Eat well, be well – it’s as simple as that. Few things are as important as how we feed ourselves, yet on the day’s priority list, food often comes last. Putting a little time and attention towards your diet will keep you fit and feeling great.
Cook More Often
The more you cook the more control you have over what goes into your body. Eating more home-cooked food often means having fewer processed foods. The result is less added sugars, fats and, sodium in your diet and better health for you. Before you balk at more time in the kitchen, remember healthy cooking can be easy.
Remove refined white flour products like bread, crackers and processed cereals from your diet and replace them with grainy breads, whole grain crackers, porridge and whole grains (like brown rice and barley). Whole grain foods fill you up and contain more goodness – fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – than their white counterparts.
Enjoy a Variety of Foods Every Day
Our bodies need a mix of nutrients and one food can’t provide them all. Choose a range of foods within and across food groups (i.e. fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, meat/fish, nuts/seeds and dairy products) daily so your body gets the nutrition it needs.
Sneak in More Fruit and Veg
Most people don’t get nearly enough nutrition packed vegetables and fruits in their diet. Stuff your sandwich full of vegetables, take fruit for afternoon tea, slip more veggies into casseroles and stews or enjoy a fruit-based pudding. There are heaps of ways to pack more produce into your day.
Keep it Simple
Most people don’t need expensive, exotic “super” foods, supplements or special diet foods to keep healthy. You can get all the “healthy” food you need by shopping at ordinary places like the supermarket (keep to the perimeter for the best choices), farmer markets, and fruit and veggie shops.
Keep Extras in Their Rightful Place
Who doesn’t like an occasional piece of chocolate or sausage at a summer barbeque? There’s nothing wrong with enjoying “extras” (high energy, low nutrition foods) as long they don’t displace other more nutritious foods in your diet. Save extras for special occasions and/or very active days.
Give Peas, and Other Legumes, a Chance
The humble legume family (peas, beans, and chickpeas) contains the quiet superstars of the food world. Not only are they full of nutrients, fiber and slow releasing energy, but they’re a steal at the supermarket too. Make these inexpensive, handy foods a regular fixture in your diet.
Take the time to enjoy your food. Many of us have become expert “meal multi-taskers”. This means we eat in the car, at our desks or in front of the television – everywhere but at the dining room table. The more distracted we are, the less we tend to taste our food and the more we tend to eat. Park your car, turn off the TV or computer and give yourself a break. You’re worth it.