Healthy Living From The Past
Eating, exercising and aging healthy is easy to achieve if we look back to twentieth century and how they lived without all the modern medicines.
Days gone by, were we healthier?
Here are a couple of reasons why I'm writing about Health and Aging.
We never worried about what goodness we would get from eating this and that, we ate what was put in front of us, and never asked questions, just thankful we had something to eat.
Most of it was homegrown and home baked, we never had takeaways, anything like that was cooked at home.
These days we know much more about what makes us healthy and what doesn't.
We understand good nutrition and exercise, we've got powerful drugs and incredible surgical techniques, that can help save and prolong our lives, so we should be much healthier shouldn't we?
I can honestly save my parents never took me to a doctor in the early years of my life, we didn't get sick very often, if we did there was all the home remedies, for curing this and fixing that, not like the doctors these days, that you cannot get an appointment until next week, by that time you are better, so maybe we should stick to some of the old ways of curing our ill's and wails.
The above video - Foods that we had during the 1950s were not as healthy as todays's foods but the portions were smaller. After World War II ended, our country experienced a real booming economy.
The lady talks about what they ate in the 1950s interesting, she chats about the way things were in the 1950s.
Were we Healthier In the 1950s?
You would think so, but when we make comparisons to how we lived 60 years ago, it's surprising to find we don't necessarily have the upper hand in the fit and healthy stakes.
Rates of diseases like diabetes and heart disease were lower and obesity wasn't the major problem it is today, and cancer deaths are taking over heart related deaths.
In those days we never ever worried about our weight, in fact we had good eating habits and were much more physically active.
Preparing everything that our family ate from scratch - we could not pull something precooked from the freezer, as a matter of a fact, never had a fridge until 1959, we only had a safe which was outside on the south side of the house, every time you wanted anything food you would have to go outside to get it.
You couldn't open a packet or jar out of the cupboard and pull some precooked meal out, this meant we ate a lot less salt and fewer preservatives, and the large portion of our main meals was home grown vegetables, which were naturally organic and most times not exposed to pesticides.
A sponge cake was my favorite special treat, made from our own eggs, and jam made from our orchard, with cream taken from the cream-can, we only had this on special occasion, and was it a treat.
Yes our diets were much higher in saturated fat, food was cooked in butter or lard, rather than the so called healthier fats, and there was no such thing as low-fat dairy products.
Recipes For Healthy Eating From The 1940s - 1960s
The amateur chef is encouraged to revisit traditional dishes, perhaps even organize a themed dinner party, and try some of the old fashion recipes that taste just as nice as they did in the 1950s it's a shame to let them slip by.
You will find that recipes haven't changed that much over the years, we have just got faster in preparing and cooking them with all the modern day cooking utensils.
Kumara and Bacon Frittata
This Frittata is simple, affordable and healthy - Home Prepared Meal just like the 1950s, it will not break the bank.
500 grams (2 cups) kumara, peeled and cubed,
2 tablespoons olive oil,
1 onion, finely sliced,
4 rindless rashers of bacon, coarsely chopped,
1/2 cup milk,
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese,
Salt and freshly ground black pepper,
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley,
1. Heat oven to 120c (250F). Grease a deep flan dish
2. Cook kumara in boiling salted water for five minutes,then drain well and set aside
3. At the same time heat a frying pan, add oil, onion and bacon and cook for five minutes until onion is softened.
4. In a bowl beat eggs with the milk and then stir in the grated cheese. Season mixture well with salt and pepper.
5. Stir in the kumara, onions, bacon and parsley into the egg mixture.
6. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish.
7. Bake the frittata for 35 to 40 minutes or until set in the middle.
8. Slice to serve.
Prepare 10 minutes, Cook 35-40 mins, Serves 8,
Freestyle Cooking - I Like Cooking this way - To be honest I have cooked this way all my life, as a meal provider since the 1960's
What is Freestyle cooking?
Freestyle cooking is about letting go in the kitchen, breaking out of the rut of cooking your tired old recipes and experimenting in the kitchen, using ingredients you have already got.
It is about learning to trust your own taste buds and not relying on recipes.
It's about experimenting, improvising and setting free your inner chef talents.
Its about tasting your food as you cook, adding flavors with herbs, spices, sauces, (like soy, worcester or sweet chili), seasoning's and pastes, and tasting again, then throwing in some more seasoning until it's just right.
I use it on any base, Meat, fish, chicken, vegetables, or grab anything that is defrosted in the fridge, you will be surprised what you can come up with.
I have never had any failures yet, but theres always the first time for everything.
I have been doing this for many years now, have had some wonderful tasting meals, only sometimes if someone asks me for the recipe it can be a bit hard to remember exactly what you have added to it.
1950 Family Date, Dinner In A 1950's Home
Pudding After Main Meal Midday
Our main meal of the day was midday, we always had pudding after our main meal, but the thing about this is that you could work that big meal off in the afternoon before evening and just have a light tea before retiring for the day.
Never a week went by without having a pudding of sago, tapioca or rice cooked in many different ways.
My best treat for puddings, on special occasions, was sherry trifle.
I still make this trifle recipe for christmas, my family love it.
Despite all this we consumed fewer kilojoules than most of us do today, we never drunk all the flavored coffees, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks that we drink these days - all of which are laden with kilojoules.
Three Things To Improve Your Health
1. Try cooking as many meals as possible from scratch, using fresh ingredients and no processed foods.
2. Grow some of your own food, even if it's a few vegetables.
Vegetables can be grown in a pot, such as tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, peas, beans and capsicums.
3. Read the labels on all processed foods, if it contains ingredients like preservatives and additives, don't eat it.
Why Our Grandparents Hardly Ever Got Sick
Many of our ancestors of a century or so ago were hardly renowned for glowing good health.
Although infant mortality was high, many women died in childbirth and diseases like cholera, typhoid and influenza wiped out whole families, (like the 1919 in NZ - in the flue epidemic, where many thousands lost their lives, which was world-wide).
Recent study shows that Europeans who lived in the 1950s mostly had much stronger immune systems than we do today.
While that is partly to do with their eating pattern, and exercise, it is also down to the yeasts found in the bread they made themselves.
These yeasts contain compounds called beta glucans, which can help the immune system to fight off bacteria and viruses, according to research.
Beta glucans are considered to be so effective in boosting our natural defenses that they are being included in several cancer drugs currently being developed.
These days, most yeast-based foods like bread don't contain beta glucans because they're removed during the refining process.
It is suggested to take beta glucan supplements, (as long as you don't have a gluten problem such as coeliac disease) and eat around 10 servings of organic fruit and vegetables a day to boost your immune systems.