Monthly Archives: April 2010

Daily Bread

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but it seems that more and more people just aren’t getting their daily bread.

Personally, I love bread and pasta and all things wheat-based, but it seems that a lot of modern bodies simply can’t process the grain that used to be a major diet staple.

Although I’m happy to make flourless cake and go bread-less when a wheat-intolerant mate comes over for dinner, it does make you wonder why wheat intolerance is increasing.

According to a report on, the wholesome content of our bread has dwindled significantly over the past hundred years or so. In the 1900s, bleaching flour became the order of the day and grains were no longer allowed to sprout before being milled. Today, some real nasties (including fungicides, pesticides, insecticides and chlorides) are used in the bread-making process to keep our loaves looking white and ensure they have a long shelf life.

It’s no wonder our bodies are reacting with symptoms such as cramping, diarrhoea, bloating, constipation, nausea and itchy eyes and throat.

The best breads to eat are sprouted grain breads that have to be refrigerated. You can find them in some health stores but they can be expensive. Dark whole rye and pumpernickel are also good choices as they have many of their nutrients in tact. Wheat-free grains include spelt, rice, corn, quinoa, millet, buckwheat and amaranth. And remember, wheat flour is often used as a thickener in other foods. Luckily, labelling laws are stricter than they used to be so look for products labelled gluten free.

So choose carefully and enjoy your daily bread.


Green Exercise

The Melbourne nights are drawing in and suddenly it’s getting harder to get out of bed in the mornings. I’m not much of a winter person. I love the summer and find it much easier to stick to my exercise regime when the sun’s shining.

For me, maintaining a regime of winter exercise is all about looking beyond the gym and getting back in contact with nature. Somehow it’s much easier to sustain the motivation to stay fit when you’re outdoors.

Outdoor or ‘green exercise’ can include anything from Tai Chi in the park to walking along the beach, hiking in the mountains or surfing at sunrise.

According to Jules Pretty, a professor of environment and society at the University of Essex, green exercise delivers health benefits that include improved mood and self-esteem, and can even lower blood pressure.

Research shows that interacting with nature can positively impact our health and wellbeing, relieve stress, and promote concentration and clear thinking. This is due to the stimulation of the changing scenery and terrain and the mood boost that comes from being outside in the sunshine.

Luckily, Melbourne’s parks, gardens and beaches make it easy for us to get outdoors. Take the time to wander in the great outdoors today, even if it’s just for 20 minutes at lunchtime. I guarantee your body, and mind, will thank you for it.