Diet & Healthy Eating
(You may also like to read: Diet: Acid & Alkali, Weight loss and more).
While I am not an advocate of specific ‘diets’ I do strongly advocate the importance of ‘healthy eating’. Alot of people don’t think about their food any further than what it tastes and feels like in their mouth. What happens after that is unimportant – they can’t taste it or feel it.
BUT if you put sweet/sticky food into your mouth it is exactly that in your body. Your body will become sticky and fatty.
Obesity, pimply skin, diabetes, inflamed joints, gassy bloated stomach, bowel problems etc, etc, etc…..the list goes on, will all stem from what you have put in your mouth.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT.
To eat a healthy diet is not hard. The principles are quite simple and are as follows:
– Do NOT BUY unhealthy foods – if white bread, biscuits, sweets, soft drinks, sweetened cereals, ice cream, etc are not in the pantry then they are not there to eat! Instead buy more fresh fruit and vegetables, grain breads, whole grain cereals, nuts & seeds.
You will find that it doesn’t take long for the family’s tastes to change.
– Buy organic foods where ever possible. If you cannot obtain or afford organic foods then buy as fresh as possible.
Better still grow your food yourself. Most NZ gardens have sufficient space for a small garden. If you are in an apartment then you can still manage fresh herbs grown in a pot!
Alternatively, make use of your local ‘farmers markets’.
Recent research has shown that there are certain phytochemicals found in organic foods that increase their resistance to pests and infections. These are not found in such high amounts in in-organic foods. So by eating organically you are actually helping to strengthen your body’s immune system
– Eat moderate amounts of all food components. Never eat excessively! The guide lines here are approximate but could be helpful.
Per meal a moderate amount of protein would mean the amount you can fit easily on the palm of your hand. That doesn’t mean a large steak that covers the entire hand!
Protein rich foods are:
Fish – such as salmon, tuna, sardines, herrings and other seafoods such as squid, prawns, mussels, pipis, clams and oysters.
Poultry – such as chicken, turkey and duck as well as eggs.
Red meat – beef, lamb and pork.
Soy foods – such as tofu and tempeh.
Avoid processed meats as they usually contain preservatives and other additives
A moderate amount of low GI carbohydrates (made up of vegetables such as asparagus, brassicas, beans, carrots, spinach, celery cucumber, leeks, onions, mushrooms, peas, zucchini etc) would be about three handfuls or two cups.
Preferably these vegetables should be eaten raw so as to conserve all the vitamins and minerals they contain. However in winter in a colder climate this can be difficult and the body naturally looks for warmer foods. So make soups, stews and casseroles from your vegetables.
Ideally try to add three to four cups of salad vegetables to your diet daily.
A moderate amount of high GI carbohydrates such as wholegrain bread or crisp breads would be two slices per day. Cooked beans, lentils, noodles, rice you could allow about 1/3 of a cup. Brown rice, sweet potato (kumera) or pasta then allow slightly extra, say ½ a cup. These may not sound alot but when combined with cups or more of low GI foods then it becomes plenty.
When using low GI carbohydrates such as combined in a high protein muesli then usually about a half cup would be sufficient per meal.
Some time during the day include a small handful or about a ¼ cup of fresh nuts and/or seeds.
These are a great snack idea and keep away the ‘munchies’.
They also help supply ‘healthy’ oils that your body needs. Oily fish will supply the rest.
Recommended nuts & seeds are: almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, pine nuts, coconuts and sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and flaxseeds.
These amounts you should find are quite adequate as they metabolise slowly and you don’t feel hungry.
– Learn to make your own food products such as yoghurt, bread, breakfast cereal (see muesli recipe) muffins, fruit drinks and smoothies.
– To maintain or lose weight, it is useful to realise the importance of maintaining a relatively high protein level in your diet.
This can be achieved by using any of the protein foods listed above as long as they are incorporated in each meal. OR if you have trouble finding ‘time’ to cook etc then a high protein supplement can be very useful. There are many of these available, some with extra minerals and vitamins added and others are relatively simple products and often less expensive. If you suspect your diet is lacking not only in protein but also in fresh vegetables, vitamins and minerals then the more comprehensive products are for you. Contact us.
If you doing well and just want a simple way to add extra protein then you may find a product such as ‘Eggcel ‘ is for you. This is an extremely easy to use, extremely high protein liquid that can be added to any smoothie. More information on this product can be found at www.eggcel.co.nz .
– If you like COFFEE. Then I feel that one cup a day is fine. But, make sure it is an ORGANIC plunger or filter coffee. Never drink instant.
– If you are a ‘chocoholic’ then make sure the chocolate you eat is as ‘dark’ as possible, preferably organic and limit your intake to 3-4 squares!!