Getting the Goodness into Each Day
Isn’t food wonderful? It’s so tasty and delicious, plus there is nothing nicer than sitting down and sharing good food with friends and family while enjoying great conversation. The problem is so many of us are so busy getting on with our ‘busy’ lives that we don’t make eating well a priority. It is my belief that when you eat well and take care of your body it gives you more energy which makes living a busy life – easier! Putting the right foods in helps your body work at its best and voila – you can be a whole lot more productive.
So, when it comes to getting more goodness into each day – what can you do?
- Include 2 servings of fruit and at LEAST 3 handfuls of veggies each day, ideally more – and yes this does include the weekend. Be honest, do you REALLY have enough fruit and more importantly veg? Try adding greens like spinach and silver beet to an omelette for a weekend breakfast or light meal. Make a batch of veggie soup each week to have as a snack or a light lunch. At night – make sure your plate is half full with veggies – frozen or fresh, all are good.
- Pack healthy snacks. Make your own mix of nuts, seeds and dried fruit – there are endless numbers of combos you can try. Fresh fruit or low fat yoghurt are also great choices. Muffins, slices and cakes are treats I enjoy only occasionally, not every day.
- Check your portions – supersizing is the new normal, but eating more than you need is not helpful – don’t forget, you will get to eat again tomorrow, and the next day – you don’t have to wolf down everything at once, you will see food again! Measure out your breakfast cereal – how much do you really have? Rice and pasta - a small fist sized amount is enough for most people – how much are you having? Try using smaller plates and bowls as food occupying a larger area of a small plate looks more satisfying than the same quantity of food on a bigger plate – if you are watching your waist line upsize your veggie serves and downsize the rest.
- Get high on hydration – keeping well hydrated is super helpful to keep your body working at its best. In these cooler months, try green tea, fresh lemon juice with hot water or herbal teas. When you get home after work sit down for a refreshing cup of herbal tea rather than tucking into a wine or cracking open a beer out of habit.
Find a healthy balance – Whether your weakness is a sweet treat, a salty snack or wine – be sure to remember that even though a little is fine, if these types of things creep in too often – you just aren’t doing yourself any favours. Sure, you feel good in the short term, but too much fat, sugar, salt and/or alcohol can leave you feeling flat and often eating and drinking these things is just an unhealthy habit that could do with addressing. If you use food or alcohol as a treat or a reward for good work or as a way to relax, see what other things you can try to spoil yourself. Save the money you might have spent on these and after a short while – you will have enough for a massage or buy yourself a copy of your favourite magazine.
By Claire Turnbull. NZ Registered Nutritionist, AUT / Millennium Institute. For more information about Claire, visit her website: www.claireturnbull.co.nz