The truth shall set you free … if you can find it!!

Have you ever wondered about the ‘healthy’ foods you are eating and the effects they are having on your health? It seems to me the more you start learning about healthy foods, the more there is to learn. Just when you think you are eating or not eating the right things research seems to pop up and contradict it all.  I often feel overwhelmed with all of the articles, blogs, recipes etc that appear in my inbox or on my Facebook page. How do you know what to believe? How do you know what is fact and what has been made up to suit somebody or somebody’s product? How do you know that what you are being told is healthy today is still going to be healthy tomorrow?

So where am I going with all of this?….. I guess I am thinking about the best way to approach healthy eating for my family and me. I can’t help continually thinking about the way our grandparents used to eat – off the land, in season and home cooked. This seems to sit well with me. I like to know what is in my food and how it was prepared. I used to get excited to go to the local farmers market each week and purchase farm fresh produce in Australia (a little tricky in Jakarta!). I almost never went to the supermarket to buy my fresh foods. So, as life is a little different here in the way I source my foods I am privileged to have the time to get back in the kitchen and cook many things from scratch. I feel like I am adhering to the first of my healthy eating aspirations –  ‘Eat like your grandparents ate.’ The second is the Okinawans approach to eating.

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So lets see what google thinks …

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Here is what I discovered ….


Our grandparents also used to make their own butter, cook with lard, drink full cream milk and put away plenty of potatoes.

Meanwhile we – who cut carbs, remove fat, cook less, eat more and spend most of our time sitting – are fatter than ever.

So how do our grandparents remain so healthy while living so heartily?

For starters, they ate less.

“Once one of the longest-lived people on earth, the Okinawans practised a principle they called ‘Hara Hachi Bu’: eat until you are 80 per cent full.”

The article goes on to give Pollan’s nine principles of healthy eating which you can read here –

Butter nutrition


Did your grandparents have food allergies? Mine sure didn’t. A stark comparison to the growing epidemic of food allergies, worsening with every generation.

So why didn’t your grandparents have food allergies? It’s really quite simple…

 You can go on to read her 7 reasons why with the headings –

  1. They ate seasonal real food
  2. They didn’t diet and play restrictive games with their body and metabolism. They ate food when food was available.
  3. They cooked food at home using traditional preparation methods from scratch.
  4. They didn’t eat GMO’S, food additives, stabilisers and thickners
  5. They ate the whole animal, which included mineral-rich bone broths and organ meats
  6. They didn’t go to the doctor when they felt sick or take prescription medications.
  7. They spent lots of time outdoors

She makes some thought provoking points about then and now.  She also has another good blog page about 6 reasons why your great grandparents never needed to diet which looks more at the foods we now have that were never a concern for them. It is found here -

Why your grandparents didn’t have food allergies…but you do

True Hub


This blog asks the questions – Did your grandparents have better eating habits than you do now?   What can you learn from your grandmother’s food choices and lifestyle?

The blog goes on to look at our grandparents having a strict routine for what they ate and when, food rationing, the change of eating habits, snacking, cooking skills, exercise and the links between nutrition, ill health and allergies.

Did You Know?
Since 1990, UK hospital admissions for food allergies have increased by 500%. There are also now around 30 allergy specialists in the UK (or one for every 700, 000 sufferers).

The blog ends with posing a question –

It seems that everyone can learn something by looking at the past, whether it be sticking to 3-meals-a-day or eating vegetables at every evening meal. Whilst we’re certainly more educated in the benefits of good nutrition these days, the glaring contrast in our overall lifestyles is perhaps what needs to change. Why not give the 1940s diet a try and see what you think?

The Darling Bakers


 In 1930, only 1% men aged 75 and over died of cancer. Now the rate is closer to 10%. [source] Our grandparents didn’t suffer from rampant food allergies, widespread infertility, obesity and autoimmune diseases.  While diet isn’t necessarily the only cause of all these health issues becoming more prevalent in the last two or three generations, there certainly seems to be a correlation.

This blog then goes on to look at 5 foods our grandparents never ate, these being

  1. Nonfat and Lowfat Milk Products
  2. Vegetable oils
  3. Fizzy drinks
  4. Processed meat
  5. Preservative laden baked goods

If you would like to read her post you can find it here –

On another post she goes into – how we eat and why. You can find it here –

So in conclusion…

It sits well with me to follow this line of thinking and I will add in my ‘no fructose’ and ‘healthy oils’ to this. I can’t help but be inspired by my Grandma – Grandma Rose. I have fond memories of her in the kitchen when she was on the farm churning butter to show me how they used to do it and later in her kitchen in Adelaide baking up goodies for us. I often think of her when I am cooking from scratch for my family just as she did for her   husband and 7 children.

