Healthy eating is big business at the moment. It seems you can’t walk down the street these days without a new juice bar popping up; paleo bars have overtaken chocolate bars by the checkout counter at your corner store and there is a whole aisle dedicated to “health food” at the supermarket. Whilst this growing interest is great news on the whole, it can also be greatly confusing!
Your colleague tells you your morning green juice has more sugar than a Mars Bar, but how can it be unhealthy when there’s so many veggies and fruit crammed in there?
You’ve finally mastered the perfect quinoa salad, only to read an article denouncing grains in a health and fitness mag – does this include quinoa?
And what the hell is a kombucha scoby anyway!?
Before you throw it all in and pick up the phone to order yourself a pizza, take a step back, a few deep breaths and let me leave you with five basic steps to simplify healthy eating.
1. Don’t over complicate things. A green smoothie is a great breakfast option, but trying to cram as many superfoods in as possible is not only confusing, it can also be extremely expensive! Try something simple instead like yoghurt and fruit topped with nuts and seeds or scrambled eggs with a few mushrooms and handful of spinach thrown in. Choose simple recipes where you know the ingredients, and introduce any new ingredients slowly.
2. Cut out sugar and processed foods. Sugar makes us crave more sugar, it raises our blood sugar levels, and can zap our energy. Most processed and packaged foods contain lots of hidden sugars, even those that seem healthy like muesli bars and some yoghurts. Start checking labels and try to buy things that don’t have too many ingredients, especially those with numbers after them!
3. Eat more vegetables. Most of us unfortunately do not eat enough vegetables, which are packed full of vitamins and nutrients that are essential for our bodies to continue to function correctly and prevent illness and disease. Vegetables will also do wonders for your energy levels, skin and hair health – and who doesn’t want beautiful healthy skin and hair? Try to include one or two additional serves of vegetables and day and slowly build it up.
4. Eat wholefoods. Asides from fresh vegetables, look for products such as fresh fruit, free range eggs, nuts, seeds, meat and fish, legumes and whole grains. Foods in their purest form (that is, unprocessed) will provide you with the most nutritional benefit. When starting out with your healthy eating try not to worry about which healthy foods you should and shouldnt eat, this can be a little overwhelming and make things too difficult at the start. Instead, just focus on eating as many wholefoods as you can – especially those veggies!
5. Pick healthy food you like. If you hate kale, don’t force yourself to eat it. Not a fan of quinoa? Try buckwheat, freekah or millet instead. Have a little fun and experiment, but don’t force yourself to eat anything that you don’t like – there will be plenty of other healthy alternatives out there for you to discover and love!
Hopefully this has been helpful for some of you! The main takeaway here is that if you are trying to eat healthy and overwhelmed by all of the information out there, just take a step back and focus on keeping it simple and eating wholefoods to start with.
Feel free to share any other tips or questions in the comments section below – I’d love to hear form you – D x