Ground Work for Eating Well Pt.2
Mon Jan. 9th 2023
" Family meals encourage conversation, develop confidence, promote attachment, and even reinforce good manners"
When days are short and schedules are jam-packed we can fall into the habit of scoffing down food without a second thought. Eating too quickly makes you less aware of getting full — and before you know it, you’ve overeaten.
Slowing down allows you to enjoy your food, which helps satiety. Meal satisfaction may also lead to less snacking later in the day. The food we eat is more than just nutrition! Take time to enjoy the taste, the smell, and refuse to rush it down as if it’s going to run away on you.
Swap out the Sugar
It’s no surprise that too much added sugar in the diet is not beneficial for our health. Sugar, like salt, hides in many of the processed foods we buy, so we can consume a lot without even knowing it. Eating too much sugar contributes to an excess of calories, which can lead to weight gain.
The good news is that cutting down on sugar may be easier than you think! Be aware of what you are drinking, and the amount of sugar in your coffee, tea, soft drinks and juices. As mentioned earlier, water is a better choice if you’re watching your sugar intake, or try reducing a ‘2 sugars’ tea to just the one. Keep an eye on your cereals at breakfast, and the amount of sugar added on top; opt for fresh fruit or unsweetened yoghurts.
If you do have a sweet tooth, don't forbid sugar altogether; you're liable to become more focused on something that is forbidden! Aim to satisfy your sweet tooth with small amounts less regularly and learn to savour it.
Fruits and Vegetables
Including a variety of fruit and vegetables in the diet is beneficial for overall health and for supporting immune disorders. It‘s too easy to get caught up and overwhelmed with the food that should be avoided or limited; often, it can be more productive to focus on food to include in your diet on a regular basis.
Berries, broccoli, avocados and leafy greens, citrus fruits, root vegetables, carrots and apples, to name a few - fruits and vegetable are bursting with nutrients and vitamins for good health. The best thing is they don’t need to be added to, as they are also rich in their unique flavours and textures.
Be sure to keep it varied and make your plate interesting. Eating the same plate of steamed vegetables each day would be boring! Get creative and try different cooking methods, herbs and spices or try snacking on raw veggies with dip or in a crunchy salad.
If you don’t immediately become a fruit and vegetable lover, take heart and be patient. Don’t force the issue, expecially on children, because that usually backfires. Simply continue to make fruits and veggies a part of every meal, and try to offer them in a variety of ways. Eventually you and your family will find a few favourites!
There has long been controversy around the health effects of fat and carbs in your diet, but protein is a big winner on the nutrient list. It is widely known that your body needs protein to work the way it should. Having adequate levels of protein is crucial to organ function, muscles and tissues growth, bone development, skin rejuvenation and even hair health! It helps make antibodies that fight off infections and keeps cells healthy.
Meeting your protein needs is easily achieved from eating a variety of foods, such as: meat and fish, eggs, dairy products, seeds and nuts, and legumes like beans and lentils. A good place to start is by checking you are incorporating some of these foods into your diet each day. To keep it simple, most people should be getting 10-35% of their calories each day in the form of protein. Of course it will differ depending on age, size, and lifestyle, but use these numbers as a guide.
Best for You
Completely overhauling your diet all in one day can be a recipe for disaster. Eating well, for good health, is a process, and it’s better to make sustainable changes gradually rather than set yourself up to feel like you’ve failed.
Try to incorporate some of the small changes above one at a time, and re-assess how you are feeling about trying the next one. Though they may seem like small adjustments, together they will have a big impact on your health. A more energised, healthier, vibrant version of yourself is definitely worth aiming for!