It’s not about what you’re not having

We are creatures of habit.  We shop, we cook, we eat without giving a lot of thought to it.  So often, when we’re trying to eliminate or reduce something from our diet we just try to stop eating whatever that is without thinking about what we are replacing it with.  Each time we cut something out, our diet gets more and more narrow.  When it becomes too narrow and too boring it becomes unsustainable.

I suggest we look at getting rid of processed food out of our diets in a different light.  Instead of focusing on what we’re NOT having, put more thought into what we ARE having.  With thousands of vegetable and fruit SKUs (stock keeping units) at the local supermarket there is no need to eat from a narrow list.  Fill up the fridge, pantry and plate with healthy and nutritious food so there isn’t any room to eat products that are damaging to our health.

This is doable: Whilst shopping this week, look around and try something that you don’t eat a lot of, or better yet, you’ve never eaten.  If you don’t know how to prepare it ask around (post a message here – we might be able to help) or make good use of the millions of recipe sites on the net.  Think about expanding what you eat.  Isn’t that more fun than eliminating what you eat?

Golden Raspberries. Trying something new.

I have some Kiwi friends who recently returned from a trip to Bangkok.  Wandering through the fruit stalls at the night market they decided that they were each going to pick something they hadn’t tried before to take back to the hotel.  After much deliberation searching for the weirdest food they could find they excitedly sat down to consume their purchases back to the hotel.  As they pulled a hard, orange coloured, tomato shaped fruit out of the bag and studied the fruit sticker more carefully they realised they had bought a persimmon – grown and exported from New Zealand.  (What they didn’t know at the time is persimmons grow well in New Zealand but local consumption is low and about 75% of the New Zealand persimmon crop is exported).  Whilst they may have been disappointed that it wasn’t a weird and wonderful tropical fruit from a local Thai farm they certainly achieved in their quest of trying something new.

The verdict on the berries? “Just like the pink ones except yellow”, summed up my two year old.

What new vegetable or fruit have you tried recently?  Or going to try this week?

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12 Responses to It’s not about what you’re not having

  1. I love eating and cooking new foods. My latest fetish is the purple carrot. Doesn’t taste terribly different to the orange one, but I believe it is one of the new super foods around. Give it a go as it looks sensation in salads or turns your vegetable soup a pretty cool purple colour.

    • runningmelon says:

      What a great answer! Carrots are highly nutritious & it is my understanding too that the purples are higher in antioxidants as well as looking pretty. You’ve inspired me to see if I can find some different colored carrots on my next shopping trip. There are yellow, white and deep reddish ones too!

      • Bree says:

        We planted a butt load of purple carrot seedlings in our garden on the weekend. You can buy the seedlings at Bunnings now! An you’re killing me with the berries again! We bought silver beet/chard on the weekend. Normally we only eat baby spinach. I made the green bread with it.

      • runningmelon says:

        Two out of two for the purple carrots! Apparently the green leafy tops are edible too but I’ve never tried them. Maybe I should try chucking some of those into my next stew.

  2. Robyn Booth says:

    I am absolutely a creature of habit when it comes to buying food, so its good to be reminded that there is a lot of choice out there, if we only choose to think about it! I read this article just this morning in the Sydney Morning Herald about edible weeds and the benefits of them. I know I have had nasturtiums before, but will now be on the hunt for some dandelions!–now-superfoods-20120823-24om9.html

    • runningmelon says:

      What a great article! I’d forgotten about these sorts of plants. One year when we were kids we had nasturtiums in our salads because they’d been growing in our garden. I thought they were just to make the salad look pretty and a novelty, I didn’t realise their nutritional value. As for dandelion, I once bought some dandelion coffee. The nutritionist promised me it was just like the real thing. I.DON’T.THINK.SO. I think some dandelion leaves in a salad or green smoothie might be good to try. Or maybe another go at drinking it but with just accepting if for what it is!

      • Bree says:

        Hugh fernley what’s his name of river cottage in the UK does good stuff with foraged foods too

  3. Will be on the look-out for something new – though it is a challenge as I have always been keen on trying new flavours. I notice that with the recession, New Zealand supermarkets are keeping a narrower range of just about everything. Farro, my favourite specialist shop, closed down its Hamilton branch because local people simply could not afford specialty items. For Aucklanders, Farro is an absolutely must-stop shop – no bargains, but a breathtaking array of crisp, fresh produce.

    • runningmelon says:

      It can be frustrating when SKU rationalisation is happening to your favourite products! Perhaps instead find a new way of preparing something that you don’t have so often? Google some new recipe ideas?

  4. Joe San Martin says:

    Love this blog

  5. i love cooking… i will try this recipe on sunday …
    thanks to share with us this article

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