Diet and Nutrition

SO, you've decided you want to become fitter, slimmer, more mobile (or however you want to define it)... this is not just a 6 month fix.

This is a lifestyle change.  

WHOA! Change??         "I can't do that!" you might say. 

YES YOU CAN - little by little, one change at a time. And food choices can work alongside your activitiy choices and gradually develop into the new you with the new, healthier outlook.

I KNOW! I did it too.

"You are what you eat" is so true.

With exercise to support you, you CAN eat yourself healthy. You don't have to spend your life on yoyo diets, mucking up your metabolism; just substitute healthy choices, one at a time, into your daily diet. Make LIFESTYLE choices instead of just short term changes. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes to you!

Over the past 6 months I have made healthy changes to my diet, including removing most processed foods and simple sugars (those in artificially sweetened foods) from my diet. DID YOU KNOW that 'low fat foods', supermarket style, generally contain unhealthy amounts of sugar to increase the 'flavour'? Develop the habit of checking food ingredient labels and nutritional values. Unsaturated fats ARE healthy and a sensible amount of saturated fats - including butter! YEY! - also contribute to your health. 

I'm cooking more from scratch and making sure I 'Eat the Rainbow' - eating vegetables and fruits of ALL colours. That way, I maximise my vitamin and mineral intake. Vegetables have become more important to me than fruits - more veg, less fruit. Just imagine all the increased minerals you get from food grown closer to the soil. I've discovered that you can make some really flavourful and healthy smoothies by mixing green leaf vegetables with fruit and other healthy ingredients. 

The next change I have made is how I cook my food. DID YOU KNOW that, when you boil vegetables, they lose a significant amount of their vitamin content? Try steaming, baking or 'dry' frying with a mist of oil! I have recently bough a couple of 'ceramic' fryng pans. They have a coating which allows you to cook most things without ANY added fat! Scrambled eggs (which I have pretty often for breakfast) are SO easy to cook and clean off afterwards!!

The most importat thing to remember is DON'T try to make all these changes in one go! One or two changes at a time allow you to absorb the adaptations into your diet, lifestyle and psyche,whilestill leaving one or two 'comfort' factors in place.

Food swaps, recipes and ideas:

One of the hardest things to do is to make permanent changes to your diet, getting rid of all those unhealthy sugary snacks, cakes, puddings and calorie filled meal choices and opting for healthier ingredients. You yearn for that biscuit with your morning cup of tea, or that doughnut for an afternoon snack.

So don't try to do it all in one go. THINK! What would be the easiest changes to make first? Maybe it could be smaller portion sizes, or finding healthier alternatives such as brown wholegrain bread instead of that white plastic stuff. Could you swap in items of fruit instead of biscuits? 

Once you start making healthy swaps you'll be surprised at how a) motivating it is, b) how virtuous you feel and c) - if you make the right choices for you - how you'd forgottten how good healthy food can taste.

Once you've managed to eliminate sugary foods from your diet, you may be surprised to find that sweets taste positively sickly. 

If you can cut down on your salt intake, you'll eventually realise that you don't LIKE salty foods any more.

This is a brilliant websiteto get you started. And there are loads more ideas out there too. Give it a go!