IT’S ALL ABOUT BASIC NUTRITION
Most people are swept off their feet by January’s deluge of diets, New Year’s resolutions and fitness regimes. Perhaps you were seduced by one of them, and have already fallen off the wagon and slipped back into your old habits. Well, if this sounds like you, do not despair. You’re not alone.
According to a survey, six out of ten of us make the same fitness resolutions year after year, and fail to stick to them.
January is the time when we are still getting over the Christmas holidays; we are tired and possibly sick and, to top it off, the weather is cold. Many of us simply jump onto the New Year’s resolution bandwagon, without putting a realistic plan into place. But the rest of the year doesn’t have to be that way.
Why not look at January as a practice run, make notes of the lessons learned, and start afresh by learning about ‘basic nutrition’? What do I mean by ‘basic nutrition’? It’s the backbone of a healthy balanced diet, and is the substances that come from our foods, which our bodies need for their maintenance, repair and growth. There are five main food groups: grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, meat and proteins, and fats, oils and sweets.
For your grains, at least half you eat should be whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, wholegrain cereals and wholegrain spelt, oatmeal, bulgur and brown rice. These types of foods are high in fibre, and help to keep our bowels healthy and help us to feel full for longer, which means we are less likely to overeat.
Fruits and vegetables: You want to try to include in your diet a variety of different coloured vegetables, like carrots, tomatoes, apples, oranges and red, yellow and green peppers. Dark green vegetables, like spinach, kale, broccoli and collard greens are especially good, because they provide an excellent source of fibre, protein, beta carotene, B vitamins, vitamins C, E and K, magnesium and potassium.
Dairy: This food group, which includes foods like cheese, yoghurt, milk and non-dairy drinks, like almond milk, are all good sources of calcium.
Protein: This food group includes poultry, fish, meat, dry beans, pulses, soy products, eggs, seeds and nuts. Aim to eat more of the white flesh meat, like chicken and turkey, which are low in fat, and oily fish, like salmon and mackerel, which are a good source of Omega 3 and 6 fats that are more desirable for the body.
For fats and oils, try to replace saturated fats in your diet with either mono-unsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, whenever possible. For example, replace butter in some cooked dishes with olive oil or margarine. And as for sweets, biscuits, cakes and pastries, try to have these foods sparingly, as they have no nutritional value; are high in calories, and are known to be high in trans fats, which are produced during food manufacturing, and can increase the risk of heart disease.
Now that you have your map of the basics to a healthy lifestyle, all that is left now is to begin your journey. Remember, it’s OK to fall; just always get back up, because you can walk this walk. You can do all things (follow a healthy lifestyle) through Christ, who gives you strength.
Drinking enough quality water every day is very important in order to stay hydrated, as well as to flush out toxins and impurities in the body. You should aim to drink at least two litres (approx eight glasses) a day. You’ll find that you’ll not only feel better, but your energy levels increase naturally.
Here are just a few more benefits of water:
- Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids. Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients and maintenance of body temperature.
- Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good. Dehydration makes you INCOMPLETE SENTENCE
- Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function. Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation. Become friends with water this year; it will be a worthwhile relationship.
What’s all the noise about?
Have you ever been woken up by noise coming from your fitness fanatic neighbour, and wondered what they are doing at 6am in the morning? I smell a juicer devotee.
So, what is juicing? Put simply, instead of eating your 5-a-day portions of fruits and vegetables – which can be difficult for many to achieve – you drink them in their liquid form, once they have been put through a juicer. Juicing removes the insoluble fibre from vegetables and fruits. While fibre is an established, important part of an overall healthy diet, removing the insoluble fiber allows for increased absorption of specific health promoting phytonutrients, including enzymes, an abundance of vitamins and minerals. Incorporating fresh juice can be a fun and different approach to increasing consumption of important plant foods for improved health and wellness, and reaching your weight loss goals. So why not give it a try? A favourite of mine is fresh pineapple with a dash of lime. Yum!
For more juicing recipes, go to www.final-measure.com.