Natural Foods You Want To Eat

Sex or Dinner – Which Is Better?

After sex (or is it before?) food, particularly natural foods, is my next favourite thing!

There was a time in my life when I was grossly overweight. I say grossly not because of society’s standards of beauty. I simply was not happy with the 210 pounds that I was packing. My baby pictures are that of a fat but cute little thing. My mother said that I was close to nine pounds at birth and I kept the weight up until I started walking. My love for food of all kinds, especially the natural foods grown in Jamaica, did not diminish but I just got very active.

My island home is a basket of some of the world’s best natural foods and I partook of just about every one without knowing their benefits. Vegetables were and still are not my favourite things but other natural foods, grown in the rich soils across the island, are in abundant supply.

In recent times, there has been a resurgence of interest about many of these natural foods grown across the world. As science improves, many of the foods once discounted as unhealthy or of little value other than taste are now being touted as “healing,” “powerful natural source of ….,” “highly nutritious,” and many other accolades.

Natural Foods of Jamaica

This is a republishing of a post that was first shared in October 2015. At that time, a couple of things was on my plate. Contributor Clara Brown was mourning the passing of a dear friend, my daughter and granddaughter were in a three-car collision (they are fine except for a backache that Mommy is experiencing) and an unpleasant email exchange with a passive-aggressive male. So doing a lighter, tastier and wellness focussed post was in order. Today is now different in as much as I wanted to update this post, present more recent and comprehensive information in some areas as natural foods continue to take their rightful place on many tables.

natural foods
Jamaica: Land of Wood & Water

Living as we do now in North America and even with the improvement of trade, many of the natural foods that were available in Jamaica are not on the shelves here. We migrated to Canada almost 14 years ago and have been citizens for close to 10 of those. However, my Jamaican heritage is very much a part of my make-up even as I daily immerse myself in the Canadian way of life.

Every Tuesday, I reach back to my roots and share a Tuesday ThoughtΒ© that is always grounded in my Jamaican heritage. Did you catch yesterday’s? Like me on Facebook and you will never miss one but in the meanwhile, you can view the most recent one here.

Another thing that I do at least twice a month, is to visit ethnic grocery stores to stock up on my supply of natural foods from Jamaica, across the Caribbean and Africa. Come over to my house for dinner and what you will enjoy – I know you would as I am a great cook – is a fusion meal, a blend of Jamaican, Canadian and anywhere else that piqued my interest.

Available In A Grocery Store Near You

Back to the specifics of natural foods that are now receiving high praises from chefs, nutritionists and homemakers across North America but were well-known to us “ethnic people.” Here is a list and brief description of some that I stock up on every month:

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natural foods
Green bananas supplement any meat dish

Bananas (Green): “Nutritionally, the green banana is a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and contains a starch that may help control blood sugar, manage weight and lower blood cholesterol levels.” (Read more…)

Green banana as a natural food is one of my favourite starches. I have it with just about anything, although I have not tried it yet with scrambled eggs (hmmm). Being iron deficient, one of my favourite couplings with green bananas is liver (stop saying yuck). “Boiled green bananas are a popular side dish in Jamaica and many other Caribbean islands where they are used much like potatoes or other root vegetables. Unripe bananas are starchier and much less sweet than the ripe version and make a good side dish for fish or chicken.” (Source: Whats 4 Eats)

Anything Coconut, especially coconut oil is a must have in any well kitchen, bathroom and even bedroom. For decades, coconut oil was vilified. This is something that angers me as an important industry in Jamaica was destroyed due to the self interests of growers of oil-producing plants in North America and elsewhere. However, coconut oil has made a comeback and I am among the many in North America who has found a permanent place in my pantry for one of the most awesome natural foods.

Aside from how coconut oil enliven the palate, it also aids with weight loss. Recently, my interaction with the Editor of Health Ambition brought to my attention some further details about how coconut oil can aid weight loss. In an article Helen Sanders highlighted five ways you can use it to support your weight loss programme. Check out the article here and if you are a coffee drinker like me (and Helen) try adding some to your morning brew.

