Many people believe they’re being healthy, but they’re missing out on easy tweaks to make their daily food intake into a highly nutritious diet.
Focus on wholefoods
If there is one thing that every diet should have in common, it’s a focus on wholefoods. Refined, processed and additive-packed junk foods don’t help anyone - in fact they deplete the body of vital nutrients. But wholefoods that are unprocessed and as nature created them are full of nutrition and flavour.
Free-range/pasture raised poultry and eggs
Sustainably sourced fish and shellfish
Add more plants
Almost everyone could benefit from adding more vegetables into their diet. They contain many essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These nutrients are vital for adequate energy, balanced hormones and healthy mood, and so much more! Vegetables are also an excellent source of soluble and insoluble fibre, supporting your gut and bowel health.
But the best part is that there are vegetables to suit every diet approach out there. For a ketogenic diet, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are fantastic. Following a Paleo diet? Fuel up with some potato and sweet potato. Eating plant-based, vegetarian or vegan? Feast on every vegetable available!
If you are on a low carb diet have 3 heaped handfuls of greens a day and keep root vegetables to a minimum (staying away from potato and kumara). For more information on a low carb, high protein diet contact me – my Weight Management and Metabolic Syndrome Programmes are based on a healthy low carb high protein and quality fat intake. (Or read here.)
When it comes to plant foods, don’t make perfect the enemy of good. If you can’t afford or access organic, biodynamic spinach, it’s fine to eat spinach from the supermarket. Check out the chart below to find out which fruits and vegetables have the most and least pesticides so you can decide which are the most important to purchase organic.
Don’t force yourself to eat foods you hate
If you dislike the food you eat, you are not eating a healthy diet – no matter what the food is. Research has actually shown that people absorb less nutrients from foods they dislike or are unfamiliar with. By eating food you dislike, you could actually be preventing yourself from getting enough nutrition.
So find a way to make healthy food enjoyable for you. Try different cooking methods, using seasonal ingredients and new flavours. Do a cooking class or watch videos on youtube. There is a way for everyone to enjoy good, nutritious food.
Preparing your food
There is a reason why many ancient cultures have elaborate ways of preparing food. They knew that many foods can be prepped to maximise flavour AND nutrient absorption.
If you eat meat, marinate it before cooking. If you enjoy beans and legumes, you can soak and sprout them. Even nuts and seeds can be soaked and dried to ‘activate’ them.
Enjoy your treats
There are treats that can be included in all types of diets. Don’t deny yourself the occasional treat – often when we ‘deny’ ourselves something we obsess over it and then end up overeating the wrong food!
How you eat is just as important as what you eat. If you’re shovelling down a salad on the run, in the car or at your desk, you’re not going to get much out of it. In fact, you’re less likely to chew your food properly and feel satiated. The food may feel like it is just sitting in your stomach, or cause bloating or gas. Instead of making meal time stressful, take 20 minutes out to focus on your food. Here is a link to my blog about digestive health.
If you have digestive issues, such as bloating, wind, heartburn, constipation or diarrhoea you may need a personalised plan about which food is most suitable for you to eat. Book in an appointment with me and we can discuss whether a hair test would be beneficial, or whether you need a program tailored to your needs and preferences.
I also run a 21 Day Wholefood Cleanse Program where we deep dive into what makes a whole food diet, how to support a transition into a different eating style as well as the most important supplements you may need to help with your digestion. Read about it here