Over such time in my career, it has become increasingly prevalent that there is SO much misleading information taking over the health industry. Although it all has a relevance & opinions / recommendations based on research all have their place (it’s also amazing that the health industry is booming!!) – the most significant piece of information I can serve in this moment, is that – WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS and should honour this when we become more aware of our needs nutritionally and emotionally. If something works for your friend and not for you – you are not crazy! We can all react differently to food.
If we are all eating the EXACT same diet… as recommended by local “social media feed” – then WHY do we react differently to one another?? Why do some of us feel great, lose weight or reduce our cravings eating particular foods.. While others see no benefit?
A few things to consider:
- BLOOD TYPE? (A/B/O)
- HISTORY? (Digestive issues; dysbiosis/ leaky gut?)
- HEALTH STATUS (immunity? Hormonal issues? Birth?)
- RELIGION / BELIEFS? (i.e. vegan, halal etc)
- FAMILY / CHILDREN?
And why do we eat in the first place?
- TO UPLOAD IT TO SOCIAL MEDIA?
- TO NOURISH THE BODY? (FUEL)
- TO TREAT THE BODY? (MEDICINE)
- ENJOYMENT / CELEBRATION?
The emotional connection with food is also incredibly important – if our relationship with food is disconnected or non-existent, then how can we expect to feel satisfied, nourished and in control of what we are eating?
SO – for this reason, I have a few handy tips (10 in fact) to kick start a healthy path to eating with enjoyment, control and understanding EVERYDAY. In my opinion, if we can begin to follow steps 1 through to 10 daily (not sometimes), we/ you may begin to feel good, digest food properly, maintain great energy levels & prevent disease.
- EAT FAT:
Why? Our brain is made up of FAT & our cells require fat to maintain their integrity & daily duties. Our body utilizes GOOD FAT very differently to rancid, bad fats. Therefore – do away with looking at the “fat content” on the nutritional panel of these foods, it is not relevant (unless of course you are going WAY over board, or perhaps you’re on blood thinners – in which case, refer to your nutritionist or naturopath).
Healthy fats include:
- Fish oil, fish
- Chia seeds
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Nuts & seeds
- Ghee / butter
- Flaxseed oil
And their role includes:
- Emulsifying bad fats!
- Improve blood flow
- Decrease inflammation
- Promote healthy skin
- Promote healthy mood & behaviour
- Enhance concentration!
2. EAT PREBIOTIC FOODS
KEY prebiotic foods include:
- Green banana flour
- Dandelion greens
And fermented foods:
- Yogurt. (try coconut yogurt)
WHY should we eat them?
- Prebiotics encourage PROBIOTIC growth!
- They are well digested
- Improves digestion
- Enhances elimination
- Improves immunity (protects the gut barrier)
- They are essentially FIBRE to help to “sweep” the GI tract.
3. EAT GREEN – DAILY!
- Chlorophyll / chlorella
- Seaweed & spirulina
- Dandelion greens
- Green beans
Greens are packed full of minerals & antioxidants!! And are particularly alkalizing. Maintaining a healthy pH balance within body makes it extremely hard for disease, bad bacterial overgrowth, acidosis or inflammation to survive.
4. EAT ANTI-OXIDANTS
Antioxidants are package with phytonutrients & protective properties:
- How many colours are you eating?
- Are you repeating the same foods?
- Are you eating anything purple, red, orange? and rich in phytonutrients?
- Many of these foods are known as SUPERFOODS.
Some KEY antioxidants to implement daily:
- Broccoli / brussel sprouts / purple cabbage
- Green tea
- Carrot, Beetroot
5. LIMIT FRUIT
2 – 3 pieces of fruit daily is ENOUGH. Not just because of the high fructose component – but also because of the hefty amounts of BLOATING that can occur alongside your massive fruit consumption due to the combination of water, fibre / pectin & fructose. Especially dried fruit – have you ever scoffed a bag of dried apricots??? Or had an entire day filled with meals containing FRUIT??? If so, you’ll probably be familiar with the intense gas, bloating & possible “pregnancy-belly-feels” that come with it. Dried fruit is generally coated with sugar and / or preservatives so best to avoid on a daily basis.
6. DRINK APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Gah.. need a say more? We all love this stuff don’t we? Apple Cider vinegar, especially BRAGGS (brand) has numerous benefits for the body. But, this is actually in my top 10 recommendations because it helps to increase digestive juices in order to ensure we break down our foods properly. If our digestive system is not working – how do we break down the nutrients in our food? No wonder we are bloated or constipated…
7. AVOID GLUTEN
Gluten is the protein in wheat. The most essential learning from this point is this: YOU ARE NOT “MISSING OUT” on any “ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS” by cutting out gluten. It is NOT required for any systemic processes within the body. It DOES NOT have any protective or nourishing properties. So please do not be alarmed by the idea of avoiding wheat at least 70-80% of the time. Also, this does not mean “EAT GLUTEN FREE, PROCESSED, PACKAGED CRAP”. This just means, avoid the habitual behaviour of consuming bread, pasta & sauces with every meal. Buckwheat, quinoa & brown rice are yummy alternatives.
- it’s heavily spray (during wheat harvesting process) & potentially contaminated
- it can cause bloating
- it’s irritating on the digestive system
- how do you feel when you eat it??
Watch the doco: What’s with Wheat?…
8. AVOID SAUCES
- TOMATO SAUCE CAN CONTAIN UP TO 5 TSP OF SUGAR!!!
- MANY SAUCES CONTAIN PRESERVATIVES, MSG, SUGAR & CHEMICALS
- If you can’t pronounce some of these ingredients – chances are it is NOT good for you!!
- Again: LOOK AT THE INGREDIENTS – it will shock you!
- Many sauces could potentially be your hidden driver of: bloating, fatigue, watery eyes, runny nose… etc.
Make your own!! >> using different combination of your choices such as:
- olive oil
- sea salt
- apple cider
- nut butter
9. DRINK WATER
If you are feeling thirsty – you are ALREADY DEHYDRATED. Dehydration causes fatigue and constipation, among many other things! We are particularly dehydrated upon waking so waking up to a big glass of water is essential! We should be consuming around 2 Lts per day as adults and our kidneys require water to filtrate the body effectively. YES – you will urinate a lot until your body gets used to this – but why people use this as their excuse NOT to drink water… is beyond me???
10. CHECK LABELS
a. Stop looking at the “nutritional information” – this will not give you very much indication on the nutritional value unfortunately. Instead, LOOK AT THE INGREDIENTS PANEL – if sugar is an ingredient OR you don’t know what half the ingredients are – then chances are, this is NOT something worth consuming.
b. Just because it says “ORGANIC” doesn’t mean it IS! Check the ingredients. Ensure you are buying AUSTRALIAN produce and look for proof:
If you feel I have missed something… then YES.. I have! Protein is of course essential for ALL bodily functions. Tissue healing, immune support, cellular regeneration, energy production, muscle recovery & building. HOWEVER – if all you are doing is focusing on protein consumption and the other areas of your health & nutritional status are falling behind – start here!!! Plant based product – believe it or not – DOES contain protein! But seems to be the more challenging part of dietary planning for most people. It is quite easy to add animal protein to your meals for most people – however, I find people struggle to include enough antioxidants, fibre, minerals & vitamins. THESE NUTRIENTS ARE KEY!!
Lyndal (your bossy nutritionist)