Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Food philosophy

Today I received an e-mail from regular NITC reader Ms Haribo in which she referred to following my 'food philosophy'. I've never thought of myself as having a food philosophy but as soon as I read it I realised that I do.

This is to say that rather than prescribing diets where there are strict rules and restrictions I instead like to give guidance and guidelines which people can use and incorporate to whatever degree they like.

Over-arching all this is that I want people to love what they eat and how they live and to show love to their bodies through nutrition and nurture.

So for anyone who's interested here are the fundamentals of my food philosophy:

Listen to your body - when you're hungry eat if you're tired have a rest or go to bed, if you feel ill stop and take care of yourself and if you feel full of beans go for a run. Ignoring our bodies messages is a highway to ill health.

Food should bring pleasure - in eating, cooking and sharing. Spend some time working out which healthy foods you enjoy and you'll never need to diet.

Show your body love by making sure your body has a plentiful supply of the good stuff - wholegrains, pulses, fruit and veg, lean proteins, essential fats (nuts, seeds and oily fish) and water. These will keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel, avoiding weight gain and reducing your risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

Keep out the junk - processed, flavoured, sweetened, 'plastic' foods are alien to your body and of no nutritional value so show them the 'keep out' sign - if you want a treat make sure it's homemade or that you at least recognise the ingredients!

Never cut out a food group entirely or eat any food to excess - carbs, proteins, essential fats, water and fibre are all needed by your body - provide all of them in balance and you'll be repaid with bountiful energy and good health.

Even with healthy foods you can have too much of a good thing - so if you're eating any one food to excess whether it's 10 carrots a day or five chicken breasts, it's time to cut back.

Never ban yourself from eating something entirely - you will only want it more. If you only eat healthy nurturing foods you should feel great but we all have those days where all you really want is a chocolate brownie and a cup of tea. When that happens don't give yourself a hard time, enjoy your treat, get give yourself a hug and write it off. if you eat healthily 80 percent of the time then you're doing a great job.

Everyone needs to start somewhere - going from a super unhealthy diet to a vegan RAW regime overnight isn't a good idea! If you want to become healthier take baby steps - it will be easier and better for your body. If you don't know where to start try cutting down on sugar - it's added in most processed foods and has a much more negative health impact than you realise.

We are physical beings and need to use our bodies physically - at the same time exercise should be something you enjoy that leaves you feeling good. Not some form of torture that leaves you wiped out. Find a form of exercise that you love and you'll be fit forever.

Everyone needs a day off - a break from work, chores, the to do list and the gym! Enjoy the free time to do whatever you feel like doing and eat whatever your body is asking for.


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