Nutrition these days is such a hotly debated topic. It’s like politics; everyone has an opinion, so it’s hard to know what’s important and why it matters. So let’s try and take the guesswork out of it!
Your body is a super complex and intricate design with thousands of unique features, but let’s just consider it to be like your car for a moment. If you put a lesser fuel in your vehicle, you’ll not get as much bang for your buck on mileage. If you don’t put energy in your car, you ain’t going nowhere. And If you put the wrong fuel in your vehicle, you’re going to break the darn thing (sorry, Dad!). Well, the same thing happens in your body. Suppose we don’t give it the right type of fuel. In that case, we just ain’t going to get where we want – whether that’s losing weight, building muscles, aiming for peak performance, or trying to speed up the rehab process.
So here are a few fundamental principles I like to live by. No fluff, no-nonsense: –
Eat with Purpose
What is your goal? Where do you want to get to? Nutrition, much like life, is about the WHY. What am I trying to achieve? If you’re trying to put on weight, you might be having larger meals and more carbs and proteins; if you’re not exercising much at the moment, you might be cutting back on some unneeded energy. Whatever it might be, keep this in mind when you stroll through the supermarkets or gaze into the fridge – Why?
JERFING – Just Eat Real Food!
If it doesn’t swim, run, fly, come from the ground, or grow from a tree – think twice before eating it! Unfortunately, these days, most pre-packaged foods come with preservatives and additives, and even fresh produce can have harmful chemicals sprayed on them! The best thing we can focus on is eating as close to a natural source as possible – Eat Clean, Stay Mean! And the closer we are to JERFING, the better the nutrients for the body, so go organic where possible!
Have a good source of protein with every meal
Proteins are the building blocks for the body, and particularly when it comes to exercise, it’s vital in the repair and regrowth of muscle tissue after we hammer it in the gym or on the beaten track. Good protein sources include red and white meats, fish, dairy (milk, eggs, yoghurt), and legumes. If you can’t get enough into your diet, it might be time to consider a decent whey protein supplement.
Eat the Rainbow
You might have heard of the 5&2 fruit and veg rule (which still applies!). Another way to think about it is to eat the rainbow or to get a diverse range of fresh fruit and veg into your diet. Each colour contains a different set of vitamins and minerals. In total, there are 60 minerals and 13 vitamins
Approximately 60% of your body is made up of water, even more in your vital organs like the brain, heart and lungs. So it’s super important that we stay on top of our fluids throughout the day – especially if you’ve been exercising, it’s a hot day outside, or fighting off illness. The easiest way to tell if you’re dehydrated is to take a gander at the loo next time you need to go and check out the colour. If it looks anything darker than the ocean, you probably need to chuck down some fluids.
Fats Don’t Make You fat!
Not all fats are created equal; some are healthy for you! In fact, most natural fat sources are considered ‘healthy fats’ such as animal fat, olive oil, avocados, peanuts, fish oil, flax seeds – which contain essential nutrients for the body. On the other hand, unhealthy fats like those found in processed foods, types of margarine, and certain cooking oils have profoundly negative impacts on the body.
Life is here to be enjoyed. I enjoy good company and wine. I also like beer. Hot chips, sushi, dumplings, banh mi, pizza, gelato…the list goes on. I’m not going to stop enjoying these succulent delights purely because I’m a health geek. Still, it does make me think twice about how much and how often I devour these tasties. But plan ahead! If you’ve got a big weekend coming up with the boys from the old footy team or you’re catching up with some old gal pals for wine and cheese, maybe focus on eating well in the days leading up to it so you can fully enjoy yourself!
Hopefully, this can alleviate any concerns when the following wonder product hits the shelves and you’re not sure where to go – But if you’re ever in doubt, I always go back to what my mother told me (well, not always!) – everything in moderation!!
Yours in Health,