Real Food, Real People

Hello Friends. I have to tell you that I was somewhat relieved to hear that I am not the only woman with a gnawing unease about the escalation of clean eating with its grain free, dairy free, sugar free plans. This article from Kate Leaver posted on Mamamia has gone viral in the last week and for good reason. Leaver argues that eating clean isn’t about health anymore, it is about shame.

I have dabbled in quitting this, reducing that and simplifying some of the things I eat. As I have emerged from the brain fog of sleepless nights with babies and small children I think I can see things more clearly. I don’t have allergies. Perhaps my body is more intolerant to some things, but there is no medical grounds for making huge changes to my eating. My body is older – I need to strive for health and functional fitness. Yes, I need to be able to  carry in all the groceries and possibly even a small child and not have my back give way. I need to be able to eat sensibly so that I don’t suffer unnecessary migraines, gut ache or fatigue. My motivation to eat well has changed. But my time hanging out with the celebs who advocate a particular eating regime is over.

It will be hard to look away because I have some of the I Quit Sugar books. And my Instagram feed, Facebook page and Pinterests boards are all overwhelmed with innovative ideas to eat clean with no sugar, dairy or grains.

My family have been on this roller coaster with me and to be fair there are things we have learnt together. We have cut out/down on senseless sugar consumption in flavoured yogurts, we understand what is in the condiments we eat, ever if the jar of pickles is homemade, there are good and bad cereals and we know drinking your sugar is stupid.

So why am I relieved? I know the creep of eating disorders that pervade our culture. We have all seen them – eating too much, too little, fasting, starving and punishing bodies, feeling guilty and being trapped on a roller coast of physical and mental health problems that ensue. We use food to gain control – of our life or so we think. And when we don’t we feel the shame.

I have been waiting for someone public to say enough, to this frenzy of new eating. My voice will not be heard in the current cacophony. Eat in moderation. Grow your own food, make it from scratch as much as you can and enjoy it. We celebrate with food, we offer love and grace as we do hospitality and we give of ourselves, something truly intimate when we eat a meal together. So my friends I want to keep eating and sharing food with you. Whether we eat sugar or not I don’t really mind, as long as we strive for  good health, good company and good times. Tell the celebs to go because their time with you is over. Eat real food, with real people in real time.

Sugar Free Anzac Slice

Edit Sugar. And here is an attempt at some sugar free goodness -well no additional white processed sugar! These little treasures are still warm as I write this and they are delicious. You can almost make them one handed. I will share the basic steps with you and maybe you can adjust the quantities – if you can cook by look and feel you will be fine.

Put 1 1/2 cups of dates into a bowl, covered with water and microwave for 2-3 minutes. Give the dates a quick blitz in a the food processor with more water (hot) and a teaspoon of bi carb soda. In a mixing bowl add 1 cup quick oats, 1 cup plain flour, some LSA mix (linseed, sunflower, almond), desiccated coconut and a handful of roughly chopped walnuts. Add the date mixture to the dry ingredients and mix, adding to eggs and combine well. If it is too wet or dray, adjust accordingly. Feel and taste as you go. Place mixture in a lined, greased slice tin and bake on 180 degrees C for 25 minutes. Cut while still warm.

These treats are slightly softer then the original Anzac slice, but they have no butter or white/brown sugar or golden syrup. So that has to be good.

This week I am trying to EDIT processed sugar from our diets, again. I have read more about the effects of sugar since my initial foray into a world without sweetness. And I have witnessed sugar induced hyperactivity. It is  hard work and I may give up or give into major modifications. Have you tried to quit sugar – for the whole family?

Sugar Sugar

So what is all the hype about sugar? I recently read Sarah Wilson’s e book – I Quit Sugar. And have been thinking about sugar, sugar quite a lot. You know I think we eat healthy and provide our family of 7 with a range of nutritious options. But we consume a truck lot of sugar in hidden ways.
Juice. Tomato Sauce. Low fat but sugar full yogurt. Cordial. Milo.
Notice I am not giving my kids coke, lollies, chocolate bars and shop brought treats. We bake all our own biscuits, cakes and slices.
But some of the extras are loaded up in extra sugar.
So I am thinking about this, and slowly eliminating some of the sugar products from our pantry. Are the kids noticing? Yep. Are they ok? Absolutely.
Do we feel better? I will let you know……