Lifestyle Works

Abnormal Food Behaviours

Eating disorders are often described as an outward expression of an internal issue. The behaviour associated with food is often a means of dealing with emotional distress. The emotional distress is often to do with a negative perception of self, a feeling of being unable to change "bad" things about oneself: food is used as an inappropriate way of taking control.1

Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of young American women report experiencing disordered eating behaviours, and ten percent report symptoms of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia, or binge eating disorder, according to new study findings.

The findings were the result of information provided by more than 4,000 women ranging in ages from 25 to 45, in an online poll conducted in conjunction with the University of North Carolina. These behaviours cut across racial and ethnic lines, and were not limited to any one group.

Eating habits such as skipping meals, avoiding carbohydrates and, in some cases, extreme dieting, were thought by some women to be normal. But the study finds that these habits may actually be signs of disordered eating, which is often linked with emotional and physical distress.

Although there seems to be a widespread belief that eating disorders affect mostly young women, the study found that a surprising number of women in their 30s and 40s had about the same rates of disordered eating as younger women.

Among the additional findings:

* 67% of the women (excluding those with actual eating disorders) are trying to lose weight.

* 53% of dieters are already at a healthy weight and are still trying to lose weight.

* 39% of women said concerns about what they eat or weigh interfere with their happiness.

* 37% of women said they regularly skip meals to try to lose weight.

* 27% said they'd be extremely upset if they gained just five pounds.

* 26% have eliminated entire food groups from their diets.

* 16% have dieted on 1,000 calories a day.

* 13% smoke to lose weight.

* 12% often eat when they're not hungry, and 49 percent sometimes do.2

1. Cambridge University, (
2. Natural News, Barbara L. Minton, 28 May 2008

The Many Benefits Of Asparagus

Asparagus is versatile and unique. Studies show that asparagus balances insulin levels, which means that it powerfully prevents diabetes. Ensuring that our insulin levels are stable is one of the most important things we can do for our health. It allows us to live long and feel good.

Its unique mineral profile makes it an effective natural diuretic. Natural diuretics promote the formation of urine in the kidneys, aiding in detoxification and cleansing.

Asparagus is also a powerful aphrodisiac and one of the best foods to increase libido.

Asparagus is also one of the only vegetables to contain inulin, which feeds friendly bacteria that live in the large intestine. This makes it a great food for preventing yeast overgrowth, and it generally keeps the digestive system and belly well.

Asparagus contains loads of folate. Among other health benefits, folate is essential for pre conception and the early stages of pregnancy. Asparagus' high level of this mineral means that is can reduce the risk of birth defects and helps the nervous system develop.

Here are some other benefits that make asparagus one of the best super foods on the planet.

* Great for your heart.

* Fights depression, warts, kidney stones, HIV, chronic fatigue syndrome, balding.

* Helps prevent kidney stones, bladder and urinary tract infections, multiple sclerosis, cancer (esp. lung cancer).

* Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure.

* Stimulates milk production in nursing mothers.

* Is a potent antioxidant, is antifungal and antiviral.1

Asparagus Hints

When buying, look for closed, compact tips, smooth, round spears and a crisp, fresh appearance. Stalks should be tender almost as far down as the green starts. Avoid tips which are open, spreading or moist and beware of woody stalks. Handle the asparagus gently.

Asparagus freezes well. Trim off the woody ends, keeping the spears about the same length. Wash well, blanch in boiling water for two minutes, cool quickly, pack in flat trays and then bags.

When making asparagus rolls, cut fresh bread and just roll over with rolling pin, this prevents bread from cracking, then spread bread with a healthy mayonnaise. It allows the bread to roll easy and add a tang to the flavour.2

~1. NaturalNews, Sheryl Walters, 6 June 2008. 2. Jack Forsyth's Scrumptious Tucker, page 52.

Recipe of the Month

Quick Asparagus Dip

1 340g tin asparagus
¾ c cashew nuts

Put both ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.

• To make a dressing just add water to get desired consistency.
• For a little tang add 1 pickling onion and 1 clove of garlic.
• Read label on the tin of asparagus to ensure the contents are healthful
• When in season use fresh boiled asparagus and a little salt