Second week into the year and there’s no better time to refine your eating habits and goals for the new year. There is a saying, “Diet cures more than the doctor”, and it’s true: the role food and nutrition plays in our health and well being cannot be understated.
Everything we eat breaks down and becomes the building blocks of our bodies; new cells, hormones, neuro-transmitters, everything within us is created from the food we eat. Thus, if there is an abundance of proteins, fats, minerals, phyto-nutrients and other essential “body ingredients”, we create for ourselves healthy bodies and healthy minds and keep the process of body decay and degeneration at bay.
On the other hand, if our diets are full of processed foods, fats, sugars and other unhealthy things, what do you think happens to them? The body can only process so much, so not only does a back-log of toxins and waste products build up inside our body tissues and gut- poisoning our blood system and causing a sluggish liver, but excess fat forms on our arteries, putting us at huge risks of heart disease.
It has to be said, “You are what you eat.” So, this year make some steps towards adopting healthier food choices.
Follow our top 10 tips and enjoy the feeling of greater wellness:
1) Colours – get as many different coloured fresh fruit and veggies in your day as possible. Aim for AT LEAST 4 colours a day. As a general rule all the different coloured fruits and vegetables hold different nutrients and phyto-nutrients, essential for good health and glowing skin. So the more variety of colours, the more variety of nutrients. Aim for 5 serves of veggies and 2 serves of fruit each day.
2) Read Labels – Get into the habit of reading food labels. How many ingredients do you recognise? How many are numbers? What are they? Are they good? I bet at least 50% of your packaged products contain preservative 202 – great for preserving foods and ensuring that manufacturers get more shelf life from their product, which equals less waste and more profit for them, but what does the consumer get? 202 is perfect for aggravating allergies, triggering asthma attacks, and disrupting behaviour in children. We encourage you to get curious about the ingredients in your food. When in doubt? Fresh, whole, unpackaged food is best.
3) Planning – Eating healthy requires some planning. At the beginning of the week try writing out your meal plan, breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. Build your shopping list based on what you are going to cook rather than what you feel like on shopping day.
4) Take your own lunch – Once you get into a rhythm with your planning, there’s no reason not to take your own lunch. Pack leftovers from the night before, or make your lunch while your dinner is cooking. Taking your own lunch saves loads of money, plus you can control your portion sizes.
5) Grass fed organic meat – look for meat that’s raised and finished eating grass. Just as we “are what we eat” the animals we eat “are what they eat”. This is really important and often overlooked. Cows aren’t meant to eat grains. They thrive on grass, and remain healthy and often live a more natural life when they are grass fed. Do you really want to be eating a sick cow? One that was injected with hormones and antibiotics, just to survive long enough to be fattened up for eating? We do understand that grass fed organic meat can be more expensive, but if you followed point 3 and 4, then you can afford to spend some of the money you are saving!
6) Farmers Markets – Another way to save money, support the local economy and eat fresh foods packed with more nutrients – visit your local farmers markets.
7) Hydrate – We don’t need to go on about this one. Drink plenty of water. It’s importance in the peak functioning of our bodies cannot be underestimated!
8 ) Say goodbye to sugar – Sugar is the king of all evils. Responsible for cravings, mood swings, PMS, spikes in energy, bad skin, diabetes, weight gain etc… Cut it out of your day! Today! You will thank yourself. For tips on kicking the sugar habit check out our previous blog.
9) Make time to eat – it’s better to not eat than to eat on the fly, whilst running out the door for the bus or driving through traffic to get to work. Why? The digestive system is part of the parasympathetic nervous system, so your body can either digest food, or be in a state of stress BUT it can’t do both at the same time. Unfortunately stress outweighs digestion in the body, so if you’re eating while on the fly, then your food isn’t really getting far. It can stay sitting in the gut, leading to bloating, gas, feeling tired, and IBS. So make time to eat, relax and enjoy your food, and don’t forget to chew slowly.
10) Eat Fat! Yes, eat FAT. I know it goes against everything you have been told, but FAT is good for you and unfortunately the low fat diet fad has actually led to more pain than gain. Now when we say eat fat we mean good fat, like olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocados, nuts or cook in gee or coconut oil. Did you know? Fat is actually the body’s preferred energy supply.
For quick and healthy recipe ideas, visit our FOODIE FRIDAY page on Facebook.