In a world where we can easily access so much information though a quick google search it can get a bit overwhelming knowing what’s important to focus on when it comes to food and nutrition and what maybe we don’t need to worry about!
Here I’m breaking down just a few things that if we focus on these in what we eat it will make a big difference to our health without becoming overwhelmed with too many different things to think about.
Eat more vegetables
This is always the most important one. Vegetables are packed full of different vitamins and minerals so eating more can help make sure you’re getting all those important micronutrients, helping you to feel happier and healthier, helping your body to function optimally. Vegetables are also low calorie so if you’re looking to lose a little fat or eat a little less without missing out on eating yummy foods, pack your plate full of vegetables. Vegetables are often a great source of fibre and water helping to keep your digestive system regular. Whatever your aims are with food – eating more vegetables is always a good thing!
Eating less packaged/processed food
Processed foods contain so many additives and preservatives we’re often not aware of. These chemicals do nothing to help the body and are totally unnecessary. Making food can be so much cheaper, uses less packaging and helps us connect more with what’s in our food and what we are eating. There are so many quick and easy recipes which can be easily found online if you need some inspiration. Most processed foods also contain really nasty substances like palm oil which we don’t want to be purchasing.
Eat something different
Your gut microbiome is vital for your overall health. We can help improve our microbiome by eating a range of food, the more different foods we eat the more good bacteria we have in our gut. Try to eat a new vegetable or type legume or grain once every week or two. It also means you get to try fun new recipes and foods and you may find a new favourite meal!
No animal products for breakfast/lunch
I recently read a book: We Are The Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer and Jonathan made a compelling argument regarding the need for all of us to do our bit to help the planet which we all live on. Rather than changing your entire diet, could you just remove animal products from breakfast and lunch? If everyone did this, there would be a huge shift in the impact animal agriculture is having on the Earth. A reduction in animal products in your diet should also be combined with an increase in beans and legumes, vegetables, soy products and all of these provide amazing health benefits.
Eating when you’re actually hungry
How often do you eat just because it’s lunch time or because there’s some cakes in the staff room at work? How often do you actually think about how hungry you are? How often do you eat your food without distractions, taking your time, being aware of the taste, enjoying the experience and stopping when you feel full rather than when your plate is empty? We can get into some pretty unhelpful habits around eating. It’s not just what you eat that matters but how and when you eat. Listening to your body, learning to feed your body what it needs, when it needs it and truly enjoying food and the experience of eating can take time to learn. Eating in a more intuitive way can ensure you do not over eat, emotionally eat or use food to either reward or punish yourself. Food is nourishment and is to be enjoyed. If you want to read more about intuitive eating some book recommendations: Just Eat It by Laura Thomas and The Intuitive Eating Workbook by Evelyn Tribole.