10 tips for healthy eating
It seems we are growing more and more accustomed to ‘convenience’ eating with our busy lifestyles and hectic schedules. This is not just bad for your body, its bad for the brain and the wallet too!!
Packaged and processed food can contain high quantities of sugar, fat (bad fats) and salt. Have you ever read the list of ingredients to what you are eating and got bored of reading half way through? Well if that’s the case then why did you continue to eat it?? Rule of thumb is, if you don’t know what some of the ingredients are or the list is as long as your arm, it’s really not going to be that great for you. It’s also worth noting, that it matters where the calories are derived from so you can’t just pick something low calorie and think it will automatically be good for you. You need to think deeper than that and actually take stock of what is in your food and how it will nourish you.
I understand that it is easier and quicker to buy packaged food, but its much cheaper to buy fresh produce and it really doesn’t take that much effort to cook it. If you are struggling with ideas, then get a cook book or just google the ingredients you have in your cupboard and find a recipe online. It’s not as scary as you make out in your head. The cleaner (less processed and nearer to the natural source) you eat, the more you will nourish your body which will eliminate cravings and give you more energy and mental clarity. Eating crap doesn’t give your body the fuel it needs and can play havoc with your hormones.
So, here are my top ten tips for happy healthy eating:
- Buy local, organic seasonal produce as close to the source as possible (i.e. not out of a box or packet) if this is a problem, then soak, scrub or peel your fruit and veg before eating it to get rid of chemicals
- Take the time to prepare and cook meals with love from scratch – they taste better, will be healthier and you will know exactly what’s in it! A green smoothie takes 3 minutes to make… just sayin…
- Eat raw food where possible as the cooking process can reduce nutrients and cause a chemical reaction with your digestive juices
- Think about what you are eating and how it is nourishing your body – if you don’t know then look it up, make it fun. If you know it is really not doing anything good for you then ditch it.
- Sugary foods (and sugar is in almost everything by the way) will send your hormones on overdrive with spikes of blood sugar levels which can cause highs and lows in your mood, irritability and more cravings – keep these to an absolute minimum
- Eat good fats (avocado, olives, seeds etc) and protein (tofu, beans, quinoa, fish, lean organic meat etc) with every meal so that you feel full and less likely to snack.
- Leave at least 3-4 hours between meals/snacks as it gives your digestive system time to completely digest food before next meal – it’s good to feel hungry
- Drink plenty of water or herbal tea throughout the day and avoid sugary drinks, juices and fizzy pop. Keep caffeine to an minimum with just one coffee or tea a day
- If you have your last meal at 7pm then make sure you don’t eat breakfast until 7am or later (i.e. leave 12 hours or more) this gives your whole digestive system a complete break so that your body can focus on healing and repairing
- Finally, if you want to eat something naughty, go for it!! But enjoy every last morsel without beating yourself up and getting disheartened by telling yourself you have failed. Eat it, draw a line under it and continue to eat healthy for the rest of the day. The best thing to do is eat well 80% of the time and live a little for the other 20% – everything in moderation
Make mealtimes interesting – fill your plate with all the colours of the rainbow (fruit and veg I mean – not skittles!!). Have a break between mouthfuls, enjoy every bite and slow down your eating so you can realise when you are full.. then stop eating! As a whole, remember that whatever you eat should be relative to what you burn off. So to assist with weight and health management, it is a really good idea to include exercise for the body and some kind of relaxation or meditation for the mind.
If you want to find out more, Netflix has an abundance of interesting documentaries on healthy eating from TedTalks to Fat, sick & nearly dead, or watch ‘that sugar film’ – pretty scary stuff when you look into what you might have been eating on a regular basis!
Finally, you are responsible for your health and happiness, not the Dr, not your spouse and not your therapist. Make the right choices for you and be empowered to strive towards a happy healthier lifestyle.