The reason that ’14 foods to nourish you up’ has come about, is that I have been approached 4 times this week by people desperate to feel full and a couple of parents desperate to fill their kids up. One boy cried of hunger the other day and one girl cleans out an expensive wholefoods pantry before her mum has barely had time to restock it. Eating to nourish and feel full isn’t about quick fixes. It’s about finding lasting energy. Something a lot of people experience when cleaning their diet is that while they are getting gorgeous benefits from a range of fresh veggies and fruits, unless there are some slow burning nutrients in the mix, you’re going to feel a little like you could always do with a few more mouthfuls of something ‘truly satisfying’. I am by no means saying ditch the veggies – NO! Sacrilege. Truth is we need all kinds of nutrients in the mix and the most overlooked way to include them is by having a look at nutrient density of the meal, not just how ‘healthy’ it is. So, firstly there are a few things to check off if you or someone in your house is constantly hungry.
You might want to rule out parasites (worms etc) or hormonal imbalances as these can contribute to constant hunger. You might also want to check your body’s absorption percentage. You can do this with a biomedical scientist / doctor and private Live Blood analysis. There could be a whole host of reasons you’re not absorbing enough nutrients from your foods, therefore your body craving more and more all the time. Whatever additional investigating you choose to do, if at all, something you can do from today, is include some of these tips into your daily food preparation. Enjoy this list of ideas and foods and no, they’re not in a particular order!
1. Dulse Flakes – Powerful, nutrient dense little flakes that in my house, we call purple sprinkles. They’re an awesome way to add nutrient density to other stuff you’ve already got going on at meal time. Pop a heaped tablespoon into curries, stews, stocks or soups. Sprinkle a teaspoon into mashed avocado or veggie mashes or pop a teaspoon in a batch of salad vinaigrette. To read more on them and other sea veggies, read here.
2. Coconut Oil – An amazing immune builder, anti bacterial, anti oxidant, digestive helper and appetite satiating tool, coconut oil is a healthy, healthy fat. Dissolve a teaspoon in herbal tea, add a couple of the expleller pressed variety (less coconutty, I use the Spiral brand in Australia here pictured on the very right) tablespoons to bolognese sauce or meat ball, soup, stews, stocks, curries, melt and blitz into smoothies. Vitamins A, D and E are fat soluble so if you have vegetable soups, juices and smoothies and aren’t adding healthy fats, you’re not getting those vitamins from them, which seems a big ol’ shame!
3. Butter & Ghee – Again, important to ensure you feed kiddies healthy fats. Double the butter you’d normally put on their toast or in eggs. Lather the veggies in it to ensure A, D & E vitamin absorption and if making a vegetable soup, be sure to include a little of either of these if tolerant so you are satisfied. Healthy fats provide a slow and steady energy burn, so if your hungry person becomes irrational with hunger, chances are the healthy fats need to go up in the diet.
4. Chia Seeds – Great for adding to soups, stews, curries, smoothies, omelettes for extra nutrients. Read more about those here. I would pay attention to how your body reacts to them. They can aggravate some people – not many – with a little gastrointestinal distress, in which case ‘ moving no, not for you!’. I love this piece from Mark’s Daily apple about them too. He raises some great points, especially if you’re a Paleo purist and wanted to know where paleo stands on the lil’ Chia seed.
5. Sweets + Fats combo – Don’t feed people sweets without healthy fats, if possible. Apple and pear gets a cheese accompaniment, banana and nut butter or coconut cream vanilla bean ‘dip’ (scroll down to ‘cream top’ in that recipe), chocolate icing gets avocado in it… The fats will slow down the sugars and you’ll get a slower, steadier burn of energy while you enjoy a sweet satisfying something. Check out my sweet treats section for loads of healthy desserts using healthy fats in desserts.
6. Swap the sauce to grain ratio – For those who eat grains be sure that you’re not serving a massive serve of grain and a small serve of the sauce / meat accompaniment (which you’ve snuck a bit of dulse flake, coconut oil or butter into of course). If you’ve got fussy kids who notice every small change, do it very slowly over time so it goes unnoticed and do it for the whole family not just the super hungry one – it’s better for everyone! They want the grain cause it’s a quick filler and immediately satisfying, but the grains will turn to sugars in the body which will burn quickly and leave you hungry much sooner than meat, veg and healthy fats.
7. Activate your nuts and if you eat them, legumes and whole grains. It’s not some hippy trend, it’s science. All of these things contain enzyme inhibitors as well whatever nutrients they carry. This means you could eat a bag of almonds and the very things in them could be stopping you from getting the benefits of the other things in them. What is the point?? To activate nuts, read here. To activate legumes, read here. To activate whole grains, just soak them in a bowl with a little whey, yoghurt or lemon juice for minimum 12 hours, and then drain well, rinse well and cook as normal (although cook time will take less time having been pre soaked). Then, you’ve broken down the majority of the phytic acid in there and that means when you eat that food, you’re actually getting the benefit of the nutrients in the food! Game on!
