My Diet Bible

All Dutch people, and probably all Belgian folks as well, probably know it. It is incredibly hyped, even has an own cookbook, and it is believed to be amazing.
Of course I am talking about De Voedselzandloper. I really hope that there is an English equivalent of this book because the hype is justified. It is an amazing book about nutrition and the long term effects of your food intake.

Voedselzandloper2Voedselzandloper1

I think it is comparable to the paleo hype though it is even healthier than that. What is wrong with paleo is that it is impossible to really verify how people lived back then. And, the paleo diet is based on a lot of meat, but too much meat is far from healthy. Meat consists of proteins (and ‘bad’ fat), too much proteins are very hard for your kidneys to process. In the long run the intake of large quantities of protein can lead to kidney damage, something you only start noticing when it is already too late. The human kidneys are able to fulfil their duties even when only 5-10% of the original kidney is still functioning.

But back to my favourite non-fiction book at the moment! What is inside this miraculous book? Chris, the author, gives his vision on diseases and nutrition and the link between. I find it very pleasant that he supports his statements with literature of real research. The downside is that I don’t always agree with his conclusions. There is a lot research done with other organisms than humans, which is not always comparable to humans. Also, a lot of data has been thrown together in a so-called ‘meta-investigation’ and the problem with those kind of investigations is that the data you throw together is never obtained in the exact same way. Also, the selection of data can lead to bias and therefore generate false conclusions.
Of course, the book is written for everyone, not just for people like me. And for the average person, it is all well. But I am trained in judging scientific research and therefore it is sometimes to general written for my taste.

Voedselzandloper3Voedselzandloper4
The way you should eat concerning Chris’ opinion. Basically it consists of less milk, yoghurt, conserved fruit juices, less bread, potatoes etcetera, less fast food and red meat, less sweets, less bad fats and hopefully less medication (though always ask your doctor first!). More water, green tea, fresh juices, more fruit and vegetables, more fish, white meat, more healthy snacks like dark chocolate, nuts, more good fats. Click here for the coloured version of this hourglass.

On the bright side, I think Chris his thoughts about ageing and related diseases are right. Nutrition and lifestyle are huge influencers on ageing and the development of diseases. The problem is the industry, unhealthy food is a billion-dollar business and when everyone would start eating healthy, that industry would die. Causing a lot of problems like unemployment and probably another economic crisis.

My conclusion after reading this book was that I want to adjust my diet a bit. I wanted to eat less sugar and more vegetables or fruit, less carb rich food like bread and pasta. So far so good to plan, but harder to really change. Still, I think it is a book which explains wonderfully why we all get sick when getting old. And it tells us how to prevent that.

What do you think about this book? Or about Paleo?

Love,
C

Tony’s Chocolonely

Hi there!

It is time for a new review about something edible. I had heard about this brand numerous times before but I never bought it. Until I was browsing through the new location of a biological supermarket. I saw it, I chose a flavour and I bought it. Though it is not an organic product, however it is fair trade and that is also something important. Everything should be fair trade and I would prefer everything to be organic as well.

I bought Tony’s Chocolonely, milk chocolate (still the flavour I like best). Tony's Chocolonely 1 Tony's Chocolonely  2
It is just basic Belgian chocolate. Nothing special, tastes just like every other chocolate. The only things which are different compared to ‘normal’ chocolate is the design which you can see below.
Tony's Chocolonely 4 Tony's Chocolonely 5

I like the uneven distribution, the subtle reference to it’s fair trade policy (the broken link), and the taste. It is not that it tastes very special, but it tastes good! I have to confess that I ate it in 2 sessions, with just a few days in between. As long as I won’t keep that pattern of snacking it’ll be fine.

Tony's Chocolonely 6

What is your favourite Tony’s?

Love,
C

iChoc

Hi!

Today I have something sweet for you. iChoc, chocolate with a funny name. Well, to be honest, I didn’t notice the resemblance with Apple until I opened it and saw the imprint on the chocolate itself: iChoc, It’s music. That was when I finally got it.. marketing failure or personal failure?

