About Me

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Fifty six year old empty-nester. Wife to one, mum to four and nan to three precious grandies. Living simply is my passion, I enjoy growing food, living healthy and playing with a variety of crafts. I am always up for a bargain and love to op shop for vintage treasures.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Super Foods

Some of you may have heard of these but for those that haven't, superfoods are the most healthy foods to eat. They are the ones that can protect your body from disease.

I have been watching with interest 3 of my favourite blogs, Tatersmama, Joolz and Linda who have been on the 30 day throw down challenge brought to our attention by Robynn's Ravings.

The last two weeks I have been doing my own research on food.

Hubby has a high cholesterol problem that is genetic and sadly his father passed away when he was 62 years old, probably related to high cholesterol. Our dear son has had a blood test that shows he has it too, and it has a name, Familial Hypercholesterolemia. He is required to have a blood test every twelve months to monitor it. Scary stuff as we all know high cholesterol can cause all sorts of health problems. A lot is said about bigger people being more at risk but hubby is of slight build and weighs only 71.5kgs. Our son is small build as well, so don't think because you have a small frame that you won't have cholesterol problems.

I have never had my cholestorol checked but have had my gall bladder removed about 9 years ago and which I have since learned that gall stones are made up of cholestorol so one would pressume that I have high cholesterol also.

A couple of weeks ago I experienced some chest pain and went up to the hospital to get my heart checked on the ECG machine. To my relief it showed up as normal, but it did give me a real scare. A good reason to get my life back on track.

Since that day I have been experimenting with different recipes that include the superfoods and have collected my own list of superfoods which I will put in this post. I have also started walking briskly for 4kms when the weather permits, I hadn't walked since last Thursday but fitted one in today while the weather was so nice. Hubby comes along with me when he can which is good because he makes me push myself to walk faster.

My weight before I started was 73.5kg, and before that I had weighed up to 78kg which was very depressing. Somehow I managed to get some of the weight off by watching and recording what I ate. I have been having trouble with varicose veins in my left leg so I figured if I could lose some more kilos my legs and feet would thank me for it. So far I have got down 71.5kg.

Usually the food for my day consists of :


Porridge and a dash of Manuka honey, freshly squeezed oranges and grapefruit juice.

Soon after breakfast I enjoy a cup of tea.

About 11 o'clock I have another cup of tea and a low fat snack like sakata crackers.

At around 12.30pm if hungry I will have ryvita crackers with varied toppings and a tub of soy yogurt
or a piece of fruit.

I snack on almonds and fruit whether dried or fresh throughout the day. I sometimes drink hot water with lemon juice added instead of tea.

I use a side plate size for my dinner time meal. Amazingly I don't feel hungry by eating a smaller amount. I have cut out desserts, except for tonight I made a chocolate pudding.... naughty, naughty, I did only have a very small bit! Call it a reward!

(the following information taken from Cut your Cholesterol by Dr Sarah Brewer)



FISH - one portion(115g/4oz) four times a week reduces heart disease due to the omega-3 fatty acids that thin the blood and stop abnormal heart rhythms.

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES (excluding potatoes) - 400g/14oz daily (at least five servings) reduces blood pressure due to the antioxidant content.

ALMONDS - a handful (70g/2.5oz) per day significantly lowers total cholesterol levels due to the monounsaturated fats present in almond oil.

GARLIC - two to three cloves every day may not win you any friends, but garlic is a source of allicin, a substance that lowers cholesterol, reduces high blood pressure and makes the arteries more elastic.

A DAILY GLASS OF WINE - 150mls/5fl oz) cuts your risk of coronary heart disease due to its high antioxidant levels. Although the scientists did not specify what colour of wine to drink, research suggests that the antioxidants found in red wine make it superior to white wine.

Although wine is often considered a health no-no, omitting the daily glass of wine had the strongest negative effect on the so-called Polymeal's beneficial effects, lowering the reduction in heart disease risk from 76% to just 65%.

DARK CHOCOLATE - yes, chocolate! Enjoying 100g/3.5oz dark chocolate per day (one small bar) can lower our blood pressure even more than fruit and vegetables. Chocolate is a rich source of the same type of antioxidant polyphenois that give red wine and green tea their heart friendly reputations.

Surprisingly, olive oil was not included in the Polymeal, as the researchers did not find enough sold evidence to support it as a single ingredient rather than a s part of the Mediterranean diet!

