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Fresh and Nutritious Gets our Glow On!

At the time I didn’t realise how lucky I was, but now in hindsight, I am so grateful to have grown up in a time and place where we ate fresh, nutritious, wholesome, REAL food! Growing up eating real food, (as opposed to the processed/ packaged/genetically modified/ nutritionally-deficient stuff), definitely gave me a head start on health during my formative years.

I was born in the mid-sixties in Cape Town, and one of my earliest food memories is of going to the fruit and veggie market with my Mum and loading up the car with bags and trays of brightly coloured fresh fruit and veggies.
And twice a week the fruit and veggie man would come to our street with his horse and cart, which was loaded with produce fresh from the farm.
Everything we ate in those days was fresh, not frozen and locally produced – Cape Town didn’t yet have a supermarket.

We bought fresh meat from the local butcher (no hormone and antiobiotic-fed animals in those days); fresh fish from the local fishermen who would sell their catch straight from the sea, and fresh milk and cream were delivered daily from the dairy.

Growing up with a health-conscious Mum also gave me a great advantage in the nutrition stakes. Biscuits, cakes, fizzy drinks, crisps, ice cream and choccies were only an occasional treat.
Many of my school-friends were indulged a lot more than I was, and this lead to a lot of nagging and complaining from me! 
When Nik-Naks (bright orange, cheesy maize snacks) were first launched in South Africa, some of my friends would get them in their school lunchbox. How I nagged for those!
My Mum’s answer to this was to slice carrots into matchsticks.
“Just pretend they’re Nik-Naks”, she said.
But it wasn’t quite the same!

And what really got to me was one of the school mums who would give each of her children a tuck bag of chocs, sweets and crisps as they got into the car, after school.
I knew the children were adopted – and I wanted to be adopted! 

I thought being adopted was the luckiest thing ever! Your parents actually came to choose you out of all the other children, and you got a big bag of treats every day after school!

But unfortunately, those two children became very overweight teenagers and one had really bad, pimply skin. I didn’t think they were so lucky after that.

One of my favourite things as a child was visiting my friend’s house for their Saturday night movie show.  We were each given a box of Quality Street chocolates. That for me was the height of luxury! My own box of chocolates to enjoy while watching a movie! And it wasn’t even my birthday.

As it turned out, my friend’s mum became increasingly obese and unhealthy and passed away when he was a teenager. Not so lucky either.

And then we got our first supermarket in Cape Town. And soon after that 1970’s instant, packaged food arrived at the tip of Africa.

My Mum was having none of it!
She’d grown up in wartime Britain, with poor nutrition and believed in the benefits of a nutritious diet to boost and maintain good health.

But while my health-conscious Mum was reading “Let’s eat right to keep fit” by nutritionist and health advocate, Adelle Davis and feeding us sprouts and courgette patties, I was nagging her for frozen burgers and instant pudding and specifically, Bird’s Angel Delight.
I’d tasted it at friends’ homes (Please Mum! So-and-So’s mother buys it. )
And we could even make it ourselves! Just add milk and beat it with the mixer and easy-peasy, there it was – a creamy, frothy, sweet, yummy pudding – I agreed it was heavenly, just like the packaging said!

"Angel Delight. Ask any kid." I definitely agreed! ☺

And as I got older, I indulged in terrible eating habits. Even though I’ve always loved and eaten good, real food, I also have a weakness for junk and sugar.
Some days I’d eat nothing but chocolate. And lots of it. I’m a chocoholic for sure!
And don’t get me started on cereal – I could easily crunch my way through a box of Rice Krispies for supper, or any of the sugar and salt-laden breakfast ‘foods’ that pass themselves off as healthy.

When we’re young, we think we’re invincible.
I wasn’t too bothered with what was going on on the inside. It was all about what I looked like on the outside.

But as I got into my 40s, I began listening to my body as it was crying out for some healthy attention!
Luckily I’ve always known about good nutrition, if not always practised it.
“As I see it, every day you do one of two things: build health or produce disease in yourself.“ ~ Adelle Davis
Nowdays I do make nutrition a priority. And I enJOY it!
I love my juices, soups, salads, veggies, seeds, nuts and fresh fish and chicken.  

And there’s no doubt that when you feel healthier, you feel happier!

It’s true that when we put the Good Stuff in, we get the Good Stuff out – we feel more energised and vibrant, and we’re able to cope better with Life and to do so much more.

But that’s not to say I don’t still love chocolates and pastries. And I do still enJOY them – but not in vast quantities, and not every day.

You can definitely feel the difference in your body and your mood when you eat REAL nutritious food! It’s like high-performance fuel for your engine.
When you drink a glass of water, or a freshly-squeezed juice you can actually feel it right away!
You can feel the Good Stuff zinging through your cells!

A large Green Juice to go - giving me some zing while I get my shopping done!
So here’s to eating and drinking more of the Good Stuff – to Rocking our Health and Happiness and Getting our Glow On!

Below are links to articles, advice and recipes for healthy eating and nutrition from some of my favourite wellness experts :

Heal Your Life:

Jess Ainscough The Wellness Warrior:

Steph Rice Fitness

With Love,

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  1. LOL!!! Well, I must confess: I still love pudding and is the first thing I ask every birthday!!! X-) I like real, good food, so I agree with you and also keep enjoying the indulgence of sweet food like chocolate, ice creams... not every day, but they make special any day! ;-) Nice post!!!

  2. So true! :) Thanks Amasilys! Here's to Good Health and Happiness :) Xx