“We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavours and furniture polish is made from real lemons.”
Alfred E. Newman
The minefield that is diet and nutrition- what a headache!
There is so much information out there, on websites, blogs, through media channels, books and DVDs, it can be ever so confusing to know what to eat, when to eat, what we’re allowed to eat even!
My opinion and nutritional foresight is simple: ‘Eat right for you and keep things simple.’ Basically, do not overcomplicate things. I have found this approach has proven time and time again with regards to my clients, proving only subtle changes in habits and food intake can make huge developments in wellbeing and goal getting.
I have spent much of my time since mid-2007 indulged in nutritional research, discoveries, personal trials and mistakes. Yes, ‘mistakes!’ I have made mistakes I’m not going to lie to you, and I’m sure I will again, that is how I will grow and develop myself to improve as an individual and as a trainer. My mistakes are my clients gain if you think about it- I have spent over ten years in trial and error, finding ways to nourish and improve myself through eating correctly, and you can save that time and have the information right now.
I do believe that much of what is preached surrounding nutrition is misleading and in most parts incorrect and unnecessary. From my own observations, the ideas of what is good and bad for your body is dictated from large corporations that benefit financially from you eating their products and not others. I say ‘products’ as there is no way I can call these foods, when they are riddled with chemicals, artificial ingredients, refined and processed to high heaven. As diet and nutrition is a big interest of many, such organisations pry on ignorance and the busy modern society we find ourselves in.
My advice is simply and in no way rocket science. Eat whole foods, as close to nature as is possible.
Eat individual foods, actual foods that do not require an ingredients label to tell you what you’re eating! An apple for example is an apple, nothing else, and you do not need anybody or any label to tell you otherwise. It’s safe and very effective this way, and making friends with your local fruit and vegetable stall at the market is a great way to guarantee you lifelong health. If you do come across an item that does have a label, if there are more than two to three ingredients on the list it’s not for your body, it’s too processed. If there are only a couple or three ingredients on the label, make sure you know what they are exactly, because if you don’t, then my advice would be to leave well alone. If there are ingredients on a label that you can’t even pronounce, then it’s definitely not a food source that your body deserves. Take a label with such an ingredients list, a list as long as your arm, and why not Google ingredients like butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydrozyttoluene (BHT), aspartame, sodium nitrate, sodium sulphite, high frustose corn syrup or monosodium glutatmate, and actually realise what that do to the body.
Eat colourful foods- literally eat the rainbow! The spectrum of colours in fruits and vegetables and whole food(s) not only looks and is appealing to our human nature and sense’s, each colour is significant to our biological needs, feeding us an important nutrient or array of nutrients as we eat them. If you want to succeed, balance these colours across your plate.
The best way is a lifestyle choice, not a diet. A long term realistic plan that you can stick to and have no issue with sticking to for the next 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 plus years! No strain on your pyschological connection with food, no need to count calories and write everything down, and foods and mealtimes you look forward to and enjoy preparing. The word ‘diet’ is often a detriment, as most people hear this and panic, go into some weird sense of feeling deprived of the foods they so love, although I obviously understand the need for the word to get my points across. To me the word ‘diet’ screams short-term, and generally has no longevity in ones life.
If a product has an advert, don’t eat it. Products advertised on billboards, television, radio or across any media outlet, in my experience are not worth eating, and rarely these products can even be considered a food.
Think of food as fuel. Food is quite simply a fuel and I believe that if we eat right to fuel the furnace (our metabolism), it’s a win-win every time. I often find that many people underestimate the quality, or lack of quality that the calories they consume play in detriment to their health. We need to feed our cells the correct and adequate nutrients and the only way to do this is through what goes in. You should ensure you don’t waste your daily caloric intake on refined, processed, chemical-laden products that actually leach minerals (often calcium) from the body’s own stores. Most people find that by switching to a majority whole food diet, they can actually eat a lot more food as these types of foods are lower in calories, offering less calories and heightened nutritional benefits at the same time. See, it’s win-win!
Drink enough water. Drinking enough water is important to many bodily functions, and sadly dehydration is rife among us, with many people walking around feeling unwell when all they need do is up the water they drink. Drink still water, not sparkling, carbonated water. Aim to drink an amount you feel suits you so that you are never thirsty. Thirst is a sign of dehydration, and can have quite an impact on the body.
Do your own research. A bit rich as have shared a brief of my advice to you! Taking control yourself and figuring out exactly what appeals to you with regards to meal and snack times is important, and often the best way to hit home. Google is a great starting place, and then there’s YouTube, with literally millions of recipes, tips and ideas you could use. You can even search per food and end up with endless uses and combinations of foods that will leave you salivating just reading about them. There are also a tonne of blogs sharing healthy food adventures that you can follow and read the archives of for added incentives.
By following even the points I lay out on this page I would expect you to see health benefits. Those who embrace a realistic and balanced approach to eating and lifestyle tend to boast heightened physical and mental status, energy and vitality, are grounded and emotionally balanced, have mental clarity, good skin and muscle tone, inner cleanliness, an immune system that can resist and recover from just about any disease, and the general sense of balanced wellbeing that many others seek.
I myself follow a plant-based diet, however I understand and in no way judge anybody’s opinions or food choices. I will never force anybody to change the way they eat to suit my personal criteria or agenda. ‘Eat right for you’ is always my advice, kind of an oath really.
My coaching aim is to always suggest alternative approaches, measures and foods, not just to cut certain things from the diet. I have seen too many health professionals focus on what not to eat and drink without offering up alternatives (or decent alternatives), and have seen the result of this. Often clients are left confused and with no understanding of nutrition or fundamental platform to a healthy lifestyle balance. And then there are the trainers out there that have no nutritional balance, foundation or information themselves! That’s a whole other topic.
I post new recipes regularly on my blog feed and Facebook page, with video demonstrations on YouTube sometimes to. I also love to write articles when I have the time and these too will feature on the blog and through social media.
To me, health and nutrition is simple, although I do understand that people find things difficult due to time restraints, busy schedules etc. I wouldn’t have any clients or businesses if it wasn’t for people admitting they need a little help and guidance and contacting me! If you would like to know and learn more about my nutritional philosophies, I often share recipes and articles on my blog page, and through my Facebook page.