Earlier this year, I too did an article on my former blog about the re-emergence of coconut oil, internationally and in my kitchen.

fried chicken in coconut oil
Finger-eating good!

One of my favourite dishes with coconut oil is fried chicken. It is simple and you can use any method you already have but substitute coconut oil for deep-frying and you will run the risk of eating your fingers as well! Another great resource about the finger-licking goodness of coconut oil as well as the science verifying its health benefit is this one by Helen Nichols (yes another one). Entitled, “28 Science-Verified Health Benefits of Coconut Oil,” this article gives you some of the history of coconut as well as other tips how best to use it. Check it out.

During the summer months and as my stomach was giving me some challenges, I turned to a fruit that was not necessarily a favourite of mine growing up. It was particularly abundant in the rural part of Jamaica where I was dispatched. Here in Alberta, Canada the most common variety is from Mexico but it is nonetheless one of the healthiest natural foods and fruit available.

Papaya is “deliciously sweet with musky undertones and a soft, butter-like consistency, it is no wonder the papaya was reputably called the “fruit of the angels” by Christopher Columbus. Once considered quite exotic, they can now be found in markets throughout the year. Although there is a slight seasonal peak in early summer and fall, papaya trees produce fruit year round.” (Read more…)

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natural foods
Papaya – a great source of digestive enzymes

It goes very nicely in a smoothie, which is how I used it a lot this past summer. My other way of having papaya is with a squeeze of lemon juice which completely lifts its flavour. If you are more into chutneys and jams, here is a recipe for you that uses this delectable fruit. Try it and let me know how it turned out.

Along with spices such as pimento, ginger, and scotch bonnet pepper that are constant on my grocery list, another item that I buy every week are Plantains.

Many Canadians confuse these deliciously health natural foods as bananas but although of the same family, they are not. Plantains, a member of the banana family, are starchy and low in sugar. They are usually baked or fried and used much like potatoes in Caribbean and West African dishes. Like bananas, plantains are a good source of potassium and fiber. Plantains contain significantly more vitamin A and vitamin C than bananas. (Read more…)

plantain
Wrap anything in fried plantain…

Being both Jamaican and Ghanaian alongside her Canadian heritage, my granddaughter simply loves plantains. This is not surprising as plantains are common in dishes across these tropical countries. They are fast becoming a popular item here in Canada, given the increasing multicultural population. Anther thing about plantains is that it they are great for those who wish to lessen the gluten in their diets. Check out this site for more information on 20 ways to do that with these natural foods.

Eat To Live

After carrying around too much weight for too long, I lost most of it in an unhealthy fashion. It would return – not in its former quantity – from time to time. In more recent years, with a combination of better self-care, improved medical attention to my ‘pre-existing conditions’ and a general better feeling of well-being, I now eat to live.

grocery
Natural foods basket

My preferred choice of meals are mostly natural foods. My weekly grocery basket has grown smaller but bigger on natural foods from my island home and across the world. As we grow older, not only do we get wiser but our choices in just about everything – including food and sex – we become that much more selective. I know this is true for me.

What natural foods do you have in your grocery basket? Do share information about them in the comments below. Feel free to add links to your blog or other places that we could find them. As well, subscribe and join this community today. I would never spam you but send you one daily email update of our post so you never miss out, as well as my monthly newsletter, KB Life, and affirmation poster.

Have a perfectly wonderful weekend and do join us next week as when we continue featuring our conversation on the five deadly sins. Did you catch Alexis’ post yesterday on patience? Read it here.

