Who doesn’t want to be healthier? We’re at the start of a new year and most of us have lots of resolutions to eat more veggies, cut down on the ‘bad’ stuff and lose some of that leftover Christmas weight asap as a result of over-indulging! Instead of focusing on a short-term goal, how about making it a lifestyle change? I’m not talking about a complete overhaul overnight but a step-by-step conscious, logical and realistic approaching to eating better, one day at a time. Here are some easy-peasy everyday tips to get you started. Pick the one that resonates best with you and start today!
My TOP 10 tips for eating cleaner and living healthier…
- Eat consciously. Have a well-planned diet incorporating several food groups: good intake of fresh fruits, leafy greens, lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds, grains, fresh herbs and spices.
- Top tip: The more natural colours from real food you have on your plate, the more likely you are to have a well-balanced meal! M&M’s colourful as they are, don’t count
- Eat fresh fruit on an empty stomach for maximum absorption of nutrients.
- Research has showed that fruit contains more nutrients than any other food, and eating them on an empty stomach allows your body to maximise this absorption of all the goodness and aid digestion, rather than eating fruit post-meals where it just ‘sits on top of’ (i.e is the last to be digested) the other food you have eaten.
- Switch to unrefined grains: brown rice, brown sugar, wholemeal bread and pasta. Unrefined grains have a higher percentage of fibre, nutrients and minerals.
- Reduce your intake of dairy which is high in fat (and commercially-produced milk also contains hormones and antibiotics you really don’t need). Instead, try alternatives such as soy milk, nut milk (such as almond, hazelnut), coconut oil, almond/peanut butter.
- Juice up! Every now and again, juice or blend some raw ingredients to get your nutrients in a fast and efficient way: spinach, celery, kale, fresh fruit, flax seeds, etc. Coconut oil and nut butters are a great addition to smoothies as a way of including some healthy fats.
- Eat whole foods. Stay away from refined, highly processed foods. Fresh is always best. When pressed for time and you need to use canned/packaged products, do check the ingredients and nutritional information to see how much preservatives, unhealthy fats and sugar are present.
- Low fat does not mean low sugar! Very often, products which proclaim they are ‘low-fat’ contain high amounts of sugar, preservatives and other unnatural ingredients that your body does not need. Start reading the nutritional information of products and your grocery list will change drastically.
- Eat more anti-oxidant rich foods, for e.g. citrus fruit, berries, sweet potatoes, dark green vegetables, garlic, ginger, broccoli, green tea, tomatoes, quinoa, Brazil nuts, prunes and kidney beans.
- Self-cleanse at least one day a month: on that day, eat only fresh fruit, raw veggies and other anti-oxidant rich foods and forego processed food, dairy, gluten, alcohol and caffeine.
- Cook at home as often as you can! Engage your family in the cooking process, to understand more about where ingredients come from and why they are good for you. It’s never too early to teach the young ones about good food!