She is my inspiration and memory as I cook.

A memory from my Grandma and life back then…

Everybody used to have their own pigs and in wintertime everybody killed a pig and made sausages. We had big vats where we would salt the meat down and make ham and bacon. I often think now that even if it was not very much, it was all wholesome food

Feature image –

Monday Morning Recipe

This morning I tried out Sarah’s

Coconut & Vanilla Superfood

Muesli Bar Mix

mueslie bar

My husband bought these muesli bars in Coles on his last trip to Australia – they cost $6.99. So today I thought I would make them and then next time have a go to come up with my own recipes as I am not lucky enough to have a Coles down the road. I’ll let you know how I go next blog.

Ingredients list – 

Australian oats, seed mix including – pepitas, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds, coconut flakes, puffed amaranth, vanilla flour AND you add 1/2 cup rice malt syrup, 1/4 cup coconut oil and 1/4 cup hot water.


Method – 

  1. Turn oven on to 165 degrees
  2. Prepare a baking slice tin
  3. Heat rice malt syrup and coconut oil in a saucepan
  4. Pour base mix in the bowl, add in rice malt syrup and mix
  5. Add in hot water
  6. Place it into slice tin and press down well
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes
  8. When removed from the oven press down again
  9. Cut while still warm

The finished product – Yummy!!!



A little change in direction…

You may have noticed that I have changed the title of my blog.
I am hoping to broaden the topics I share but retain the focus on healthy eating and living.
Each little step is a part of the journey.
So here I go one foot in front of the other…

Exercise and Healthy eating for weight loss

It is deeply saddening to me as I look around my new world in Jakarta, as I did in my old world in Noosa, Australia, to see so many people who are struggling to be a healthy weight.

In the past 40 years, there has been a startling increase in the number of obese people worldwide–rising from 105 million in 1975 to 641 million in 2014, according to the most comprehensive analysis of trends in body mass index (BMI) to date.

I have often wondered what the real cause of the obesity problem is?  Why is it that so many people of all ages and in so many counties are facing this epidemic? Is it the lack of exercise in this electronic age? Fast food? Junk food? Longer working hours? Less time in our  busy lives to cook healthy? Lack of understanding about which foods are ‘healthy foods’?  ….so many potential causes …

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With this in mind I thought I would look at what the latest research has been saying about healthy eating and exercise. I do want to admit at this point that, personally, I enjoy exercising. I believe that it has so many health benefits as it can help to maintain mental health, improve bone density, lower the risk for heart disease and cancer, maintain weight and reduce the risk and complications of diabetes. It even helps to grow new brain cells – who doesn’t need that! BUT for losing weight it the experts are now saying that exercise is only a small part of only answer!


Here is a short clip I found that explains this well- (


Here are some thoughts about exercise and weight loss from a website called Paleo Leap:-

  • It’s trivially easy to eat many more calories from processed foods than you can reasonably burn, even if you’re very active and work out every day. For example, to burn off all 1,000+ calories in 1 slice of The Cheesecake Factory’s, a 54kg  woman would have to jog for about 3 and a half hours – and that’s just dessert!
  • The food industry has a vested interest in making you believe that you can easily out-exercise a junk diet, because it gives them license to keep selling you junk food. But just because it’s profitable for the food industry to say doesn’t make it true.
  • Even if you were dedicated enough to burn off a bunch of extra junk food calories every day, is that really how you want to spend your life? Hour after hour of running so you can “afford” your sugar hit? Does anyone have time for that


‘The Guardian‘ article titled – ‘Exercise alone won’t cause weight loss’ has some good points about the importance of exercise but again highlights that its not the best method for losing weight.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England said: “Being physically active is good for your physical and mental health and also helps to maintain a healthy weight. However, the evidence shows the most effective way of losing weight is to reduce calorie intake through a healthy balanced diet.”

Dr Asseem Malhotra, cardiologist adviser to the National Obesity Forum, went further: “We know exercising in the right way has many health benefits but weight loss isn’t one of them,” he said. “We need to disassociate obesity with exercise altogether. If we’re going to combat obesity, it’s going to happen purely from changing the food environment.”

Experts from –  The guardian

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To sum up what I have learnt..


