So, firstly I would like to reinforce to you all that I am by no means a nutritionist (yet!) and so these tips are just things that I have learnt myself along the way. Let's get on with it...
There are quite a few people that I talk to who would love to eat 'healthier' but are just not too sure where to start. What is eating healthy all about? Eating 'healthy' is different to everybody. Everybody has different nutritional needs to everybody else. You should however, know if your diet is relatively good or bad.
1. EAT FOOD FROM A PLANT... NOT FROM A PLANT
Does that make sense? Ha ha! The first thing that you need to do ideally is to eat as many plant based foods as possible - and as natural as possible too. If a lot of the food that you're eating comes from a packet - pre or part cooked, then maybe look at learning to cook from scratch a bit more. Cut out pre-made sauces and learn to make your own.
Exceptions? If you're desperate, then pre chopped vegetables can come in handy when you're in a rush or feeling lazy. Don't know what to cook? No inspiration? Get a load of fresh mixed veggies, drizzle a small amount of olive over them with some freshly ground pepper and pop them in the oven. Super quick and easy - plus freshly made too. Serve on a bed of salad perhaps, a little lemon juice and some fish or meat (if you are not a veggie) - or if you're like me...? Just eat as is, roasted, caramelised and tasty!
2. INTRODUCE SOME 'NATURAL' SUPPLEMENTS INTO YOUR DIET
When I say supplements, I'm not talking about in pill form (not that I have anything against them), but look more towards fresh produce. Start introducing some freshly made juices (not out of a carton!) or smoothies into your diet. Smoothies are super quick and easy to make, plus they are FULL of nutrients. Focus on mostly veggies (around 70% veggies and 30% low sugar fruit). Bung it all in a smoothie maker with a cup of water and you're good to go! Why not try some spinach, kale, cucumber, lemon, romaine lettuce and an apple or some fresh pineapple? Easy peasy!
3. REMEMBER TO TRANSITION SLOWLY
I wouldn't ever recommend transitioning your diet overnight - it can be a bit too stressful. Instead, maybe try cutting out processed sugary food first and start to replace them with other things such as a couple of dates, healthy energy balls etc. and then gradually reduce the amount of processed sugar over a few weeks. I would recommend cutting out more processed foods though. Anything that has been pre-made can have a lot of preservatives, chemicals and nasty ingredients in.
Always be careful of cutting out a particular food group as it might not always be necessary. For me I no longer eat meat or dairy (bar the odd bit of cheese here or there). I personally could never cut out carbs (and would not want to either!). I would be weak and feeling like I have no energy if I didn't have them in my diet. I just try and choose the best options for my body - brown rice pasta, sourdough bread, sweet potatoes etc
4. EDUCATE YOURSELF
Don't feel like you have to go it alone and don't ever feel like this is some weird world that you know nothing about. It's so so simple and there are so many blogs, books and you tube videos out there to learn from. Choose some books that you think could be relevant to you and sit and read. Get yourself inspired and start cooking! Whatever you do, don't be scared! This is fun and you will feel great with it. So embrace the change, get excited about learning new recipes and try and make it as fun as possible.
5. BALANCE YOUR WAY OF LIFE
This is a new lifestyle! Don't look at it as a 'diet' that ends once you're back off holiday or Christmas is over (yes I dropped the C-Bomb in April ha ha!). Keep it going and enjoy the changes you see in your mind, body and health.
Try not to restrict yourself so much you feel unhappy, it is all about learning to balance your new lifestyle. You can have a treat here and there, just not all the time.
I didn't want this blog to be me telling you what to eat and what not to eat. We are all individuals and so I can't speak for us all. Just try not to label yourself too much. Give yourself some time to try new foods and cooking methods and learn from it. It's all trial and error at the end of the day. If you eat something and you feel good from it, keep doing it. If you cut something out and you see an improvement that benefits your heath, embrace it! Just remember, we are all unique and what works for one person might not for the other. Get some good old fashioned books and get learning!
Thanks so much for reading