3 foods that will improve your life in 2011

Updated on 10 February 2011 | 0 Comments

Incorporating olive, flax or linseed oil into your daily diet can actually make you lose weight, with good hair and skin a glistening side-effect.

Incorporating olive, flax or linseed oil into your daily diet can actually make you lose weight, with good hair and skin a glistening side-effect. 

Hands up if you’ve made a resolution this year to get fitter and eat more healthily. Come on, don’t be shy.... Admit it.

If you’re staring at this screen with your hand in the air, you’re not alone. You may wish you were, especially if you are sitting in an open-plan office and your colleagues are giving you strange looks, but in reality, you’re not. It’s January, and that means everyone’s at it.

So today, I’m going to look in detail at three foods that will improve the way you look and feel in 2011. Eat more of these foods this year, and you won’t regret it, I promise!



Oil is not the slick and greasy bad guy many people think it is. 

In its purest form, oil is not going to make you fat.... in fact, quite the opposite is true. Incorporating olive, flax or linseed oil into your daily diet can actually make you lose weight, with good hair and skin a glistening side-effect. 

Why? Because good oils contain unsaturated fatty acids, or rather Omega oils (3,6 and 9). Unlike saturated fats, such as chips and chocolate, unsaturated fats won’t result in extra weight around your middle. Plus, Omega oils can help you glide past ailments like arthritis, cancer, heart disease, while crucially boosting concentration. 

In other words, it’s not just mermaid folklore that eating oily fish before an exam will help your grades…. there’s a drop of truth in it.


Where to find omega oil

Oily fish, wholegrains, poultry and avocados are all sources of omega oils.  You can whip yourself up a super-food lunch of smoked mackerel, beetroot and avocado with a horse-radish and linseed oil dressing sprinkled with seeds. Yum and also seriously oiling the health coasters if you feel you’re beginning to creak a bit. 

Which oils to buy though? It can be a bit overwhelming when affronted with such a wash of choice.  I buy mine from my local health-store and opt for Udo’s Choice Oil Blend, which includes Omega 3 & 6, but otherwise you can buy hemp or linseed oil for Omega 3 and sunflower oil for Omega 6. 

Olive oil provides Omega 9. If you fancy something snazzy, designer Philippe Starck has recently conjured up a stylish book-like tin for La Amarilla De Ronda organic extra virgin olive oil. Made by Pedro Gomez de Baeza on his family estate in Andalucia, Spain you’re buying a bit of a dream with this one, to drown out your urban sorrows – glug glug. 

Once you’ve got your oils, start slinking back about two tablespoons a day, varying the oil day to day.  You can neck the oil neat, which I sometimes do when I want to feel particularly virtuous as it can be a bit full on, especially on a hangover, or dilute with your food. You can drizzle oil over your oats, soup, salad, vegetables, fish or even your forehead if you’re after a bit of Ayuverdic healing. 

Some of the seed oils have a more distinct and nutty taste than the olive oil we’re accustomed to, but this is a good reminder that the oil is doing something good, rather than just being an accessory.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are brim with omega fatty acids and antioxidants so are great little fillers between meals – that is if they’re raw, and not the caramel roasted variety.  I like to scatter linseeds and sunflower seeds on my breakfast, when it’s not a pain au raisin, as just the sprinkling process is quite invigorating.  (Rather like Amelie I love the feel of seeds through fingers – simple pleasures). 

Just be aware you have to really grind whole linseeds with your gnashers to extract the goodness, or else they pass straight through undeterred, so go for the oil if you’re not much of a chewer. 

Top of my January shopping is The Food Doctor’s Original Seed Mix, which is totally moreish with a subtle soya flavouring giving it Nobu edge in the birdseed world. 

I have always been nuts for nuts, buying Almonds and Brazils in vast 1kg bags from the Cash n Carry on Golborne Road and continually dipping a paw into my nut jar throughout the day. This is not good. Although nuts are good fats, they can make you curve like a Cashew if you overdo it. In proportion, however, they are great.

Take the first step today

The way I see it, nuts and seeds are little capsules of energy and goodness and oils are liquid fuel. You’ll do well to take them up in this lethargic month. Think of it as new oils, new you. 


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