Anyway, it’s chocolate, it’s organic, it is white with mango (other flavours were also available but I love mango so that was the only choice for me!).

iChoc with with mango

(Somehow it got turned on it’s side and I can’t change that. In my computer files it is okay but somehow WordPress has other plans.)

The ingredients are shown below. And now I notice the yoghurt in it which explains the taste to me. Overall there is nothing in this chocolate which should not be in there, except for the added flavour. I think adding flavour is kind of cheating, if your product in its original form is not tasty enough it is not good enough to be sold.

Ingredienten iChoc

How it tastes? Well, at first I taste the sweet, white chocolate but then the mango and yoghurt hit and makes it a bit crunchy and sour. Quite an interesting tasting experience actually. But also nothing really special or really good. I don’t think I’ll buy it again but that is also because I like milk or dark chocolate a lot more. White chocolate is not even real chocolate.. But I haven ever seen milk or dark chocolate with mango.

Overall I did not dislike it but I did not like it very much either. It is okay. But I won’t buy it again.

What is your favourite chocolate?

Love,
C

Wheatgrass

Hi there!

One of the current hypes is wheatgrass. It is said to be very nutritional and healthy. When you search for it on Google, you find all kinds of positive marketing about it. There are even Youtube-videos on how to grow wheatgrass yourself!But what is actually known or researched about it?

When I search for wheatgrass on Pubmed.org (international databank of scientific research articles) and then specify for humams I find mainly articles which studied the effect of wheatgrass supplemention in sick people. In vitro it is proven that wheatgrass can stimulate immune cells. This could be beneficial, as in better immune system, or malignant as in over-active immune system which causes an allergic reaction or any other potential side effect.
Another study showed an in vitro effect of wheatgrass on a cancer cell-line. This was done by adding wheatgrass directly to the cells and is therefore not comparable to a daily situation. You don’t inject a wheatgrass dose, you drink it. Thus it gets digested and thus is this study interesting but worthless for scientific proof for any beneficial characteristics of wheatgrass.
Conclusion? There is no scientific research publicated which shows clear benefits from supplementing you diet with wheatgrass.

http://www.detuinen.nl/superfood/16077-jacob-hooy-tarwegras-poeder.htmlSource image

I said before that it was thought to be very nutritious. That is not true. It is even claimed on the packaging but when you look on the nutritional values per 100 gram there are no vitamins listed. Only zink and magnesium are listed as present. Wikipedia states that the nutritional value of wheatgrass is comparable to that of Spinach and Broccoli. (I am not sure whether wikipedia is trustworthy or not but most of the time the English version is okay.)

Overall, it seems that wheatgrass is just a hype. Nothing extraordinary. It seems not to be malignant so it is considered safe to supplement it. I am currently testing it as well (the one shown in the image above). It is one of the best selling products of my work and I was curious what all the fuzz was about. The one prominent effect I am noticing is that it stimulates my intestines. Other than that I did not notice any huge energy-increase or any other improvement. On the contrary, I have been taking it for 10 days now and I am starting to get sick. Thus so far it has not improved my immune system at all. I will keep taking it until it is used up, when I notice anything special I will add it to this article. For now my advice is to skip this hype. It is unnecessary!

What is your opinion on wheatgrass and other nutritional supplements?

Love,
C

Ice ice, baby!

Hi guys! (and girls, of course!)

Today I won’t talk about Vanilla Ice’s hit but about real ice. About ice cream to be exact. I saw a recipe on one of the dutch blogs I follow. And I decided to try it myself.

Ingredients:

  • 2,5 banana’s
  • 1 kiwi

Banana-kiwi-1Further necesseties:

  • Knife
  • Peeler (though not  really necessary but I prefer a peeler over peeling kiwi’s with a knife)
  • Tupperware box which can be frozen
  • Mixer

You won’t need everything immediately. You start with cutting 2 banana’s and the kiwi in small parts and put them into the Tupperware box.
Next thing is that you put the box in the freezer for a few hours. (I accidentally did that overnight, which is possible but it makes the fruit so deep-frozen that it is not recommended.)

