Wellness and Healthy Eating
As someone who has endured thousands of social media posts of models sipping green juices or tucking into avocado on some sort of bread with a perfectly poached egg sitting on top, it's an understatement to say the world of "Wellness" and "Healthy Eating" has blown up and is now a major trend. In my dreaded pursuit of “Wellness” "Self-Love" and "Slimeness" I've spent many years trying all kinds of different diets. From juices, horrible tasting tonics, raw foods and soup diets to machines that dehydrate or that turn vegetables into vague substitutes for pasta.
Instead of qualifications in important things such as nutrition and science, self proclaimed "Wellness Gurus" around the world and celebrities alike are taking to social media to blog and Instagram messages such as "Eat like me, look like me" and the tyipical photos posing in a bikini on a beach or lounging next to an infinity pool while drinking from a coconut.
It’s easy to ridicule these "Wellness Gurus" but it is becoming a large and lucrative business. With wellness gurus obtaining all kinds of endorsements from healthfood brands, exercise equipment suppliers, fashion desingers to leading spas across the globe.
Far too many wellness bloggers claim to be experts. I haven’t had any expert training in nutrition as such but have many years of personal experience.
So what is Wellness and Healthy Eating?
What does ‘healthy eating’ actually mean? To begin with, it’s important to understand that healthy eating is different from dieting or detoxes. Healthy eating doesn’t aim to reduce a significant amount of weight in a short space of time, instead it aims to make you feel well, energised and above all, healthier.
Healthy eating is a lifestyle incorporates three main ideas:
Eating a balanced diet
Having a healthy attitude towards food
Understanding the environmental impact of your diet
Exploring Heathy Eating for Wellness
A balanced diet is important - But what kind of nutrients do we need? How do these nutrients affect our body, health and mental wellbeing?
Eco-Nutrition - How can we provide a stable future for our children, the planet and ourselves by eating more responsibly?
Get as much of your nutrition as possible from a variety of completely unprocessed foods. - It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and veg daily.
You also want to get your nutrients from meat, fish, poultry and eggs that haven't been processed.
Eat your vegatables - We all know that vegetarian and vegan foods are far healthier than animal products. Plant based diets tend to have less cholesterol, are more likely to be low in saturated fats, calories and are higher in fibre, complex carbohydrates, and cancer-fighting antioxidants. A plant diet is the simplest way an individual can reduce the strain on our planet and is also a far more sustainable way of living. If you choose to have foods that are purely plant based make sure you are consuming adequate amounts of protein and essential amino acids such as - Soya beans, tofu, chickpeas, lentils, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, broccoli and oatmeal.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also essential for plant based health. Fortunately, you can get them without all the cholesterol and toxins found in animal products - Flaxseeds, walnuts, and canola oil are good vegan sources of the omega-3 ALA.
Iron rich foods are also our go to, so eat plenty of dark-green, leafy vegetables. Other iron-rich foods include beans, peas, lentils, dried fruits, nutritional yeast, molasses and grains such as quinoa and millet.
Try to eat as much home-cooked food as possible - By cooking your own food you are able to avoid processed ingredients more easily.
Cut back on saturated fats, opt instead for unsaturated fats, such as vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados.
Keep yourself hydrated - We need to drink between 1.6 and 2 litres of fluid daily to stop us from getting dehydrated. While all non-alcoholic drinks count, water is your go to for a healthier choices.
Don’t skip meals - It may seem like skipping a meal will result in consuming less calories, but research shows that eating regularly can help people control their weight. It's still important to eat a healthy balanced diet, which provides the vitamins and minerals we need for good health.
Get active - Sorry, guys! This one's not directly food related, but if you really want to live a healthier lifestyle in 2016, try combining the dietary advice above with some physical activity.
This doesn't have to mean slogging it to the gym daily (which, of course, would bring benefits), but can just mean making small changes to your daily activities.