Healthy eating results in a healthy mindset and a healthy body.
Do you ever consume a heavy meal, filled with lots of carbs, fats and oils, and as great as it tastes, just feel so ‘slump’ or ‘food coma’ afterwards. It’s because what that food source is doing to your body and how your stomach must process it that makes you feel so tired and lethargic. Some people actually never know what it’s like to ‘feel good’, and energetic and their diet is why…
The food we consume plays a pivotal role in how our bodies operate daily. Regular exercise is important (for a gazillion of reasons), but nutrition has the largest impact on our fitness and achieving results. If you want results, there is no point destroying yourself training day in day out, then going home to indulge yourself in bad, fatty, sugary foods.
Food is fuel, and food is medicine. Healthy food intake needs to be included in your daily regime.
Fat, fat, fat! We're told to eat it, we're told not to eat it. It gets confusing…
FACT: We actually need fats - we can't live without them. Fats are an important part of a healthy diet: They provide essential fatty acids, keep our skin soft, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, and are a great source of energizing fuel. But it's easy to get confused about good fats vs. bad fats, and how much we should eat of it.
GOOD FATS are sometimes called 'Unsaturated fat'. Unsaturated fat comes in two forms: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
BAD FATS comes in the form of saturated fat and trans fat.
Both bad fats make our bodies produce more bad cholesterol, and they can also reduce the good cholesterol. And both bad fats can increase the risk of heart disease later in life.
Be conscious of the fats you’re using and consuming and the level within your meal plans.
2. DON’T THROW AWAY THE SKIN:
Not everyone knows this, but the nutrients in vegetables and fruits are mostly concentrated just below the skin. Try to eat most vegetable and fruits unpeeled to not lose out on fibre and vital nutrients. But be sure to wash them first remove any pesticides.
There are obvious ones that need the skin removed, so peel your carrots, beets and sweet potato using a peeler.
Root vegetables like potato, sweet potato, yam, etc, should be boiled with their skins on and then peeled. The nutrition moves to the centre of the vegetable which causes better retention of nutrients during cooking.
The best way to store fruits and vegetables is to leave them unwashed with the skin, rinds, or skins intact until the day you plan to eat them. Also cutting, slicing, chopping or peeling fruits and vegetables reduces some of their nutritional value. So Mel recommends - don't store, sliced vegetables.
The nutrient that suffers the heaviest hit is probably vitamin C, although some vitamin A and vitamin E get lost as well. All these vitamins are antioxidants, which means they react to oxygen.
In a nutshell, the peels and coverings naturally protect the antioxidant vitamins inside. Once you break through the protective coverings, the flesh inside is exposed to air and the oxygen reduces the antioxidant vitamins.
3. SOY? GOOD or BAD?
Try to avoid products such as commercial energy bars, soy burgers, soy cheese and other processed products as they containing soy protein isolates. Don’t use just any soy sauces as too much sodium and MSG added. Read the label. Just fermented organic soy products (miso, tempeh, tofu) are acceptable to eat and are healthy options.
4. MEAL PREP. WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT?
Ok, so who hasn’t left work late with a growling stomach but little energy to shop and cook? So you resort to a ‘fast food’ solution or one that you’re unsure of the nutritional value within, as it's quick and easy and close by.
A busy schedule is one of the top reasons why people choose quick takeout meals, which are often calorie-laden and a contributor to expanding waistlines.
Now, imagine you’ve finished work, and within a few minutes of walking through the door you have a delicious home-cooked dinner, and perhaps even lunch packed-up for the next day.
Don’t let your schedule dictate your waistline. Just meal prep!
We are not going to lie, any type of meal prep requires planning, there is no one correct method, as it can differ based on food preferences, cooking ability, schedules, and personal goals.
Some benefits of meal prep:
●Can help save money, instead of impulse buying at the shops every time?
●Can ultimately save time
●Can help with weight control, as you decide the ingredients and portions served
●Can contribute to an overall more nutritionally balanced diet
●Can reduce stress as you avoid last-minute decisions about what to eat, or rushed preparation
And, being organised reduces the temptation to steer or track and eat naughty foods or lazy eating! Create your weekly shopping list and prepare yourself for the week ahead, it will keep you on the path to your nutritional goals.
Meal prepping is great for people who want to spend less time in the kitchen. Why not try Sunday nights, watching your favourite reality TV program, cooking for your week ahead. Depending on your goals, schedule and meal preferences, meal prepping may involve making large batches to be frozen, full meals to be refrigerated or prepared ingredients to be combined as needed.
For more, check out Raw Lifestyle.