My list is made up like this:

Red wine, water, green tea, avocado, broccoli, onions, capsicum (peppers), soy, spinach, sprouts, hot peppers, leeks, radishes, acai, apples, blueberries, pomegranates, pumpkin, kiwi fruit, oranges, tomatoes, salmon, tuna, mackeral, turkey, eggs, beans, barley, seeds, nuts, lentils, oats, walnuts, beans, walnuts, yoghurt, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, buckwheat, cinnamon, dark chocolate, garlic, honey, extra virgin olive oil (cold compressed), sea salt, bok choy and other Asian greens, basil, rosemary, oregano, green herbs, almonds, grapefruit, tea, ginger, flax seed, sweet potatoe.

I am adding to this list as I go along.



  1. Hi Tania - A friend of mine had the same thing, and was only in her early 20s with cholesterol off the scale. It was due to family hypercholesterolemia, same as your husband.

    She followed the same diet plan I'm following (Eat To Live by Dr Joel Fuhrman) and got her cholersterol down to low-normal. She's maintained it now for about 4 years, with low-normal cholesterol.

    As for me, I did the plan for weight loss, lost about 24 kilograms, and have maintained a healthy weight since 2005/6, through a pregnancy and breastfeeding. So it works and is sustainable, unlike every other diet/eating plan I know, and had tried. My asthma and eczema also disappeared, and my eyesight improved (I'm shortsighted).

    Two other friends who did the same plan lost about the same amount of weight as me.

    Check the plan out - the book is readily available in most libraries and bookshops. It's the only one I'd recommend. It's mainly used for weight loss, but for people who want to improve their health but not lose weight, it can be used as well, with a higher proportion of healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocadoes, olives etc.).

    Good luck! :-)

  2. Thank you daharja, I will check out that diet plan, sounds like a good one.

    I am always looking for ideas, so thank you so much for sharing.


  3. I wonder what is in Dr Fuhrman's diet. Since we have lived here and cooked more without bottles of sauce like Chicken Tonight, and frozen stuff my eczema has disappeared too and my skin is nice. Not sure though, there is cleaner air and water.

    I got something checked with my heart at the start of 2008, maybe it was the same thing. The technician said normal but I didn't follow up with the doctor. It is awful when the pain comes.

    My husband's cholesterol was down from the last time when he had his last check. We do eat lots of garlic I think, interesting information you gave about it.

  4. Hi Linda - Fuhrman's diet is basically whole foods, no portion control, 10% do what you want. Vegetarian is the preferred way to do it, but some white meat (chicken) and fish is ok. Dairy and red meat are OFF the menu, as are all added oils.

    The diet is basically lots of salads, lots of beans, lentils, nuts, seeds. Very few grains, unless they're whole grains. Very little bread, and baked goods are OUT.

    Typical breakfast is fruit. I eat berries (yum).

    Typical lunch is a wrap with beans, lots of salad, some lemon juice drizzled for flavour or similar. Lots of veggie soups too.

    Dinners are soups, stews, salads, beany things (stews, casseroles, curries), stir fries, and so on.

    Snacks are fruit. If you're not doing the weight loss version, and are doing it for health reasons, snacks also include nuts, seeds, avocadoes etc.

    10% of your calories are "cheat calories", so you *can* go out to dinner, have Xmas dinner etc. But you really notice how greasy and sweet everything is! Ick!

    I've been eating this way since 2005, and have maintained a weight loss of about 24 kgs (50 pounds). It's the only thing that worked for me - I tried Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and every diet you can think of, and none of them worked. This did.

    So that's it, in a nutshell. The book explains it much better. Fuhrman specialises in people who are morbidly obese, getting them down to healthy weights, in people who have had multiple heart attacks and strokes, and in people who are suposed to be "hopeless weight loss cases".

    And he is the only one who works, of all the diets I know of, for permanent weight control and health benefits :-)

    I'm a bit of a fan. But hey, I lost masses of weight on this plan, and all it cost me was the price of the book. Of course I am!

  5. "The diet is basically lots of salads, lots of beans, lentils, nuts, seeds. Very few grains, unless they're whole grains. Very little bread, and baked goods are OUT."

    I love eating beans and lentils, even tahini in vege burgers I think. I find there is little need for baked goods, like you say. I don't think we had had as many beans and lentils lately.

  6. Well done to you. I will keep your slice recipe in mind.. Looks great for school lunchboxes.


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