Namaste

Claudette P. Esterine
Claudette

 

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58 thoughts on “Natural Foods You Want To Eat

  1. […] is one of my greatest loves. However, for a couple months now I have been drinking a small cup of lemon/honey warm water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. The motivation behind that was an almost constant […]

  2. […] is one of my greatest loves. However, for a couple months now I have been drinking a small cup of lemon/honey warm water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. The motivation behind that was an almost constant […]

  3. […] Many of these foods are ones that grow and were readily available on my island home. Recently I shared a post with you about some of the foods grown on my island home Jamaica. As you read about some of these […]

  4. That’s a difficult one sex or food ………… I love some natural foods, especially bananas and strawberries πŸ™‚ Everything in moderation x

    1. Ms Claudette

      Of late, it is not too difficult a choice for me! πŸ™‚ You are so right about everything in moderation. πŸ™‚

  5. This is a great list. I am so lucky to have easy access to green bananas, papayas and plantain. I love all these foods.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes!!! Now you can share some of your favourite recipes with us! L)

  6. These are great healthy eating tips. I definitely have an unhealthy love affair with food πŸ˜‰

    1. Ms Claudette

      I think we all do at some point or the other! Don’t beat yourself up! πŸ™‚

  7. Ohh I love papaya, plantains and anything coconut! I’ve never tried a green banana but I’m certainly a fan of the yellow kind! πŸ™‚

    1. Ms Claudette

      Green bananas can be prepared and served as you would potatoes. Actually, there was a time when my mother could not afford potatoes and these babies were it. I never really missed not having potatoes. πŸ™‚

  8. I love fresh fruit. Papyas as so yummy

    1. Ms Claudette

      I have learned to really love it as well Tara. πŸ™‚

  9. I love bananas and anything coconut! Papayas, not so much.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I’m like you and papaya wasn’t my favourite thing growing up. But, now that I am a big girl, and the stomach is giving me some challenge – papaya is great with the digestion. Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  10. kleebanks

    I am also working on losing weight by eating mostly fruits, veggies, and other healthy foods. I also shop in the natural foods aisle that has vanilla almond milk, Greek yogurt, and gluten-free foods.

    1. Ms Claudette

      WOW! You are one healthy woman! I tried the vanilla almond milk for a while but got a little bored with it. So too my granddaughter. She loves Greek yogurt as well. Find myself eating less and less meat but the increase in the veggies is not matching! LOL Thanks for visiting! πŸ™‚

  11. bowen1960

    Here in the UK it is much easier to get hold of these typical Jamaican ingredients than it seems to be in Canada. Some I use regularly but others I was at as loss about how to cook them. Thanks for the pointers.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, I was amazed when I first visited London to see the availability of Jamaican food. They are more available in Toronto than where I live – Edmonton, Alberta. You can always check with me should you wish to try something new (Jamaican) for pointers. Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚

  12. I used to live to eat, but now I eat to live. I’m choosing healthier food and avoiding beef and pork. Coconut is also a staple in my household.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Like you, I find that my tolerance for beef and pork drops every single day! I am eating less and less of both. Thanks for dropping by again! Have a great weekend. πŸ™‚

  13. I had a best friend growing up who was Jamaican, and her mother was the most WONDERFUL cook! Their house always smelled so beautifully fragrant!

    1. Ms Claudette

      So, did you learn to cook any of our food? πŸ™‚

  14. First, I’m so sorry to hear you were in a car accident. I’m happy that everyone is OK. The foods you mentioned all sounds wonderful. I do use coconut oil a lot. I love Plantains, but do not prepare them myself very often. This makes me want to go shopping and get some….and some green bananas too!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Here’s a menu for you: Boiled green bananas crushed in butter (just as you would prepare mashed potatoes), some chicken stew cooked in coconut oil, along with some fried plantains. Some slices of papaya for dessert! How does that sound? LOL πŸ™‚ Now I am hungry! Thanks for your kind regards but it was my daughter and granddaughter who were in the accident. The baby is fine and dancing to Frozen as always but Mummy got whiplash. Thank you as always for visiting. πŸ™‚

  15. I try to eat healthy but enjoying life means treating yourself at times.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I could not agree with you more! πŸ™‚

  16. Even as I read your article I could smell the natural greenness of Africa and The Good Foods Yummm, I could almost taste the Green banana with scrambled egg lololol U have had it by the way πŸ™‚ Loved your post!

