Nutrition

Nutrition is critical to health playing a 30% role along with fitness 30%, positive outlook 30% and 10% genetics. Here are some simple suggestions to follow when choosing, preparing and making food choices.

Step 1 Make the decision

It sounds simple; however the most important part of a healthy diet is the decision to make a conscious choice to eat healthy. If you are not committed to the idea then you will fall into old negative habits before you know it. Make the decision now to lead a lifestyle of health and wellness.

Step 2 Preparation

Get organised

A new way of eating is going to require you to get organised. You will need to clear out all the junk in the cupboard and fridge. The next stage will be to go shopping. You will need to take the list provided and purchase all the ingredients you need. Next you will have to choose the foods and recipes which are appealing to you.  Choose old favourites which are healthy, revamp recipes you like with healthy options and choose from a range of new healthy recipes.

Many people find it helpful initially to follow the suggested menu plan and then alter it once you get the general idea. Another method of planning your meals is to make a menu plan yourself for the week. This way you can plan to make time to prepare those meals.

Once you have decided what you are going to eat, then it is essential it is prepared in a healthy manner. Here are a few tips;

Once you have decided what you are going to eat, then it is essential it is prepared in a healthy manner. Here are a few tips;

Food should be not over cooked. Too much heat destroys the nutrient value,    particularly in fresh, wholesome foods.

·Vegetables in particular should only be lightly steamed. Many vitamins are destroyed by excessive cooking or left behind in the water after boiling and subsequently poured down the sink. Cut fresh vegetables into small pieces and place them in a stainless steel steamer for only 4 – 6 minutes. Vegetables should still be crisp on the inside when ‘cooked’.
·Take the time to prepare attractive, aromatic food.
·Vary the foods you eat- the more variety, the more nutrients. Colours in foods are the indicators of different nutrients, so try to include as many colourful foods as possible.
·Consider organic produce as much as possible. Nutrient levels and the vitality of organic produce far exceed supermarket quality.
·Avoid heating oils excessively when cooking. Use a virgin cold pressed oil when making salad dressings and cooking. Olive oil is the most stable and healthful oil for cooking. Pure olive oil is not the same as virgin cold pressed. Oils should be stored in tin containers away from light and heat. By adding a few vitamin E capsules you can prevent any further oxidation.

 Step 3 Food choices

·Salt

Many people believe salt is unhealthy. However salt is allowed if it is the correct type. Commercial table salt affects your blood pressure levels. When used regularly it increases your blood pressure, hence causing heart disease if not controlled. Any salt will have this affect if consumed in excess, however vegetable salt and good quality sea salt does not have this affect in moderation and can actually assist in many conditions by replacing lost salts from perspiration and alcohol consumption. Mauritius sea salt is naturally high in beneficial minerals and has a mild taste.

·Fats

Limit the amount of bad fats in your diet. Bad fats come from oils which have been heated or chemicals used in the extraction process. These are generally cheap cooking oils, margarine and farmed animals. ‘Good’ fats are ones which have not been heated or over processed.

A ‘good’ oil will contain the label ‘Virgin, Cold pressed’. Good fats are an important part of the diet, playing a crucial role in the state of your health, so it is not a good idea to exclude them altogether. The best oil to use for cooking is olive oil as it is less likely to oxidise when heated. Use the minimum of amount of oil when cooking. Try and get your good oil content through salad dressings, nuts and seeds.

·Wholefoods

Wholefoods are foods which still retain their original qualities. The term wholefoods generally applies to grains. The processing of grains from ‘BROWN” to ‘WHITE’ is common practice, however ‘WHITE’ grains can be harmful to your health. Processing destroys all their nutrient value, removes important fibre and makes them much more likely to cause food intolerances. So try and always choose ‘BROWN’ over ‘WHITE’. Brown bread, brown rice, brown sugar for example.

·Protein

Do not eat animal meat every day. When you do, eat small, lean portions. A good guideline would be red meat 1x per week, poultry 2x per week, fish 3x per week and vegetarian the rest of the time. This includes midday and the evening meals.

Different people require different amounts of protein in their diet. If you find yourself becoming extremely hungry in between meals then you will benefit from more protein with you meals. If you are finding yourself feeling lethargic and heavy after protein meals then you should lean towards more vegetarian components to your meals.

If you enjoy or need animal products, it is best to choose game or wild animal meats. An active animal will contain fats, however the fats are healthy fats and can be beneficial to health. Meats like venison, rabbit, wild salmon and guinea fowl.

•Fruits and Vegetable

Eat fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Simple but essential advice. Fruits and vegetables contain all of the nutrients our bodies need to function at optimum levels. The best way to eat fruits is as snacks in between meals or as desserts. Vegetables are best eaten with the main meal of the day or in salads.

·Processed foods

Try and minimise the amount of processed foods which you consume. The more a food has been processed, the more likely it is to be unhealthy! Foods are perfect the way nature created them. When a food is manipulated it loses its original goodness and vitality. At least 40% of your diet should be raw in the form of fruits, vegetables and salads.

·Organic Vs Supermarket

Organic is obviously better, however can be difficult to source and expensive. Where possible it is best to consume organic and then source as much locally produced foods as possible. They may not be organic, yet fresher foods have higher nutrient levels and less impact on the environment through transport. Support farmer markets and local suppliers.

·Water

Water is essential for life, so ensure at least 2 litres is consumed every day. Check out my post on water energy. Dr Emoto

Step 4 Process of eating

·Chew your food well; at least 5 – 10 chews before swallowing. Slow down and enjoy your meals. Most people eat too quickly. Eating is one of the great experiences in life. Enjoy it!
·Do not overeat. Your digestive tract takes a lot of energy to digest large meals. Smaller meals will give you more energy, vitality and maintain weight levels. If you eat 1/3 less, studies show you can live 1/3 longer!!!
·Try not to eat when stressed or emotionally upset.
·Try not to drink too much with meals. Small amounts are fine. Large amounts can dilute your digestive secretions.
·Consume lots of fresh “live” foods. “Live” foods are any foods which have been collected fresh and maintain their life-force. The fresher the better! Sprouts in particular are an excellent addition to any meal to assist digestion.
·Limit Alcohol consumption
·Avoid smoking
·Limit Coffee and tea intake, consume more herbal teas and ensure 2 litres of fresh, clean water every day.

One thought on “Nutrition

  1. Pingback: Nutrition « albertoamenedo1

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