Although I am a nutritionist, and have been for almost 20 years, I am increasingly exasperated by the ever-growing perfectionism that lurks around the topic of food and nutrition. Aiming for healthy eating is almost guaranteed to send us straight for the gin and tonic or the biscuit tin and make us feel guilty without really achieving anything else. An example of this perfectionism is a book quite recently out by a very beautiful perfect doctor/nutritionist – the cover illustration is of this lovely lady doing a full-on side plank (whilst smiling)- a completely spectacular one, with abs you could do your washing on (she is of course much too young to remember doing washing on a washboard!). Up at dawn to make broccoli bread probably, is this even realistic. How can us mortals hope to even dream of being this militantly perfect and what for?
If we run our own business or are in a demanding job – all we can hope for is to do our best. You must have a structure – and once you have a structure you simply fit your life and lifestyle around it. A structure can be likened to a skeleton, then you put the flesh on. Here are three structures to help you to get optimum energy, to do what you want in your life and have some time left over to help other people into the bargain (whether that is your colleagues, family or friends) – without even eating a quinoa salad! Where possible plan your meals – they will not happen by accident – I use a planner you can stick on the fridge or invest in an app for your phone.
- Eat real food and do your best – food shared with others has a certain magic to it – use your instinct more about what suits you and your lifestyle, and remember it won’t always be Can you please give examples straightforward but persevere and you’ll reap the rewards.
- Maintain a stable blood sugar – Avoid sweet, ‘fluffy’ and white food (processed food), go for real food that is dense (harder to chew), fibrous, protein-packed and good fats (butter, olive oil, avocados).
- Eat an anti-inflammatory Diet – That is a diet that is mostly plant based loaded with vegetables – eat oily fish 3 times a week (sardines and mackerel are plentiful, and low in toxins – yes, another thing to worry about). If possible eat organic – because organic farming might help protect the planet, at least from pesticides. Agriculture is the biggest pollutant on the planet.
Eat breakfast – eggs are brilliant (with sardines, salmon, avocados, and veg) – not ever commercial cereals and even porridge doesn’t do it for me personally
Take some almonds and apples so that if the food choices are terrible, you have something to snack on.
To avoid terrible jet lag – don’t eat on the plane (or just have fruit), I drink a large cup of water at least every hour – I put a few drops that make the water a bit more alkaline and I take Stabilium (fish garum – apparently the Roman army used this trick for resilience, and they knew a thing or two!)
Guest Blog by Kate Cook.
Kate Cook, Nutrition expert, author and international speaker – Kate has helped progressive organisations and companies get better results for their employees for almost 20 years. www.the-corporate-nutrition-coach.co.uk, www.thenutritioncoach.co.uk. Kate’s 7th book, Positive Nutrition – Strategic Eating for upgraded Health and Energy is out May 2018