Food for Thought - May
The Lexicon of Food Interested in food and how it is produced but confused about all the terms being thrown around and what they actually mean? Head over to The Lexicon of Food where you will find many of your questions answered in an easy to digest way. Last week I had the pleasure of meeting one of the founders of this fantastic organization. They set out to create a “visual encyclopedia” to clarify the many confusing terms related to food and sustainability, hoping to increase transparency and consumer awareness to enable positive change in food systems. They have certainly succeeded and at the www.lexiconoffood.com you will now find a wide variety of food related topics explained in a simple, personal and visually appealing way, including perspectives and voices from a range of individuals and organizations. Although quite US focused, it is still relevant wherever you are living. I particularly love the information artworks, here are a couple of examples: The Real Taste of Pineapples Working at a university, I have the pleasure of interacting with smart and motivated students from around the world who are committed to improving what we eat and how it is produced. We are able to support some of these students with small grants to carry out their own projects. While one of our students was working on a community cacao agroforestry project in Costa Rica, she wrote this great article about the challenges with pineapple production in the country. It nicely highlights how our food choices connect us to people and places across the globe. We have to start with thinking about our own health but also have to understand what impact our choices may have on others. Some food for thought next time you bite into a nice juicy pineapple!
ON COOKING AND EATING
Rescue those Veggies! Did you know that at least a third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted? It happens for many different reasons all the way through the food chain from field to fork. But in western countries a large amount of the wastage happens by consumers in the household. This means you can actively play a role in stopping the waste of food and all the resources that went into producing and distributing it by changing some things in your kitchen. Here is a simple way to start, by storing your fresh produce properly and helping extend the shelf life. This video shows some simple tips, some of which may surprise you! [embed]https://www.facebook.com/HGTV/videos/10153856652254213/[/embed] Tips for Eating Healthy Just getting started on a healthy eating journey? It can be a challenge and you are not alone in feeling that way. Here is a nice little video from Prof. Walter Willett from the Harvard School of Public Health giving some simple ways to improve our diet and stick to it. [embed]https://youtu.be/x-56Bkdyr44[/embed]
That Gut Feeling I am currently reading “The Brain Maker – The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain – For Life” by Dr. David Perlmutter and highly recommend it. Based on the latest science, it will give you a deep insight into how your physical and mental health is linked to your digestive system and gut health. It does an excellent job of explaining how the naturally occurring microbes in your body, the majority of which live in your digestive tract, support every aspect of your health. It ends with meal ideas and practical tips so that you can integrate natural prebiotics into your diet. This is definitely one of those books that can be the catalyst for major change!
“Scientific research is bringing more and more credence to the notion that up to 90 percent of all human illness can be traced back to an unhealthy gut. And we can say for sure that just as disease begins in the gut, so too does health and vitality.”
Back in Shape If you are anything like me, hours at the computer and time spent travelling wreak havoc on your neck, shoulders and back and can generally leave you feeling pretty terrible. The good news is that there are some really simple exercises that you can do by yourself at home for immediate relief. The trick is to release the fascia - the “web” like soft connective tissue that supports and surrounds our muscles, organs and bones. This will really help alleviate discomfort and give you greater mobility. Even if you just do a couple of these exercises each day I promise you will notice a difference. Click on this link to read more about it and scroll to the bottom for a series of 12 simple exercises you can try at home: "Free Your Back Body Like Never Before" - Yoga Journal.