Online Insights on FIVEaa Sunday November 6 2011

November 6, 2011

This month we get real about food, about money, about music and about publishing a book.

What does a healthy person eat?

Leandra Walker Beetroot Salad (Image Chiropractic Place, Darwin)
Leandra Walker's Roast Beetroot Salad

There are many theories and diets around the best food for us. There are also many examples of healthcare professionals who abuse their bodies worse than their patients do.

But a young, Darwin-based chiropractor who does live a holistically healthy life has just started a public project to help her clients (and the rest of us) see how easy it is to eat a diet consisting mainly of whole foods.

Dr Leandra Walker is co-founder of The Chiropractic Place and every day during November 2011 she is photographing and logging everything she eats.

She says it is because her clients always say they want to eat better but have no idea how to incorporate OR sustain the changes.

Her mission is to at least wean as many of us as possible OFF white bread sandwiches for lunch!

Before we look at some early food logs, let’s look at what’s in her pantry, fridge and freezer. Now, I never normally quote large passages from websites I cover BUT I hope Leandra won’t mind this one exception because not only is this list interesting, I hope it piques your interest in looking at what she does with these things:

The Fridge:

  • Vegetables – lots of them, mainly green. There is always a variety of them in my house but my favourites are zucchini, spinach, asparagus and fennel (when they are in season) frozen peas and broad beans, green beans, broccoli and a good salad mix.
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Ricotta cheese (full fat)
  • Turkey breast (for the meat eating husband)
  • Free range eggs
  • Organic full fat milk
  • Organic Greek yogurt
  • Fresh herbs (I grow my own parsley and mint and hope to plant more soon, but for now I buy coriander, which I hope to find organic soon, dill, basil and thyme)
  • Rice milk (for morning smoothies as I find dairy too heavy in the mornings)
  • Onions (red, brown and spring)
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Red and green chilies
  • Kalamata olives
  • Capers
  • Anchovies
  • Miso paste
  • Lemons
  • Avocados
  • Tofu

The Freezer:

  • Flours- brown rice, quinoa, spelt and buckwheat (I know that keeping them in the freezer destroys their vitamin E, but it’s that or weevils yuck)
  • Peas and broad beans
  • Cacoa powder
  • Frozen blueberries
  • Frozen mango (from my mum’s garden)
  • Chia seeds
  • Meals that I cooked and had too much of, casseroles and such a great stand-by after a busy day

The Pantry:

  • Spices, lots of them, I tend to buy whole seeds and grind them myself with a mortar and pestle to get the best flavour
  • Good cold pressed olive oil for drizzling
  • Coconut oil for cooking
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Coconut Milk
  • Nuts (heaps of different types, all raw)
  • Bananas
  • Dates
  • Seeds – sunflower, sesame, pepitas
  • Kelp
  • Sea Salt
  • Herbemare
  • Pepper medley of green, black and red pepper corns
  • Tea – irish breakfast, earl grey, black chai and a whole heap of herbals
  • Whole coffee beans (husband loves coffee and once a day won’t kill him, I on the other hand react badly to coffee and limit myself to about 5 a year)
  • Soy milk (for a chai once and a while)
  • Dried rice vermicelli noodles
  • Nori sheets
  • Brown rice
  • Polenta
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Chinese rice wine
  • Cans of yellow fin tuna in oil
  • Metagenics supplements
  • Almond meal
  • Quinoa
  • Thai curry paste
  • Dried lentils, chickpeas and mung beans (to sprout)
  • Canned lentils, chickpeas and beans (for a quick meal)
  • Vegetable protein (made from a golden pea, which is the highest source of vegetable protein. We add it to our smoothies in the mornings along with our other supplements. At the moment we have the chocolate flavour, yum)
  • Organic peanut butter and almond butter
  • Organic raisins

Some of the early meals have included:

  • Blueberry chocolate smoothies for breakfast
  • Roasted mushroom salad
  • Baby spinach salad with an egg and roasted cauliflower
  • Quick snack of glass noodles and vegetables
  • Organic sprouted spelt bread with chia seeds spread with raw honey
  • Roast beetroot and feta salad

I have already fallen in love with some of these dishes and cannot wait to start incorporating them myself.

One final thing that endears me greatly to this project, apart from knowing Leandra and Jacob, is the honesty. Visit Leandra’s Food Diary where you will notice commentary like these gems:

Was at a meeting at 6.45am and didn’t feel like photographing a croissant, so I didn’t eat it (food diaries are good for avoid trouble foods) and settled with a peppermint tea instead.

Didn’t have time for a snack before my night time first aid course so I had to settle for a hot chocolate and 2 bisciuits to stop my stomach rumbling and disrupting the class. Had a few chicknuts (dried chickpeas) nuts and raisins before going home to make a quick stir fry before falling into bed at 11pm.

