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Diluting the sugar, one step at a time

Healthy and tasty: Avocado and mango salsa

I was never very good at physics but I do wish I had paid more attention in school. I just remember thinking that I couldn’t imagine any of it being useful in REAL LIFE — cue an enormous teenage sigh and exaggerated roll of the eyes. If only I had known that two decades later, I would be pondering what precisely it is about the LH leaving on a plane that makes our kids get sick. Some strange magnetic pull between his ass and the Earth’s tectonic plates? A physical imbalance triggered by his precise weight lost off land? Whatever it is, can I please put it out to the Universe that enough is enough?! I am lucky to have healthy kids that bounce back quickly, but I am feeling fractionally suicidal after last night’s cough-wake-cough-wake bonanza.So as I type, little Belle is playing at my feet. Over the course of the last paragraph I have dressed an entire family of Calico Critters. I have just given her a sound effect toy as a distraction. Big mistake. It’s hard to concentrate against a back drop of fart noises, breaking glass and applause. If this becomes completely nonsensical, you will know what happened.Before Belle’s patience expires (and before I lose the plot completely) let’s get down to business. Over the past few weeks I’ve given you some pretty heavy content to think about. The thing is, we can’t just talk about it, we have to actually do something about it too. While we wait for Government to make some ballsy public health policy changes, how about we get started as individuals?As we know, sugar (in all it’s processed and concentrated forms) is probably our biggest problem. It’s incredibly addictive, widely available and hard to avoid even if you try. The more you eat, the more you want. It takes more and more to satisfy your sweet tooth, which has two very dangerous implications.Firstly, the more you eat, the greater your chance of gaining weight, exhausting your insulin response and triggering chronic disease.Secondly, the more you overstimulate your taste buds with sugar (and salt, and bad fats), the less “tasty” healthy food seems. That’s one of the reasons why it can be hard to stick to a healthy way of eating. No matter how delicious someone tells you something healthy is, if it doesn’t tickle your taste buds on the way down, you are not going to crave it again.Believe it or not though, it is possible to get from junk food addiction to craving healthy food. One of the tricks is to gradually wean yourself off things that overstimulate your taste buds. That includes things like sodas and sticky sweet/salty sauces and marinades. Re the former, if you are a soda addict, try diluting yours with some sparkling water until you feel able to make the switch to plain water. If you are drinking soda because you are thirsty, keep this visual in your head — would you water a plant with it? Re the sauces, instead of bathing your chicken or steak in barbecue sauce, try making this salsa instead. Grill fish or chicken and then pile this on top for some amazing flavour. It packs a really tangy punch.So can we agree to at least start it there? Let me know how you go, and more tips next week!Avocado and Mango SalsaIngredients (makes approximately 3 cups)1.5 cups diced fresh mango (pineapple/peach would work fine too)1 cup diced red pepper1 large avocado, ripe, peeled and diced½ cup chopped cilantro¼ cup finely chopped red onion3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeded (optional)1 clove garlic, mincedJuice of 1 large limeSalt, to tasteMethod: In a medium bowl, combine mango, red pepper, cilantro, red onion, jalapeño (optional), garlic, and lime juice. Stir until well combined. Then add the avocado and stir gently. Season with salt, to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled.Notes: You can make this in advance, just prepare and stir through the avocado at the last minute!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