It’s all about teaching yourself to think about food in a new way. Years ago, meat and three veg was the Australian staple. Now we know that more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and fish are best for our health.
Food is intrinsic in our everyday lives, not to mention our celebrations! From – “hey, it’s your birthday, here’s some cake” to –“it’s Friday lunch, let’s take the team to the pub”.
Make it exciting by experimenting with new recipes and meal plans. Be creative and take chances. Instead of dreading your new food lifestyle, have fun with it.
Don’t be in a rush. Change slowly. By the time you are 40, you’ll have eaten some 40,000 meals — and lots of snacks besides. Give yourself time to change, targeting one item a week.
- Start with breakfast, switching from processed cereals and breads to eggs, spinach and a little bacon, or try oatmeal with walnuts and fruit. If you just can’t spare 10 minutes for a sit-down breakfast, whiz some greens with a banana and protein powder for a quick smoothie on the run.
- For lunch, try out salads loaded with a protein hit such as cheese, tuna or leftover roast chicken. If you crave sweetness after a meal, try a piece of fruit here – or indulge in sweet vegetables like carrots and sweet potato.
- Snack on unsalted nuts, trail mix, fruit, a ‘rainbow’ of raw veggies with hummus. I like capsicum, cucumber, celery, carrots – anything with crunch.
- For dinner, experiment with fish, poultry, beans and lentils, roasted vegies (so easy), quinoa, brown rice, and, of course, more salads and veggies. In fact, try making your meal plant based with a little added protein like a fist-sized piece of chicken or red meat. Then any leftovers make a great salad the next day.
- Fresh fruit and frozen fruit desserts are examples of suitable after-dinner treats. And there’s nothing wrong with the occasional cake, pie, or chocolate if portions are moderate and it’s more of a once a week type habit – not every night!
Most of all, just relax about your diet. There is no such thing as the perfect food. Not everything on your plate needs to have a higher purpose. Take your tastes and preferences into account. If Spaghetti Bolognese is your favourite food, it is perfectly okay to eat it — but try to make it a Sunday treat instead of a daily staple. The better choices you make in your overall diet, the more “wiggle room” you’ll have to spoil yourself.
Remember, take a long-term outlook. Don’t beat yourself up if you slip up or “cheat” from time to time. We have 21 meals in a week. It’s not about being faultless every single meal, much less every mouthful. It is all about balance. Your nutritional peaks and valleys will even out if your overall dietary pattern is sound.
For more delicious healthy recipes, try a cooking class. We can tailor them specifically to your needs.
If you’re struggling with changing your diet and lifestyle, you may want to consider hiring me as your health coach, the idea is pretty simple – you ‘want’ to make the changes necessary to be your best – but ‘stuff’ keeps getting in the way. A health coach can help you listen to your body first and use the information that best works for you. Because bio-individuality is the key to nutrition.