Saturday 18 January 2020
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On Salt


After much thought and deliberation, as well as encouragement from friends, I have decided to put pen to paper (egads….we’ll have to upgrade that expression), I have decided to put fingertips to keyboard to start writing an achla blog ! !

And what an exciting time to start a blog. In March, I attended the launching of the MOH campaign for prevention and treatment of diabetes.

During one of the panel sessions the moderator, Prof. Arnon Afek, deputy director of the MOH, challenged the panelists by asking for ONE recommendation from each.

Could it be that the dietitian on the panel, Dr. Michal Geelone, was mind reading?

Probably not…..most, if not all, dietitians would have said what she said, and that is to reduce the amount of processed foods that we consume.

What is so bad about processed foods?

For one thing, processed foods are addicting. But don’t take my word for it….

Try this “Is this addictive” test at home: Eat 10 salted almonds. Note the “mouth feel” and what your tongue is “saying”. Keeping a written log can help you to recall things afterwards. (If doing the second step right away, rinse out your mouth well with water.)

Eat 10 roasted, unsalted almonds. Repeat the mouth self-check. Finally, eat 10 raw almonds and, again, repeat the mouth check.

What were the differences in flavor and mouth-feel? What was the same?

Did you get a signal from your brain to eat more ? After which type of almonds?

Salted foods are “more-ish” when compared to their non-salted counterparts. Too much salt is not healthy and may lead to high blood pressure.

Take down the salt.

About 19 years ago, I was talking to a caterer about prepared foods and mentioning how popular it is. He told me that the basis of catered foods revolves around three ingredients: (refined) sugar, salt and refined oil. It is well known that these three items are also critical ingredients in processed foods.

Several years ago, I decided to give a title to the three magic ingredients that star in processed foods; I call them the 3 plagues. It’s appropriate at any time of year; now, as we have just concluded speaking about the original plagues it is even more so.

To sum it up, let’s all make an effort to take ourselves out of “processed food” bondage….and into the freedom of natural, nurturing food.


Take your time with it….taste it, feel the texture…enjoy !

Here’s a great recipe to start with:

Quinoa with Mushrooms


1 large onion, chopped                                   3 cups water or stock

3 cloves garlic, minced                                   ½ tsp. black pepper

½ cup mushrooms, diced                                ½ tsp. salt

1 ½ cups quinoa                                            ½ cup chopped cilantro, parsley


In a medium pot, heat oil on a low heat. Add onion and garlic. Saute lightly 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and continue sauteing another 3 to 4 minutes. Add quinoa, liquid, salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and simmer 12-15 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Add the cilantro/parsley.

Half of the cooked quinoa may be frozen (without the herbs).

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