Here are my 7 simple food rules for a happy mind and body:
1. EAT REAL FOOD, MOSTLY PLANTS*
Eat real, fresh, natural food: fruit, veg, grains, fish, meat and fish, nuts, pulses, herbs, spices. Do not eat processed or packaged food; not diet or fake, no artificial sweeteners.
Make fruit, vegetables, grains and pulses the core of your diet. Eat multi coloured fruit and veg: green, red, yellow, orange, purple. Eat the green superstars (kale, spinach, broccoli) every week.
Why? Fruit and veg are delicious, provide vitamins and minerals, fill you up, slow down absorption of calories and keep your digestive system working smoothly.
Find my ‘Real Food’ recipes here.
2. DRINK WATER
Simple: drink loads of water.
Get into the habit of drinking green tea and other herbal teas.
Don’t drink processed, packaged drinks, even ‘juices’. Reduce or cut caffeine drinks.
3. EAT GOOD FATS, GO NUTS
Good fats don’t make you fat. They make you smart and happy. (Bad fats and sugar coupled with inactivity make you fat.)
Good: avocados, nuts and nut butters, coconut oil, lean meat, oily fish
Bad: butter, fats in fried and processed foods (chips, crisps, biscuits, cakes), cheese
Nuts are superstars, choc full of protein, fibre and essential fats. They all have an ace party trick: walnuts: antioxidants; almonds: calcium and vit E; cashews: magnesium; brazils: selenium for thyroid function; pistachios: vit B6.
Snack on nuts, cook with them, dance with them, praise them, love them. I’m addicted to ‘Pip & Nut’ butters: their ‘coconut almond butter’ and ‘honey cinnamon cashew butter’ make my world a better place.
4. AVOID SUGAR
Avoid anything with added sugar (processed drinks and sauces, ready meals, sweets, cakes, biscuits).
Invest in good dark chocolate for an after meal treat.
5. EAT GOOD PROTEIN
Protein makes you feel full longer so include it in every meal. Protein is essential for building and maintaining muscle, which speeds up your metabolism, allowing you to burn fat.
Eat eggs, fish, chicken, seafood; also quinoa, soya beans, greek yogurt, peanut butter, nuts and lentils.
Avoid bread, she is not your friend. Your tummy and waistline will get on much better with quinoa (steamed grains, or toasted flakes), brown rice and whole oats
If you need a bread substitute go for ryvita, rice cakes (try the fancy Kallo Sea Salt & Balsamic Vinegar or Smoked Paprika ones). Or occasionally do corn or whole wheat tortilla wraps or wholewheat pittas.
7. KEEP IT SIMPLE
Get into the habit of enjoying simple meals made from fresh ingredients. Break the habit of demanding a rich feast at every meal.
For mid week meals, discover your new ‘fast foods’ that are quick and easy or can be prepared in advance for the week ahead, such as:
- pre-roasted chicken
- microwave packets of lentils and quinoa – eat with fish, chicken or feta and salad.
- smoked fish (salmon, mackerel)
- roasted veg
And for snacks, stock up on:
- rice cakes
- hummus with carrots, cucumber, sugar snap peas
- ‘eat natural’ fruit and nut bars
No one is perfect all the time. But when you mess up, just go back to the seven rules and start again. Day by day these actions will become habits, and good habits make you feel good.
Please get in touch for more information or advice or to share your suggestions.
*Adapted from Michael Pollan’s seven word summary on healthy eating: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” ‘Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual’