Recently, I was doing some research on the longevity of a culture in the mountains of Asia found mainly throughout the Himalayan region of Pakistan. The people group, named the Hunza people, lived secluded from the rest of the world for over 2000 years and survived on their resources they had among their own surroundings. They have just been more studied and researched lately in connection to their health and longevity because it is something the rest of the modern world is searching and longing for. There has been a lot of talk about the locations or people that are the healthiest in the world and what and why they are living up to and past 100 years old. It usually comes down to the fact they live in a non-media dictated society, eat whole foods that contain many organic nutrients, and also obtain healthy doses of activity that their kind of lifestyle requires. It sounds simple, yet in our day of age this is very hard to achieve unless you are going to become completely turned off to all of culture and society, which is usually not an option for the average person seeking health and happiness in 2010.
I'll get back to the Hunza people in a moment...
I find it interesting that some of us who are longing for better health and new year resolutions go straight to ways in how we can loose weight and feel better. Which are both good resolutions of course, but something to think about in a more holistic approach is our whole lifestyle and how it may be affecting our weight, health issues and moods. Some of my new resolutions are exactly the above, but I am forcing myself to think about this is a more connected way with the rest of my life. In what ways do I let myself get stressed out and sick over life and circumstances? Or in what ways am I stopping myself from taking the next step with my exercise routine or any routine for that matter? What are some of the expectations I have for my life that I am disappointed about that may be causing me to feel down, depressed and in turn causing me to carry extra weight or burdens around? There are a lot of good questions to ask yourself as you evaluate where you are now and where you want to be. I would encourage you to have kind of conversation with your self or with someone who knows you very well. To drill yourself and find more of what would connect your mind, body and spirit together in this new year. I will get back to that more in a minute.... but what does Hunza Bread have to do with anything?
Well, as I was saying before the Hunza people come from a secluded environment, and they have many foods that they ate that would nourish them completely and keep them going in their localized environment. Their foods have become more popular to the modern world because of their high antioxidants, some of these include the gogi berry, the hunza raisin, raw nuts and other fruits. My favorite companies to buy trail mixes from is based off of these foods. Check it out here. There is also some popular bread recipes based off of the culture to help promote "weight loss" and a sustainable diet. Here is a basic Hunza Bread recipe. This bread recipe is most commonly used for people trying to loose weight and they eat this bread to help curve cravings and "feel" more full longer. Which would happen if a person switched froma refined white bread to this GF whole grain bread that is filling and nourishing. The bread is thick and very dense. Not meant for sandwiches or anything else besides eating as by itself or with a light topping.
I love the idea of the hunza bread not only because it is made with nutrient rich ingredients to sustain your hunger and energy for hours. Or because it is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan protein filled bread. But, another great reason to like it is because it forces me to take the time to make a bread that is a staple of life to have through the week to promote simplicity and nourishment. Most of all I think I long to be more connected to the environment I live in like the Hunza people, and although I do not grow any of the ingredients in my back yard like they do.... I still feel more connected to my bread when I make it from scratch with whole ingredients that I know are organic and fresh and ready to be absorbed. That is why I decided to make this bread a part of my new year. I want to live a more simple, sustainable, connected life that will promote natural healthy weight and well being. I want to be less stressed and more nourished. I am sure you can relate to this... I mean we are all human, right?! I know I will never be the kind a person that can truly relate to the Hunza people or environment, but I can take baby steps closer to a life that is more connected to every part of what I believe in and truly live for. So, I make my own version of Hunza bread to feed my whole being.
I did make the recipe linked above, and to be honest... it did not turn out how I truly wanted, so I made a few changes of my own and created the recipe below.
Hunza Millet Bread Recipe
1/3 cup of sorghum flour
1 cup of brown rice flour
1 1/4 cup of millet flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/4 cup of arrowroot powder (flour)
1/4 cup of buckwheat flour
1/2 cup of flax meal
1 TB of baking powder
1/4 cup of sucanat
2 TB of blackstrap molasses
2 TB of apple cider vinegar
3 TB of olive oil
1 TB of whole millet seeds
1 TB of whole flax seeds
1 cup of warm water
1/4 cup of hunza raisins, goji berries, or other dried fruit
Mix all of the dry ingredients together first and then add in the wet ingredients. Mix well and use some tapioca flour to dust and coat before adding to a bread pan (or a 9x9 pie pan would work too) that has been oiled and floured with olive oil and millet flour. Let sit on a warm oven for 5-10 minutes before putting in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Make sure the bread is baked through and through before pulling from the oven. Let cool for 15 minutes before trying to cut a slice. Cool over an hour before using a serrated bread knife to cut the whole loaf. I cut the whole loaf and then store in a container so that it is easier to grab a piece and eat it for breakfast or lunch. You can eat plain or top with a nut butter or jam.
Now, I did not really get into all that I am trying to do this new year with some of my diet changes and life changes, but I do hope to share more with you as time goes on in this new year!
But to start off with a few more points of inspiration, I will share with you a fellow blogger that I admire and share the core values of whole nutrition and health. The blog is Nourishing Meals, check it out here. Check out the post on 1/1/2010 to learn more about the elimination diet and what foods to enjoy.
I will be following a similar elimination diet (from Whole Life Nutrition) to help myself detox and cleanse from the heavy foods from the holidays, but also to try out a few new forms of nourishment. I have done the elimination diet before with much diligence, and this time I plan to do it out of pure desire to cleanse and detox. When I think of detoxing, I think of how to get more greens and veggies in my diet period. BUT, in Michigan in the dead of winter it is hard to find anything fresh unless it is coming from the freezer or imported from some place warm. In efforts to try and keep my imported foods at a minimum, I will try to eat with more balance, yet according to the season as well. So, my recipes may reflect this journey I will be taking in the next few weeks. Stick around to enjoy and follow, or let me know more about your new year resolutions and thoughts.