A HEALTHY EATING GUIDE FOR YOU
Forget about fussy diets, make a change to your life and start shopping smarter, eat more wisely and enjoy nutritious and delicious food with this healthy eating guide!
START YOUR REAL FOOD JOURNEY FOLLOWING THESE 4 STEPS
This guide is not going to advise you to count your calorie intake, provide you with a special diet plan or suggest any sort of low-fat and low-carb meals.
This healthy eating guide is all about the quality of the different foods we buy and the most nutritious foods in each basic food group. Unfortunately most of the food available is heavily processed so the aim of these short guides is to help you look for the real, simple, fresh ingredients and enjoy food that is not just filling you up but provides you with the daily nutrition you need.
Cutting out processed food and eating fresh, home cooked food is the only ‘diet’ that guarantees to give you in time the naturally beautiful body you dream of, which will not be achieved otherwise with any quick starving diets and processed food consumption.
1. SHOP SMARTER
The first step is to become a smart consumer and stop being a victim of our food industry. Avoid as much as possible any processed food. “Processed food” has different definitions and technically even foods like cheese and pasta are processed in some way. The ‘processed food’ this guide refers to is the industrialised packaged food. The longer the ingredients list, the more processed the food is. The key to a smart shopping is to buy simple basic fresh foods from these categories above and avoid any precooked and frozen supermarket meals. Read the rest of the guides to understand what you should be looking out for when buying the more common foods like bread, cheese and other dairy products.
2. COOK YOUR FOOD
Preparing your food at home can have a great impact on your health. Everyday busy life is often our excuse not to cook our food but it is possible with a bit of effort, better planning and inspiration (hopefully this blog!). Try to get into the habit of preparing a couple of easy week night meals that you know by heart. Make more so that you can take some for lunch at work or store in the fridge and eat it next day for dinner again. If you are new to cooking, you will have to probably follow some recipes in the beginning but after time it won’t feel that difficult and you will be able to cook your favourite meals much quicker and easier. Cooking your food yourself means that your meals will only include the ingredients you choose. Eating freshly prepared, home cooked food can make a huge difference to your health and with the right food it could also lead to weight loss. Don’t be afraid of your oven, get in the kitchen and start your real food journey! Take a look at the easy, wholesome recipes on My Food & Happiness that will help you start.
3. EAT WISELY
When I say ‘Eat Wisely’, I don’t mean to encourage you to start counting calories or starve! See why you need to stop counting calories. ‘Eat Wisely’ simply means that you need to have a smart diet that provides you with all the different nutrients that you need. Don’t overeat foods from a particular food group, make sure your meals are balanced. Here are a few important things to keep in mind:
- You can eat as much vegetables as you want, but be more conscious of the processed carbohydrates and sugar. For example, if you are having cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner, you are eating too much processed carbohydrates. These foods are the main reason so many people are overweight. Read more about the good and bad carbs in the “Bread & Cereal” guide.
- You probably know this, but try to avoid any sweets and chocolates. Keep sugar intake to a minimum and when you need something sweet, eat fruits or some more natural homemade sweet treats (see recipes). Rarely people eat too much fruit so you probably don’t have to worry about this, but you need to be aware that fruits contain sugar as well. It’s natural sugar, but too much of it gets converted into fat in our bodies. Smoothies are a great way to get your nutrients, but always combine fruits and veggies in your smoothies as fruit only smoothies normally contain too much sugar. Here you will find some great smoothie recipe ideas. Read the Fruits & Vegetables guide to find out which are the healthiest fruits and veggies and how to eat organic on a budget.
- Include high-protein foods in your diet (which will help you maintain your muscles and more muscles mean more calories burnt naturally). If you are a vegetarian, there are quite a few high-protein veggie burgers and meals you can make in advance and if you eat meat you can also add fish and/or chicken to your meals. Read more about the different types of meat available in our stores and the leanest cuts you can find in the Meat guide.
- It’s hard not to crave foods like bread, especially when you get really hungry so meal prep is very important. Eat small portions 4-5 times a day so that you don’t get to that really hungry state when you just want to eat a lot of carbs in order to get quick appetite satisfaction. Regular meals will keep your metabolism active and help your body burn more calories naturally during the day. Our bodies burn calories all the time, not just in the gym. A lot of people make the mistake of skipping meals and starving, thinking it will help them lose weight but in reality this will work against you as it could lead to your metabolism slowing down.
4. BEWARE OF ‘HEALTHY’ PRODUCTS
Healthy eating is a popular topic right now and it has been for some time. Food companies understand this very well so brands are always using marketing campaigns to deceive us and use freely the word “healthy”.
You have probably heard this many times but ALWAYS read the ingredients list, even the most innocent-looking products can have unexpected ingredients. If the list is too long and you have no clue what half of the ingredients are, this should be a red alert for you. Beware of labels like ‘fat-free’, ‘healthy’, ‘natural’, “low in calories”, they could be genuine products but often these labels are misused by brands to convince you to buy their product. Have a look at the FOODS UNCOVERED section of this website to see some of the brands that do this.