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‘Avoid fruit and nuts. You are what you eat.’ Jim Davis.

Although I do still partake of the odd nut or two (love me some macadamias) I realised this week that it is almost a year now since I touched a piece of fruit.  I was never a big fruit eater to begin with (although I don’t recall ever turning down a slice of apple pie or a rhubarb tart) but since I started following a ketogenic lifestyle the world of fruit has become virtually non-existent for me.

But ‘why? why?’ you might ask.  ‘Fruit is good for us—right?’  Well, yes . . . and no . . .

For those of you who have never heard of ketogenics (which, for the record, excludes anyone within earshot of me) here’s my understanding of it (vastly oversimplified, and should NOT be considered medical advice).  The human body uses three energy sources to keep it moving: carbohydrates (sugars and starches), protein and fats.  We will also burn through those energy sources in that order.  (Your body will always burn the carbs first and the fat last.)  The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet which involves drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake while at the same time replacing it with foods high in fat.  This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis.  When this happens, your body, having no sugar left to burn is forced to burn the fat.

(Eat fat to lose fat?  Sounds crazy right?  I thought so too.  But I gave it a go and a year later I’m fitter, healthier and slimmer than I have ever been.  All I can say is—don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it . . . )

How do you drastically cut down on carbs?  It’s surprisingly easy when you know the rules (click here for more info if you’re interested and hear from the real experts)—but the one thing that does seem to horrify people most (apart from telling people they should be eating MORE fat of course) is when I tell them they should be careful about their fruit intake.  Why?  Because most fruits contain a surprising amount of carbs, mostly in the form of sugar.   For instance, a medium-sized apple (150 grams) may contain as much as 18 grams of carbs, which is almost a full day’s allowance of carbs if you are eating strictly ketogenic (keeping under 20gms of carbs per day).

(Disclaimer:  Before I start to sound all holier-than-thou I am decidedly NOT strictly ketogenic!! I adhere to the ‘lazy-keto’ lifestyle and try to stay under 50gms of carbs a day.  One must always leave room for a little dark chocolate and a sneaky drop of red at the end of a long day.  Priorities, people—priorities!)

And I admit I feel slightly vindicated this week after reading a story which would seem to indicate that eating too much fruit is not only a problem for people.  An article in the Melbourne Age outlined the effect fruit-heavy diets were also having on some of the animals at Melbourne zoo.

Animals like fruit for the same reasons we do (it’s sweet and it tastes good) and so many animals (especially primates) will selectively choose to eat the fruit in the meals they are given and simply ignore the rest.  This has become such an issue that zookeepers have apparently had to wean their animals off fruit because it has been making them fat and rotting their teeth!   Dr Michael Lynch, the zoo’s head vet stated, “The issue is that cultivated fruits have been genetically modified to be much higher in sugar content than their natural, ancestral fruits.”  Because of this the zoo has now switched their animals’ diets towards leafy green vegetables and pellets packed with vitamins and minerals.  Zoo photos of meal times with monkeys enjoying bananas may soon be a thing of the past.

Now before all the fruit growers of the world (or any other avid fruit-lover for that matter) get ready to come after me with their big sticks, I am not saying that no-one (man or beast) should ever eat fruit again.  All I am saying is we should perhaps be slightly more selective about the type of fruit we eat—and how much of it we eat.  Sugar is a sneaky bastard.  He’ll get inside you anyway he can . . .

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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‘Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth person always lies.’ John Tullius

chocolate roseI’ve been thinking about chocolate a lot today. (Don’t look at me like that—I can think about anything I want to.) Chocolate. Mmmmmm. Just saying the word out loud can make me start to salivate.  Everyone knows (or at least they should know) that there are four major food groups—dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, and anything else chocolate covered—and I try my best to include all these major food groups equally within my diet (you know, for the health benefits, like the flavenoids and antioxidants—which, by the way, are also found in red wine. 😉)

i_could_give_up_chocolate_greeting_cardAlthough I really do love chocolate (and I absolutely like to keep my flavenoids and antioxidants up) I do not consider myself a bona-fide chocoholic. I can actually go without eating chocolate for quite a long time. (I heard that. Don’t be rude.)  Well, in fairness, I guess ‘a long time’ is a relative term, but, honestly, I am talking weeks. I can actually go for several weeks without eating chocolate . . .

hearnoevil. . . if I don’t think about it at all, if I don’t have any in the house, if it isn’t offered to me in any way shape or hidden form at morning tea in the office, if I stick my fingers in my ears and close my eyes when the oh-so-many-deliciously-decadent-ads come on TV, and if I walk really, really, really fast past the confectionery aisle at the supermarket—it’s really not an issue.

countsassaladAnd even if it was an issue (which, again, it isn’t) I don’t think that people should get all ‘judgey’ with me anyway. There are worse things than being addicted to chocolate. At least you can’t get arrested for being addicted to chocolate. Well—yes—okay—I guess if I broke into the local Darrell Lea shop in the deep, deep, dark of night and loaded my little red car with boxes and boxes of chocolate covered bullets, or chocolate covered licorice, or chocolate honeycomb or rocklea road or caramel snows or . . . sorry . . . lost my train of thought . . . where was I going with this . . . oh yes  . . .

