Trying to keep up with the ever-changing prescriptions for good health is enough to make your head spin. The more information that comes our way, the less certain we are about what we should be doing, eating and taking in order to feel our best. Read on and get back on track with the fundamentals of food and fitness.
Fall in love with food again
The more we worry about nutrition, the less healthy we seem to become. Instead of focusing on the whole (the enjoyment of eating a delicious meal and sharing it with friends), we’ve begun to focus on the parts (am I getting enough protein? Will this give me plenty of vitamin C?).
Pass on the packaging
Need to break open a box, rip through plastic and take it out of a tray in order to eat it? It’s probably not food. Choose foods that look like they did when they came out of the ground (remember, there are no marshmallow trees).
Remember, mum knows best
And 'best'’ means broccoli and spinach, two humble, usually cheap veggies that pack a serious punch. There are foods, which we know to be extraordinarily good for you, and these are two of them. Others are plain, full-fat yogurt, brown rice, walnuts, oats and sweet potatoes.
Get your sweat on
… and not just by sitting in the sauna. The benefit of exercise cannot be overstated and it’s not just because of the ‘calories in, calories out’ equation of weight loss. The boost in blood circulation you get from as little as 20 minutes of cardio a day makes a huge difference.
It’s essential for every chemical reaction in our bodies and even more vital if you’re also drinking water-sapping drinks such as coffee, alcohol and soft drinks. How much, though, is the question. Generally if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce colourless or light-yellow urine, your fluid intake is probably adequate.
Hide from the hype
There are some fads you need to give a wide berth (anything that requires near starvation is top of the list), because everyone’s body responds differently, it’s never a bad thing to play with your diet to find what works best for you. If you wake up with a headache each morning, perhaps switch your dinner menu for a few weeks and see if that helps. Feel great after a steak? See if more protein prolongs this feeling of wellness. As long as you’re following the guidelines of sensible eating, experimenting with the specifics is never a bad thing.
Variety is the spice
Adding produce to your daily diet is believed to be the single best thing you can do for your health and there are great benefits to eating a variety of different types of fruit and veg. Try to include as many different colours on your plate as possible.
Eat in moderation
Moderation might sound boring but, after fruit and veggies, it’s your simplest way to start a health regime.
What you put into your mouth isn’t the be all and end all. Actually the 30 minutes you spend stressing over what you should do if your boyfriend/husband orders you dessert at a restaurant or a friend surprises you with a special chocolate is no doubt more detrimental to your health than just eating the thing!