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Clean up your diet with confetti salad

I love my job but it does have its drawbacks. For a start, people run away from me in grocery stores. Some do roll past proudly with a cart full of fruit and veg, but others — usually the ones with sodas hanging off the sides — reverse in panic. The irony is of course that as no one is perfect, I have probably just hidden a large bag of chips under my kale. So now you know!

And while nutrition has empowered me beyond measure, dragging me out of endless health issues when I was in my teens, it has also made me a little paranoid. There comes a point when you can know too much about what’s on your plate. Coal tar in food dyes, beetles in your cupcakes, horse meat in burgers … I’ve become suspicious of everything. It’s even made me question my healthy items at home.

Let’s start with fire roasted tomatoes. You can imagine how that day went down in the tinned tomato factory. “Crap! We just burned 1000 gallons of plum tomatoes ... let’s pretend we did that on purpose.” What about my chocolate covered goji berries? Are they just the manky ones that no one else wants to eat? (Because to be fair I will eat almost anything covered in chocolate.) And lastly…. chia seeds. Is that a joke? Did someone start the chia revolution as an April fool and forget to let us know? I know they are insanely healthy, but every time I put them in my yoghurt, I can’t help but feel that someone, somewhere, is laughing at me. They are so teeny tiny and taste of absolutely nothing, it’s hard to believe they are so good for you.

With all the buzz about goji berries, moringa, chia and hemp it’s easy to be distracted from the essential basic — that eating good quality, minimally processed, clean food will change your life.

True, the superfoods can make you feel supergood (in fact, more on that next week) but there is no point in washing down your Lucky Charms with a detox tea and expecting it to make you feel better. You have to change the fundamentals too.

Making the switch from a junk filled diet to a healthy one can be challenging, especially if you think “healthy” tastes bland. If that’s the case for you, then be reassured that bland is just temporary. After being over stimulated by a never ending stream of sugar, salt, fat and spice it can take a few weeks to re-sensitise your taste buds. That time will come though, and all of a sudden you’ll start noticing the nutty flavour of wholegrains and the sweetness of fruit.

In the meantime, give this recipe a try. It’s super-healthy but absolutely packed with clean, fresh flavour! Even if you have pretty numb taste buds, this one should shake them up. It’s a perfect side for a BBQ, so you could serve it with some grilled chicken or fish and some fresh Bermuda corn. Vegetarians/Vegans could scatter on chopped avocado and toasted nuts/seeds to give it staying power. Enjoy!

Confetti Salad: Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

· 2 tbsp sesame seeds

· ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar

· 2 tsps sesame oil

· 2 tsps lime juice

· 1 tbsp honey (or agave)

· 1 ½ tbsp peeled and finely grated fresh ginger

· ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

· 2 medium carrots, shredded

· ½ small head red cabbage, cored, cut cross wise, sliced into very narrow ribbons and then separated

· 1 yellow bell pepper, deseeded, cut length wise and the sliced into the thinnest strips possible

· 1 red pepper, prepared as the yellow pepper

· ½ medium sweet white onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings

· ½ cup (packed) fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:

1. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over a medium heat until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, lime juice, honey, ginger and cayenne. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl combine the carrots, cabbage, bell peppers, onion and cilantro. Toss thoroughly to mix well.

4. Add the dressing then toss again, til evenly coated.

5. Garnish with the sesame seeds and serve.

The advice given in this article is not intended to replace medical advice, but to complement it. Always consult your GP if you have any health concerns. Catherine Burns BA Hons, Dip ION is the Managing Director of Natural Ltd and a fully qualified Nutritional Therapist trained by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in the UK. Please note that she is not a Registered Dietitian. For details, please go to www.natural.bm or call 236-7511. Join Catherine on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nutrifitandnaturalnutritionbermuda

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Published May 31, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 30, 2013 at 6:57 pm)

Clean up your diet with confetti salad

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