Cherub Chocolate_full (1). . . as I was saying . . . even if I did become a full blown chocoholic, it wouldn’t really be my fault—it’s been at least 2000 years in the making. That’s how long it has been estimated that chocolate has been around. Maybe not chocolate as we know it now—but chocolate nevertheless. Both the Mayans and the Aztecs believed the cacao bean had magical, even divine, properties (and who am I to disagree? It has a heavenly effect upon me). Apparently it was also used in their most sacred rituals and it was even thought that Aztec victims were given it before they were sacrificed (possibly in an effort to cheer them up a bit before their more-than-likely-horribly-painful demise?)

moctezumaLegend has it that the Aztec king Montezuma welcomed the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes with a banquet that included drinking chocolatehaving unfortunately mistaken him for a reincarnated deity instead of a conquering invader. Oooops.  (Just in case you were wondering, the term Montezuma’s revenge alludes to this Spanish incursion and doesn’t appear to have anything to do with the actual consumption of chocolate. Phew.)

When the Spanish took the original bitter chocolate home with them they mixed it with honey or cane sugar and by the 17th century it had become a fashionable drink throughout Europe (for those who could afford it of course). Over the next few years the taste and texture was experimented with and it was a relatively short step to the creation of solid chocolate.  Then in 1847 Joseph Fry discovered he could make a molded chocolate paste, et voila, the first modern chocolate bar was born.  (Three cheers for Mr Fry!  And, on a side note, the modern-day Frys Cream Bar—yum.)

zombieeatingchocolateSince then the there has been a constant and relentless push to addict the whole human population.  And it’s working. How could it not? There is something out there for every taste.  Bitter, sweet, dark, light, smooth, rough, liquid, solidand everything in between.  And we have embraced the choices with alacrity.  Here’s a fun factevery ten years or so, a typical adult eats their own body weight in chocolate! No word of a lie. Typical chocolate consumption ranges from about 5kg a year in the United States to 9.5 kg a year in Switzerland.  That means you could eat a person’s worth in about ten years. (My apologies to those three (or four  . . .  or possibly even five) poor souls I have eaten over the years.)

chocoholic_homeSo, even if I were to become a full on, raging, rabid chocoholic, unable to go a day, or even an hour without tasting it (not gonna happen, ‘cos I can go weeks—honest—weeks) I would be in stellar company.  And more and more people join the chocolate-lovers-of-the-world-society every day.  Welcome!

 When I started doing some research for this article (and by research I mean actual research—not just taste-testing) I found lists and lists of holidays dedicated solely to the veneration and adoration of chocolate.  (They may not be holidays where we get an actual day off work yet, but surely that is something we can lobby for.)

Below I have listed just a few of these fabulous chocolatey holidays for you.  Pick your favourites and plan your treats.

And for those lonely few out there for whom the taste of chocolate does absolutely nothing at all —

mouse and cheese1. How weird are you?    and  

2. I bet I could so a similar search and find just as many holidays devoted to all the exceptional wonders of cheese . . . .  how does that sound?

Jan 1       It’s a Brand New Year
(excuse enough to eat any amount of any kind of chocolate as far as I’m concerned)

Jan 8       National English Toffee Day

Jan 10     Bittersweet Chocolate Day

Jan 27     Chocolate Cake Day

Feb 5       National Chocolate Fondue Day
(also World Nutella Day)

Feb 14    St Valentine’s Day
(any kind of chocolate day)

Feb 19     National Chocolate Mint Day

Feb 25     National Chocolate Covered Nuts Day

Mar 6       National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day

Mar 19     National Chocolate Caramel Day

Mar 24     National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

Mar 28     National Black Forest Cake Day

EASTER!!
(Chocolate Eggs, chocolate bunnies, chocolate bilbos—
and Hot Cross Buns—’cos you can get chocolate ones of those too you know . . .)

Apr 3       National Chocolate Mousse Day

Apr 21       National Chocolate Covered Cashews Truffle Day
(cashew-truffles?  I didn’t know there was such a thing.  I’m feeling deprived.)

May 2      National Truffles Day

May 12    National Nutty Fudge Day

May 15    National Chocolate Chip Day

June 7     National Chocolate Ice Cream Day

June 11   National German Chocolate Cake Day

June 16   National Fudge Day

June 22   National Chocolate Eclair Day

June 24   National Pralines Day

July 3      National Chocolate Wafer Day

July 25    National Hot Fudge Sundae Day

July 28    National Milk Chocolate Day

Aug 4      National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Aug 10    National S’mores Day
(Mmmmm . . . s’mores . . . )

Sept 13   International Chocolate Day

Sept 22   National White Chocolate Day

Sept 27   National Chocolate Milk Day

Oct 14     National Chocolate Covered Insects Day
(seriously????)

Oct 18     National Chocolate Cupcake Day

Oct 28     National Chocolate Day

Nov 7      National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day

Nov 30    National Mousse Day

Dec 8      National Chocolate Brownie Day

Dec 16    National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day
(way to cover all your bases)

 and then there’s Christmas . . .

and then it’s New Year. . .

and then we can start all over again . . .

😀

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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