From what I have read it seems to me that it once again comes down to the old saying …

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While exercise has many benefits for our body, as a means to losing weight it seems it is actually not a very good option.  Who would have thought!  We seem to be moving as much as we always have and burning as many calories as we previously have….  


The food we are consuming is higher in fructose, is highly processed, uses more refined flour and contains the wrong type of oils. I saw a great slogan as I was searching for images for this week. I think it sums up well what I have learnt –


In other words have the strength and willpower  to eat ‘like your grandparents’ – food that is mainly unprocessed and fructose free.

Dare I ask…?

I have been wondering (and dreading the answer) ‘Can you still have a few drinks while trying to be fructose free?’ It looks like, thankfully, the answer is YES!


It does come down to drinking in moderation and making an informed choice about which type of alcohol is best to have. I have found information about different types of drinks and the sugar amount in each so …. it is time to face the facts!!


✔️ Beer 

Beer does contain a lot of sugar, but in the form of maltose which can be easily metabolised by our  bodies.

Maltose is fructose free.

Beer is  a good choice.

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✔️ White Wine

White wine contains very minimal amounts of fructose.

It is the fructose in the grapes that ferments to become alcohol, leaving the finished product quite low in sugar.

White table wines have around 1.5 grams of sugar per serving

The dryer the wine the less fructose in it.

Some white wines are a good choice.


✔️ Red Wine

Like white wine, red wine also contains very minimal amounts of fructose.

Red table wines have less than 1 gram of sugar per serving.

Again the dryer the wine the less fructose in it.

Red wine is lower in fructose than white wine making it the better choice.

Most red wines are a good choice.


❌ Champagne, sparkling wines and desert wines

Though similar in the fermentation process of red and white wine champagne, sparkling wines and desert wines tend to retain quite a lot of the fructose from the grapes.

Dessert wines, as an example, can have as many as 8 grams of sugar per serving. Sugar is added to these wines to create a sweet flavor.

These are really not a great choice to have.


❌ Ciders

A single pint (568ml bottle) of cider contained almost as much sugar as the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends should be an average person’s daily limit. It has a staggering 20.5g of sugar – 5 teaspoons of sugar!!

The range of sugar amount can be from more than 8 g/100mL to 2.4 g/100mL depending on the brand.

On the whole ciders are not a good option.


Spirits and Mixers

✔️ Spirits: Dry spirits like gin, vodka and whiskey are very low in fructose.


It is the mixers that are added to the spirits that are loaded with sugar. A can of tonic for example has 32g of sugar which equates to 8 teaspoons of sugar!!

Mixed drinks, such as margaritas, pina coladas and daiquiris, can contain over 30 grams of sugar or 7 teaspoons of sugar.

Spirits can be a good choice but watch the mixers!

Sarah Wilson.A few ideas from Sarah Wilson – I quit sugar

Tips for sugar-free boozing.

  • Alcohol-free is always going to be your safest bet.
  • Soda or plain mineral water with a squeeze of lemon or lime is surprisingly satisfying. We love asking the bartender to jazz it up with a slice of cucumber or some fresh mint.
  • Clear spirits like vodka and gin mixed with soda water and fresh lemon and lime are probably the lowest sugar alcoholic drinks you’re going to be able to get.
  • Gin, soda water and fresh cucumber is one of our favourites. So refreshing.
  • STAY AWAY FROM SOFT DRINKS AND TONIC WATER… they are loaded with sugar!


A few more words of caution before you take a tipple.

  • Alcohol still has a multitude of metabolism and health issues that come with excessive consumption, not to mention it’s an addictive substance.

  • Although most alcohol is low in fructose, it’s still very high in empty calories.

  • Only ever drink spirits with soda water. Mixers, including tonic water, are full of sugar – about 8–10 teaspoons in one tall glass. Ditto fruit juices.

  • A beer is equivalent in calories to a sausage roll. Two glasses of Champagne are the equivalent of about 1/5 of your daily energy intake. Yeah, hurts to hear!

  • Remember, when it comes to alcoholic drinks, once you have too many it’s very hard to make sensible food choices. You’re far more likely to reach for that slice of cake after a few drinks than you would be sober. Just something to keep in mind.


You can drink alcohol while you are reducing your fructose levels. It all come down to the choices you make and the amount you drink. I think Sarah has some great ideas of sugar free drinking and I will be giving some of them a go.

On a personal note I have noticed since I have reduced my fructose levels my alcohol tolerance level has majorly dropped.  

So now that the fact have been faced….. we can all enjoy a relaxing drink which can be low in fructose if we choose carefully and drink in moderation.


