It may sound like a cliche, but it’s true, we are living in a very difficult and unsure time, and it’s okay to not be okay. It’s hard enough just to stay home without having to challenge yourself to do 50 push-ups every day or learn some complicated yoga pose. You don’t have to follow some complicated and restrictive diet right now, I mean, you should avoid going to the supermarket and the shelves are almost empty in any case! Eating for comfort really isn’t that bad an idea. We as humans are hardwired to derive pleasure from our food, so why not show some selfcare and eat something delicious!
Rest and relaxation can actually help soothe your stress and fears and give your immune system a boost.
Here are some of my favourite non-challenge activities that will leave you feeling relieved:
Intermittent fasting has gained quite a lot of popularity recently. It’s definitely a growing trend, but did millennials just invent a new name for skipping breakfast or is there truly some value to it?
1. Buy local produce; imported food has a very high carbon footprint, just from transportation to where you buy it (eating an imported vegan diet actually has a higher carbon footprint than eating a local omnivorous diet...)
2. Choose paper over plastic wrapping; buying foods that are packaged in biodegradable packaging, or even better, compostable, saves on a lot of plastic
3. Buy nude food; lots of veggies are sold without wrapping, by choosing this over the pre-packed, not only do you save on plastic, but its often cheaper too. Examples are bunches of carrots or kale, or large loose items like whole cabbages.
4. Carry your own produce bags; buying lots of small veggies that are nude might be a problem, skip the plastic and take your own reusable bag (mine are in the photo).
5. Other reusable items; carry bamboo or glass straws, reusable shopping bags, reusable cutlery and cups for takeaways.
6. Store food in reusable containers; don't use cling wrap or single use plastic bags to store your food. Use jars, tupperware, old tubs, wax wraps or tins.
7. Buy in bulk; larger quantities of food means less small containers. For example, instead of buying coffee in little pods, buy large containers, instead of single use yogurts, buy large tubs and transfer into small reusable containers for on-the-go use.
8. Grow your own! A veggie garden pretty much gives your food a negative carbon footprint, no transport, no packaging, and plants absorb carbon!
Whole foods are any foods that are minimally processed, with no parts added or subtracted. For example, an egg that has been cooked is still a whole food, but wheat that has been refined and the bran removed, is no longer whole. Making whole foods a part of your lifestyle means eating real, natural, unprocessed foods. This includes fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, fresh meat, milk and eggs.
Here are three recipes for a whole day of whole food:
Breakfast: Baked eggs with peas and sun dried tomatoes
Lunch: One pan lentils, veg and pork
Supper: Couscous with pan fried veg, pumpkin seeds and honey balsamic drizzle
(Click on photos to view full size)
Happy national nutrition and obesity week!
Sorry... nutrition and WHAT?
You may ask why, in this age of healthy-at-every-size and body positivity, is it still important to create awareness around obesity?
Pizza is probably my favourite food. I love a thin base with a little bit of chew to it, a thick layer of tomato sauce over it, and I will eat pretty much any topping you put on it. And that is exactly the reason why it makes a good introductory food to the plant based diet for meat eaters. Here is a full recipe for everything from the dough for the base, to the sauce, and some of my favourite veg toppings (but feel free to buy ready made bases if you don't have time for the extra effort.)
It is surprisingly simple to shift to a more plant based diet if you are a meat eater. Here are some steps you can follow to gradually up your veg game:
I get very excited about food. I love eating, I love cooking, I love growing my own veggies. I don't eat everything, and I certainly don't always eat perfectly "healthy" (even though most of my patients seem to think that I do...)
Having a positive attitude towards food is something I feel very strongly about. I believe that all food can form part of a balanced, healthy diet. We need to stop worrying about what we eat, and what others eat, and which diet is the best or worst, and start focusing on what our bodies need. We need to start eating real food with real enjoyment. I wrote a mini ebook on the topic, which you can read for free, because I feel so strongly that this information should be accessible to everyone. Just fill out the pop up form on my website, and your copy will be emailed to you shortly.
Eating positively is about eating for the benefit of your physical and mental wellbeing. Please read it and enjoy.
PS. If you pre-ordered the ebook and haven't received your copy yet, please send me an email and I will send it ASAP!
Dietitians are highly trained, have to register with a medical board, and are kept accountable to a high level of ethics and continued training. Your dietitian takes you as a whole into account, nothing is one-size-fits-all. Your body type, your medical history, your family history, what medicines you are taking, your likes and dislikes.
Your life is a whole, food is not separated from the rest of your life. Your financial standing may determine how much you can spend on food. Your job might require you to travel a lot, making it easier to just eat take away food. You might be going through a stressful time at home or work, which could take your mind off healthy eating and you require food that is quick and easy to prepare. Your culture or religion might include some feasts or fasts where traditional foods are eaten that doesn't necessarily fit in with what the internet sees as healthy food. Maybe you just love chocolate and wish you could find a balance between eating for health and eating for fun, or maybe you are just tired of feeling like you are being punished every time you choose the salad...
All of this influences what your "healthy" looks like, and your dietitian can make it possible to fit healthy into your lifestyle without compromising who you are.
I am a registered dietitian, and this is my blog.
Please don't see it as anything other than a blog; general information, snippets that I find interesting, and recipes that I enjoy. It is not meant to replace individual healthcare from myself or other healthcare professionals.