Nature vs Nurture

Nature-vs-NurtureNature vs nurture

What is it that makes us behave in a certain way? Why do certain things keep repeating in our lives that we feel we don’t have any control of? Does it sometimes seem like you want to say, “I am like this, just accept me as I am”? Or do you stop, think and intuitively feel that there is something you can do about it yourself?

Everyone is born with a make up that allows their bodies and minds to express themselves and to behave in their own unique way. This will never change. Some tend to be creative, some achieving and some caring. And all these features mix as well. You can be creative and caring or you could be achieving and creative. The important thing is to recognise what is your own personal nature and what are your special features.

When we are born – in fact, even when we are in the womb – we are exposed to a myriad of sensory stimuli, teachings and attractions. We start creating a world of patterns of behaviour, ways to react to situations and ultimately, are conditioned by what we are exposed to. Subconsciously our brains will learn ways of acting and reacting. Sometimes these reactive patterns can be so damaging that they interfere with our health. For example, IBS or backaches are often caused by a learned response to stress by the mind.

Our health is greatly dependent on our understanding of how we have developed between these two ends of a spectrum – nature and nurture. That said, these two do not have to be mutually exclusive, but something that evolves in synchrony and creates conditions for optimal physical wellbeing and mental happiness.

The most important thing is to understand what we are truly like. Sometimes you just have to accept you are not going to have arms like Madonna, because your body has a tendency to build up fat in the arms and upper body. Or, you have to cut down on chilli and coffee because your nervous system can’t cope with it and your hormones are all over the place.

Nurturing our bodies in line with our nature is the key to health and wellbeing; nature has an incredible urge to repair and rejuvenate. The very existence of everything is determined by an innate impulse to create life, longevity and enjoyment of the journey through the different stages of our existence. All we need to do is tune in. Aligning ourselves with the rhythms of nature, mainly the cycles of the day and seasons, has tremendous effects on how our bodies behave. By tuning in we gain self-awareness and re-educate our bodies to cope with stress, whether it is physical, mental or emotional.

 

Healthy food is good… but it can also be your undoing

binge-eatingI just ate a slice of wonderful Finnish cabbage pie I baked modifying my mum’s recipe ever so slightly towards my Italian culinary preferences. A bit of parmesan won’t hurt any dish. Or maybe a fish dish… oh no, I do put it there as well sometimes!! Flexibility is one of the requirements of good living so I am justified.

Back to the point, I ate a slice, and then I ate another. I ended up eating so much I had to open the button of my trousers and lie on the couch as sitting up was too much. Even if I made the cabbage pie from very healthy elements: white cabbage and onions fried in ghee (does not turn to transfat), baked in spelt flour mixed with ghee and water for dough and flavoured with Himalayan rock salt. I mixed in mashed boiled eggs and grated the parmesan with cabbage, added some pepper. The only non organic item I used was a dollop of dark molasses to give a nice sweet twist to my pie. So, that should be a pretty healthy, only slightly Italian Finnish dish, right? Except that it ruined my good night sleep and in the morning I was grumpy and I certainly couldn’t get the leg behind my head.

Any food can be toxic. Even the healthiest of foods can become toxic if you consume it in a wrong way. Eat too much, too fast, in wrong combination whilst concentrating on something else like media or eating to calm down negative emotions. Stress, both physical and emotional brings digestive power down. There are so many factors that can go wrong with a superfood bomb green smoothie.

Inversely, even the food that is not the healthiest of all can yield nutritional benefits if it is consumed in a correct way. Sitting down, eating slowly, chewing properly concentrating only on eating, not washing food down with drinks, eating seasonal food, emphasizing the right balance of meals is the way to go. These rules will allow you to enjoy foods that are not exactly on your preference list for absolute health.

You can’t always be in control of what is on your plate. Knowing how to eat it makes a big difference though. And, even if you binge on cabbage pie and feel ill and lose your sleep, there is still something to do. That’s a topic for another blog entry. In the mean time, call for a health consultation for information.

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Frittata di Spaghetti

frittataToday must have been one of the craziest versions of the Frittata di Spaghetti I’ve made so far. La frittata is one of my favourite Italian recipes because you can throw in nearly anything you’ve got left at the bottom of your fridge. I also hate to throw food away and this recipe allows you to be creative with leftover pasta. I’ve never had a bad result with this as long as I’ve remembered to season well.

Today I was inspired by spelt spaghetti as my daughter’s eczema is getting worse as the winter season intensifies. I’ve decided to leave not only white sugar but also white flours off her diet as they are highly acidic and with nearly no nutritional value.

The basic recipe is for 500g spaghetti, 6 eggs, parmesan cheese and salsa, the Italian tomato sauce. If I was to cook that much pasta with salsa I would use two tins but you only need one for the frittata.

Cook the spaghetti to very al dente and rinse under cold water. Prepare the salsa by heating olive oil and add chopped garlic as much as you think is best. I usually use one big clove. Once the garlic is fried, add one tin of chopped tomatoes. Add ½ tin of water and reduce to half. Season with Himalayan rock salt, pepper and parsley or basil.

Mix spaghetti in a bowl with 6 beaten eggs and a cup of grated parmesan cheese. Add salt to taste. Mix in the salsa and pour the mixture into a large frying pan with 1,5 tablespoons of ghee. Keep under low fire for 20 – 30 minutes until the frittata is ready for turning. That done, fry for another 10 to 15 minutes.

You can add anything you like in the mixture before you cook it. Usually I add olives, capers and chunks of leftover cheese. This time I fried two fillets of anchovies in the ghee, then sautéed an onion and added in them the spaghetti and egg mixture. I also added the capers I found at the bottom of two different jars and some cheddar cheese. Good old Italians might turn in their graves before combining fish and cheese but never mind, I was happy with it. This is great seasonal food and I managed to make good home economy by using leftovers and preparing a meal that will last me for the next three days, at least.

Re image, yes, I have no qualifications of a food stylist.