Over on Bread and Roses, Dulce domum writes about the sound advice our grandmothers gave about food and nutrition. The wisdom that was passed from one generation to the next became a victim of modern living. Who wants to spend time preparing fresh vegetables when they can buy cheap processed food? Who lives close enough to their granny nowadays to listen to advice in the first place? However, as DD demonstrates, scientists keep proving that the old wisdom was sound and we would do very well to heed it.
A few weeks ago I decided to try to live on the wartime fare that my parents had to endure. I have been keeping to it for 4 or 5 days each week. Now that I have got into the habit of soaking beans overnight and preparing very large vegetable stews so that I don't have to spend hours in the kitchen every day, I am getting on quite well. Not only is it very economical but I am steadily losing weight without ever feeling hungry!
A recent study showed that half of the women prescribed the life-saving breast cancer drug Tamoxifen fail to take it. From my own experience and from talking to fellow patients, I think one of the main reasons for this is the associated weight gain. My oncologist used to say, 'It's only a pound' when I complained to him each month. 'Only a pound' a month for five years is an awful lot of weight. I did take my medication for the full 5 years - to the day - and it has been much more difficult to lose the weight than it was to put it on. But my wartime diet is helping and I am hoping to get back to my pre-Tamoxifen weight before too long.
I was asked for some grandmotherly advice myself today: Millie's Mum asked me for some fish recipes suitable for the baby, who is now 8 months old and happily eating everything she is offered. I made a simple fish pie with cod, mashed potato and steamed vegetables for her when I was visiting and froze lots of tiny portions, but I think they are running out. If anyone has any other suggestions, I'm sure Millie and her Mum would be grateful. My wisdom is a bit limited, I can't remember when I introduced other varieties of fish into my children's diet and the wartime book mentions only salt cod, not only hard to find these days but probably not suitable for babies.