MyMT™ Blog

The Corona Pantry: A family favourite bursting with beans.

The Corona Pantry Beans for Newsletter

In my childhood, beans were culinary outcasts. The only beans that my mother had in her pantry were heavy in a thick, sugary sauce but when we were rushing out the door to run for the school bus, for my mother, they were a quick and easy breakfast to feed us kids. Watties Baked Beans have been offered to New Zealanders since 1944. During World War 2, Watties were sent to New Zealand armed forces who needed quick nutritious food that they could heat and eat (or most probably, not heat), on the run and in the trenches.  

I never knew that these beans were nutritious Navy Beans. I didn’t like the taste of the heavy, thick sauce, so I used to refuse to eat them. Eating ‘just’ my toast instead. I’m sure my mother tossed them in the pig bucket as I ducked out the door to the school bus. If I’d known back then how healthy and cheap Navy beans are, I might have gulped down a mouthful or two instead, but when and where I grew up, cans of beans were of the sort that were smothered in sugary, sweet sauce. They just weren’t to my liking. 

But not anymore. And certainly not whilst we are heading into uncharted territory with our food production and availability in light of the global Covid19 crisis.

My ‘Corona Pantry’ is now bursting with beans. From chickpeas to navy, pinto, red kidney and adzuki beans, I have a lot of beans! I’ve been talking about them in the MyMT™ Coaching Community this week. I’m sharing 2 weeks of scientifically evidenced ‘Wellness Wisdom’ and yes, we have all been stocking our pantry with beans. Whilst the supermarkets run out of general commodities, I’ve been keeping women on task to have a pantry full of foods that matter to our health as well as foods that also meet the budget in uncertain times.

I find it incredible that as we face these unprecedented times, women around the world who are on my 12 week programmes as well as with me in my private coaching community are in similar situations – working from home, trying to deal with children and a partner at home, whilst some have lost their jobs and/ or face uncertain futures. Covid anxiety on top of menopause-anxiety isn’t any fun. That’s why it’s a privilege to keep the community going and offer support, knowledge and reassurance every day. I hope you can join me sometime too. 

 That’s why I’ve been having a focus on ‘The Corona Pantry’ – so many women are now faced with hungry families wanting 3 meals a day and we all know that when we are working from home, the kitchen becomes the hub for everyone, especially hungry teenagers. That’s why I was pleased to share with them the knowledge that they needed to load up their pantry with cans of beans – preferably without the thick, sugary sauce.

Beans have healing powers and in times of health uncertainty, it’s nice to know the foods that heal, especially for women going through menopause, who may already have some health challenges. 

Beans are actually little chemical factories with lots of biologically active substances in them” said Dr Leonard Cohen, a nutrition and cancer research specialist at the American Health Foundation in New York.  “There’s good evidence that they may protect against cancer, lower cholesterol and decrease inflammation.” 

With the knowledge that the Covid-19 virus causes inflammatory lesions in the lungs leading to interstitial pneumonia, I worry about all of you women going through menopause, who are already experiencing health changes. As I keep reiterating to you, if you are going through menopause, then this is the biological gateway to your ageing and as such, the changes that ensue around our body as oestrogen and progesterone decline, can also cause inflammatory changes. If you have an irritable gut and changing joint health or you have put on a lot of belly-fat, then you will know what I mean. Yes, when fat cells accumulate excess fat storage, they become inflamed as well. 

But back to beans. These mighty, small and relatively cheap plants are packed with soluble fibre – the same fibre that’s found in apples, barley and oat bran. In the digestive tract, soluble fibre traps cholesterol-containing bile, removing it from the body before it’s absorbed. 

Beans also help to keep our blood sugar steady and help us feel full. If you have a hungry household then make these vegetarian nachos for lunch and tell the kids there is nothing more until dinner. Just as my mother used to do on weekends.  

Throughout February, many of you who follow my newsletter know that I was taking my seminar series in the United Kingdom (I’m thinking of you all!) and then supporting my son and few other members of the NZ Freeride skiing team in Switzerland. How that seems a long time ago now.
The boys got together one night to make these Vegetarian Nacho’s.  They were full of beans and filled up the 5 hungry skiers who had been training all day on the mountain. I called them Manu’s Vegetarian Nachos’ because that evening, Manu, at 19 years old, was the designated ‘chef’. He made two dishes of them and with 5 hungry athletes to feed, they didn’t last long. I made a green salad for them as well.
Manu’s Vegetarian Nachos:
1 medium onion (chopped and sauteed in olive oil)
2 cloves of garlic (chopped and add to onions)
1 jar of tomato paste – stir into onion/ garlic mix
1 can tomatoes (add fresh chopped tomatoes if you would like or another can of tomatoes if you are feeding a family).
1 teaspoon each of dried rosemary and cumin
1 can of black beans
1 can of red kidney beans
Enough grated cheese to cover the mixture.
Mix everything together in the pan and stir through. Line an oven-proof dish with corn chips. Spoon the mixture on top of the corn chips, sprinkle cheese on top and pop under the grill. It only takes 2 minutes, so watch it so you don’t burn it. Serve with salad, chopped avocado, or make some guacamole or salsa.
My ‘Corona Pantry’ is full of beans. Whilst the supermarket empties out of meat, bread and pasta, if you head down the canned beans aisle, you will undoubtedly find a few cans of beans. I bought chickpeas, black beans and adzuki beans (less gas) as well as lentils. I also bought cans of tomatoes. As we think about meals for the family and meals that perhaps others can throw together to help us at this crazy time, then buy some cans of beans, some tomatoes, a large bag of corn chips and add Manu’s Vegetarian Nachos to your weekly meal plan.
In Blue Zones areas, researchers found that the longest-lived people eat a full cup of beans every day. When I began to add more beans into my diet, I only added 1/2 cup as our fragile western stomachs can produce too much gas, so it pays to add them slowly to your diet and soak and cook them for better digestion.
Beans are a food that fit into a vegetable and high protein category so you won’t be missing out on your protein. 1 cup of cooked black beans contains 15 grams of protein, so if you have teens who are athletes, let them know this little fact when they are complaining about not having meat.
Women who are on my 12 week online programmes learn that as we age, we need less protein because our ageing pancreas and gut can’t assimilate it the way that we used to. This is all explained in the MyMT™
Food Guide which women get access to as part of my three different MyMT programmes.  
I hope that everyone is settling into a routine now. The word ‘routine’ is important to all of us. When we feel uncertain, anxious and experiencing such incredible change and scrambling to find a ‘new normal’, setting a daily routine helps enormously. If you have children or young adults returning home, then get them into a routine too and that includes making Manu’s Vegetarian Nachos.
I know that these are extraordinary times but there’s never been a more important time to focus on your health during menopause or post-menopause.
Thinking of you all,
Wendy x
“If you have ever wondered if there was a clear easy plan to follow to sleep all night, reduce hot flushes and prevent or reduce your weight gain during menopause, then ‘welcome’ – you’re in the right place now.”

Discover how either of my two Menopause Transformation programmes might help you too or take my Symptoms Quiz below… 

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