    1. Ms Claudette

      LOL! I am glad that you enjoyed the meal! πŸ™‚ Thanks for popping in! πŸ™‚

  17. My husbands parents are from Haiti. My mother in law favorite fruit is mangos and she reminisces all the time about eating delicious mangos as a girl. My husband grew up eating mainly authentic Haitian meals, however, he will highlight a time or two that his parents would take him to McDonalds.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Many Caribbean children have those memories of their first visit to fast food restaurants. Mine was my first time at KFC!!! πŸ™‚

  18. These are all great tips, I love naturals foods co’z I know there is lot of benefits to make me healthier.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you and be sure to let me know if your try any! πŸ™‚

  19. i’m not on a diet. i’m quite lucky, i don’t gain much weight though i would eat much. but i still eat fruits and veggies daily. it makes me feel good πŸ™‚

    1. Ms Claudette

      Well how could you be on a diet or gain weight when you are busy running marathons?! πŸ™‚

  20. I am very curious about green bananas now. I’m off to find a recipe πŸ™‚

    1. Ms Claudette

      LOL! It is just like potatoes or any other starch – pair it with your favourite meat dish. My childhood memory of green bananas is crushed with some really good butter! Yummmmmy! πŸ™‚

  21. Elizabeth O.

    I would always joke that eating is my favorite hobby. But I make sure that I balance what I eat as well. I don’t want to eat too much fatty food without eating anything that has fiber in it afterwards. I love that I can eat what I want and still maintain my weight.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are one of the blessed ones – with great metabolism! You must be envied – I know I do – for that! πŸ™‚

  22. I travel for foods and I eat to live πŸ˜‰ I love Papaya and Coconut πŸ™‚

    1. Ms Claudette

      Have you ever tried putting those two together? Now that’s an awesome idea!!! πŸ™‚

  23. That’s so neat that you cook in a fusion style sometimes. I eat to live, but living life is also about enjoying food so there’s a balance.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes, everything is about balance – particularly our eating habits. Thanks for visiting again Liz! πŸ™‚

  24. danavento

    Each tip offered is so great. I have been eating so well but nothing seems to help. I am so upset with general aging and metabolism. seems that the harder I fight it the more I lose the battle.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Really? Maybe if you stopped “fighting” it might help? Have you seen a doctor, a nutritionist or someone like that? You might also want to research foods that helps with that?

  25. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I could honestly live on junk food. I need to eat better.

    1. Ms Claudette

      LOL! Listen, my thing is – if you are healthy, as healthy as you desire eating “junk food” then why stop? πŸ™‚

      1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

        I like the way you think. I am going to have another Reese’s Peanut Butter cup now……

        1. Ms Claudette

          You had me choking on my homemade peanut and raisin mix with that! You are too funny! πŸ™‚

  26. These are all great tips and I agree we can all only do what we are able but every choice that we make to be healthier is a good one!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you and you are absolutely right! Thanks for dropping by again! πŸ™‚

  27. I eat to live. I am making better food choices for my family

    1. Ms Claudette

      Good on you Tara! πŸ™‚

  28. I also eat to live–not live to eat. I don’t eat as many “natural” foods as I should probably-but I do what I can

    1. Ms Claudette

      And that’s all you can do – what you can! This is not a prescription. We all have to do what we can – within our tastes, budgets, etc. For example, I simply cannot afford a purely organic diet at this time. It is just that simple. Thanks for visiting again Michele. πŸ™‚

  29. I like to say now at this point in my life I am eating to live. The weight gain is slowly coming off and this is good. I have try and continue to sample most of the foods you mention and prefer home cook meal instead of take out thanks for sharing hope you and your family feel better.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you and congrats on losing the weight that you no longer need or want! πŸ™‚

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