Making the right food choices is somewhat of a mine field these days. It seems that every article and advertisement is telling us conflicting information. It is hard to know who to believe or what to do to ensure our nutritional needs are being met. We also have so much access to information ourselves that every second person has an opinion on what is best for you and your body.
This new age of information serves as a double-edged sword. We are more informed than ever before in relation to food and diet however it is often information overload which confuses rather than helps us.
Diets, food and nutrients are constantly being researched, reviewed and updated that we shouldn’t take anything as gospel. How long did we believe that ‘low fat’ was good for us only to realise that the information from those studies was misinterpreted to suit the needs of those in certain food industry’s that would benefit the most? Remember that food is a product at the end of the day and there to make a profit, not all research, marketing and advertisement is for your health benefit. It is more likely there to ensure you buy their product over another. This includes the superfoods and the health foods, which is another multimillion euro industry.
As we try to make a conscious effort to make better, more informed choices about the food we put in our bodies and the food we feed our children, here a few tips that I think are useful.
- Observe and bring your awareness to your diet.
What are you eating or not eating? If you were to keep a diary for 3-5 days (including the weekend) of what you ate and how you felt afterwards you probably wouldn’t need a qualified nutritional therapist to tell you where you might be going wrong. Seeing your diet written down on paper is a great way of seeing patterns in your eating habits and how the food you are eating is making you feel. If you do need direction and guidance from a coach or therapist they will have an excellent starting point to begin working from, with you.
2. Keep it simple
You don’t need to change everything in the one day. Adding in new healthy habits one at a time will ensure that these habits last in the long run. When you decide to make positive changes to your diet there are more things at play than just your decision to do so. Hormones, stress levels, blood sugar balance, sleep patterns and life in general will test your new way of eating. A healthier eating plan doesn’t have to be restrictive, by adding in new healthy habits you will be surprised at how quickly you notice the positive changes to how you feel. You have most likely being eating a certain way for many years, it will take time to change those deeply ingrained habits. What small change could you make for the next week to start a new healthy habit?
3. Eat more whole foods
The Wholly Grail is all about looking at things as a whole and embracing the fact that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Eating foods in their whole form will ensure we get as much of the nutritional quality as possible form them. Nature provides the perfect balance of vitamins and minerals within the whole food that we need because it is so infinitely knowledgeable and synced so that everything has a purpose. The minute we start to change or process the food we are losing some of its nutritional quality. How often do you eat food in its natural state? How much of your food shop is packaged or processed? How much fresh produce are you consuming?
4. Ask some questions…
Are you influenced totally by fancy packaging or clever labelling? Have you ever stopped to look at the back of the packet and see what ingredients are in the products you are putting into your trolley? We are so vigilant with the fuel we put into our car or creams we put on our face but often we don’t question the list of ingredients that is on our favourite foods. You may be surprised at the amount of additional ingredients that are present, that you firstly cannot pronounce and secondly have no idea what they are or what they do to your body.
5. Eat more vegetables
No one can deny that vegetable intake is paramount to a healthy diet. Vegetables are loaded with all the nutrients and minerals that our bodies need in abundance to thrive. As vegetarianism, Veganism and plant based diets are hitting the headlines as the new go-to diet, there is a multitude of recipes and suggestions to incorporate more veggies into your diet. Low in calories and high in nutritional value, I think vegetables are the catalyst to a healthier life. As a veggie loving vegan, myself I will be posting lots of tried and tested recipes that will help you and your children to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Can you think of one way you could incorporate an extra portion of vegetables into your diet each day?