To begin on this health journey is easy. You must start with introducing more whole foods (leafy greens, fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and a small amount of oils like olive, coconut, avocado) into your diet, each day. Change your mind-set along the way, too, really start to take an interest in food, read labels, check for ingredients, learn how to understand the Nutritional Information Panel on the back of all processed food – check sugar, salt and fat content – check country of origin. Learn the difference between ‘marketing speak’ and disclosures dictated by law, keep alert for little tricks, for example ‘natural’ does not mean ‘organic’ etc.
If you have children, a really good way to improve your chances of making long lasting change is to involve them in the learning stage. Buy yourself a copy of The Chemical Maze book, by Bill Statham (use your favourite on-line bookstore to find it) this will help you wade through all the various codes and numbers on processed foods – some of them are perfectly fine, but some of them are dreadfully bad – it’s up to you to learn and keep abreast of what’s happening to the food you consume and feed to your family. Note – you will also need to invest in a magnifying glass to read the actual ingredients on some packages, you won’t need it for the marketing claims!
Another really good way to improve your chances of eating more fresh food is to either grow a vegetable garden yourself, shop once a month/fortnight or if you’re lucky enough, weekly, at a growers market or farmers market. The produce is always divine, fresh and in season and so deliciously tantalising that you should have no problem falling in love with fresh. We are lucky in this day and age to have the internet to help us not only find a growers market, but also to help us learn how to use things like Jerusalem artichokes or eggplants or Fejoa’s etc.
A handy little trick to check how you are going, is to just pull back before eating and double check for colour. Is your plate* predominated by beige? If so, you are probably stuck in the old pattern of mashed potato, rice, pasta, lasagne, burgers, chips, frozen pre-made dinners etc. Try to move some of the beige off your plate and replace it with colour – fresh vegetables and have a fruit bowl handy, not only at home, but at work as well.
We recommend an easy way to increase the amount of fruit and leafy greens in your diet is to make Green Smoothies every now and again, they look just like those fad diet shakes, only made with fresh greens, bananas, dates, papaya or whatever suitable fresh fruit you have. Green smoothies are very filling and highly nutritious and unlike a green juice, you keep all the fibre intact by blending rather than juicing the ingredients.
You can do this the easy way or do this the hard way – many people find it hard to start on a Whole Food journey and stay on it, all by themselves. We recommend getting your family involved or some friends at work. The old saying if a person wants to go quickly – go alone, if a person wants to go far, go with a friend – is very true when trying to change old behaviour around food.
It will also be easier if you clean out your pantry and fridge of crap food. Good food decisions start at the supermarket, IF YOU BUY IT – YOU WILL EAT IT! Also, don’t fool yourself into buying ‘crap’ just for the kids – don’t feed your children crap either, plus it keeps it out of your way. A neat and tidy pantry and a neat and tidy fridge is a great start.
* plate – yes you should be eating off a plate, maybe even the ‘good’ plates – you deserve it! Don’t eat out of paper, cardboard, plastic – yuck! While you’re at it – use the ‘good’ cutlery as well.
Ask yourself these four simple questions:
- Am I walking around in the body I thought I would be at this age?
- Do I leap out of bed each morning, well rested, full of energy, with a positive outlook for the day and an inner sense of my ability to cope?
- Do I always feel happy and guilt free about the food I eat, each day.
- Am I proud of the eating habits I have taught my children?
If you answered NO to any of the questions above, you might be ready for a change – we can help.