Feature image – why


I was wondering ….

So this week I have been wondering about my family’s intake of white flour. I know that it is not great as it is highly processed and all the ‘goodness’ has been taken out of it. BUT…. was this another thing that I needed to give up? Is it really that bad for us?  Is it something that needs to be given up or reduced? If given up, what do I substitute it with? Onto the internet I go to look for some wise words.

I have spent a lot of time in google land reading both pros and cons about white flour and simple carbohydrates and I have come to the conclusion that I don’t think there is really a clear message out there. So, as many of you would know from my previous blogs, I have 3 favourite authors that I usually turn to for advice – Sarah Wilson, Damon Gameau and David Gillespie. Although they haven’t specifically written about flour, here is what each of them say about white bread and simple carbohydrates :-


SARAH WILSON – Sarah Wilson.

Generally speaking, breads are pretty low in sugar (except fruit breads and brioche), so are fine to continue to eat when you quit sugar, but just like any food, there are some better bread options out there.

Hot Tip: When buying store-bought bread look for loaves that have 4g/100g sugar or less.

The better breads:

  • Sourdough: a fermented dough that research shows is beneficial to blood sugar levels.
  • Rye: retains most of the bran and germ of the rye grain, has a higher fibre content than many other breads and is also a good source of minerals such as magnesium and protein.
  • Wholemeal: retains the nutrients and healthy plant compounds found naturally in the wholegrain.
  • Spelt:  an ancient grain that has a nutty taste. It is a relative of wheat but many people find it much easier to digest.

DAMON GAMEAU – g2lfdyyo

It is the TYPE of carbohydrate, not the amount of carbohydrate we need be concerned with. Therefore, get a majority of your carbohydrate fix through vegetable, fruit and some whole grains. Sure, there may be some simple sugars in there, but these are packed in with fibre to slow the release of glucose into the blood stream, and mitigate the extreme reaction of the pancreas to pump out huge amounts of insulin.

This is a table that Damon includes to help show the better choice of carbohydrates

Positive Complex carbohydratesVegetables (including starches)


Beans and legumes

Whole grains –  Barley,  Whole wheat, wheat berries, Millet, Buckwheat, Spelt, Oats, Amaranth, Quinoa and  Rice (brown, basmati, wild)


Not so positive Simple carbohydratesProcessed and refined versions of:

·      White flour

·      White sugar

·      Corn

·      Rice

·      Potato

Foods containing these include pastries, lollies, soft drinks, crisps.


I have found it hard to find information from David about his opinions on simple carbohydrates. But from looking and using many of his recipes, I’ve noticed that he uses a lot of white flour. David shares on his website how much sugar , a chart explained below-

The chart compares the fructose percentage with the fibre in most popular breads. All breads contain some levels of sugar. But all of the standard unflavoured white breads will lie somewhere between half a percent and 4 percent sugar (2 percent fructose). This is about half the best fruit (Kiwi Fruit) and with equivalent amounts of fibre.

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So what I think my action plan to help cut down on white flour will be – 

  1. I will try to cut down on using as much white flour in my general baking and have a go at supplementing it with wholemeal flour and almond meal;
  2. I will in have a go at making my family zucchini pasta;
  3. I will try and make some bread out of wholemeal flour
  4. I will try and make my own ‘no knead’ bread. Here is the recipe of the no knead bread. I know it still uses white flour but it is more a sourdough bread. Recipe and pictures from (there is also a video link)
You will need:

3 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid rise yeast

1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups cool tap water
Method :
Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix them.
Add the water and stir thoroughly. Be careful not to over mix.
When dough is combined put cling wrap over the top and let it sit for 12-18 hours. (it can sit for up to 24hours!)
Heat your oven to 220 degrees

Once the oven has heated to 220 degrees put your pots with the lids into the oven to preheat for 30 minutes

Heavily flour a surface and place dough – which is now super sticky – onto it.
Do NOT knead the bread.  Remember it’s “NO-knead”.

Gently form the sticky mass of dough into a round ball

To make life easier place the dough onto a sheet of baking paper.  This baking paper makes it easier to lift the dough in and out of the pot when cooked.
 Cover with cling wrap and let sit while the pots are heating for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes carefully place the dough into the preheated pot.

Place the lid on the pot.

Bake covered for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes remove the lid.

Bake an additional 15 minutes with the lid OFF.

Allow to cool, if you can wait, and enjoy.


And mine looked like this –

 Feature photo –