Monday, 30 April 2007

Recipes For Disaster

I read a lot about diet and health. Because it's important to eat good foods in order for your body to operate efficiently. And if your body is operating efficiently, then you are less prone to illnesses. I also read about (and develop - after all I needed it - ) diets to deal with illnesses such as cancer. And so I came across this simple and easy to follow explanation of what Type II diabetes is and how to avoid and reduce it. A lot of it is commonsense, some of it is medically sound, and some of it is not quite so easy to reconcile with healthy eating...

Let me start - my partner has Type II and is obese. She eats small portions of her foods but spoils that by eating unallowed foods in between. It's not so much the quantity that is foiling her efforts, it's the types of things she eats. As "localroger" points out, the medication itself sets you up for continued obesity, as does the illness.

I tend to cook Mediterranean and Middle eastern styles of foods, which are healthy and work well for me, but slightly less so for her. If she ate what I eat without the extras she would lose a lot of weight and her Type II would reduce in severity. If we tailor her diet even more, the results would be spectacular. But there is always a deeper reason for obesity, usually an almost addiction to the unhealthy foods...

Our modern diets tend to be filled with sugars and starchy carbohydrates. While "localroger" in his article does away with all carbs, I have to say right away that if a diet absolutely forbids a particular whole food group, I'm against it. The only food group I'd deny is the fast acting toxins and rat poison group. And even there, it's been proven that certain poisons in minute qunatities are beneficial to us, and some are even a requisite.

Let's face it, life is a balancing act all the way. Eat less fats and carbs and you (unless you have a very rare sort of fullness sensing mechanism) will feel hungrier and eat more. And while it may not be fattening food, it is still not a balanced amount for your body. When you eat food, there are byproducts. Eat the right amount of food and you will be excreting the right amount of wastes. Eat too much - even of the healthiest food you can find - and your organs are having to deal with a lot more waste than is good for your body to have to deal with.

My approach is much more balanced. I find that carbs and starches are needed. Our bodies make emergency sugars out of them remember? Fats are the best form of that, and animal fats best of all. On the flipside, fats are easier for our bodies to store, too. In the form of fat. Which becomes sugar only when the cells need it. And if you have Type II then your cells aren't listening to the insulin saying "go ahead and use this sugar" so the body stores it instead. Also as fat.

To get off that particular roundabout you need to add red and white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and malt vinegar to your diet. And red wine, tomato paste, oily vitamin E. These all reduce cell inflammation, which is what creates the "noise" that prevents the cells from seeing the insulin signals. (And yes, cell inflammation also leads to dysplasia of the cells, a form of pre-cancerous malformation of cells which doesn't take a lot to tip you over into cancer. In my case, prostate cancer, which I reversed using only my diet.)

Now - animal fats will convert to sugars and then to fat, in your body. Carb-high foods such as the sweet dough buns used for burgers will provide useful sugars to your body - which it will promptyl turn into fat... The additives that are used to bake modern breads and preserve the pickles and meat in that burger will cause cell inflammation, leading to cells that won't use that sugar, which your body makes from your fat and in fact makes less and less of as it is not being used. So I suggest that if you are having fat-laden meat avoid the highly processed carbs such as bread and pasta, the naturally easily assimilated carbs like potatoes, and stick to greens and beans. For that meal only! Put a reasonable amount of time between meals (an hour or two at least) before having some other meal with other ingredients.

That's the legacy of the burger kingdom - you have a meat patty which contains a fair percentage of animal fats fried in vegetable oils, and both have preservatives and additives which your body has no idea how to cope with and which ends up sometimes excreted as waste but more often than not just contributing to cell inflammation load and chemical "noise" in your system. Have you never wondered why Type II and the "obesity epidemic" seem to be recent phenomena?

Over millenia, our bodies grew to the point where we could make use of our food that was available at the time. Once we it was discovered that another animal's proteins were far more concentrated than eating the vegetables and converting them ourselves, it would have taken several hundred generations (certainly a period of some 10,000 years and possibly even ten times as long) before the mechanisms existed for making successful use of meat as a part of our diet. Okay - juries are out over precisely how long it takes to adapt, as a species, to a new food in our diet, but all agree that it happens in an evoilutionary blink, only a few hundred generations compared to the tens of thousands of generations that other genes take to enter the mainstream.

That means that, once we herded a few animals rather than hunting them, that we developed a tolerance for their milk, as that was a renewable resource from the animals which, if we could only keep our bodies from rejecting it, would allow us to better survive. Somewhere along the line where the Asiatic and European bloodlines split, the Asians never bothered much with milk and to this day are still lactose intolerant. From the timelines involved, scientists have calculated that we gained the lactose tolerance gene some 7,000 to 15,000 years ago.

Similarly, around that same timespan we discovered that fermenting grains and sugars made a very nice drink, which unfortunately left us dizzy and disoriented and easy prey to predators or hunting parties, but which substituted nicely for water, and thus we could avoid several water-borne diseases that would have been deadly back then. And hey - we also developed an "immunity" to alcohol back then, proof that not all evolution has to be boring and tasteless...

