Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Planet based or not? Why I am no longer Gluten Free

black and red cherries on white bowl

Simplifying my needs when it comes to food intake why I am no longer Gluten free 

Explaining my dietary needs can be confusing to most, recently I have over hauled my diet after careful consideration and analysis of different food types paying attention to micro nutrients and health benefits.

I have been following a more planet based approach to my diet and in a previous post I have explained my struggles with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)  and how that has effected my food choices.
Like many,  I like foods to be interesting and involve different colours and textures but, be able to be simple and easily obtained without giving inconvenience to others when trying to prepare meals.

The benefits of planet based food also means that I no longer suffer intensely with the symptoms that triggered my IBS for example eating more whole foods combined with the goodness of fruits and vegetables means that i'm eating foods that are naturally sourced for me the results have been amazing, overall I feel better and feel more energized.

Why I don't consume Plant based ready meals or substitutes 

Food Consumer choice is at a point of being one of the most diverse mass markets in the world, Manufactures has taken this opportunity to capitalize on a growing popular sensation to offer an alternatives which is great, when done in the right way, my only observation on this idea is we are supposed to creating a generation of better thinkers when it comes to consumption of food choices however providing processed alternatives may further add to the the current health problems that society is already faced with.
These alternatives offer very little health benefits with many being filled with more calories then there meat alternatives.

Is Planet based more expensive and do I buy Organic versus Non organic

This does depend on location, however most dried whole foods consist of, rice, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and pasta. These are what we eat within our everyday meals so the price here is not that different, although if you buy in bulk you will find that you save a lot of money.

Some thing to have in mind is that I had to to shop more often for fresh produce as these do have a shorter shelf life. I know that you can buy frozen fruits and vegetables  or freeze a lot of fresh produce but,  for me I never really liked the taste of frozen foods with that being said, I'm fortunate to be served very well with supermarkets and conveniences stores so this has never been a problem.

I must say that supermarkets generally have a higher price point for items, such as plant based milk, cheese or tinned foods and sauces bu,t if you buy there own brand it can be slightly cheaper.

Personally I only shop organic if its within my budget and for this I apply the basic principles of the 12 dirty dozen which are foods that should be brought organic were possible, as these would potentially  have the most amount of pesticides,  and the clean 15 which is a list of fruits and vegetables that contain the least amount of pesticides and should be OK to buy conventionally.

Lastly I would like to say that making changes in any situation should be a transition and should be discussed with a dietitian or GP if in doubt.


Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Can we as women really have it all?

Being a women and a mother I  was recently asked this question by my daughter, as I carefully controlled my response which was pretty daunting I realised I really didn't know the correct answer to such a broad question.

It got me thinking and took me back to time when I just a child growing up in society where technology and women's rights, was in its infancy and evolving
I was raised by my mother who was of Caribbean decent a strong women who for as long as
I remember worked 2 jobs to raise myself and my 4 other siblings.

 I was lucky enough to have an entire army of very strong and hard working women to my disposal that being family and friends- its really true what they say cause it really did a take a village to raise me and shape me into the woman I' am today.

I remember attending a Saturday school that taught me about my heritage both African and Caribbean our history and our legacy.

This become the beginning of my understanding that being a women of such an important heritage I have so much excellence to give, I never wanted my ancestor's to have fought in vein for the right to be recognised as equals so I proceeded to take up every opportunity I was given .

I remember my mother and my aunt always telling me that anything is possible if you work hard, and have determination, They also taught me not to be naïve, that there will be some real bumps in the road but to perceiver and deal with such bumps with integrity and a learning experience.

 I was educated on prejudice and how I would have to work harder, not only due to the fact that I  was women of colour,  but also as a women in her on right. I further realised that element's on prejudice came in different forms nether the less I stayed level headed.

During this time I also attended an after school club for girls called Ajani the name translating into  he who wins the struggle that was run by women I called them women of excellence, these women knew my story cause they once lived in my shoes, they made me feel a sense of relief, that I as a women could become something great, and be an inspiration just the same way they inspired me.

These women worked hard at providing us with a safe haven and giving us light at the end of the tunnel. Its was a sisterhood, we would spend times on endless trips, activities, movies nights and team bonding but the excellence didn't stop there, individually was was all assigned our own youth leader who would then proceed to walk us home one by one after the school club was finished.

Attending church every week was a must, of which my Sunday school teacher was a women who also helped run the church choir and the summer play schemes.
Once a week I would also attend ballet lessons with my ballet teacher Alison- wow I had a busy Schedule but life was good.

At this stage I began to realise that  for most of my childhood, I had been highly influenced by strong educated women around me, they were my mentors,  and they were all women from different backgrounds.

After bringing my thought process back to current times, it made me wonder has much has changed and what kinds of barriers my children may face,  as they begin there journey through there childhood into there teens and then into the adult world. Can we really have it all, as women can we be business/career oriented, partners, wife's, mothers and still be able to have our own identity.

For sure this can be possible, but for me the real mentorship for my daughter was to share with her my journey, no stone was left unturned as I proceeded to answer her questions one by one, her intelligence shined as I realised she was indeed a child of excellence.

 Her knowledge and understanding was overpowering and we talked about both negative and positive experiences she has encountered. True story is that my daughter at the age of 5 and 7 had two very different encounters with prejudice, but even at a young age her mind still in its innocent's she has established coping mechanisms to deal with such behaviours.

I am happy to say that I was apart of shaping the way she not only views her self but how she views others, her peers, her elders and her care givers. The irony is we cant change the way people think but we can change our reactions and use our platforms to educate each other  moving past stereotypes

 I always say one of our strongest tools is our voice,and when used in the correct way, can be one of the most powerful sources to deliver hope, encouragement and inspire each other that it is possible to have it all .

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