Smarter eating – some tips

 

Weight management is a fact of modern life. We all deal with it in different ways; some count calories, others cut-out certain foods. Rather than weight watching I prefer what I call Food Fixing, examining what and fixing to better manage weight, gain wider health benefits and enjoy life a bit more! Whichever group we may belong to, the biggest challenge is how to incorporate some healthier choices into our daily eating routines.

If we can reduce less healthy choices and create better combinations of ‘food with benefits’, the cumulative health benefits in reducing the risk of chronic disease can be remarkable.

Food combos for better health

Breakfast: Jump start your day with a prebiotic and probiotic.

Layer sliced bananas, cooked oats and Greek yogurt, then drizzle with a little honey.

Prebiotics are indigestible nutrients found in a variety of foods, especially high-fibre foods, and include bananas, oats and honey. Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut and are also found in fermented foods like yogurt. The pairing of the two contributes to healthy digestion and immune function.

Lunch: To avoid the post-lunch bloat, include prebiotics and probiotics in your midday meal.

Opt for a spinach and artichoke dip made with yogurt, chopped spinach and artichoke. Add extra virgin olive oil, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper to taste and serve with whole grain crackers or bread.

Dinner: Kale is a veggie chockfull of vitamin K and a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that boosts our immune systems and can protect against cancer and heart disease. Both vitamins are fat-soluble, so a nutritious source of fat is also required to increase absorption. Serve kale with salmon for a fabulous health boost for the end of your day.

Weight management programmes can often be compromised by cravings, but food fixing can also provide a solution. Our mood can affect our daily decisions about what we eat, but what we eat can also affect our mood, so it’s easy to see how important it is we get off on the right foot each morning! If we eat foods that leave us feeling down after just a few hours, it’s no wonder we might head towards the biscuit jar. Before we know we will have wolfed down five or six. Of course, there are many reasons in our complex lives why we might be on a legitimate downer but eating the right foods can still help.

Foods to help with cravings:
  • Start the day with slow release foods and include some fibre – depending on taste think fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains or lean protein. Include a probiotic-rich food like kefir or Greek yogurt
  • cut back on sugar and processed foods
  • cut back on caffeine and stay hydrated throughout the day
  • over the rest of the day work on variety, including foods like whole grains, kale, broccoli, legumes, nuts, fish, avocado, dark leafy greens and lean meat can take care of your zinc, magnesium and vitamin B needs
  • salmon, trout or mackerel will provide omega-3 fatty acids

You don’t need to have everything every day – mix it up across the week – but your body and your brain will appreciate the nutrition provided by these wonderful real foods, in turn helping to banish cravings and lifting your mood, no matter what challenges are to be faced.

 

Move beyond calories

 

Make eating real food Just Routine 

 

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Iris is the founder of No Targets Just Routine. She has researched food since 2009 and believes “Happiness is real food shared with loved ones.”

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