Leading a healthy lifestyle, Eating healthy & losing weight doesn’t necessarily mean cutting out all your favourite foods, does it?
No! It just means finding a way of achieving the right balance of food, with its quality, I still eat burgers, pizza, and chocolate, simply put this means eating more of the right food (nourishing foods) and reducing your intake of the not so nourishing foods, I personally follow the 80/20 rule, where 80% of my diet is full of healthy veggies, lean proteins, complex carbs & healthy fats and I balance it off with 20% of my foods being made up with a little of what I fancy & exercise.
Really there’s no science involved.
Life’s about Balance!
By practicing this, it can make a substantial difference to your overall health and happiness, and acting in such a positive and proactive way, WELL it can only enrich your subsequent well-being and add quality, more energy, vitality, putting back the zest into your life.
It’s all good stuff!!!
Following a healthy lifestyle need not be as difficult as it first might seem, these are a few of my simple steps, hacks, to get you started, these small steps will ensure that you get the most out of your daily nutrition.
Number One – Eat at least eight portions of fresh vegetables and fruit each day, you can also choose from frozen and tinned varieties, they all count! If you can afford it, Great! go organic! But TBH there’s very little to suggest its any better for you!
Number Two – Simple pleasures! Enjoy a Glass of juice, possibly a controversial recommendation, I just think you can’t beat a refreshing 250 ml Tropicana, especially when you have a thirst on, For me it’s a simple pleasure, plus it does count as one portion of your RDA of fruit, but be aware it does contain a lot of natural fruit sugar, 1 glass of orange juice uses around 6 oranges so it will be a lot more calorific than eating just one orange, the better option is the orange complete with its fibre so be sure to factor into you recommended daily allowance of sugar.
Number Three – Drink plenty of fluids, choosing water rather than the fruit juices or low-calorie squashes, opt out from drinking conventional tea and coffees as it is a high caffeine. Caffeine disrupts sleep, enjoy the amazing array of fruit and herbal teas on offer I’m sure there’s one that will suit every palate. On average Most people don’t drink enough water, it’s natures miracle, it nourishes your body on a cellular level, rids your body from toxins and speeds up your internal powerhouse (the metabolism) it oxygenates your blood improving mood and performance as well as mental acuity. When your body is in a state of dehydration it causes headaches, lost concentration, you feel sluggish, tired. Every body’s hydration needs vary depending on a few factors, height, weight, activity, but if I’m asked for a ball park figure your body requires around about 2.5 litres a day this is the equivalent to around 4 pints.
Number Four – Embrace the carbs, learn to love the right type of carbs, the right carbs will fuel & nourish your body in the most amazing way! Swop the less healthy carbs, like white bread, crisps and cakes, for plenty of complex carbohydrates, such as wholemeal cereals, wholegrain breads, brown pastas and rice, try adding sweet potatoes into your meals, at least 50% of your calories should be made up from yummy complex carbohydrates.
Number Five – Unless you are gluten intolerant or sensitive, enjoy adding grains to your meal plans, quinoa, spelt, rye, these all add bulk to meals and are high in fibre and low in fat, you can add them easily into good quality breakfast cereals, (I make my own) soups, salads most dishes, experiment with noodles, oats, beans, pulses and lentils, these are also complex carbohydrates and offer a sustained energy release, leaving you fuller for longer. These often-cheap ingredients and excellent sources of plant-based proteins, in my opinion these should be part of your store cupboard staples, as they should make up the main part of the most meals.
Number Six – I hate to demonise any food group, but my advice cut down, cut out sugar where possible. We are notoriously bad at “guestimating” hidden calories. In moderation, NO sugar is not inherently evil, but me personally I find it very hard to resist, the OH so sexy, sweet, sickly tasting sugar, I’m not keen on artificial sweetened foods, sugary drinks, and snacks, and TBH I’m not very good at exercising moderation, where sugary snacks are concerned, so for me I try to avoid it as much as possible, as all too often, my best intentions just fly out the window. I make it a rule to choose healthy and low-fat alternatives where ever possible, I opt for naturally low sugar foods, I also watch my intake of saturated fats and oils, spreads, salad dressings, ketchups and sauces, as well as the obvious cakes, crisps, chocolate, sweets, ice creams, as these can be full of hidden fats, hidden sugars and hidden salt as well as just plain empty calories.
I always read the label, do you?
Number Seven – Choose only the leanest meat and poultry, fish. Red meat should be eaten no more than twice per week, I like to have a couple of meat free days a week too, I love fish and seafood, aim to include at least two portions of fish per week, one of those dishes should be from an oily fish, such as mackerel rich in omegas.
Number Eight – If you’re not lactose intolerant or a veggie/vegan enjoy dairy, I’d get lynched if I stopped buying milk, cheese and yogurts, I’m just smart about it we enjoy half fat butter, semi skimmed milk, half fat cheeses, feta, mozzarella and protein rich yogurts, these are all good sources of calcium that should make up part of your healthy lifestyle.
Number Nine – Reduce your alcohol consumption, this is for me is set in stone! The odd drink now and again is fine but be aware that Alcohol contributes to the demise of a healthy body and mind, adding empty calories, binge drinking leaves your body in a very vulnerable state, open to disease and poor health, same with smoking, it’s a NO NO! A host of unsavoury lifestyle disorders are associated with both practices. Men should drink no more than 28 units and women 21 Units per week end of! (If you need professional help then please seek it).
Number Ten – Get active! Increasing your energy levels by getting in to the healthy habit of regular exercise, it is so simple and yet so effective. This is an easy one to do, just simply Try taking the 10,000 steps day challenge to achieve this simply get off the bus a stop earlier and walk the rest, at lunchtime stroll around the park, take the stairs, park at the back of the car park, together it can really make all the difference, and you’ll never have to hit the gym, unless you want to!!!! Find inspiration & Commune with nature, make it a priority at some point, in the day to break away from all the chaos, lose the tech and find your inner peace & joy!
Bonus Hack – Be grateful for everything! Life’s a gift!
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