Oh my goodness- diet is such a broad topic, and it just so happens that it is also one of the most widely talked about topics out there.
But, let’s be honest… many of us are so fed up with conflicting and the sheer abundance of information in the media and in books about diet etc (not to mention social media), that it can be overwhelming, and many of us become apathetic to it and have almost given up on it all.
It’s great that we live in an age where we can educate ourselves on anything- provided we have access to a google search bar- but where do we start if we really want to get ourselves ‘together’ and be the happy, healthy person we have always strived for?
When I hit 40, I was determined to put everything I had learned into practise to finally cultivate good health and so below is what I would like to share with you.
Please note…the information I share is from personal experience and I am not a nutritionist, although I am a fully qualified Personal Trainer and some of my studies involved food and diet. I have also spent a great deal of my life researching dietary interventions to help my daughter with some issues connected to autism.
This diet is for people with no underlying conditions such as intolerances, allergies or diagnosed gut issues. I have found that keeping things extremely simple is definitely the way to get big results. This is how.
THE SIMPLE WAY TO EAT
I have tried many dietary interventions under the sun. Since I have been an ‘adult’, I have mainly focused on my health and wellbeing more so that I have worried about my weight, although judging from many conversations with friends and family, I know that weight is very often an issue for women.
This is completely understandable, because we all want to look our best, because that’s when we feel good. It’s an important aspect of being happy and healthy. So how do we wade through all the diversity of diets and literature found about the science behind food to get to the place where we can achieve our goals to look and feel our best ?
If weight loss truly is one of the aspects you are looking to fulfil your goal to live a healthy lifestyle then fundamentally to maintain a healthy weight, which is piece of the puzzle of a wholistic healthy lifestyle, the number 1 rule is that in order to lose weight, you must consume less energy that what you exert.
So, it doesn’t matter if you are on the Keto diet, the Low Carb diet or a Vegan diet…so long as you are eating and drinking less calories than what you are exerting then you will lose weight. If you don’t, then you may have an underlying health issue that you will need to address via your doctor.
For everyone else then the place to start for weight loss is really simple- eat 3 healthy meals a day and drink half your body weight in water daily between meals and only drink alcohol occasionally. Limit tea and coffee and keep it to basic Americano or filtered coffee and only add in a tiny bit of milk if you have to, and do not add sugar.
Your healthy meal plates would consist of mostly vegetables, some protein (meat or vegetarian protein) and a small portion of complex carbs such as brown rice and good fats-extra virgin olive oil or avocado for example.
A good option for breakfast is a breakfast smoothie. You can then add in all your supplements for the day. I often take mine ‘on the go’ with me if it’s a busy morning.
That way you will not forget as the day takes hold. It’s also crucial to acknowledge that gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol and caffeine- from coffee and tea- is highly acidic to the body and can create a gut that is a breeding ground for disease. Do keep that in mind when you are choosing and creating your meals.
When you decide to adhere to this way of eating, please be easy on yourself. If you are weaning yourself off sugar, you will most likely find it difficult. Sugar is highly addictive.
Like any addiction, it’s very difficult to break away from it. You will need to be committed to coming off it. I found I got depressed and low when I first weaned myself off sugar.
I am mindful about the kind of sugar I consume now and it so easily creeps back in. It happens to me and then I have to rein it in again. You constantly have to be mindful about any addictive food and drink.
I take digestive plus, fibre, protein powder and a powdered multi vitamin in the morning and I put them in my breakfast smoothie. Some of these supplements have sugar in them.
However, these sugars are unprocessed cane sugars which are easy for the body to digest. I will eat a small amount of honey sometimes, because honey is packed full of goodness. They are the only sugars I know that I can have without compromising my healthy lifestyle. If I do get hungry between meals, then I will snack on fruit and nuts.
So that is my simple advise for one puzzle piece of your Healthy living goals. Exercise is also an important part of the puzzle, but diet needs to be addressed first before you start exercising (unless you already have an exercise regime in place.)
That’s because we are often hungrier when we work out, so that can more often than not compromise weight loss. If weight loss isn’t your goal, then this doesn’t apply.
I will do an article on exercise on the blog next time. The topic will be on exercise for self love and not as a punishing activity, which is what it can so often be.
Until then….please come and follow me via the social links @melindatickel on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.