FOOD BASICS- Let's go back to the start.
Today’s diet has strayed a long way from the ideal intake and balance of nutrients.
Life’s giddy pace places huge demands, we are constantly bollmbarded with stressors from all directions, so we need to fuel our bodies accordingly.
Here are a few concepts I make priority when working with clients;
Learn to cook! How did we survive without sauces in packets, cans and jars? Learn the basics of cooking with fresh, natural ingredients without all the nasty additives. Keep meals simple so to taste the foods themselves. Keep pre-prepared foods and take-away meals to a minimum. Often cheap highly refined oils, flavour enhancers and additives are used that are detrimental to health.
Select the “freshest” ingredients, especially fruits and vegetables. If you cannot purchase organic, shop locally, grow what you are able – even if it’s a few greens in containers or a small garden plot. Get children involved, this is the best way for them to start to understand about nutrition and where food comes from.
Base your diet upon a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, good quality lean protein, raw nuts and seeds and whole grains. Each meal or snack will ideally comprise of complex carbohydrates (vegetables, pulses, wholegrains, fruits,) lean protein (fish, organic meats, eggs, tofu,) good quality fat (olive, avocado oils, nuts and seeds.)
Keep sugar low and artificial sweeteners, flavours and colours out of your diet. These rob the body of vital nutrients and impede their absorption, let alone place a toxic load on the immune system.
How do you eat? Do you gulp down you meal at lightening pace? Constantly eating on the run or while stressed prevents healthy digestion. Have you noticed you get indigestion when eating on the run? This is due to insufficient gastric juices being produced, allowing food to ferment, leading to bloating and discomfort. Add a little culinary acid to your meal or prior to it, eg; lemon juice or apple cider vinegar/salad dressings & chew food well.
Consider taking high quality antioxidant, multi-vitamin, and mineral formulas. The soil our food is grown in has become increasingly deficient in nutrients and minerals, and thus our foods. High demands placed on the body can lead to deficiencies.
Vitamin D is gaining new popularity, and even becoming a hero as a nutrient that supports overall health & has significantly more far-reaching effects than merely bone health. Ten to fifteen minutes per day exposure of sunscreen-free-skin to bright midday sun is the most natural way to acquire a dose of D. Vitamin D is also found in founds such as; oily fish, liver, eggs.
Identify “food intolerances” or allergies. Invest in the help of an expert if you suspect you or your family is suffering. There are many tests available that help take the ‘guess work’ out of trying to figure it out yourself.
Exercise, but strive for balance here. Aim to combine aerobic activity with relaxation techniques. Too often we push ourselves at the gym 5 days per week, when what we really need are combinations to counteract stress. Yoga, tai-chi, chi gong, meditation, rest, reading, laughter, time out with friends and family.
Overall aim for and 80/20 balance in the diet. Most of the time stick to a simple, healthy eating program, but allow yourself 20% for a few culinary indulgences.
Have any niggling health questions? Do you think your diet could use some tweaking? You can contact Jan on firstname.lastname@example.org
Check back monthly for Jan's tips xo