Change your eating habits
Welcome to a new year and hopefully a healthier you. As you go into 2017, have it at the back of your mind that no amount of exercise will undo a bad diet. If you think about it from a calorie perspective you may workout three, four or even five times per week but you eat 21 meals a week. It’s simply no contest. Good nutrition is NOT just about calories. Food and drink affect you at a cellular level, the complexity is enormous. Fats, carbs and proteins all have their part to play in forming a fit and healthy functioning body.
The idea that fat loss is simply an equation of calories in versus calories out undermines the body’s essential needs. Do you really think that 100 calories of ice cream and 100 calories of broccoli really have the same impact on the body? Changing your diet dramatically can and will have effects on your body. If you are pregnant, or on any prescription drugs, then confirmation from your doctor is recommended before any drastic changes. In other words, please don’t send your lawyers after me.
The world is getting sicker, fatter and less healthy. Money rules. Big corporations with big marketing budgets are out to get you. Don’t be fooled. Listen to your body and your basic instincts. Always bear in mind that most companies DO NOT have your optimal health at heart when they are selling you fancy foods and drinks. Let’s not forget where we came from. For millions of years, we have evolved eating and drinking foods from nature. We didn’t get where we are today eating processed foods, sugar-based drinks or low fat ready meals. We don’t just come from nature, we are nature. Everything we eat and drink becomes us.
There is basically nothing more important for your health than what you eat and drink. So let’s take a look at the foods that are both good and bad for us and how we can improve our diet.
Gluten has not been around for as long as you think. Many people suffer with this irritating protein. Removing all gluten from your diet will have a profound effect including stopping: bloating, headaches, skin problems, fatigue and so much more. So, no breads, pasta, wheat based sauces etc.
Milk is meant for baby cows not humans. Many people are lactose intolerant and cannot break down the lactose sugar in milk. Milk is not as high in calcium as you may think, there is more calcium in leafy greens. So, no milk, cream or cheese!
Stimulants like sugar, caffeine and alcohol cause havoc to your nervous system and blood sugar levels. Sugar is everywhere so beware, if it ends in ‘ose’ it’s a sugar: Sucrose, Fructose, Maltose, Glucose. Avoid stimulants like the plague!
Vegetables, now we are talking. Eat as much and many as you can. Eat with the seasons and try to get a good mixture of colours. Try not to boil the nutrients away, steam, eat raw or add to stews. If you do boil them, use the water for soups and sauces. Go organic!
Don’t be afraid of meat. Protein is necessary to repair muscle and a vital source of nutrients. Try all types from fish to red and white meat. Don’t be afraid of the fat, if its organic you can eat it, just like our ancestors did!
The science for eating more good fat is overwhelming. The body produces its own saturated fat, it’s so important to good health. Bad fats are the enemy so only stick to the good fats like olive oil, coconut oil, butter and organic animal fats!
Be careful with
Eggs are an excellent protein source and good for breakfast but not everyone can tolerate them. If you can eat them, great! Make sure you eat the yolk too that’s the best bit. It doesn’t cause high cholesterol like people fear. Go Organic! Some people can also tolerate natural plain yoghurt!
Fruit has changed over thousands of years. Today, fruit is loaded with sugar and can potentially disrupt sugar balance. Limit fruit to only when it is naturally in season. Fruit should never replace a meal. Limit to one piece per day!
Rice, beans and lentils can all be a great source of slow releasing carbohydrate. But just like fruit, they can disrupt sugar and energy levels. Don’t overly rely on these types of foods, treat them as a side rather than a main meal.
Putting meals together
Ever heard the prhase “Breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince, dine like a Pauper?” Well this is a great rule to follow. Load yourself with foods and energy first thing when you need it most. Good breakfast choices are: omelettes, smoked salmon, gluten free porridge, organic bacon and salads.
Both lunch and dinner meals can be interchanged. Try to eat more during lunch than in the evening. No use having all that energy at night just before bed. Meals can be made up of meats, vegetables, beans, lentils and rice. Snack on nuts if you need a little something between meals.
Try to eat light in the evening. Fish is always a good option with a tasty salad. Make up a large meal and then save it for the next day’s lunch. Try not to eat too late and relax in the evening with low lighting and soothing music. Now is not the time to get all jacked up on caffeine and high adrenaline TV shows just before bed.
We all know the importance of drinking clean water. Aim for 2 liters per day. Drink herbal teas and limit green tea to mornings only.
One of the biggest mistakes in the nutrition industry is the belief that there is a ‘one size fits all’ approach to nutrition. It is important to learn what foods are right for you. This process is a time for self-discovery. It’s a time to try foods and see how your body reacts to them. Do you feel tired, full of energy, satisfied for longer, have abdominal bloating etc.? Keep your meals simple and discover what foods are right for you via a process of elimination. Perhaps you may eat like a vegetarian for a few days or eat more meat for a few days. Listen to your body. Some people find they need more fat and others find they need more protein. Again, this is about finding out what’s best for you.
Start by dividing your meals into equal quantities of fat (e.g. olive oil, avocado, coconut milk, nuts), protein (meats, fish) and carbohydrate (vegetables, lentils, beans). Now depending on where your ancestors originated from, you may be better with more fat and protein (ancestors living in colder climates) or more carbohydrates (ancestors living close to the equator). So work with your proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrate and see what works best for you. You may also notice a desire for more fats in the winter or protein following activity and exercise. Try not to destroy all your food before you have had chance to eat it. Avoid microwaves, they destroy the molecular structure of the foods and cause problems in the gut. Try to eat some food raw and steam as much veg as you can.
Without a diet plan you are just joking. Write out your meals for the week. Clear out your cupboards so you are not forced to cheat. Make up big batches of food for lunches. Shop regularly or get organic food delivered.
Eating and drinking the way we have evolved to eat and drink is vital for a healthy body and mind. Some of the above bad foods may seem a little harsh and even surprising. But the truth is your body will tell you what is good and bad. A healthy body doesn’t fight with you.
This nutrition plan is simple. Stick to natural foods. Eat lots of fresh vegetables, meat and good fats like avocados, nuts, olive oil and coconut oil. Don’t be scared of fat, it’s the media’s biggest selling lie! Stay clear of all gluten so no breads, pastas and processed sauces. Avoid dairy so no milk, cheese or cream. Butter (in moderation) and eggs are usually okay. Eliminate sugars and stimulants like alcohol and caffeine.
Try the above way of eating for only 21 days and you will never look back. Go on this healthy diet journey in 2017 and see just what foods agree and disagree with you. Listen to your body.