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Positive living: Food & us
Lynde Francis & Jim Rose
November 2003

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What this book is all about

This book is for anyone who wants a healthier, happier and longer life. It presents the traditional way of eating and is dedicated to the grannies of the developing world, the keepers of traditional wisdom. You will see pictures of grannies from South America, China, the Caribbean and India, and our very own southern African granny. The grannies will lead you through the chapters of this book. Children today are not listening to their grannies' advice and are no longer eating the kinds of food that kept their grannies healthy.

As you turn the pages you will find a picture of a healthy plate that shows you the major food groups and how much of each group is needed to provide the fat, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy. The foods found in each group are introduced and tips are given about how to prepare and cook them. Our grannies present delicious recipes from around the world, wholesome dishes that strengthen the body and the immune system. This is not the boring, tasteless food often associated with healthy eating, but the tasty dishes made and eaten the traditional way. Granny's food is better and cheaper than the typical Western diet of fast foods, fatty meats and endless sweets.

In the past Granny lived a long, happy and productive life. In her time heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, tooth decay and obesity were rare. All these ailments can be controlled, prevented and even cured by eating better. Granny had lovely skin and hair and her teeth were strong until the day she died. She was always an active supporter of and producer for the family.

Today people are dying from diseases that were unknown a hundred years ago. Our lifestyles are marked by stress and pressures which we try to combat with over-the-counter drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Another cause of disease is the way we eat. We choose refined carbohydrates with less nutritional value, like white bread and roller meal, for our staple. We consume large quantities of saturated and hydrogenated fats found in fatty meats and margarine and too much cooking oil.

Granny's way was better, with more beans and little meat, with fat from groundnuts and pumpkin seeds rather than factory-made fats. The fruits that she gathered from the forests were superior in nutrition to all the sugary foods we consume today.

You will also learn which foods can damage your health and how to cope with some common ailments. Towards the end of this book you will see a special chapter on HIV and AIDS because for many of us that is our biggest problem, the one we most fear and are suffering from.

I am often asked, "When I get AIDS, can I get better or I am definitely going to die?" The answer is, "You can get better." Many patients have come to The Centre in Harare for advice and counselling about how to manage their condition.

I have seen them recover from the symptoms of HIV and AIDS. They have become productive members of their communities and are able to carry on raising and nurturing their children.

We have included a chapter on Oriental medicine, which is thousands of years old and is a primary source of our recommendations.

You will find a section about feeding children that is especially important for mothers who fear they may have passed HIV to their babies. It is also for all mothers who want to have happy, healthy children.

In these times of food shortages and ever-rising prices you will find our chapter on cost-cutting tips very useful.

Even with the best will and diet in the world, anyone can fall sick, whether HIV positive or negative. We have written a chapter about some of the most common illnesses and problems, and we suggest ways to help you deal with them.

We hope you enjoy this book. If you eat the way we are recommending, you are likely to live a much longer and healthier life.

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