Healthy eating: the body versus the mind

Health blog, April 2011

Fresh, organic fruit and vegetables from Can Paradis in Ibiza

Introducing the first in a new series of all-new healthy living blogs, written by (self-confessed ‘health nut’) Lana Love, owner of Ibiza’s favourite healthy cafe, Passion.

Very often you hear people say, ‘my body is craving sugar, caffeine, nicotine, cheese on toast etc,’ but let me tell you, it’s not the body. It’s the mind.

We go to supermarkets and automatically load our trolleys without questioning our food; what does it contain, how is it processed or what nutrition does it give us – if any? Sliced bread wrapped in plastic, spreadable margarine, packets of processed ham and cheese, pasteurised and homogenised milk, packets of crisps, cookies, canned food, frozen food, ketchup, oven fries, bottled juices, diet drinks – basically it’s all just full of preservatives, sugar, salt, and dangerous fats, with hardly any nutrition at all.

After eating this kind of food, we constantly find ourselves still hungry and often in need (there’s that ‘craving’ again) of something extremely sweet or salty. This is because on a nutritional level we are actually starving!

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Photography by Ana Lui for Passion Magazine

We watch TV, read, spend hours in front of computers, emails, Twitter, Facebook (stalking!) and sometimes forget that the area below our brains would like to be stimulated too (think running, dancing, yoga or whatever takes your fancy). It also needs foods packed with nutrients to be able to carry us healthily and happily through life.

Here in Ibiza, we are blessed with organic farms selling fruit, vegetables, eggs, dried fruit, nuts and local produce like cheese, yoghurt and kefir (Can Paradis in San Mateu is a great example, as is the organic fruit market opposite Croissant Show in Ibiza Town). We have bakeries that sell homemade breads and with a little research we can even find organic meats too. The health food shops (I like S’hortet Verd in San Jordi and Salvia in Calle Aragon in Ibiza Town) are full of organic grains, beans, lentils,varieties of wonderful flours, organic milks, butters, natural sugars and wholesome foods, with the extra bonus of buying in bulk to save on unnecessary plastic waste.

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Photography by Ana Lui for Passion Magazine

If you think living (and eating!) this way is more expensive, it’s not. A bowl of brown rice keeps you feeling full for longer than white flour-based pasta. A big juicy orange gives you more nutrition and energy than a packet of crisps, plus its rind goes back into the earth as compost rather than contaminating it like plastic wrappers.

Your health is priceless. If you are still in good health, look after it by starting to care of what goes in your shopping trolley! Eating nutrient rich foods helps strengthen your immune system and make your body stronger to help heal itself in the event of an illness or injury. Your relationship with food is one of the most intimate relationships you’ll ever have, so knowing the quality of your food, where it comes from and what nutritional value you are going to get out of it is essential.

You’ve heard it a gazillion times. You are what you eat. The healthy revolution starts in your kitchen and you deserve the best quality food there is. It is out there (yes, here in Ibiza too – here at Passion we like our food unaltered, natural and always made from basic wholesome ingredients), and it’s in abundance! Reach for it!

Health and happiness.

Next healthy living post: Spring cleaning