FOODS TO EAT FOR A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AND MORE ENERGY

FOODS TO AVOID

Refined Sugar – Avoid sugar as much as you can.  Look at ingredients lists when you buy your food as sugar is hidden in so many foods such as sauces, snacks, cereals etc.

Sugar can deplete your nutrients and energy levels very quickly.  It is also addictive and the more you eat the more you want. 

Margarine – it is processed and is not good to eat.  You are better off eating butter.  Butter has more flavour and contains Vitamin D. 

Processed Foods (anything in a packet) – The pre-packaged foods have way too much bad salt and preservatives and additives and sugar.

Cereal and Cereal Bars – Be careful when you buy cereal and cereal bars because most of these are bad for you and contain lots of sugar and additives.  Always read the ingredients list on these products.  You want the ingredients list to be as short as possible! 

Some Muesli’s have way too much sugar in them so if you like to eat cereal for your breakfast, look for the ones with low sugar bearing in mind that if it has lots of fruit in it then fruit has its own natural sugar and thats good for you.

FOODS TO EAT

You get your “essential fatty acids” from fats and oils so you want to make sure you eat the best ones.

Coconut Oil – The best fat to cook with is cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil.  It is a medium chain fat and is very good for digestion and helps to lose weight and gives you instant energy because it is digested very quickly.  Its also an excellent oil to cook with as it can withhold high temperatures without going rancid. 

Avocados  – They are an excellent good fat and they also contain Vitamin E, fibre, folate, Vitamin K, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6.  Add it to salads. 

Ghee – If you are intolerant to lactose then ghee is great as the milk has been separated from the butter to make ghee.  This is also excellent to cook with.

Try and avoid cooking with vegetable oils if you can as these aren’t the best oils to cook with and they can in fact cause inflammation in the body.

Extra virgin olive oil is best to be used on your salads in a dressing and not to fry with.  Olive oil is not a good oil to be heated for frying.  It is of course ok to roast some vegetables in the oven with olive oil or to use in a marinade for your meat with other herbs and spices. 

Try to eat more one ingredient foods.  One ingredient foods are foods that are not processed or pre-packaged.  Eating more of these foods will give you better health and energy.

Meat, vegetables, fruits, sweet potatoes, squashes, salads, nuts, seeds etc

Omega 3 fats – contained in fish and also in nuts and seeds – walnuts, flaxseeds, Chia Seeds, hemp seeds and also in algae as a vegetarian source.

Quinoa – Its a grain a bit like couscous but its wheat free and is packed with nutrients including protein and B vitamins.  You can eat quinoa with anything and flavour it with anything.  It is also great to eat cold with a salad. 

Brown Rice – choose brown and not white rice for more nutrients.

Sweet potato or Squash – you can roast it or boil it and make a mash from it with some butter and paprika.   These are a great starchy carbohydrate to help keep blood sugar stable.

You can cook lots of delicious meals using the above one ingredient foods and use spices and herbs for flavours and added nutrients.

Nuts, Seeds and Dried Fruit – Nuts and Seeds are an excellent source of protein and fat and will help you to stay away from sugary foods.  They contain vitamin E, zinc and magnesium, folate, selenium.  Dried fruit, especially dates are an excellent carbohydrate and sweet treat.  Dates contain sugar and fibre.  Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc and B vitamins, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K.

SNACKS

We all like sweet things right!  I am not asking you to stop eating cake or chocolate etc altogether, just to eat in moderation or have a smaller piece or slice. 

You can eat chocolate and I recommend dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa.  Dark chocolate is much better for you than milk chocolate as it has more cocoa. 

Snack on nuts and seeds, fruit and nut butters etc.  Some examples are:-

Banana with almond butter

Apples with almond butter

Carrot or cucumber sticks and hummous

Energy balls made with coconut oil, dates as a base and then add in cacao or raspberries or nuts.  Process together and roll into balls.

Boiled eggs are a great protein snack

 

IN SUMMARY

When you eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts or seeds and good fats you are giving the body everything it needs for good health and energy levels. 

Think about food as nourishment rather than just to satisfy your hunger.  When you begin to think like that, you will start to think more about your food choices and cut back on sugar and processed foods.

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