8. Do not serve a plain salad. Click here for how to soup up your salad to make it more filling and nourishing.
9. Add coconut cream or raw cream (if legal / you can find) to soups, stews, curries and sauces. Lasting, slow burning healthy fats!
10. Add culture to your meals – a spoonful of crème fraiche once you’ve taken the soup, stew, sauce off the heat (if you add while cooking, the enzymes in the cultured cream will die and not provide the digestive benefit). Add cultured veggies to your meals, like the amazing Kitsa’s Kitchen range or learn how to make your own. The reason these are all going to help is because they are enzyme rich foods, making more of what you eat get assimilated. They help make sure we’ve got lots of good bacteria in our guts too. The healthier the gut, the better the absorption of your food in general.
11. Stop using water and use stock! Bring on the mineral boost and powerful bone gelatin to your stews, soups, sauces and curries! Every time a recipe says to add water, add corresponding stock instead. Make a massive batch and jar a few different sizes to have on hand from the freezer or fridge. Read all about stock here. It’s also great for cooking baby veggies in for puréeing, to ensure better mineral content in their diets and to strengthen their developing digestive health.
12. Use grass fed beef gelatin. Gelatin is an unbelievable nourisher. You can add a tablespoon to soups, smoothies, stews and curries but my favourite thing is to make jelly with it. Read that post here. If you don’t believe just how nourishing this stuff can be to a body, I challenge you to an experiment: Make a cup of fresh squeezed apple juice one day, or buy from a juice stall. Give your child 1/2 a cup of that fresh apple juice mid morning. Time her/ him and see when she starts asking for more food. THEN, with the other 1/2 cup of juice, heat it up on the stove until just boiled and add a good teaspoon of gelatin powder like this one to it (whick you can get from Kitsa’s Kitchen via mail order if you’re in Australia). Pour into a little pot or a dish and refrigerate and let it set. Next day, feed it as a mid morning snack – time again the next sign of hunger. To make the experiment totally fair, feed the same breakky each of the mornings and feed the snack same time both days. You will see what I’m talking about. Protein packed awesomeness to slow down that fruit sugar in our bodies and a super cheap way per serve to boost the fillingness of things. The tub lasts ages!
13. Egg yolks. These are particularly fantastic ‘sneaky cheekies’ for little people who are ‘refusal experts’ for any food resembling nourishment BUT also always complain of being hungry. The nourishment in an egg yolk is out of this world good, provided your eggs are pasture raised and supplemented only organic feed to avoid GMs. You can separate out the whites of a couple of eggs and quickly whisk yolks into a cauliflower mash or a quinoa pasta to turn your bland ambassador child into an omega 3, vitamin D trooper – without even knowing it. You can also hide through mashed avocado, steamed veggies, brown rice… whatever you fancy! If you have a growing boy or girl playing lots of sport, just whisk a couple of egg yolks through his or her portion of whatever it is you’re adding. Works a treat!
14. Add paté to the mix! Now, I’m fussy here too, because you cannot buy the store bought ones unless from a deli that labels clearly and makes their own from organic chicken livers. If you know of one of those, link us up in the comments! Otherwise, I make the paté from a fabulous book called Eat Fat Lose Fat, by Dr Mary Enig / Sally Fallon that is super easy and makes plenty for a good week and a half supply. I LOVE it on celery sticks or grain free bread of choice for a crunchy, nourishing hit of healthy fats and nutrient dense liver. Two long sticks like that or a slice of bread with generous paté is lunch done. Satisfies me possibly like no other food can. Even if it’s not your thing, try it for your ‘hungry person’ you’re worried about. My little guy loves it – might be the French heritage though. He has no choice!
Phew. Ok, we’re done.
The easiest thing to start doing is to say: Can I add anything to this to increase the nutrient density? When making a smoothie, can I add a high quality green blend like this one, some melted coconut oil, some coconut cream, a couple of easy to digest egg yolks… When a soup or stew is bubbling away, think to yourself “What can I add?” Some coconut oil, some dulse flakes…
These forms of additional nourishment work really well because quite a few of them will go virtually unnoticed. You don’t have to talk to children, sell a new way of eating to them… you can just ‘get it in there’ so to speak. If you have children (or partners or friends for that matter) with temper issues, irrationality and moodiness, I’m not promising these tips will cure every situation, but I am promising they will cure some! My husband couldn’t even see straight often late of an afternoon. All the Chocolate Montes, pasta and white bread BA (before Alexx) of course! Now, I can’t actually remember the last time he was moody or irrational from hunger – from other things sure, but not hunger 😉
I’d love for anyone who tries any of the ideas out to report back here, so be sure that you do and share your story!
If you’ve got extra ideas also, share them and chat about your success.
Real Food. Happy Bodies
Notes… I use the term ‘healthy fats’ a lot. Some of you new to wholefoods might wonder how saturated fats might be able to be healthy. Well, the low fat / unsaturated fat brigade saw their sun, and real, natural and unprocessed fats are back. I’m putting together a full book recommendation list as we speak if you want to read more for yourself 🙂