You Can Have Peas and Rice
Barrington H. Brennen, 2005, 2019
a recent article, I questioned whether the Bahamian daily diet of peas and
rice, macaroni and cheese, potato salad and coleslaw was healthy.
I suggested that the traditional method of preparing these dishes
causes great harm to the health of many people.
They are high in fat, cholesterol, sugar, and refined ingredients. However, in this article, as promised, I will share
ways in which the same dishes and others may be prepared healthily, with a
lesser risk of causing hypertension, diabetes, kidney failure, liver disease,
heart problems , or cancer.
are a few basic principles for cooking that can prolong your life.
First, as far as possible use no or very little refined food. Instead of eating lots of refined pasta and white rice, use
sweet potatoes, yams, cassavas, and whole grain rice, etc. The secret is to eat complex
avoid deep- frying
herbs, vegetables, and meats.
Use very little oil when sauteing foods.
The best cooking oils are canola and olive oil because they are
better for the human body. Although
fat helps bring out the flavor in the food, it should not look or taste
greasy. Thirdly, do not
overcook food. Overcooking
destroys valuable nutrients. Fourth, eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables.
There should be at least two raw or uncooked vegetables or fruits
at each meal. Focus on the
dark green and bright yellow or red vegetables; for example,
beets, tomatoes, spinach, cabbage, romaine lettuce, carrots,
brussel sprouts, etc.
vegetables are sadly missing from most Bahamian meals. Scientific research
tells us today that eating lots of vegetables and fruits can greatly reduce
the risk of colon cancer, heart problems, digestive problems, liver diseases,
strokes, hypertension, etc. Finally,
do not eat after six o’clock in the evening.
Regular late-night eating is a cause of obesity and many other
illnesses. Let the last meal of the day truly be the least important meal, not
the largest one. The largest meal should be breakfast.
Too many people have their eating habits backwards.
They work before eating. They
spend all their energy all day by working hard, then they come home and reward
themselves with a large, trophy-dish of rich, fat-laden, food.
Then they relax and watch television or go to bed on a full stomach.
That food is not used for energy, but it is stored away in forms that
can damage the system. We should eat before working.
Breakfast should provide the fuel for the day. The energy put forth during the day will burn up the calories
and use them more wisely. Most
overweight Bahamians would lose weight if they would stop eating after five
o’clock in the afternoon.
and rice can be a very nutritious meal.
Pigeon peas are high in protein and fiber and other nutrients. This
is the reason lactating mothers
on the family islands were encouraged to eat lots of pigeon peas.
Most Bahamians use white rice with the peas. Although this is not ideal, yet the pigeon peas help to
balance what is missing in the white rice.
When cooking a wholesome pot of peas and rice, try the following
instruction: Reduce deep frying the herbs.
Frying increases harmful cholesterol. Use very little oil,
preferably canola or olive oil. Try
using whole grain rice. Vary
the way you cook the rice. Sometimes
cook them separately and serve the stewed peas or beans on top or side of
the rice. Remember to aroid using lots of fat.
Healthy peas and rice does not shine (look greasy) when it is
is not healthy for the human body. It
is loaded with eggs and other harmful ingredients.
It is high in cholesterol. That’s why many beauticians find in
valuable for conditioning the hair. It
is excellent for the hair, but not for the body.
When making potato salad, try using Nayonaise, Soyanaise or
Veganaise. They do not have eggs and are more nutritious.
If you insist on using your traditional mayonnaise, do not drown
the potatoes in it. Use just
enough to flavor them a little. Avoid using whole eggs.
Use only the white of the egg.
The yellow of the egg is loaded with cholesterol.
macaroni and cheese is the Bahamian bombshell to cooking and a sure
shortcut to the grave. It is
loaded with these deadly ingredients: high-cholesterol cheese and eggs,
fat-laden whole milk and rich butter.
The secret to a healthy, tasty macaroni and cheese is to eliminate
the whole milk and use soy, rice, or nut milk.
If you insist on using cows' milk, then use the low fat milk.
Use low-fat cheese and eliminate the eggs.
What can really add spice to macaroni and cheese is a zesty tomato
sauce. Try also using soy
cheese. Eating the
traditional macaroni and cheese every day, or even every week, can be
dangerous to your health. Avoid
it. St art making it in
healthy ways, you will shed a few pounds, and you will live healthier and
real problem with the Bahamian diet is that it lacks variety and
creativity. We eat the same
thing every day of our lives. The embarrassing part about it is that we are proud of it.
Rice, rice, rice and more rice. Macaroni,
macaroni, macaroni, and more macaroni.
When will it all end. It
is boring and deadly. It has
caused the health bill of our nation to be extremely high.
Now is the time to change that.
Become creative. Add
variety to your diet. Eating
healthily may be more expensive; however, the
high cost of medical bills due to a high fat and cholesterol diet
is ten times more expensive. In
addition, a healthy diet gives us a clear, peaceful mind and spirit.
Come on Bahamas, let’s start eating healthily.
Brennen is a marriage and family therapist.
Send your questions or comments to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The
Bahamas, or call 242-327
1980 or send an email: email@example.com