When you are ready- you will take the next step, you will commit to a plan, you will say ‘yes’ to some foods and you will say ‘no’ to others, you will do your own research, you will get to know your body- and then you will start, stick to it and see results.
I am not talking about a diet, or a short-term weight loss plan; neither am I talking about increasing fitness or achieving goals. I am talking about sustainable, healthy living. I am talking about eating right for you and the way you want to feel. The way your body should be eating and the way we were designed to metabolise foods and use their energy.
After listening to Ben Warren (BePure) talk last week (on holistic health and nutrition, and eating to support your health and energy) it made me think- about my own clients I have seen in the past and present- the ones who got results and who didn’t. And by results- this is their own personal results- ranging from changing diet, increasing energy, decreasing stress or fat loss- there is a wide range, and it is all individual. The ones who have made that change, come and seen a Personal trainer, taken on the eating and lifestyle advice and increased their daily exercise are the ones who are ready, and they see results.
They have found their ‘Why’ of exercise and eating well, and they are mentally prepared to do what it takes to become healthier. This is the difference- these are the ones who want to do it for themselves. Whether they have lived with gut problems all their life, they have hit a certain number on the scales, they can no longer play with their grandchildren or whether they have just woken up and realised that they need to do something for their health- whatever the reason- they have decided that they are ready and they commit and get results.
So where am I going with this?
The nutrition was the key part! We are eating foods that are not actually foods- they are chemicals put together to resemble the taste of food and made into a texture that will feel like food and a smell that will make you want more. But it is barely food. This has slowly happened over the past 100 years- You would have heard of the saying “Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food”. And I think this is quite a good quote to go by…(although she probably wouldn’t recognize chia seeds and buckwheat?). The scary thing about these chemicals is that we are just the guinea pigs, no other generation has been exposed to so many of these chemicals, sprays, pesticides and so on, then us! I agree that the average person wanting to improve their health does not have time to make all their sauces and foods from scratch, plus grow a vegetable garden, plus buy organic every time- as even myself, who is more health conscious then the average does not do that (although with the Farmers Market so close, it feels like they are my own veges!). We all have lives to live and priorities- and it’s to what extent we want to put health at the top, as to how much we will do for ourselves.
Instead of going on and on about how the food and marketing companies have brain washed us into eating this stuff, I will list a few facts…and then let you in on my tips to eating for optimal health, energy and results within an already full life.
- Ingredients List on back of packages:
- Check out the back of any packaged food and you will see the main ingredients. The more highly processed the food and more additives it has, the longer the list. So its easy- instead of trying to decipher whats in it- if its longer then 3-5 ingredients then don’t buy it. Try and stick to unpackaged foods (fruit, veges, meat, nuts) or foods that have been made naturally (dairy products, fats and oils)- which should not have a long list on the back- and if it has- it has been processed.
- Numbers, letters and names that are too long to spell
- The less the numbers and letters the better- and having zero numbers and letters on the back is the best. All these flavourings and colours (even when it says ‘natural’) can be very harmful to our health. For example- a McD’s chicken nugget contains TBHQ. This is a petroleum-based preservative that extends shelf life. Some side effects are liver damage, cellular reproduction and reproduction effects. E123 is Red food colouring (and infact most food colourings) should be eliminated from diet. Research has shown that these have a link with Cancer, Behavioural changes (especially hyperactivity in children- no surprise!), and Asthma. This is just mentioning a few of the thousands that are added
- Your symptoms are not going to go away by ignoring them
- So many of us are living with problems and putting up with them inside our bodies. If you do not feel right, if you get headaches, if you get sore joints, if you get bloating and sore stomachs, if you wake up tired day after day ….the list goes on- don’t put up with it! By seeing someone in the health industry you are going to get to the heart of the problem quicker. I think there is a lot to be said from working with a couple of different professions- a lot of people see their GP- who they have a 15 minute appointment with, and don’t get me wrong- I think doctors do amazing things, but they can only do so much in 15 mins. But by getting them to work with other holistic practitioners (Nutritionists, Natropaths) you will then be able to look at whats actually happening within your body, and figure out what is causing these symptoms and how to prevent them from happening again. When choosing who to work with it is important to find someone who has evidence-based research and knows what they are talking about. There is not much regulation around these businesses and many are not evidence-based, which means it can be very costly if you are not being prescribed the incorrect remedies. Working with your body inside out- rather then with pain killers or the likes, is going to be the best way forward.
- Breads and grains are not what they used to be
- Wheat is grown and processed a lot differently then it was 100 years ago. New techniques have made it possible to create massive amounts of refined wheat for a low cost. This means we are not eating the whole grain and the nutrient content is much lower. Modern wheat has also been cross-bred and had genetic mutation- meaning it contains more problematic gluten’s and less protein then in the past. (Hence the amount of people now with gluten intolerance and Celiacs disease). So try and stick to more natural forms of carbohydrates like potatoes, kumara, carrots and fruit when needing this fuel source.
- Smallest ingredients list, no numbers and letters
- Shop outsides of supermarket- give it a go…may need to go inside for a few bits but majority can be done on the outside.
- Grow your own veges or buy local
- Free range eggs
- Cook and prepare your own meals
- Sit down and eat your meals. Be mindful when eating.
- Enjoy your real food- appreciate the flavour, taste, texture and smell. Stay away from packaged foods- with all these added things.
Depending on how healthy you eat now, depends on how much you may like to change. So if it’s lots- don’t be overwhelmed…start with small daily steps rather then changing everything at once. If you already eat well- think about what your goals are and how you feel. Don’t become obsessive about food- we all need to enjoy what we are eating and make sure it fits in with our lifestyle- rather then running it! By making some small daily improvements this will change the way you are feeling, the energy you have and your overall moods and lifestyle. Plus the everyday things that you do (like exercise!), and actions you take can have major positive effects on your health. If you are feeling like you need to do something for your health, and have not been listening to your bodies symptoms- maybe now is the time to do something about it.