Fasting is the current healthy eating buzz.
But is going Slow the real key to eating healthily?
If December is the ultimate month for gluttony and excess, then it follows that January should be the uber month for eating healthily, what with New Year’s resolutions, new beginnings and wot not.
But for many of us, the horror of sporting a larger than normal midriff leads to panicky attempts at losing weight, often with crash diets being rebranded as detoxes to make them sound a little bit less ridiculous and a little bit more cerebral.
Unfortunately for those of us expecting to shed our Christmas fat-cocoons and reveal ourselves as sylph-like butterflies in time for spring, our bodies are a little bit cleverer than we are at spotting a less than appetising idea on the eating front, and crash diets, detoxes, fasts, whatever you like to call them usually come grinding to a halt a couple of weeks after the start of the New Year.
In their place come the same eating habits of old, but this time served up with an extra helping of guilt and self-loathing. If any of this is hitting a nerve with you, I wonder, have you ever thought about how to get out of this bind and change the way you eat forever?
I have. I’ve also thought long and hard in recent years about how I can ensure that my daughter, now aged 3, can be saved from ever having to get caught up in the quagmire of dieting.
Fasting my way to… what?
So, along with millions of other people, my ears pricked right up when I heard about the latest healthy eating buzz – 5:2, you know, the thing with the intermittent fasting. It’s the hot
dieting healthy eating topic of January 2013, but it first reared its head on a Horizon programme at the end of last summer and apparently went viral. My husband, who never diets either, stuck himself on a 5:2 fasting programme for a total of around oooh four weeks in the run up to Christmas.
He isn’t on it anymore.
I must admit that this intermittent fasting malarkey does sound all very logical in principle. I totally get the whole thing about us never really allowing ourselves to be hungry. About how overloading ourselves with food, often the wrong kinds of food, not only makes us overweight, but also ages us too.
I get it, I really do. But the reality is that for the majority of us, eating what we want on five days of the week combined with fasting for two days a week just isn’t going to last. I think it could work if each of us lived in an individual bubble, one where there is never any temptation, no social life, no work life with biscuits (it’s always the biscuits in the meetings that get us in the end), no child keeping us up all night, no stress, nothing but simply being.
But for those of us who live in the real world, there has to be another answer. Personally, the one that I like is being spearheaded by an organisation called Slow Food UK. It’s kind of the principles that I try to run my kitchen by anyway, though I still have plenty to learn from the Slow Food UK Crew.
The way forward is Slow
Slow Food UK was brought to my attention a little while back by the people who make the rather wonderful Grana Padano Cheese.
(Vaguely) Interesting fact number 1: Grana Padano Cheese can often be found in our fridge at home because it is totally yum.
(Totally) Interesting fact number 2: Grana Padano Cheese was apparently created by Italian monks shortly after 1000 AD. It is recognised as a Protected Designation of Origin product, which I guess makes it the Champagne of the cheese world. Oooh, did someone say Champagne…
Slow Food UK is a global grassroots movement that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. They are on a mission to counter the rise of fast food and fast life. Their work focuses on reconnecting us all with where our food comes from and how it is produced.
Children begin to develop tastes and eating habits in the first few years of life and it is these habits and tastes that will stay with them for their lifetime. To get their message across Slow Food UK has come up with The Taste Adventure, which helps us engage our children with food, encouraging them to use all five senses to make the most of their natural curiosity to develop an appreciation of food at a young age.
In partnership with Grana Padano Cheese, Slow Food UK has been bringing the Slow Food Kids’ Taste Adventure to festivals and community events throughout the country and you can request them to bring the Taste Adventure to a local event near you in 2013 on The Taste Adventure page on the Slow Food UK website.
Of course one of the benefits of eating a healthy well balanced diet is that it can minimise food cravings because your blood sugar level isn’t yo-yoing all over the place. This in turn means that you will naturally eat less and therefore be more able to maintain your natural body weight. Throw in a bit of regular exercise and there should be no need to endure fasting ever!
What better ground stones can you lay for your child than to school them in eating habits that will keep them fit and healthy for the duration of their life? Not only this, but think of the money, time and effort they will save by not slaving over the latest hot dieting craze.
Forget fasting and forget fast food, the way forward is Slow.
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