Friday, March 12, 2010

Australia Takes The Cake - I'll Take The Meat

(even the poor native critters here look overweight and suffering carb coma...)

The 20 most popular recipes searched for on Google in Australia are (in order):

Banana cake
Banana bread
Pumpkin soup
Chocolate cake
Anzac biscuit
Potato bake
Fried rice
Apple crumble
Lamb shanks
Butter chicken

(Taken from an article posted in The Age on March 9, 2010)

I was galled when I first read this list in the paper, thinking how terrible it was that my fellow Australians were prioritising so many carby desserts and starchy savouries when it came to their attempts at cooking.

But then I realised that this list was actually more likely to be a sign that Australians simply don't know much about cooking desserts and other somewhat-discombobulating food items. For items such as meatloaf and butter chicken, their non-Australian origin means that for many of us, the components of those meals are just as foreign and difficult to deduce without a recipe - especially when packaged versions have more ingredients than your average chemistry set.

Still, inclusions such as the very popular pumpkin soup search (are they finding my recipe?) and potato bake (why is that one perceived as being so complicated??) are quite disturbing, since they - along with the basic baked goods - are a clear indicator that the average Australia has not been taught how to cook at even the most fundamental level.

I'm left feeling very proud that I was given time to experiment in the kitchen as a child, that I studied Home Economics at school, and that I made it a personal mission to learn how to cook a wide variety of foods back in 2006. I now have the courage to experiment with the foods I like and trust, and have not turned to my old cook books for many moons. Occasionally I'll do an open recipe search for quantity suggestions when playing with new foods (i.e. chicken liver), but that's about it. And I'm really passionate about kids learning what constitutes nourishing food, and how to prepare it. Note: I will never switch disciplines and become a Home Ec. teacher - even though it would give me hands-on access as a facilitator of nutrition understanding in the next generation, I could never maintain a positive outlook in the face of 25 frying pans full of burning mushrooms and spitting fat.... Nuh-uh.

Until then, I'll keep my talks with students to the casual side of the curriculum, and continue to play with the preparation of my food and share it with you guys, if that's okay by you :)


Breakfast: bacon and eggs, fried in ghee. Still playing around with ghee, but everything seems to stick when I use it! Might go back to coconut oil, since I have such a plentiful supply at the moment.

Lunch: Kanga & Bacon frittata leftovers at work - received lots of comments re: the delicious smell!

Dinner: Copped out and bought a roast chicken after a long rehearsal and walk home. Delicious!


Breakfast: bacon and eggs, plus a wild, hurried picking of the leftover chook carcass - next time I'll be doing it before I put on my make-up in the morning... Smeary...

Forgot to pack a lunch, and had a Monash University tutorial to lead after normal classes, followed by an audition with a prestigious Melbourne choir, so no time to eat until afterwards - at 10:30pm! I thought long and hard about whether I should just fast til breakfast, but decided against it. Next week I'm going for it! (Yep, the audition was a success :)

Late dinner: lamb forequarter chops fried in butter and dried basil, plus a bit of leftover beef snag & cheddar frittata that the beau had left for dead in the fridge. Yum!


Breakfast: pork chops and eggs. I've been eating more eggs than I'd like to just to get my fat intake up. Still too much protein, not enough fat, most days...

Another long day, another skipped lunch, another choir, another late dinner!

Late dinner: picked up another chook, and ate the tasty bits. It wasn't from the usual place, and wasn't very enjoyable, given that my brain was screaming 'Industrial vegetable oils! Eeeeek!'


Breakfast: eggs and bacon, again.

Lunch: leftover chicken - the breasts that the beau usually prizes (he'd already eaten last night). I still don't get the appeal - so dry and lacking in taste... Bleh.

Dinner - entree: I fried up some eggs and smoked salmon for a gourmet snack whilst I waited for the beau to arrive home.

Dinner - main: Then we both sat down to a plate of lamb shank and pork ribs! I had the shank out to slow-cook, but hadn't found the time and was getting nervous re: spoilage, so into the oven it went! Tasty, though a bit dry despite being coated in coconut oil. Ah, high temperature cooking, norty norty....

I'll leave you with the following link to take you into the weekend - a very interesting collection of information! The Metabolism Society - your resource for truth in nutritional science. Let's hope it gets the respect and attention it deserves.

Bon weekend!


Curiousfarmer said...

I like your deduction that Aussies are not necessarily eating the most cakes, they just don't know how to cook them.
Loved the pictures! You eat well. And I found the same thing, that when eating primal, fat is craved and low-fat meat such as chicken breast is hard to choke down.
Have you ever thought about how you and your beau resemble the Jack Sprat poem? Except you are getting leaner eating fat in your life. Good for you!

Jezwyn said...

Haha, Jack Sprat is in my head Every. Single. Night. when I watch the beau trim the fat off his meat! :P He's definitely eating more fat than he used to though, particularly if I sauté some vegetables, and is losing fat really nicely. His teeny man-boobs are gone, his gut is almost flat again - he has a slender but semi-muscular build, but is a sugar junkie at times. I'm very proud that he's been adequately avoiding processed and fast foods, and has been eating whatever I eat, for the most part. :)

Aimee said...

I love your site! I am also type 1 diabetic. Was 7 years on Bernstein diet. But because I wanted to heal and believed I could, I started on raw vegan diet. The insulin requirements went way down during the first years on raw vegan diet but then eventually climbed almost back to my Bernstein years. My hbA1c's were higher on raw vegan, after 7 years on this diet too. I started getting more and more primal and found your site. Have your insulin requirements gone down? Are you still taking insulin? And how much? Thank you for your inspiration. I was a veggie-holic, how did you manage to give them up?

NickW said...

Vegemite doesn't pop up? I spent a week in Australia playing rugby, and ended up loving the stuff.

Wait, can we even eat Vegemite while going primal? I think the malt makes it a no-no. That, and the only way I know how to eat it is on bread.

Jezwyn said...

Hey Aimee! I'm not diabetic at all - I eat this way for many longevity reasons, one of them being to avoid developing diabetes, since it's in my family line to do so. I do like veggies, but each time I go back to meat-only I am reminded of how much better my body runs without fibre, and how even a little bit of carb can set of cravings. I'd love to know how you go with your insulin requirements should you try meat-only, or very low carb that includes low-sugar dairy. That would be a fascinating experiment and anecdote to have in the health community.

NickW - ew! I can't stand vegemite! And it's owned by the US now, so it's not even Aussie! No chance that vegemite is primal - its yeasty ingredient list is all kinds of scary! There aren't even any veggies involved, just 'vegetable flavours'... Ewwww.... :P

Rebekah said...

Hi Jezwyn!

I recently stumbled across your blog (found the like on MDA), and I'm hooked. I've been playing catch-up, reading your previous posts, and loving all of them! You are the most intelligent, articulate, well-researched, and well-reasoned blogger I have come acros yet! (And you eat gloriously!) Please keep posting! I've never been this inspired before.

I do have a specific question for you. (And I apologize if you've covered this topic before.) When trying to lose excess fat, how do you personally determine your caloric goals for the day? (or week, if you average?) I know what CW says to do, but I'd like to hear your opinion on the matter, or at least know what works best for you.


Jeff P said...

I just think it is so cool that going Primal/Paleo extends to so many countries, including Australia. Keep those food posts coming - they are great info!

Sandy said...

Chili, meatloaf, cheesecake, banana bread, pancake, salsa, hummus, lasagna, apple pie, meatball. I couldn't find a top 20 list, but I'm betting just off of that, it wouldn't be much different than yours!

And almost all of those are ridiculously easy -- if you know how to make them! So yep, I agree.