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Simple Nutrition Tips For A Healthier Life
Making changes to your diet can be a difficult feat: it often means changing your lifestyle as well, and sometimes it can impact those around you. Although it may seem like a difficult task at first, the fact is that your health is central to your life; therefore, making change is necessary if you want to optimise your health and improve your quality of life.
When changing your diet, take it one step at a time in order to avoid being overwhelmed and discouraged. Start with one meal, such as breakfast, and once you have mastered that change, move on to the next. It can take a long time to implement change; so don’t be discouraged if you don’t make changes overnight!
You do need to start change now, however small! There’ll always be another birthday, another holiday, and another excuse for not making change. If you don’t start now, the day of change will never come!
The tips below are for general use only. It’s always best to consult your health care practitioner to define your specific dietary requirements.
- Try to drink 1.5-2L of water per day, plus extra when you’re exercising! Sufficient water is vital for health and for the elimination of wastes and toxins from your body.
- Reduce coffee, with the aim of consuming no more than 1 cup of coffee per day. A close alternative for those who may have difficulty with this is Dandelion Root tea. Other herbal teas you may like to try include: Peppermint, Chai, White tea, Green tea, Chamomile and Rooibos, all best consumed without milk and sugar.
- Live a life alcohol-free (or as close to as possible!)
- Eliminate soft drinks, sweetened cordials, and reconstituted fruit drinks. Choose freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices if you feel like something sweet.
- Don’t skip breakfast and ensure variety! Try eggs a few times per week, especially if you have extra time, otherwise a healthy muesli, porridge, or toast, as outlined below.
- If you feel your digestion is a bit sluggish or you’re lacking in appetite in the morning, try squeezing ½ lemon in room-temperature water and drink as soon as you wake up. This will be sure to stimulate you!
- When choosing muesli, go for organic where possible. Check the ingredients and avoid it if there is anything artificial – colourings, flavourings, etc. Also check if there is any added sugar. Choose muesli with a good variety of nuts, seeds, and whole grains, and one that is lower in dried fruit, as dried fruit is very high in sugar. Some good whole grains to keep your eye out for include oats, buckwheat, rice puffs / flakes, kamut, amaranth, spelt. There is more to muesli than wheat! Add some LSA and chia seeds to your muesli to make it even more nutrient-rich, and some fresh berries for extra antioxidants!
- Choose A2 milk, organic goat’s milk, or non-dairy milks such as organic oat milk, almond milk, or rice milk. If ever choosing soymilk, ensure that it is organic to avoid genetically modified products. You may also like to try probiotic-rich products such as natural yoghurt or keffir to mix in to your muesli instead of milk. These foods are great for digestive health!
- If you’re a fan of porridge, add some cinnamon in for some extra flavour, and try adding fresh berries or chopped apple while it’s cooking. This will add extra antioxidants and fibre. Alternatives to oats for making porridge include quinoa flakes, spelt flakes, rice flakes: search your local health food store!
- When selecting bread, avoid white refined breads! Go for whole grain: try varieties such as spelt, rice multigrain, sprouted seeds: search your local health food store!
- Choose spreads such as avocado, nut spreads (almond + brazil nuts + cashews; macadamia; pure peanut butter), and raw organic honey. Avoid margarine – it is hydrogenated and highly oxidating!
- When having an egg breakfast, choose poached or soft-boiled eggs, and have with a side of vegetables, such as cooked mushrooms, tomato, red onion, spinach, and some fresh sprouts. Delicious!
- Vegetable sticks, such as carrot or celery sticks, are a great snack through the day. Try dipping them in hummus.
- Mixed, unsalted, raw nuts. Limit to a serving the size of 3 fingers, as nuts are quite energy-dense.
- Fresh fruis are important to include in your diet for their nutrient and antioxidant rich content.
- When choosing crackers, go whole grain. Choose the option that contains as many seeds as possible! This is to increase the nutrient content of the cracker. Use dips such as hummus, tahini, or fresh avocado.
Lunch and Dinner
- If you eat meat, aim for a 100-150g serve. Avoid deli meats that a full of nitrites and preservatives. Limit eating red meat to 2-3 times / week.
- Choose fresh deep-sea fish such as salmon at least 3 times / week. Fresh is best however canned is better than nothing at all. Salmon is a better choice that tuna, as tuna can be higher in mercury, but again canned tuna is better than none at all. Try to go unflavoured: you can flavour it yourself with fresh lemon juice, herbs and spices.
- Endeavour to have a vast variety of vegetables throughout the day. Try something different: perhaps some purple carrots, or some Asian vegetables, and give the different varieties of tomatoes a go.
- Whole grains are very important to maintain bowel health, so include in your diet. They may be in the whole form, such as quinoa or brown rice, or they may be from pasta (choose spelt), wraps (spelt / rye), bread (outlined above), etc. Wheat is not the only grain: limit wheat and instead try buckwheat, millet, quinoa, kamut, spelt, etc.
- Legumes are another great way to obtain fibre for bowel health. They are very versatile, and can be added to salads and meals, or had as a side. Try lentils, chickpeas, kidney/navy/cannellini/ pinto/other beans.
- Use olive oil or coconut oil in cooking.
- Dress salads with extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed (keep refrigerated), sesame, apricot, almond, etc oils with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
- Choose Celtic sea salt instead of regular table salt for the higher mineral content.
- Use fresh herbs and spices to flavour meals, and for their great health benefits!
- If you’re a chocolate fan, try organic cacao nibs and organic dark chocolate. It is high in antioxidants when consumed in moderation, and has a beautiful rich flavour.
This article was kindly written by:
Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy)
Cert III in Fitness