WHAT IS HEALTHY?
Simply put, it is about eating in a balanced way. Embrace the plants and be flexible!
But what does this mean in today’s world when we are constantly bombarded by the benefits of one fad diet or another? There are now so many of them out there that it is easy to get confused and frankly, feel quite bewildered by it all.
We all know that cutting out any of the major foods groups from our diet is not a good idea, as it will leave us wanting and relying on willpower. But more importantly, these are unbalanced, unsustainable and can leave you feeling quite poorly.
Eating this way is about striking the right balance by including all three food groups – carbohydrates, protein and essential fats – in the most natural forms possible.
It’s about eating natural, unprocessed and organic food to ensure that the body has all the essential nutrients required for healing, repair and energy production on a daily basis. It’s not about counting calories. It’s rather about focusing on the nutrient density of foods and their bioavailability, once digested.
COOK YOURSELF HEALTHIER
By making some simple swaps you can make super-nutritious food for yourself in minutes.
Don’t fret about making everything from scratch initially – search out ready-made varieties of the “improved” option, before going on to making your own.
SIMPLE BUT SMART UPGRADES
From Ready-prepared bottled juices
To Freshly made juices or blended green drinks
Benefits Pulped juices made at home from whole greens, fruits and vegetables contain all the cholesterol-lowering fibre that is stripped away in commercial juicing, as well as retaining the full vitamin content if consumed within one day.
From Ready-prepared smoothies
To Home-made versions with soya or nut milks, fresh fruits and added hemp or flax seed
Benefits The soya or nut milks provide a good level of non-cows dairy calcium and protein, without the sugars that are often added to the supermarket varieties. Flax and hemp seeds provide extra essential fatty acids that benefit the nervous system, memory and skin and regulate hormones.
From Ready-prepared muesli, yogurt and granola
Benefits Countless! Far higher mineral and vitamin content, variety and alkalinity – home-made soups allow for using up the stray vegetables from other recipes, as well as the increased protein content from beans and pulses, usually only found in very low content in supermarket-brought versions.
From Ready-prepared lasagne or moussaka
Benefits Fresher vegetables and no salt or other additives required to “hold” a commercial version together for appearance. Home-made allows you to create your own topping – crushed nuts, oats and seeds make delicious and nutritious toppings.
From Ready-prepared pasta-based salads
To Home-made quinoa, brown rice or buckwheat noodle based salad or mixed grain and root vegetable salads with feta or smoked tofu and seeds, nuts and other toppings
Benefits The minerals in the home-cooked wholegrain quinoa and buckwheat are far higher than commercially produced pasta, and these grains do not cause bloating.
From Ready-made salad dressings
To Selection of fresh, home-made dressings to store in the fridge
Benefits Nothing beats a fresh dressing for flavour and variety. Commercial versions contain additives, sugar and salt to give them a long shelf life.
From tea and coffee
To Fresh root ginger, lemongrass, fennel and peppermint teas; dandelion root or chicory coffee granules (available in all good whole food stores)
Benefits Stimulating fresh ingredients that naturally give you a lift, without the subsequent come-down that caffeine provides. No anxiety and no cellulite (caffeine is stored in fatty tissues and is a known cause of orange-peel thighs and bottoms).
From Sliced white bread or croissants
To Commercial rye bread or pumpernickel, sunflower or pumpkin-seed flatbreads; home-made rye soda bread or coconut bread, buckwheat wraps and pancakes
Benefits Omitting commercially produced yeast breads lowers your intake of sugars and salt. Wholegrain breads have a far higher vitamin and mineral content. Tastier, and far more satisfying.
From Ready-prepared puddings
To Home-made ice creams and cakes
Benefits No sugars or addictive additives.
Packed with fresh fruits and nut milks for protein. Unbeatable versus unbearable – no contest!