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#3 Aren't we a clever lot.

Fri, 18/09/2015 - 22:50 -- Name: helen

OK, who got a headache in that first week?  And who managed to cook their little hearts out last weekend to get them through the week?  Who didn't quite make enough and then realised that it's really hard to get a quick lunch from ANYWHERE that doesn't include sugar or simple carbs?  Here's some ammo to keep you on the straight and narrow this week.  

ahehum.....Humans have roamed this planet for about 200,000 years and our ancestors before that for a few million more.  We have evolved to be the most cleverest of all the animals in world, (debatable,) and have managed to survive through the harshest of climates. Through ice ages and droughts, we always seem to emerge, down to our resourcefulness.  We have also used our resourcefulness to get to the good stuff the earth provides.  My gosh aren't we so clever.

Our brain likes the sweet stuff.  A hormone called dopamine is released when we get some sweet stuff and our body says, 'Ooh I'll have a bit more of that please.'  I won't bore you with any more history here but imagine how little of the sweet stuff we used to have in our diet in the olden days.  Fruit, but only a small variety and only in season.  Honey, just the tiniest bit if you wanted to risk getting stung.  That's all I can think of actually.

Then as the years have gone on and as trade and industry has picked up, sugar has become a huge commodity and we have found lots of ways of getting to the sweet stuff.  Mass production of sugar cane and sugar beet, getting the sugar out of corn, palm, coconuts, even trees???  Drying fruit, alcohol you name it, our clever big brains have sourced it.  

So with these sugars being so abundant, how do you think our body's have coped with the sudden influx?  Well the answer is they haven't.  Sorry, evolution isn't as quick as our big clever heads.  And now we're paying the price with all those illnesses related to diet.  They're higher in number now than they have ever been.

So the sugar that we have managed to concentrate, be it apple juice or maple syrup, is full of the form of sugar called fructose.  Fructose is the form of sugar that our bodies aren't used to and when we have lots of it, our body doesn't know how to handle it.  So what happens then?  What happens then is that your body stores it.  Stores it as what?  As fat.

If you have excess body fat, then you can bet your last glass of wine that you have a fatty liver.  Foie gras with that glass of red anyone?

Men tend to get the fat building up around their organs.  Organ warmers, as well as through their circulatory system which of course can cause cardiovascular problems.  

Women typically build up fat in most areas.  Isn't that lovely girls, a nice even spread.  But hey, listen up if you're coming up to menopause, in menopause or out the other end.....there is something to do with oestrogen helping to counteract the effects of fat build up within the arteries and the liver.  So when you are going through menopause and your oestrogen levels are going down, don't be surprised if this is when cardiovascular problems and liver disease/diabetes rear their ugly heads.    The 'oestrogen balancing out the sugar thing' hasn't fully been understood yet, but many women struggle with weight gain when they go through menopause and I just wonder if the lack of oestrogen not balancing out the fat storage could be the answer?  

And then of course there are the 'Tofi's.'  Thin on the outside, fat on the inside.  You may be slim and can eat whatever you like, but being a tofi, the fat is hidden around your vital organs and runs through the lesser used muscles.  It's hidden but it's just as dangerous.  You still need to look after yourself.

So that is what we're going to do.  Yes?  Here are this week's recipe's to prepare this weekend for the week ahead because your a busy person, and preparation is key.

You can eat cheese.  You can have eggs.  You can eat meat, fish and as many veggies as you like.  (We're not counting potatoes as a vegetable btw.)

If you got a bit sick of the Bircher Muslie from last week's blog, here's a great idea for a breakfast on the run.  

  • Take a muffin tin, grease the tin with some butter.  
  • Line the tins with prosciutto or thinly sliced bacon.  
  • Wilt down some spinach in the microwave.   
  • Pop the wilted spinach in the bottom of your tins.  
  • Then crack an egg into each of the muffin moulds.
  • Bit of salt and pepper.  
  • Option to add some spring onion or a half cherry tomatoe.  
  • Sprinkle with cheese.  
  • Pop in the oven on 180°C for 15 to 20 minutes.  Voila.  A muffin sized Full English Brekkie.  DO NOT ADD KETCHUP!

That was out of 'That Sugar Book.'  You really should buy this book.  Apart from the recipe's and the information,  'That Sugar Film' supports the Mai Wiru Foundation.  An Aborigional foundation that is helping Aborigional tribes of the APY land who have been directly effected by the onslaught of big business sugar.  Great cause and lots of lessons to learn from it.

And here's another recipe out of that book for a quick soup.

  • Butter.
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves.
  • Large onion chopped.
  • 1 carrot chopped.  
  • 2 celery stalks chopped.  
  • 1 orange kumara peeled and diced.   
  • 2 large handfuls of kale, de-stemmed and chopped.  
  • 1 cup of unsalted cashews soaked in water for an hour.  
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock or water.  
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.

Here's how.

  • Saute the garlic, onion, carrot and kumara for 8 to 10 till softened.  
  • Add the remaining ingredients.  Bring to the boil then simmer and cover for 8 to 10.  
  • Then put in your blender and wiz it up till smooth.  
  • Back in the pan, season with salt and pepper to taste.  

This will serve 4, but I make double then freeze some batches.   Don't forget to date and label the frozen soup as it all looks the same once frozen.

Now that spring is here, you may get sick of soups and stews, although they are a winner when you get in  from work and you haven't prepped anything for dinner.  Don't reach for the fast food.  Get one of your frozen masterpieces and be happy in the knowledge that you were super organised and saved yourself from a slippery slope of simple carbs and sugar.

I had never baked a kumara before going sugar free, but they are so satisfying and you don't really need to stuff them with anything.  Maybe a bit of feta if you fancy.   So rub the kumrah in olive oil.  Pop on a baking tray and shower in salt and pepper.  I stab mine with a fork, but apparently you don't have to.  Then just put in the oven at 200°C for about 40 to 50 minutes.

Whilst they're baking do a nice piece of steak or a pork chop (minus the apple sauce of course.)  And conjour up a salad.

My absolute favorite is this little cracker form one of the Bestow cook books.  The Bestow products and books are by dermal nutritionist Janine Tait, right here in NZ.

  • 1 bunch of asparagus cut length ways.  
  • 2 large handfuls of rocket.  
  • Feta cubed.
  • Avocado cubed.
  • Parsley, basil and coriander or any fresh herbs you may have.
  • For the dressing.  
  • 1/2 a cup of good quality olive oil.  
  • 1 tablespoon of Bestow beauty oil.  
  • Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon.  
  • 1 teaspoon of maple syrup.  

Remember maple syrup (tree sugar,) is as bad as table sugar so don't go over this recommended amount.

  • Blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water, literally for 20 seconds then drain and allow to cool.  
  • Put the rocket in your serving bowl.  
  • Tear over the basil.  
  • Chop the parsley and coriander/fresh herbs, and sprinkle over the rocket.  
  • Add your feta, avocado and cooled asparagus.  
  • Put all of your dressing ingredients into a small sealed container and shake it up.  
  • Dress the salad and toss.  

Ah beautiful.  And for us busy people make an undressed version without the avocado.  Save some dressing for the next day and chop in the avocado fresh when you're ready to eat.

So hopefully that will set you up for the next week along with the ideas from the previous week.  

If you have any questions about today's blog, your skin or any recipe ideas for the sugar freedom busy person, do contact us.

Till next week


Skin Treatment Therapist.