Planning for a brighter life

A new project by Sun Life Financial in Canada has given us an interesting resource of articles about finance and life, written in a helpful and neutral way to raise financial literacy.

What I love about this project is that the company is taking the initiative in sharing insights and wisdom and that, in return, is likely to increase trust for the company and win it some business but at the same time it is bringing value to the world rather than advertising noise!

I encourage you to meander through some of the articles and in particular want to draw your attention to three that caught my eye:

Should you downsize your home? This article focuses on the trend among baby boomers to downsize and move into ‘condos’ or units. While the article spells out the pros and cons financially, it shares a great tip: rent a unit for a few months first to make sure you can cope with the move out of a family home and into a smaller space with its community obligations.

Should you give your teen a credit card? This article balances the pros and cons and shares a couple of gems: teach teens the habit of asking themselves ‘if I had to pay cash for this, would I still buy it right now?’. I also love the following tip:

One of the best ways to prepare your teen for responsibly managing a credit card is to set a good example yourself and prove that you’re “walking the walk.” You can do this by actually showing your teen your credit card statements, and by involving him or her when you meet with your financial advisor.

Six creative ways to teach your kids about money.  Here are a few:

  • Let your kids earn money. While it doesn’t say do or don’t pay kids for chores, it does suggest finding ways to give them income so they can manage it. It talks about a checkmark system where each child has a box on a whiteboard, and they earn and lose checkmarks based on behaviour. At the end of the week, checkmarks get cashed in at the price of $2 for five checkmarks. While they aren’t rewarded for doing basic family chores, they are rewarded for things like being helpful, being a good listener, and showing initiative.
  • Sponsor a child. This is controversial in my opinion. The suggestion is that if the family sponsors a Third World child, when kids want toys they can be told it is not in the budget because their foster child needs money for basics like food and water. This could go both ways but might work for some families, depending on how it is handled.
  • Donate to charity. After a catastrophe, a family could decide to give up a routine treat and send money instead to a country or family in crisis.
  • Help your kids learn to save. While sharing the old advice of teaching kids to save with a piggybank, the article also suggests considering a Moonjar. This is a piggy bank with three sections, one for spend, one for share and one for save. Novel idea.

Take a look at the Brighter Life site yourself and search on topics you want some fresh opinions about.

Hype Machine

This is a wonderfully inventive approach to curating content from the web into some meaningful collections. To describe it, this is adapted from their site:

The Hype Machine keeps track of what music bloggers write about. The Hype Machine tracks a variety of MP3 blogs. If a post contains MP3 links, it adds those links to its database and displays them on the front page.  Those tracks are NOT available for download, but you can preview them via the play buttons that are next to each track.  The blog that posted a particular track is identified under every track by name so you can read more about why they posted it. If you enjoyed a track someone posted, stop by and let them know!  You can purchase CDs and individual tracks by using the “amazon” and “itunes” links that appear next to most tracks. Each purchase you make supports both the artists and The Hype Machine. Please buy and enjoy.

This is such a simple concept and here are some ways to use this site to find old favourites and to taste new music:

Visit The Hype Machine and click on “blog directory” at the top of the page. From here you can click on some of the genre buttons, or filter alphabetically, etc. Or just type in an artist in the search box, top right.

When you bring up a song or list of songs, click the little black arrow to listen. Once you have signed up (it is free) you can mark songs as favourites so you can come back an listen again.

For finding new music, try clicking something unexpected, click on someone’s user name and see what they have been listening to, or click Spy and follow some people from South Australia (or your location).

Click through to listen to a wonderful jazz/blues cover of the song Dance Me To The End Of Love which we used as our bridal waltz.

The wisdom of others

The wisdom of othersHere is a novel startup called The Wisdom Of Others. This company helps you pull together a small book of quotes from people you ask to contribute.

How it works is you sign up, set up your book template, invite friends to contribute thoughts on your theme, review the material and then order hard copies or digital copies. While the service only ships to US addresses at the moment, Aussies can still use US address services (you pay a small fee to have items shipped to a US address and then get shipped on from there) or just order digital copies for sharing.

The hard copies start at US$30 (and include heavy, archive quality paper and sumptuous cover and trimmings) and digital copies at US$10.

The finished products look nice and some uses include:

  • words of advice shared at a wedding
  • thoughts and quotes for graduation gifts
  • tips for parents of new babies

I have started one, compiling some of the choice quotes of our gorgeous little brats.

Some fun quotes in one of their sample books (from quotes left at a wedding reception by friends and family) are:

  • The secret to a long and happy marriage is sharing and compromise. One cooks while the other cleans.
  • Most people think marriage is 50/50. It’s not. It’s 60/40. You give 60. You take 40. And that goes for both of you.
  • Always respect each other. You can have respect without love but you can’t have love without respect.

The books are not going to suit everyone but do guide you to creating something professional and worthy of holding onto for generations, just like the wisdom of others itself!