Each week, I will share three things on how to heal holistically. Drawing from my 28 years of experience as a practicing Naturopath, as well as what I am currently working on, exploring, and curious about. Make a pot of tea and give yourself the time and care you deserve.
HEALING: Considerations for when you are experiencing XYZ.
REVERENCE: A deep respect & attention to the things that truly impact healing.
EXPLORING: A journey into the deeper work, meeting the parts, wounds, and survival strategies that keep us small, stuck, and suffering with persistent symptoms & feelings.
1. HEALING: Consider this if you have high cholesterol.
Margarine may not be the best solution, and opting for high-quality butter may be more beneficial for overall health. First, let's take a look at cholesterol. Cholesterol is a substance naturally produced in the body to build healthy cells, make hormones, and digest fats. It's also found in animal products, and cholesterol from animals that are pastured or grass-fed tend to produce healthier fats compared to those that are grain-fed. This applies to fish and seafood as well, with wild and sustainable options being preferable to grain-fed ones. In addition to a poor diet high in fried foods, vegetable oils, trans fats, grains, sugar, and additives, other factors can contribute to high cholesterol, including lack of physical activity, age, gender, genetics, obesity, gut microbiome health, smoking, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and kidney disease.
When it comes to margarine, which is often marketed as a solution for high cholesterol, there are concerns. Margarine is an artificial butter substitute that often contains additives like preservatives, flavours, colours, and fortified nutrients. On the other hand, high-quality grass-fed dairy butter contains valuable nutrients like vitamins A, D, and K2, short and medium chain fatty acids, Wulzen factor, healthy cholesterol, lecithin, minerals like selenium, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). These components have been linked to benefits such as improved bone and blood health, reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, and enhanced immunity.
2. REVERENCE: An ode to butter or my love affair with butter.
Growing up, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the world of cooking at a young age. My love for cooking started with a small cookbook called "The Secret Ingredient Cookbook," which was published by the Australian Dairy Corporation and introduced by renowned Australian culinary figure Peter Russell-Clarke. This cookbook was a treasure trove of recipes that encouraged the use of butter, which quickly became one of my favourite ingredients to cook with.
My grandfather, who worked for a well-known margarine manufacturer, also played a role in my love for butter. Before I received the cookbook, I remember him bringing home margarine samples at different stages of production, sparking my curiosity about this new spread. It came in different shades of grey and consistencies. It was no butter and after reading Peter Russell-Clarke's introduction, I learned about the rich history of butter and how it has been used for cooking and spreading for thousands of years, dating back to the time when the ancient Arab tribes discovered it through their goatskin saddlebags filled with milk.
Butter makes everything taste better. It contributes a rich, creamy flavour and mouthfeel to a variety of dishes. It helps to carry and distribute other flavours, enhancing the overall taste of a dish.
Another factor that contributes to the delicious taste of butter is its high smoke point, which allows it to be heated without breaking down or producing a burnt or rancid flavor. This makes it a versatile ingredient that can be used for sautéing, frying, and baking especially when combined with olive oil.
Moreover, the natural flavour of butter, which is derived from the milk used to make it, can vary depending on the type of milk (cow, goat, sheep), the feed the animals were given, and the climate in which they were raised. This variation in flavour can add depth and complexity to dishes, elevating the taste and making food taste even better.
3. EXPLORING: Food marketing is deceiving - let's take margarine as an example by doing a simple food audit.
A food audit looks at the ingredients listed on the back of each packaging, rather than just the nutritional panel. This is because the nutritional panel only provides information about the protein, carbohydrates, and fats in the food, which may not provide a full picture of its quality. The ingredients can give you a better understanding of the types of additives and processing that the food has gone through, and help you identify any food triggers or intolerances.
Food Audit Regular Margarine Ingredients: Vegetable oils 60% (containing 48% canola oil, full hydrogenated palm oil), water, salt, emulsifiers (E471, E322 (from soy)), milk solids, preservative (E202), acidity regulator (E270), natural colour (E160a (iv)), vitamins A & D, natural flavour.
Food Audit Olive Oil Margarine Ingredients: Vegetable Oils (Canola Oil, Olive Oil (19%), Fully Hydrogenated Palm Oil), Water, Salt, Milk Solids, Emulsifiers (471, Soybean Lecithin), Preservative (Potassium Sorbate), Acidity Regulator (Lactic Acid), Natural Colours (Annatto, Curcumin), Vitamins A and D, Natural Flavour.
Food Audit Spreadable Butter Ingredients: Butter (64%), Canola Oil (26%), Water, Lactic Culture, Salt (0.9%), Vitamin D.
Food Audit 100% Butter Ingredients: Pasteurised Cream (from Milk), Salt.
For these reasons, many health experts advise against consuming margarines and spreadable butters and instead recommend using natural, whole food-based fats such as olive oil, hulled tahini, nut butter or avocado as a spread or 100% high-quality grass-fed dairy butter.
An evolving definition of the word holistic...
#2 Holistic refers to...
Chris Kresser is a functional medicine practitioner and health educator who has written extensively on the topic of holistic health. According to Kresser, holistic health involves a broad, interconnected view of health that takes into account the complex interactions between an individual's genes, environment, and lifestyle factors.
Kresser's definition of holistic health emphasises the following key points:
Holistic health recognizes the interconnectedness of all aspects of health, including physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Holistic health takes into account an individual's unique genetic makeup and how it interacts with environmental and lifestyle factors.
Holistic health involves a personalized approach to health care that emphasizes prevention, lifestyle modifications, and addressing the root causes of illness rather than just treating symptoms.
Holistic health recognises the importance of a collaborative, patient-centered approach to health care, where the patient is an active participant in their own health journey.
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