The other day we watched an episode of Two and a Half Men when Jake, the 11 year old kid in the show, has been grumpy all week long. His parents keep asking him if there is anything wrong, and even his ‘cool’ uncle Charlie has a go at trying to get him to open up. Assuming it’s a reaction to his parents’ divorce his mother books him an appointment with a child psychologist. The housekeeper suggests what’s really wrong with him, but her idea is waved away and so Jake is dragged off to the shrink. Even she can’t get him to open up about anything, and Jake’s family get increasingly worried about the little chap, especially when he asks to go to bed at seven that evening.
The next morning, however, Jake bounces into the kitchen back to his chirpy self. He grabs himself his usual bowl of ‘wonderfully nutritious’ (not!) maple loops, sloshes on some milk (ahem!) and bounces out of the kitchen again leaving his dad and uncle with questioning looks on their faces. Then the housekeeper tells them that she paid Jake a visit before he went to sleep and gave him a bottle of prune juice. “I told you” she said “ He was just constipated. And what do you expect, all you feed him is pizza and pancakes!?”
So all that Jake needed was a nice relaxing poo! So simple! But I wonder how many people just laughed at the story line and left it at that, as a bit of light comedy relief from the day’s grind, or if many actually reflected on the situation. How insane is it that people – and I know this is not limited to sit-com characters – will send themselves or their kids off to a shrink or a medicine pushing doctor before even considering something as basic yet so crucial as the link between what we put in our body (food, drink etc) and what comes out (energy, emotions, poo!). And we can’t leave it up to the ‘professionals’ to figure it out. Doctors have a frighteningly small amount of hours dedicated to nutrition during their degree.
Fear not, I am not about to digress into another blog about “number twos”. I have already done that and there are plenty of other people out there informing us of the perfect poo and celebrating with a Facebook update or tweet when they have produced such a perfectly formed plop.
But what I do want to convey is that I am constantly fascinated by the effects that food can have on our bodies and our moods. Several studies have shown, for example, that improving the diet of prison inmates and ‘problem kids’ have improved behavioral disorders. So imagine what it can do for you, or your kids, or loved ones who are perhaps struggling through the day, are constantly tired or just swing from mood to mood.
I have recently started a course in Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition Consultancy and while I was buying some of the books on the reading list, and I decided it was time to order Gabriel Cousens’ books Conscious Eating and ‘Depression-Free for Life. ‘Conscious Eating’ is based on Dr Cousens’ 30 years of research into the “art, science, and practice of optimum nutrition” and ‘Depression Free for Life’ shows how to heal depression without the use of drugs but instead using mood-boosting substances (sounds almost a bit dodgy!), vitamin and mineral supplements, and a mood-boosting diet and lifestyle. I haven’t had enough time for more than a flick through these books – the former being over 800 pages long! – but they look that they are going to be a seriously fascinating and useful read.
The reading that I have been doing for the course is deepening my knowledge of the vegan diet and re-fueling my passion for promoting plant-based food for a healthy and happy life. We often read of the vegan diet as ‘beneficial’ to our lives, but based on the facts that I have been reading I now consider the vegan diet to be crucial for a healthy and happy life.
I am so excited that the food I create is really life supporting and not just kick-ass tasty! How could I possibly serve you up a collection of recipes using ingredients that toxify your body, cause cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity etc etc etc etc? I love and respect you more than that and I would feel that I would be doing my fellow humans a sincere disservice by offering them anything less.The Perky Lime Pie (raw and vegan) that I perfected today is an excellent example. So tasty; rich yet refreshing, and bursting with goodness. It’s made with….whoops, nearly revealed my secrets. You are going to have to wait for the book to find out. Sorry, I know I am a dreadful tease!
So now I have gotten you all worked up, here are some sexy facts for you to think about:
Interesting Facts – Diabetes:
Studies carried out in Finland and Canada show a strong link between childhood-onset (type 1) diabetes and the consumption of cow-milk protein
(Source: Food for Life, Dr Neal Barnard, NY, Three Rivers Press, 1993)
A raw vegan diet can reverse diabetes!* Check out this amazing film that documents the journeys of 6 diabetics who go raw for 30 days and remove their need for insulin: Raw for 30 Days
*“The program featured in the film at the Tree of Life Rejuvination Center is most effective with diabetes type 2 but is also very effective at increasing quality of life and reducing insulin levels for diabetes type 1 “