You know what was NOT around, ten thousand years ago? Preservatives, and processed flour that has been bleached to resemble chalk with about as little nutritional value, and E612 and all those other flavourings and modifiers and crap. Give our bodies fresh vegetables with as little chemical contamination as possible, meat that has not been treated with irritants to make it look red, and grains that have only been ground and baked - and they will thrive. You almost can't make a mistake there. Our bodies are survivors!

But put all that chemical in there and watch things go awry. Yes - diabetes was almost unknown when sugar was a brown and relatively unprocessed mass of goo. Even raw sugar today is megaprocessed, and it's one hundredfold better for you than white sugar. Because white sugar is bleached and processed and finally, ends up being nothing like a natural sugar.

So do read that article, but bear in mind that "localroger" is only seeing one side of a much larger picture. Buy a copy of my book, and begin to live healthier starting right now...

Austrian Cabbage Rolls

NAME: _ Kohlrouladen
These cabbage rolls are flavoursome, wholesome, and easy to make.

One plain cabbage, medium-large.
250g very lean pork
1 cup long grain white rice
1 tin chopped tomatoes, or two-three cups fresh chopped tomatoes
tablespoonful of grapeseed oil
tablespoonful of either pork dripping or olive oil
1 large or two medium brown onions.
1 tin sauerkraut, or about three cups if you have bulk
20 - 50 g speck or bacon
salt to taste
5 chicken stock cubes in a litre of hot water or one litre of chicken stock

flat coverable baking dish (or cover with two layers aluminium foil)

Put the chicken stock on to simmer, put the grapeseed oil and fat (or olive oil) into a reasonably deep frypan. Chop the onion(s) about 1cm square, put in frypan with about a teaspoon of salt, allow to sizzle turning occasionally. Slice the pork across the grain and put in food processor, dice speck or bacon into half cm bits and put in processor too. Whiz for less than a minute, you want pretty coarse shreds of pork.

Once the onions are going glassy, add the pork/speck and keep stirring occasionally. When the food starts drying and frying properly, allow to fry until everything colours a bit, throw in the a cupful of sauerkraut and the rice and stir around for five more minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes and two cups of the chicken stock. Place the lid on the pan and turn right down for about an hour, or until all liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile cut the core out of the cabbage and separate off as many outer leaves as you can. I dip the cabbage under hot water to loosen the leaves and peel off carefully. Once you have as many leaves as you can (they will need to roll up a spoonful of filling each so larger leaves are preferred) and blanch them a couple at a time in the simmering chicken stock, until they are limp. Cut the thick part of the stem away on each leaf (I slice it away leaving a thin bit of the stem still on the leaf) and stack them to cool.

Oil a baking tray and sprinkle half the remaining sauerkraut on the bottom in a thin layer. Once the filling is finished and has cooled, make the rolls - Place a spoonful of filling at the stem end, partly roll the end of the leaf over, then fold the sides across that, then continue rolling. Things you can add to these leaves as you roll are sticks of cheeses like fetta, haloumi, cheddar - pretty much any solid cheese - and a mint leaf, or a few slivers of crisped bacon.

Lay the rolls quite tightly on the bed of sauerkraut in the baking tray, until you've filled the tray. Space between the ends of the rolls is okay, but keep them tight in the other direction to stop unrolling. When you've used up your leaves, sprinkle the remaining filling around the rolls and shake down in between them. Sprinkle the last of the sauerkraut over the top, and then add one or two more cupfuls of the chicken stock. Cover with two layers of aluminium foil or place the cover on the dish.

Bake in 180-200 oven for 30 minutes, then remove the covering and bake for another 30 minutes. The liquid should all have evaporated or been absorbed by then, if not don't worry, use a bit less next time.

Serve right from the baking dish if you like, or else arrange on a serving platter decorated with a few sprigs of parsley.

You can also make a tomato/chilli/paprika sauce to serve over the rolls, in this case you need to adjust the aActivre Ingredients appropriately.

Serves four to six.

By using the animal fat here you're supplying some of the right kind of fat to your body. Because this dish serves six people, you're really only getting one sixth of each of the fats, a matter of some 15g - 25g in total.

FATS:__1/2__ CARBS:__1 1/2__ FIBRE:__1__

First Post

NAME: _ New Blog

Time and care

Posts will be added here as I try out different recipes. I'll try and analyse each recipe for nutritive values.

Grab the "RSS" feed link at the bottom of the page to get informed of recipes as I add them.

One day these will have their little recipe asses databased and be running on my own CMS/website. But for now, this is better than nothing.

Most recipes on here will tend to be biased towards The Body Friendly Zen Cookbook style recipes, i.e. healthy and designed to help fight cancers and inflammatory illnesses. This notes section will describe that more fully, and the active ingredients section below will aim to provide some quantities in "average servings."

FATS:____ CARBS:____ FIBRE:____


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