A fundamental idea that will underpin all of your understanding as your own private chef is that whilst consuming processed food you will never achieve 100% health and vitality. The processed food industry is like any other industry.........it seeks one thing and one thing only.......to ensure its' own survival. Corporations have a legal obligation to protect the interests of its' shareholders and to maximise profits. They are under no obligation to provide you with healthy food. And, unfortunately, it is often the case that increased profits for shareholders come at the expense of health for the consumer.
Once you embrace the fact that processed food does not serve you you will gain full control over what you eat. If you are eating processed food you are giving up that control and putting it into the hands of corporations that simply do not have your best interests at heart.
However, in today's world processed food is extremely difficult to avoid even for the most passionate and dedicated cook. And what we want is simple and easy. So, lets limit processed food to minimally-processed and from a trusted source. As a private chef you are expected to use the best ingredients, that means healthy and great quality. Here are some of the star products that I use................
- Clearspring Tamari
- Clearspring tofu
- Almond Breeze unsweetened
- Vega protein powder
- lucuma powder
- pulsin' soya/hemp powder
- marigold vegan gluten free stock powder
- marigold braised tofu
- taifun firm tofu
And lets steer clear of these bad boys...........
- Syrup of any kind
- artificial sweeteners
- artificial flavours
- artificial colours
- transfats and vegetable oils (hydrogenated or fractionated)
- genetically modified or engineered ingredients
Of course many of you will have heard the phrase 'if you can't pronounce it don't eat it'. I'm calling BS on that maxim. For several reasons.........
- There are many natural, healthy ingredients that are unpronounceable, just look at the herbal supplements section of a health food shop. If there is an ingredient you are unsure of ask the Google-God, she will provide.
- So if you're linguistically gifted you can eat everything right?!
- The manufacturers of unhealthy ingredients have heard this phrase too........who hasn't! They are changing the names to make them (literally) more palatable for you. Aspartame has recently changed to Amino Sweet....you can expect the rest of the bad boys to follow their lead.
- We all know that too much sugar and salt can cause serious health problems. Both of which are pretty easy to pronounce.
But without that handy phrase what are we to do? Nutrition is an inept science as we cannot rely on something that seemingly sends out different messages every week. There are real reasons for this which are too lengthy for me to go into here. But please know this......I don't expect you to learn everything there is to know about healthy food.......that is exactly what we are trying to combat here. I researched for many years to have a full understanding, it was tough, confusing and frustrating and I am still learning. I want that effort to go to full use by informing you with simple easy knowledge.
For those of you who want homework here are a few sources on this topic......
- Eat Your Heart Out by Felicity Lawrence
- Not on the Label by Felicity Lawrence
- anil vari's website food babe (don't be put off by the title)