I'm a firm believer in Real Food – and the fact that healthy eating should be enjoyable.
No faddy diets
No freaky ingredients
It's got to be practical – we live in the real world!
My philosophy in a nutshell:
Make it yourself where possible - try not to rely on processed meals
- You’ll slash the fat, sugar and salt content of what you eat – plus you’ll know what goes into your meals.
Don’t skip meals
- Include protein and wholemeal starchy carbohydrates in every meal (and every snack if possible)
- Try to start with a good breakfast - think wholegrains from porridge, no-sugar no-salt muesli or wholemeal toast, some fruit, and some protein (try yoghurt with the cereal or beans or egg on the toast) will keep you going until lunchtime
Eat loads of fruit and vegetables
- They’re packed with vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants that support your immune system and protect you from disease. Fruit and veg are also great for fibre, which helps your digestion. One type of fibre also lowers the risk of heart disease.
- Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day – more is even better!
- On balance, it’s better to concentrate on vegetables rather than fruit. Variety is the key!
Fill up with wholemeal rather than refined white carbohydrates
- They have a lower Glycaemic Index (GI), so they’ll sustain you for longer, plus they’re higher in fibre than refined versions.
Switch red meat for pulses and low-fat protein foods
- Red meat is okay, but limit it to no more than twice a week. Chicken and fish are lower in saturated fat, and pulses such as beans and lentils are even better – packed with low fat protein and fibre.
Eat the right amount of the right fats
- Cut down on the unhealthy saturated and trans fats (found in meat, dairy and processed foods), but eat moderate amounts of the healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (nuts, seeds and olive oil are great, as are avocados).
- Learn to love oily fish – fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout and fresh tuna are rich in the polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids – brilliant for healthy hearts and minds.
Cut down on salt and added sugar
- Salt can raise your blood pressure, putting you at risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Added sugar can lead to obesity (especially since it’s so ‘moreish’) and rot your teeth. It’s also linked with inflammatory processes around the body. Get sweetness from fruit instead.
Drink plenty of water
- Don’t wait until you’re thirsty – by that time you’re already getting dehydrated
- Nutrition is only part of the picture – it needs to go hand in hand with an exercise programme that’s appropriate for you.