’t spike sugar levels and are less likely to be stored as fat, and don’t have nasty effects on our long-term health that artificial sweeteners and sugar itself can.

Manuka honey is traditionally used in herbal preparations for its soothing, demulcent and antibacterial actions. Like any honey it is a natural sugar and therefore needs to be eaten in moderation and anyone on a sugar-restricted diet needs to check with a health professional. However, if you’re already eating honey, Manuka is the way to go for health benefits.

Himalayan pink salt contains trace minerals needed in our diet such as sulphur, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iodine, iron, zinc and selenium. Table salt has been stripped of its benefits; it just makes sense to change.

Tamari is basically soy sauce without the wheat, a common irritant. I also love that the Tamari I buy is organic so the soy beans are whole and not GMO. Soy still needs to be taken in moderation, but I think these improvements keep it on the side of good.

It’s funny these days how everyone argues about whether organic food is actually better for you. But not so long ago organic food was just…. food. The argument needs to change to how bad pesticides, fungicides and other chemicals are on our health, not to mention some unbiased research into the long term effects of eating genetically modified foods. I’d like to see all of us on organic until the others can prove themselves. I must admit convenience has me often lapsing to buy more readily available fruits and vegetables, but recently I looked into a local organic provider and I’m so glad I did.

The materials that we use to cook and store our food can leach in and effect our health, so it’s not enough just to consider the ingredients themselves. I like to cook in a cast iron skillet (so retro!) in the hopes I’m receiving iron rather than aluminium from the pan, and I store in glass to prevent too many chemicals leaching into my food from plastic. My next mission is to stop eating food from tins!

Now over to you: what switches have you already made, and is there a step you want to take to improve the ingredients in your pantry? Please let me know in the comments below.