Hilary appreciates that the world of nutrition can feel quite muddled. With so much information available it can be challenging to know what the best foods are to get each of us through the day in the best of health. “We are told that unless you eat in a perfect way you are not doing it right, but most of us don’t have the time to make everything from scratch. It isn’t realistic. But if you are already eating, which we all are, you have got the time to make good choices.” she says
So what were Hilary’s top nutrition tips for eating in 2017? I made a note of that really helped me and which I hope will help you also:
Set your own health goals. We are all individual and have different issues, and setting aside some time to decide what it is that you want to achieve in 2017 will enable you to measure whether or not you achieve it. Maybe you want to sleep better, get rid of the bloat, run a marathon, stop regular headaches, find the energy for kids and children, stop getting narky mid afternoon, perhaps you have a particular health condition or just want to improve your skin. The list is endless and we all want something different, but it is possible to create a healthy eating plan to suit you.
We are complex organisms made up of trillions of different cells, and every cell needs 30 nutrients to make sure that it operates as it should, keeping us full of energy, throughout the day. The only way to keep your body healthy is to feed it the nutrients that it needs and the best way to do this is to eat delicious, food that you enjoy three times a day. “It is most important to eat food that you enjoy. You should only eat three meals a day so make them count and enjoy every one, filling your cells with all the things they need to make you the best that you can be.”
Don’t fool yourself that you haven’t got time to eat well. You are already finding the time to eat, so just use that time to make better choices which will help you improve your health.
You have to have enough knowledge to know what good choices are, and most of us got a bit of a shock with some of the examples she gave. “I have three boys and I didn’t want their friends to feel that they were coming to a weird house so I take quite a relaxed approach, but there is one thing that I just won’t allow in the house and that is cereal. Not any kind, not even the sort of cereal that is dressed up to look healthy. All cereal will give you an immediate high energy kick but will send you crashing down later and so my advice is to avoid it.”
But what should we eat? Every meal should be balanced to contain a mix of the nutrients that we need, and there is a great chart that you can use to refer to above.
Starting the day with a good breakfast is perhaps one of the most important changes that we can make as it sets up the pattern for the whole day, and can even effect how we sleep at night. Avoid white and fluffy carbohydrates – so no white bread or bananas. They will just send your sugar levels sky high and then come crashing down to be stored as fat. Definitely to be avoided!
Apply the 90 second rule to breakfast – healthy choices that can be made easily. The quickest, easiest breakfast is scrambled eggs. No need to mix them before hand just throw them into the pan and mix with herbs and add some vege, perhaps tomatoes or green salad. If you don’t eat eggs, porridge with a little apple and cinnamon is perfect, ideally topped with a few chia seeds. A great tip is to choose the most robust oats and cook gently for as short a time as possible so that they don’t breakdown to mush releasing the energy too quickly.
Breakfast and lunch should be almost interchangeable. Another great egg-based recipe is Frittata. There are loads of recipes on the internet and you can just add eggs and a mix of vegetables to a muffin tin, perhaps with a little salad on the side and you have a balanced meal. For someone who doesn’t eat meat or dairy, a good quality shop bought soup with fresh vege, pulses and grains added is a great choice. Mixing the pulses and grains at every meal is important as it makes the nutrients available to the body.
Make your meals delicious and your snacks perfunctory. Some of us have a tendency to graze throughout the day. In fact, for many of us, that was the way we were taught to eat, but knowledge has changed. Now there is a strong belief that the best way to eat is to have three fantastic, nutrient packed meals a day and avoid the snacks in-between. If you really are hungry, choose something perfunctory that you don’t really love, like 8 almonds and a bit of apple, so that snack-time isn’t a treat that you look forward to.
Whilst too much fat is a problem in general, many people who try to eat healthily don’t eat enough. We have become so frightened of saturated fat that many of us avoid fats altogether, but our bodies need 2-3 tablespoons of good fats a day, whether in nuts or liquid form. Examples of great fats to choose are olive oil, avocado, flax, hemp and coconut. Avoid sunflower and vegetable oils and choose “stable” oils to cook with such as coconut oil – which although it is a saturated fat, is the most stable and a healthy fat to cook with.
These are just a few of the nutrition tips that Hilary gave. You can find out more about Hilary on her website. Please do get in touch if you would like more information.