05 Mar Eat Better Feel Better – Smart Food Choices To Change Your Life
SMART FOOD CHOICES TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE
It really is no secret: you are what you eat. Health begins in the kitchen and extends to the gym, athletics track or yoga mat. So it is crucial that you get a handle on your diet if you want to work towards a healthy lifestyle.
One of our biggest mistakes is that we concern ourselves with getting to a desired dress size, or we aspire to have muscles as big as our favourite leading man, without considering whether our bodies are conditioned to handle it.
Often, we crash-diet and juice-fast ourselves silly, not understanding that certain habits are hurting us instead of helping. Below, I’ve suggested five simple yet effective ways you can kick start your journey to a healthier you. The points are not diet specific. Everyone from those who are gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, diabetic, and everything in between, can follow it.
It can’t be that simple – surely? Oh, but it is. Drinking the recommended two litres a day improves your vitality. Water is a great antioxidant that aids in digestion, it improves your metabolism and helps your brain work at a better pace. Do you ever get peckish in between meals? That’s your body craving water. Instead of reaching for unhealthy snacks, fill up with glass with water and your craving will go away. If you want something with a little more oomf there are some delicious fruit and herb water-infusions that will make getting through your daily dose of H2O easy.
GET FAMILIAR WITH YOUR KITCHEN
Once you see what’s actually going into your body, you’ll think twice about eating it. Most, if not all, of us have seen the sobering video of McDonald’s chicken nuggets being made. You might not have written off the bite-sized snacks completely but I’m sure you’ve cut down on how many times you’re pulling into the 24-hour fastfood joint.
If you’re making your own food as opposed to ordering in every second day you consume a belly-busting 800 calories less, a week. Preparing your own food is a great way to become more proactive about your health. Wellness fanatics tend to go so far as to prep their meals for the entire week to ensure that food is taken care of. By doing this, it leaves no room for the “I’m too tired to cook” excuse we often resort to after a long day.
EAT SITTING DOWN
The world is split into groups of those who eat to live and those who live to eat. Eating shouldn’t be considered a chore. Feeding and nourishing your body should be something that excites you, so take it a little more seriously.
People who eat on the go tend to make unhealthy choices. That pesky pie or a packet of chips stops you from slowing down to savour a hearty salad or a portion of seafood paella. Because you’re rushed, you’ll inhale your food and forget to chew – which is vital in breaking the food down enough for your digestive system to take care of the rest. Sitting for a meal prevents overeating too. When you eat slower your stomach can tell your brain that it’s full within time. Wolfing down a double cheeseburger + fries + milkshake, in 5 minutes, will leave you feeling hungry for another 10 minutes. Chances are you’ll grab a chocolate before the full-feeling hits you like a freight train.
Take a break, enjoy your meal.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Fresh, organic vegetables might be more expensive than the mass produced garbage national food distributors are selling but are you really going to go for the cheaper stuff at the cost of your health? In recent years, there’s been a collective demand for quality produce, and farmers markets are gaining popularity so buying from your local farmers is worth considering.
Buy food packed with the nutrition your body needs to keep going. You wouldn’t put B-grade fuel in your car, so why do that to your body? Faithful to Nature has a wide range of premium quality products to pack your pantry. Get snacks, spices, jams and spreads, grains, legumes and more from Faithful to Nature. Our ingredient policy ensures all the products were organically and ethically produced.
5. TREAT YO’SELF
Any dietitian or nutritionist worth their salt will tell you that cutting out foods that you enjoy is a terrible idea. If you have a sweet tooth, eliminating sugar from your diet will discourage you. In extreme cases, people who make a drastic change as opposed to slowly weaning themselves off the dependency end up compromising their health. All you need to do is practice self-control. Instead of eating two chocolate a day, see if you can cut down to one over a week, and ensure that you’re indulging in real chocolate for even less guilt. Switching from milk chocolate to dark chocolate will help as it has antioxidant properties and is too rich for you to manage more than a block or two.
Fitness fanatics swear by ‘cheat days.’ It’s the one day you get to indulge in the cravings you’ve built up all week. The beauty of the ‘cheat day’ is that it’s a full day of decadence -but make sure it’s just the one day. You are allowed to eat ’til you hearts content (within reason) and not feel guilty; having a hearty curry for breakfast, 1kg steak with all the trimming for lunch, and a gallon of sorbet for dinner is a little over the top. The ‘cheat day’ is meant as a reward for all your hard work and a motivation to keep going, so don’t blow all your progress in one go. It’s also a great way to give your metabolism the kick in the butt it needs to keep going.
The belief that adopting a healthy life is difficult and expensive is one we all need to dispel. By making smarter choices when buying groceries and when preparing our food, we can all work towards improving our vitality.
Start your delicious healthy food planning with these two chocolate recipes: