In my second part of my Take Care of Yourself series, today I’m looking at how to Eat Well.
Remember this all stems from something a very wise and lovely lady once said to me…
‘Take care of yourself:
Eat well, sleep well, play well and be well.’
See part 1 here: Take Care of Yourself.
Eat to fuel your body – to get the most nutrition you can from the food you eat and the liquid you drink. Think about the nutrition you’ll get from what you eat: bread and ice cream tastes good, but how much nutrition do you get from it?
- Eat small meals/snacks regularly and get a balanced diet from 33% carbs, 33% protein and 33% fats.
- Eat fish, lean meat, and plenty of non starchy veg.
- Eat foods which are high in protein, water and fibre.
- Drink water, green tea and limit alcohol and coffee.
- Try not to restrict your diet too much and make sure you enjoy your food.
- Everything in modertation.
- If you eat carbs, try to eat slow release carbs, such as oats and non starchy veg.
- Finally, find out what works for you and eat it! 🙂
I suggest living by the Smarter Science of Slim SANE way of eating and replacing bad food choices with better ones. I also recommend eating to maximise nutrition and fuel your body so that it can work the best it can. Put crap into your body, you’ll get crap out. It’s your choice what you put in, so choose wisely.
See here for more info: How to improve what and how you eat
Diets don’t work!
Here are some links about diets and including good foods in your diet:
A little more about carbs…
Most breads, white rice, breakfast cereals, white potatoes, soft drinks and baked goods contain carbohydrates that are quickly broken down into sugars. Quick-release carbs cause a sharp and rapid rise in your blood sugar levels, increasing your risk of putting on weight and getting type 2 diabetes, and increasing your chances of storing any fat you eat. Slow-release carbs on the other hand are healthier options to keep your blood sugar levels more stable between meals and help you feel more satiated so that you can reach and maintain a healthy weight and prevent chronic diseases.
Here are some examples of slow release carbs to help you make the best choices for carb intake:
All non-starchy vegetables contain slow-release carbohydrates. Good examples of non-starchy vegetables include spinach, kale, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumber, onions and asparagus. Eat some at each of your meals to get the healthy kind of carbohydrates that will provide you with a slow but steady supply of energy for hours following your meal. It is as simple as adding spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes to your morning omelet, preparing a big salad of leafy greens for lunch, snacking on carrot and celery sticks and accompanying your dinner with stir-fried broccoli, red bell pepper and onions. Some starchy vegetables, especially white potatoes, contain quick-release carbohydrates.
Most fruits have a low to moderate glycemic index, the best tool to determine whether a food contains slow- or quick-release carbohydrates. If you want to eat only the most slowly released carbohydrates to minimise variations in your blood sugar levels, avoid tropical fruits, such as papaya, mango and pineapple. Instead, go for berries, melons, cherries, apples, plums and pears. Consume them in their fresh state, because fruit juices, dried fruits and canned fruits are all quick-release carbs.
Although white potatoes contain carbohydrates that can rapidly increase your blood sugar levels, sweet potatoes make a good slow-release carb substitute. Serve baked sweet potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes or homemade sweet potato fries to accompany your meals instead of high glycemic white potatoes.
Nuts and Nut Butter
Nuts and nut butter contain very few carbohydrates, and because of their high fiber, protein and healthy fat content, these carbohydrates are digested at a very slow pace. Adding a few walnuts to a salad, snacking on a handful of macadamia nuts or spreading almond butter on slices of fruits are good options to make you feel fuller and energized until your next meal. Avoid sugar-coated and chocolate-covered nuts and stick to natural nut butter that does not contain any added sweeteners.
Oats and Quinoa
Most breakfast cereals — not only the sugary ones but even the sugar-free types such as oat rings, cornflakes and puffed cereals — have a high glycemic index. To replace your daily bowl of breakfast cereals with slow-release carbohydrates, choose oats or quinoa instead. Cook them following the instructions on the package and serve them with other low-glycemic foods, such as milk, plain yogurt, berries, nuts or nut butter.
Most importantly, when you eat – learn about what you are eating and if it works for you do it. Don’t be taken in by all the guff you read. If eating a bagel works for you and provides you with the energy you need (without weight gain), then continue to eat it.
Ever feel bloated after you eat? Think about what it is you ate to make you feel that way. You might consider eating like our ancestors did… look into Paleo diets. See this book for a good summary of Paleo: The Paleo Solution.
In short – We evolved over millions of years to eat like our ancestors did – fish, meat, veg, fruit, nuts and seasonal foods. Then agriculture and grains came along and all of a sudden we’re eating ‘heart healthy’ whole grains – but how much nutrition do grain have – and are you better off eating meat, fresh veg and fruit?
Is the food which lasts for ages actually good for us? (think sweets, processed foods) Or are we better off with fresh foods to sustain us?
I’m still in two minds about Paleo – I think it certainly has it’s place, but I also like to eat food that I enjoy (ie bagels). I guess the answer comes back to everything in moderation. 🙂
A word on Fasting
- Weight and fat loss
- Increased Growth Hormone which helps your body to repair
- Improved cholesterol
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced risk of contracting age related diseases like cancer and diabetes.
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Reduces inflammation in cells
- Your body slows down (my resting heart rate was 40 on one of my recent fasts as my metabolism had slowed right down)
Super Lean Nutrition
And if you want some help with understanding Nutrition, go here:
See here for more info on eating well and fasting: