Sex or Dinner – Which Is Better?
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.
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 Thought© 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:
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.
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…)
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…)
Being both Jamaican and Ghanaian alongside her Canadian heritage, my granddaughter simply loves plantains. Plus, she does like a lot of West African food, so it makes a lot of sense that plantain is up there on her list of favourite foods.
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.
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.