Banana-Kiwi-2
When a few hours have passed by you remove the box from the freezer and put the fruit into the blender. And then you just blend. When your fruit is not deep frozen you should get a smooth cream in a few minutes.
In my case, the fruit was so icy that it formed little crumbs so I added another half (non-frozen!) banana to the mixture in the blender. And then it worked, within a minute my mixture went from fruity ice-crumbs to smooth icecream. Yay!
When you have succesfully blended all fruit into icecream you can transfer it out of the blender and back into the Tupperware box. (Optional, you could place it back into the freezer to make it a bit harder but I ate it almost right-away with some banana-egg pancakes.)

Banana-Kiwi-3Last step is to eat your delicious self-made, sugar free icecream! 

I think that the kiwi can be substituted for any other fruit as long as you be careful that you won’t freeze it too long. When you don’t get ice cream while mixing it, just add more banana slices till it works.
Enjoy!

What ice cream would you make?

Love,
C

Paleo, yes or no?

Hi there!

I told you about my wish to change my food pattern into something more healthy. While looking for different kinds of nutritional guides I came along Paleo. (And along some other things like gluten free, clean eating and different versions of everything, but I won’t be talking about that today.)

The Paleo diet is currently one of the trends regarding nutrition. It is comparable to the hype of the Atkins-diet in the last century and a few years again. It gets promoted as a way to accomplish weight loss and get healthy quickly. It is the new trend but is it really so fantastic as it seems?When following the Paleo-diet you should base your meals around meat. You may eat vegetables and fruits and berries. Eggs, fish and some nut-oils are also allowed. You should avoid diary, (cereal) grains, processed foods, salt, sugar and alcohol.
It is said that the Paleo diet is based on how our ancestors lived around 15,000 years ago. Or at least how we think they lived.

There are very, very few scientific publications about the Paleo diet. But there are scientific publications which state that a meat-based diet is harmful. Other than that the Paleo Diet is just a way of eating non-processed food though elaborate cooking is allowed. And that, I think, is a good diet.
But there are a few things I dislike about the Paleo diet. Grains for example are not necessarily bad. There are many grains like Quinoa which are actually healthy. Also rice and oats are grains but I would not follow an oat-free diet as oats are really healthy.
And as I mentioned before, the Paleo diet justifies the consumption of large portions of meat. The human body does not need that much meat. And the increased protein intake due to the meat consumption is very stressful for your kidneys. Unless you are a professional athlete, I would never recommend eating a lot of meat.

So, what do I think? Paleo diet, yes or no?I would say no. Not in this form. A grain-free, meat-based diet is not the solution for a healthier life. Might be temporarily improving your life quality but on the long run I don’t think it is that healthy.

What do you think about the Paleo-diet?

Love,
C

Tea (2)

Hi there!

Today I have another tea-review for you. Well, not exactly a review but a kind of introduction. The brand I am going to talk about today is Dr. Stuart’s. This is an English brand with a lot of herbal infusions. I used Ginko Plus and Slim Plus before and today I want to talk about Tranquility.

Dr-Stuarts-Detail

I chose Dr Stuart’s tea because I wanted an herbal infusion consisting of more than 2 herbs and because they are mostly biological. I was used to drinking a lot of nettle tea and I wanted a change. So I chose Tranquility.

Dr-Stuarts-Tranquility-Ingredients Dr-Stuarts-Tranquility-Front

As you can see, the ingredients for Tranquility are Limeflowers (35%), Hawthorn berries (35%), Yarrow, Fennel and Scullcap. 70% of the tea consists of plants which are good for the circulation, and overall beneficial for the health. Overall it seems to be a tea which soothes the intestines as fennel and limeflowers are both used to easy stomach problems. Yarrow is used against aches and Scullcap against muscle tension.

I did not really notice a physical effect but I found it a pleasant tea to drink. It has a mellow, sweet taste and does not turn bitter when steeped to long. I mostly drank it with my lunch though I did not really know about the characteristics of the herbs back then. I have another box of it and I will drink that one during meals as well. Can’t do any harm.

Do you like herbal infusions or do you prefer tea like black tea?

Love,
C