Hola amigo’s (Hello Friends).
When it comes to nutrition it can be pretty overwhelming trying to get to the correct information these days with so much to choose from to eat and the many places to eat and the information overload we receive online. I have realised the best thing for me when it comes to nutrition is to get back to basics.
I’ve always said I feel nutrition should be taught at school as it is one of the key elements to a healthy lifestyle.
Having been overweight for half of my life it wasn’t until I started learning about nutrition and food did I feel more in control and comfortable with my diet, start to have a better relationship with food, the better informed choices I was making and the better habits I started implementing for my health.
I’m certainly just like everyone else in that I don’t have the perfect diet and I’m not here to tell people what to eat.
The New Year seems to always bring for me at least the opportunity to start a fresh after an enjoyable festive season indulging in all the beautiful and delicious Christmas food and drinks.
I always have the motto of everything in moderation especially at Christmas as I know I have the ability to get back into those good habits later and I am never going to deny myself the opportunity to indulge at times, but also in moderation.
Evolutionary psychology tells us that we naturally want to eat the richest foods in the environment.
I recently found this out through an incredible mentor whose courses I’ve taken over the past few years.
I found this fascinating to know because it immediately puts things into perspective of course that is really obvious when you think about it and makes sense given that the richest foods were not available all the time nor was there the variety of the foods choices we have now, back in the days of the hunters and gatherers. It also takes so much pressure off I feel knowing this. So much guilt and shame can be associated with food I certainly know this myself. However doesn’t knowing this shift your perspective? It sure did mine. I long ago stopped beating myself up for sometimes wanting to eat those things as I developed better habits, started learning more about food and nutrition it helped me make better choices and let go of guilt and shame that I had sometimes with eating certain foods.
Isn’t it also great to know that you are not a bad person or are doing anything wrong this is just the way we are naturally wired to want the richest foods in the environment but we can also adjust our environment to have healthier options around and create habits to support us to be healthier with our food. I pretty much now but it wasn’t always like that but what a load of pressure off just knowing this.
Back then to the basics of Nutrition.
Not sure if you were taught the Healthy Food Pyramid at School. This is something I actually remember pretty well and I think probably I learnt this in Home Economics in Year 7 and I still base my own eating habits around it, which is kind of cool and the little bit of nutrition I did learn in school stuck with me.
Not sure if you remember the pyramid was cut into sections with the tip of the pyramid the foods we kept to a minimum, the bottom the foods to eat the most of being the largest area of the pyramid and the middle the less often foods.
There have been times when I completely forgot about the pyramid and I can say for certain was when I was a teenager, as well as other times. Learning more about food over the years though this is a good place to go back to. The healthy eating pyramid comes from Nutrition Australia about what they recommend as the types and portions of food to be eating each day for good health and is a simple visual guide.
Top Layer – Healthy Fats
Middle Layer – Dairy (Milk, Yoghurt, Cheese and alternatives. Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes.
Foundation Layer – vegetables, legumes, fruits, grains. (The largest section being the foundation layer with predominantly plant based foods which should make up the main part of our healthy eating plan.
I think my pyramid has been adjusted slightly with regards to my habits and choices that I make based on learning, research and also having spent decades aiming to become healthier and take control of my nutrition as for me it is an essential part of my wellbeing and makes me happier to predominantly eat healthy food.
My Top Layer – I choose to eat olive oil, avocado oil mainly and I like to use sesame oil when I stir fry. I really try to reduce or not eat most other oils and sometimes I go for butter.
My Middle Layer – I don’t eat a lot of dairy as when I was first overweight as a teenager which started me on my weight loss, nutrition and exercise journey I cut out cheese and butter from my diet. That was a choice I made after having some sessions with a dietician as both were high in fat and calories. I sometimes eat both of these things but not often. I also mainly now drink almond milk but still have cows milk in coffee when I go out. I also still eat eggs. I eat salmon and chicken mainly and sometimes beef, but I get my meat and fish from an organic butcher and have really cut down on it. I eat sourdough bread and whole grains where I can. I decided that it is best for me to not each a lot of refined carbohydrates, packaged foods, highly processed foods, so for me I would put them in my Top Layer. I love nuts and eat them a lot and have also started eating more legumes. Something that people in the blue zones eat a lot of, I will be discussing this is other posts, you will be interested to know more.
My Foundation Layer – Yes Fresh Vegetables, Fruits, Wholegrains ( I eat quinoa, and oats sometimes) I do try and have lots of fruits and veggies each day.. I love salads and roasted veggies in the winter.
Coffee, Tea, Water, Kombucha are the main things I drink, or Sparkling Mineral Water. I rarely drink soft drink. I don’t drink much alcohol. Having been healing from my brain injury it really affected me when I did so haven’t much over the past 5 years. Now that I feel my brain is almost healed I am going to start having a red wine every now and then as it is good for us and I must say I love a vodka lime and soda when I am celebrating something.
Food is to be enjoyed but it is also hugely important to our health and is our bodies fuel source and provide us with the nutrients our body needs to function.
It’s really good to learn more about it and be mindful of our nutrition each day. I hope you have fun working out your Healthy Food Pyramid and it might take you back to school as well and definitely back to the basics when it comes to healthy eating, it’s a great place to get started and also look back on.
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