19seventiesgirl was not born in the 70’s but I totally loved that decade when my career with food and cooking began……. among many other fabulous things!
Is this blog for you? If you suffer from a leaky gut, gluten or wheat intolerance, insulin resistance and menopausal weight gain this blog may be for you.
19seventiesgirl blog is about eating my way back to a healthy gut and combating insulin resistance by removing gluten, sugar, and unfermented dairy from my diet. Eating my way back to good health is nothing new; Hippocrates once said so succinctly “leave your drugs in the chemist pot if you can heal the patient with food.”
Post menopause, I was diagnosed with insulin resistance and a leaky gut. As I always ate what was considered a healthy diet, high in complex grains and little sugar or processed food, I thought I was doing the right thing. This blog has recipes and tips I used to regain optimum health. My health issues stem from undiagnosed food allergies, food intolerances and too many antibiotics due to ongoing illnesses and a resulting compromised immune system. I eat and cook now from a large range of foods that also happen to be common in the diets of various cultural groups around the world with long, disease free lives. More information can be found about these people, from the Blue Zones by researcher Dan Buettner on his website.
Some foods that I had eaten all my life such as wheat, other gluten grains and dairy, work against me and lower my immune system. As we age the damage seems to then accumulate. For most of my life, I ate a fresh, whole grain, diet with not much sugar, or processed foods and lots of fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy and animal foods. To heal a leaky gut and reverse insulin resistance, I have taken some foods out of my diet such as gluten, unfermented dairy, sugar, additives and preservatives.
I now practice clean eating for most of the time which is gaining popularity across the western world. I suspect the reason for the popularity of clean eating is due to a range of ailments that can be prevented, reduced and alleviated by reducing and eliminating foods that act in an inflammatory way with some people . For me, the benefits have been enormous. You will find my recipes are nutritionally balanced using a broad range of plant foods and a small amount of animal foods.
Rethinking how I eat and new daily rituals in the second half of my life has been challenging but definitely worthwhile. Genetics and unfortunate health issues aside, there is much we can individually do better, to take care of our own well being. As we get older, our misspent youth often comes back to haunt us. Fast foods, too much food, too much alcohol, sugar, sun, cigarettes, lack of exercise and too many antibiotics can all wreak havoc as we age. Luckily, our bodies can be very forgiving and small changes can reap huge benefits to our health, wellbeing and lifestyle. When we make a decision to turn the corner and treat our bodies with the things they need, changes can often happen relatively quickly.
At the end of the day, we all have one body that carries us through life. How we feel each day and how well we live and perform, directly relates to our health with the food, drinks, exercise and lifestyle we choose impacting daily on our bodies. As there is no human body replacement that we can buy when this one starts to malfunction, the best option is to take care of the one we have. Food is to be enjoyed and shared and forms a big part of everyday life and culture. It is important to me that the food I cook is interesting, delicious and enticing to everyone.
My recipes follow the four seasons of a Mediterranean style climate in Adelaide, situated in South Australia. I shop and cook to support local fresh food suppliers and also use foods such as herbs, fruits and vegetables from my kitchen garden. I cook and eat to a new formula that is, plant based, using fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, beans, pulses. lentils, nuts, pseudo grains, olive oil, coconut oils, herbs and spices with small amounts of fish, poultry, eggs and very occasionally red meat.
Reducing our intake of animal food is not only good for us; it’s also good for the environment. Increasing fresh plant foods into your diet will improve and sustain your health and wellbeing no matter what your health status. Clean eating has balanced my weight, eliminated allergies and improved my immunity.
Join me, once you start cooking and eating fresh healthy food, the alternative is not worth thinking about.
About me: At 64 years old, I am proud of my age and the life I have lived. For over 30 years, I taught high school kids and adults how to cook and understand the role of nutrition on our health. I know what tastes good, how to combine foods to bring out maximum flavour and how to make a recipe easy to follow. I know what’s healthy, I know what’s not! As a former working Mum and now a very involved Nonna to five hungry grandchildren, I understand daily demands and how important it is to make the effort to feed you and your family well, so that everyone thrives. For this reason, I have tried to keep recipes simple and many can be doubled up and frozen.
I taught teenagers from many different demographics, with kids who were given money for breakfast, lunch and dinner to buy fast food and junk food and who often came to school with large family size bottles of coke a cola and a packet of potato crisps for breakfast. I worked with kids who bought healthy packed lunches to school and I worked in schools with breakfast programs for undernourished kids. I first saw high school students being medically treated for diabetes type two and obesity related issues in the early 1990’s. Therefore, my own food related health issues caused primarily through too many antibiotics and undiagnosed food intolerances came as a shock, as I always thought I was making healthy choices.
My grandchildren come for sleepovers and as a treat, they choose that nights dinner. I am always taken aback by their choices…. they never want to go out when I suggest it, instead opting for dishes we have eaten over the years for family gatherings at our table. They help in the kitchen, standing on small step ladders when too little to reach the bench so they can watch, chat, chop and stir. I try to instill in them, cooking and eating healthily as fun and the importance of making best choices with food most of the time. However, a walk to the local gelato shop in summer is an exception to the rule for all of us!
My passion for health and wellbeing led me into government policy work, developing and implementing nutrition policy and healthy eating guidelines for schools and preschools in my state for the prevention and alleviation of obesity and diabetes in children 4-18 years old. This policy led to changes in our schools with things such as daily fruit time; water only policy, school kitchen gardens, the teaching of cooking skills, food knowledge and healthy school canteen guidelines that are now in all public schools and many private schools. I helped instigate the removal of soft drinks from all public primary school canteens in my state as a result of the advisory process for this school policy.
With this blog I offer my small contribution to the planet to continue my work sharing healthy recipes and food knowledge with simple steps that are now gluten, unfermented dairy and sugar free, as I too, come to terms with the complexity of diet and health on my journey through life. My cooking style has continually evolved and changed over the years as I try to keep abreast of how food impacts upon our wellbeing. As the years roll by I want to stay healthy, strong, drug free and full of vitality.
With “health fast becoming the new wealth” its good to know that individually we have enormous personal power in the choices we make. A little knowledge and understanding can go a long way but ultimately it is up to us. So join me, as we journey along a wellness paradigm, for a future of health and happiness.