Food, glorious food. Is it worth the waiting for if we live till eighty four? – Oliver!
Contrary to what they sing in Oliver!, I’m not really keen on hot sausage and mustard. And honestly, I don’t see the appeal in cold jelly and custard, either. But as an islander, I come from an upbringing where community is everything. I wholeheartedly second what Cesar Chavez once said when he uttered the immortal words, “If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with them. The people who give you their food give you their heart.” But where art thou, the art of sharing home-cooked meals, today?
I’m blessed to have come from a family that not only appreciates good food, but also loves the art of cooking it. I have fond memories of my mother cooking wonderful Sunday dinners for us while my brother and I ran around the kitchen playing, keeping one eye on the pot. Unfortunately, over the last 30 years or so, I’ve watched the art of healthy, home-made cooking on my island die a slow death.
Modern comfort is seductively insidious. Most mums now prefer ready-made food from supermarket shelves or inconveniently convenient fast food from the nearest outlet. Tear the wrapper, put it in a microwave, and eat. Unwrap the brown bag and bite into that burger. No hassle with the cooking or the washing up afterwards. What could be easier? And the ultimate kicker is that it says ‘Natural’ on the packet. They wouldn’t lie, would they? Not ever.
Sadly, it couldn’t be further from the truth. Obesity is now a problem of epidemic proportions. I don’t need to bore you with statistics. Facts are facts. People around us are fatter and more prone to lifestyle-related illnesses than ever before. This is directly linked to our lack of exercise and our addiction to junk food. Mind you, my definition of junk food is not only limited to that greasy burger you like chomping down on when you don’t manage to get to the equally repulsive TV dinner aisle in the supermarket. Junk comes in all shapes and sizes, including the least suspicious ones, pushed by an industry whose sole agenda is to create addicts and make profits.
For those mums out there who, like me, are both gourmets and gourmands, don’t despair. I’ve never lost my love for good food or my quest to find it wherever it may lie. I always make sure to source the richest, highest quality and most natural food I can find. I prefer unprocessed foods over today’s ready-made junk with a fervour that amounts to religion. Most processed foods make me sick (literally). I almost never eat out, and that doesn’t bother me one iota either. If I want a treat, I make it my business to find a place that is as farm-to-table as it gets.
With over 25 years of coaching experience, I’ve heard all the excuses imaginable about what prevents you from getting to good food. Reality is this – whichever way you look at it, you cannot put a price on your health or that of your children. Right?
If you want this to hit you in the face, just go and have a conversation with someone who’s lost their health in some way or other. Listen to their regrets. Losing something that we take so easily for granted is devastating. It’s worth every cent you can afford to source the best quality ingredients that you can. You owe it to your family and yourself.
It’s all about listening to your body. The tragedy of today’s lifestyle is that most people are too busy to listen to anything. Not to each other, and even less so to themselves and their bodies. The human organism is a finely-tuned, highly accurate, intricately functioning mechanism. Listening to what it tells you will bring you untold wisdom and the wealth of health.
Does it sound like missing out on too much fun? Trust me, it’s been a long but very interesting journey of discovery. I still learn new things all the time, even to this day. I’ve found and tried food I didn’t even know existed. And the pleasure of cooking itself – the very art of making good food – is simply too comforting to describe. Cooking soothes the heart of a savage beast. Take your time to prepare these meals, cook with love and savour the moment. The simple act of making this healthy choice will change your life in a way you never imagined.
Don’t believe me? Just try it.
Easier said than done? Let’s get down to practice. What did I say in the beginning about sharing food and giving one’s heart? Without further ado, I invite you to my table to eat with me. Here are my top 10 culinary paleo delights that are every bit as healthy as they are delicious. Eating healthy doesn’t mean ‘munching on grass’, as the stereotype goes. It’s all about keeping it as real and as natural as you can. You will find ideas from a mouthwatering roast to delicious deserts – something to please every palate. I hope you and your family enjoy every morsel as much as I do.