It’s an easy past-time whiling away hours on the internet googling information or downloading apps in relation to anything about food if you are concerned about your diet and GM factors, weighing up varying statistics and getting bamboozled with conflicting information from countless sites to do with food and nutrition. The Internet is now a place where anyone can post their opinions about food, and basically say anything about anything whether it is substantiated or not. There are of course some reputable sites with backed-up research by qualified food-nutritionists, dietitians and scientists and I have narrowed it down to a few I subscribe to, everyone has their favourites. Not to mention the Mt Everest of products, marketed and available in supermarkets claiming to counteract gluten, fat, sugar and declaring to be the be all and end all of healthy eating. Rather than banging your head against the fridge, I believe it can be a bit easier to decipher and get your thoughts around.
However you look at it, the philosophy is quite simple. Get back to the basics, the way our Mothers, Grandmothers and their Grandmothers approached food. The very simple Meat and Three Veg approach. Or for the Vegetarians, the Egg and Four Veg approach. Even the Vegans, The Veg and More Veg approach. Here are a few of my own rules when it comes to food choice:
Number 1 – Don’t buy food that comes in a box or a packet
Generally speaking, food sold in boxes has at some point been processed in one way or another. Food is put into plastic packaging or wraps and boxes for a reason, to preserve it and lengthen its shelf-life. In order to preserve food, it needs preservatives which are something our bodies really could do without in the long run. If you see the number 220 or higher on the ingredients list, put it back on the supermarket shelf. You don’t need it. (Unless it is completely organic and preservative-free, 220 is also present in most wines as it protects against oxidation and bacterial spoilage. Everything in moderation). 🙂
Number 2 – Eat Fresh
Don’t know about you, but I don’t plan all following week-night meals at the beginning of the week or do one huge grocery shop with each nights meal planned already. I’m not that organised, preferring to give it a bit of thought in the morning and decide what I want to cook for dinner that night, then shop locally for the freshest ingredients that can be sourced on the day. In todays fast-paced world it’s easy to come up with a bunch of reasons not allowing you to do this. Long working hours, dead-lines and two or more kids for example (and this is a legitimate excuse for a lot of people) but really if you dedicate some time of each day to fresh-food shopping, even if you have to diarise it, it will eventually just become part of your daily routine. Nor am I a fan of freezing meat, fish or chicken, preferring to purchase fresh organic if possible, on the day. I know it can all be frozen for convenience and will be cheaper, but I think fresh tastes much better. (An exception can be made for bought frozen fish as it is usually fresher than the non-frozen fish bought at the sea-food shop because it’s been cleaned, filleted and snap-frozen on the boat preserving it’s freshness).
Number 3 – Keep it Simple:
Meat and Three Veg means exactly that. Whether it be a juicy grass-fed rib-eye-fillet (sorry vegetarians), a Tasmanian salmon fillet or a lovely organic chicken, any of these can be easily prepared to cook with a simple marinade OR just thrown directly in the oven, on a grill pan, BBQ or whatever cooking medium on their own. Of course you can go all gourmet and exotic with marinades but you can always just simply use Lemon, Garlic, Salt and Pepper and GOOD QUALITY Olive Oil. Plus a green herb or two – parsley will always get you out of trouble, as will a lemon.
With the Three Veg, just think in terms of ‘tri-colour’ during selection process:
Pumpkin, Broccoli and Red Capsicum.
Sweet Potato, Eggplant and Asparagus.
Carrot, Leek and Cauliflower.
Fennel, Red Onions and Snow Peas.
Bok Choy, Radish and Cabbage.
Artichokes, Tomatoes and Kale – starting to get fancy there but it’s the three different colours of veg am trying to envision in Green, Red (or Orange) and White.
It’s as simple as that!