EMAIL #137 - 19TH SEPTEMBER 2021 - "WHAT I KNOW ABOUT HEALTHY EATING"
There are several members of my family that are far more knowledgeable than me on the topic of diet and nutrition but having had a few mild food intolerances myself and having studied and taught nutrition in my previous life, I feal well-informed enough to write about this topic. However, below are only my personal opinions and experiences.
"Eating well is a form of self-respect". unknown
Maintaining a healthy (normal) diet during prolonged lockdowns has proved to be very difficult. Food has tended to be used as an amplified form of reward or treat, and we have all eaten far too much take away food and comfort food. I have recently started to feel the consequences of this laps in healthy eating, such as low energy levels, poor sleep, weight gain and mood swings. So as the weather warms up and we hopefully come out of lockdown, it will be time to get back on the healthy diet wagon.
"If you don't make time for heathy eating, you will eventually have to make time for illness."
I have had some first-hand experience with the dramatic consequences of a poor diet. In my mid-twenties I was a super fit Phys-ed teacher, and for several years I lived with a bunch of other young teachers and had a very poor diet (loads of fast food, lots of sweats and carbs etc). I eventually developed a mysterious debilitating auto-immune disease that took two years to get on top of, ended my Phys-ed career and worst of all, I couldn't ski for 2 years. This whole traumatic experience ended up being due to living with a very poor/incorrect diet and was a huge wakeup call that changed my life.
"You can't control everything in your life, but you can control what you put in your mouth."
So here is a summary of what I know about healthy eating.
- You get what you pay for, unfortunately high quality, highly nutritious foods are expensive and low quality, highly processed foods are cheap, convenient, and yummy.
- The less sugar the better, because sugar is cheap, abundant, and addictive, it is far too prevalent in western diets, but it is probably also the single most toxic ingredient in your daily diet. Cut it out wherever possible.
- The less gluten the better, it appears that we are all gluten intolerant to some degree and most foods now have a gluten-free alternative, so give them a try, and you'll be amazed how much better you feel.
- Eat more plant-based foods, see the quote below.
- Eat less red meat and more white meat and fish, red meat is much harder to digest than white meat and fish is one of the best forms of protein you can eat.
- It's all about the poo, everyone’s digestive system is different, and we all have specific dietary intolerances and food allergies. Digestion is a huge and fascinating topic by itself, and I will write about in a future email. But as a teaser, how easily and how frequently you poo tells you everything you need to know about your digestion.
- My 5 top healthy eating tips.
1, Don't eat in front of the TV.
2, Don't eat before going to bed.
3, Start the day with a green smoothie for breakfast.
4, Eat breakfast as late as possible, this is the easiest method of intermittent fasting.
5, Drink lots of water throughout the day.
"One simple rule. If it comes from a plant, eat it. If it is made in a plant, don't" Elle Macpherson
Thanks for reading,
Stay safe and eat well.