Jane’s top 10 easy everyday eating challenges for optimum health
1. Eat real food.
Eat food that is as close to nature as possible. Vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, fish (not battered or breaded), nuts, seeds, pulses, natural and full fat dairy products, etc. If the food label resembles a chemical equation then leave it on the shelf.
2. Cook more.
Research shows that people who eat food they cook themselves are healthier and leaner, not to mention the money you will save on pre-packed sandwiches and processed food at lunchtime.
3. Sit at a table (not your desk!)
to eat all your meals and take time to savour and enjoy your food rather than eating on the run.
4. Don’t diet.
Avoid crazy fad diets and quick weight loss plans. Instead think of the food you eat as the building blocks to your health. If you make more healthy choices, the chances are you will feel better. Health is a state of wellbeing, rather than a number on the scales.
5. Make the healthiest choice you can.
Sometimes the best choice will be a wholemeal packaged sandwich from a garage forecourt rather than a sausage roll, or a banana instead of a chocolate bar. That is OK and a better choice than a bad choice.
6. Eat a brassica vegetable every day.
These sulphur-rich foods like broccoli (above), cabbage, cauliflower, kale, rocket and watercress are nutritional powerhouses that pack a punch in terms of nutrition.
7. Eat like you are on holiday
—not ice-cream and chips, but look towards the Mediterranean diet for one of the healthiest diets in the world and adopt a few of their healthy habits like eating oily fish a couple of times a week, packing your diet full of colourful vegetables and adding olive oil to your diet.
8. Know your sugars.
Keep an eye on food labels — 5g per 100g or less is a low sugar content. I find it helps to visualise how much sugar is in food, so take a look at the amount of sugar in one portion and divide by four to tell you how many teaspoonfuls you are eating.
9. Drink more water.
Even if that just means drinking a glass or two a day, it is better than none. The first telltale sign of dehydration can be fatigue rather than thirst, but a good way to tell if you are dehydrated is the colour of your pee — anything darker than a light straw colour is a sign to drink up.
10. Get outside every day.
Most of us are cooped up over the autumn and winter, leaving us feeling fatigued and fed up. Go for a walk, join an outdoors bootcamp class or put the washing on the line if there is a blink of sunlight.