The health and wellness bubble of privilege

I cannot say how relieved I am that winter is finally over. This one was particularly shit, and saw me get the flu twice, a chest infection, and then, a couple of weeks ago, end up in hospital with pneumonia. The kids didn’t come through unscathed either, with a resurgence of asthma and chest infections. As I’ve spent most of the last fortnight lying in bed recovering, I’ve considered throwing the towel in on this blog, and Instagram, largely because for me, feeling unwell = feeling down = low motivation = what’s the point?

But then an online post which suggested that people who complain that healthy eating is expensive just have their priorities wrong got me fired up again and reminded me why I started this in the first place: because I love food, and I also have things to say about food (and other stuff). I must be feeling better, because the urge to rant has returned.

This period of illness brought to a head something that has irked me about the health and wellness sector over the last few years, in particular a couple of ‘key messages’ that I see and hear regularly:

  1. That food is medicine and prevents illness
  2. That healthy eating isn’t expensive – it’s just a matter of personal choice and responsibility; and people just need to get their priorities in order!

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Family-friendly meal: Cheesy Porcupine Meatballs

My family has eaten a LOT of meatballs lately, as I’ve made this recipe over and over to test out the ingredients. Luckily, they love it! My mother reminded me a while ago that she used to make these when I was a child, which prompted me to have a go at making them (with hidden vegetables, of course). My kids stick their forks into them whole and eat them like lollipops.

Although the meatballs take a little preparation, the dish is quite easy to cook. The meatballs cook in the sauce, so there’s no standing over the cook-top trying to ‘brown the meatballs on all sides’. I’m notoriously bad at frying meatballs, and usually end up with meat-cubes.

This dish also has a bolognese-style flavour, so if the kids love bolognese (and the adults, because who doesn’t?), but you want something a little different or less pasta-heavy, this might be a good one to try. The Thermomix recipe is also below the regular recipe. Continue reading

How we use social media could make or break us

I got a haircut recently, and my hairdresser and I had a big old whinge together about how Facebook has become a nasty place that sometimes makes us hate the world, a little bit.

I’m the first to say I generally enjoy social media. I use it and value it – there are clearly so many benefits; for connecting people and communities, for sharing a range of views and ideas, and even for supporting social change. Two years ago I wrote about how social media campaigns can have an impact, by influencing social networks on issues like same-sex marriage, through simple mechanisms like the rainbow profile picture campaign. How sad, by the way, that two years later we STILL aren’t there, Australia…

But it feels like a nastier place lately. The comments sections on Facebook particularly, have always been fraught, but now they seem soul-sucking, showcasing the worst of our tendencies towards blame, spite, and an inability to consider other viewpoints. It’s like the new outlet for road-rage. Continue reading

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