“How do you think about food?
Do you think about food?!
And how do you know which food is healthy? “
Annemarie Colbin (Natural Gourmet Institute), Ph.D., Health Food Pioneer, used to question to her public.
She was an influent health educator and an award-winning writer, consultant and lecturer, professional chef. In 1977 she founded “The Natural Gourmet Institute” for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City where she taught a natural foods cooking, looking the effects of food on health.
Convinced that we need a good base of nutrition to help us to make decisions when we are faced by choices, she also became a Ph.D. in holistic nutrition, developing her own theory of nutrition, based on macrobiotic. As she was joking: “no sugar, no dairy = no pimples!”
In her opinion chemistry is limiting, because we cannot see vitamins and minerals, but indeed we can taste food!
In the same way she was embracing the theory of complexity which says that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. For example carrots are vitamin A and fibers and water, but you can’t put vitamin A and fibers and water in a jar and shake it up and make a carrot!
Wholefoods instead are the key and it’s fundamental the relationships between the parts: flavor, colour, crunch, texture, etc. As well, the best way to make good nutritional choices is to use our senses; it would be a much broader discovery…
She offered 7 criteria for GOOD FOOD selection, here in her own words:
- “Good food should be WHOLE, it’s presented by nature with all its edible parts (the bran, the starch, the germ… everything). If any part is missing the body will know the difference. Normally not whole foods (juice, sugar, white flour..) are not satisfying and after having consumed them we always want something else.
- Good food should be FRESH and NATURAL, the particles can be the same but canned or frozen food lacks of “Chi”, energy intrinsic in every food following the Chinese philosophy.
- Good food should be REAL, not fakes or imitations. Read the ingredients, if doesn’t sound like food is not food. If it’s artificial, the body will know that something is off and it will rebel!
- Good food should be LOCAL, SEASONAL, NOT GENETICLY MODIFIED so you are in balance with the Earth, the seasons and the environment.
- Good food should be in harmony with TRADITION, it should be more or less similar to what your ancestors ate, so the evolution had made your gene receptive to it and it will be nourishing to you.
- Good food should be BALANCED, APPROPRIATE and ENOUGH. Balanced: you need some proteins, some carbohydrates, some fats; some of each. Your diet should be appropriate to your lifestyle, it means that kids need different food from old people and it is just as important not eat too much as it is not to eat little.
- Good food should be DELICIOUS, the only one without the others are good for nothing!”
Two more tips:
- For every meal, please chew very well (in order to liquify the food you need at least 25 chews for bite, because the enzyme of your saliva kicks off the process of digestion).
- We should be grateful for whatever we have!