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Healthy Eating

every box you need to tick to plate up a healthy meal

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Our nutritionist shares her healthy eating checklist.

Let’s face it: the world of healthy eating is confusing. Along with a new goofy fashion diet every other day and * a lot * of nonsense on social media, it can be hard to know what is really good for you … and what isn’t.

To clear the mess, I’m here to give you my dietician-approved healthy meal checklist. Goodbye wellness warrior rhetoric, hello healthy eating habits that will serve you well in the long run.

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1. Are half of your meal vegetables?

There’s a very good reason you’ve heard over and over again from dietitians saying they eat your five a day … they’re just * so * damn good for you. Packed with disease-fighting antioxidants, gut-loving fiber, and essential micronutrients, vegetables should be the focus of every breakfast, lunch, and dinner – not just casually.

I encourage you to pay special attention to how many different colored vegetables you have on your plate because more colors = more variety of nutrients.

2. Does your meal contain lean protein?

Muscle-building, starvation-relieving protein is found in red meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs, but you can also get lots of protein from dairy products (like milk, yogurt, and cheese) and plants like beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, nuts, and seeds.

You don’t have to be exclusively in the carnivore or herbivore camp, but I think it’s best to be somewhere in the middle. In other words, include all types of proteins to reap the full benefits of these high protein foods. As a guide, a quarter (yes, only a quarter) of your plate should be filled with one of these high protein foods.

3. Does your meal contain a source of high quality carbohydrates?

Hallelujah! Carbohydrates are definitely on my healthy eating checklist. High quality carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet as they provide long-lasting energy and help balance your blood sugar.

Think of: whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, long grain brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, and corn. Try again making these foods take up a quarter of your meal.

4. Have you specified a source of healthy fats?

Healthy fats are oh so good for heart and brain health. They’re also super filling, so they can help keep pesky hunger pangs at bay. At the same time, they are very high in calories, so portion control is key.

My advice is to include a small serving of healthy fats per meal. This could be cooking your meal in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil or using the same amount in a salad dressing. A quarter of an avocado on toast is another great example, as is a small handful (30 grams) of nuts and kernels sprinkled over your brekkie bowl.

5. Did you meet your food group goals throughout the day?

A healthy diet is about your consumption patterns over time, not just what you eat for a single meal or a week-long diet. In order for you to hit the nail on the head in the long run, I recommend that you familiarize yourself with the five different food groups and familiarize yourself with the number of servings you should be eating per day.

For a woman between 19 and 50 years of age, for example, this means five servings of vegetables, two servings of fruit, six servings of cereals and two and a half servings of protein and dairy products or alternatives. Keep these goals in mind when planning your meals and adjust your daily menus accordingly.

Melissa Meier is a Sydney based accredited practicing nutritionist. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.

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Healthy Eating

Craving food vs. choosing food – FIT Talk With Tania

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When we use food to create hormonal balance instead of dieting, amazing things happen to our health.

When it comes to food, here in North America and in all of the First World countries we have choices – an overwhelming variety.

Aside from the rush for toilet paper over the past year, how many times have you gone to the grocery store and seen empty shelves? It never happens.

Some call it a blessing, some blame it on their poor food choices.

Regardless of where you sit on this food spectrum, we know for sure that we should be one of the healthiest nations on earth. But we are not. As a wealthy First World country, we have an abundance of food, but the vast majority of the population is nutritionally starved. One wonders how that can happen. It all depends on the choice.

Many diseases such as cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, digestive problems and leaky gut are all referred to as lifestyle diseases today. Why? Because the lifestyle that the individual has chosen over time is what caused the disease.

It would therefore seem logical that if our decisions could have a negative outcome, it would seem reasonable that they could elicit a positive response as well. And there is science to back it up.

A study published on the NCBI website by the National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health, shows how diet and lifestyle changes are key to reversing these lifestyle ailments and restoring general health.

“But Tania,” you say, “there is heart disease in my family, so sooner or later I’ll get it.”

So why not do it as late as possible?

And to address the genetic elephant in the room, our DNA only controls about 20 percent of the result of our health. Some scientists are now saying that it is even less. This means that we have about 80 percent control over the outcome of our health. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

So why do most of our population continue to make poor food choices?

There are two aspects that play a role in how and what we eat – physiological and psychological.

The way our bodies are made up, our physiology requires us to ingest food. When we deprive our body of what it needs – restricting calories, removing food groups, forgetting to eat, skipping meals, eating junk food – blood sugar crashes and appetite hormones like leptin and grehlin are out of whack. .

However, the brain – the psychological component – still needs nourishment.

When we withdraw the energy it needs from our body, Grehlin goes into full swing and causes the brain to tell the body that it needs food quickly. Leptin, which normally tells us when we are full, is switched off.

Hello cravings and overeating. And then people are most likely to resort to packaged, processed, and / or sugary foods rather than healthy, healthy foods. It is a good thing to ignore cravings for bad food, but if you don’t refuel with good food on a regular basis throughout the day (for whatever reason – time, working late, dieting), your body will get its own Muscles take it away to form glucose and send it to the brain. Oh, and for your information, in case you’re wondering, it won’t take away from your stored fat.

It is quite difficult to make good food choices when hormones and “hangry” feelings are working against you when you demand to be fed as soon as possible. The thing is, you can get these hormones to work in your favor, to work with your body and brain to get rid of cravings, overeating, and spontaneous snacking. Believe it or not, you do it with food. The thing is, when food is used to restore hormonal balance, health happens.

Hormones are balanced when blood sugar levels are stabilized. And the way to stabilize blood sugar is to eat small, macro-balanced meals every three to four hours throughout the day.

I call this all three PFCs. Simply put, it’s a balanced mix of high-quality protein, healthy fat, and colorful carbohydrates combined within an hour of waking up and then every three to four hours throughout the day until about an hour and a half before bed.

It’s a simple concept that requires a little organization and preparation to get started, but the benefits are well worth it.

Blood sugar levels become normal, hormones are balanced, menopausal symptoms are minimized or eliminated, inflammation is reduced, joint pain is relieved, digestion is improved, cholesterol and blood pressure are normalized, the immune system is improved, it could help reverse some diseases, the Metabolism will turn on and stay on and the body will release stored fat and burn it for energy.

Just a little trivia for you – Did you know that for every pound of fat, there are 3,500 calories of stored energy waiting to be consumed? And as soon as the stored fat is broken down, will the excess weight that you possibly carry also be released?

It’s a wonderful side benefit that occurs when you stop dieting and focus on creating health.

Do you want to create health in your body? Join the 8 Weeks is All it Takes Facebook group today.

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Healthy Eating

The Surprising Snack You Should Avoid Because It Causes Bloating And Fatigue Throughout The Day

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Snacking is a normal and healthy part of any diet, as long as you choose the right snacks. When deciding which foods to include in your diet to bridge the gap between meals, it is important to choose nutrient-rich ingredients that can help boost your energy levels and support an increased feeling of satiety to help you achieve the Avoid consuming excess calories throughout the day.

However, not all high macronutrient density snacks are actually ideal for weight loss, and some can make sweeping claims while they may get in the way of your weight loss success or even cause weight gain, inflammation, and discomfort. If you are struggling with a tight and bloated stomach after snacking, there comes a point where nutritionists agree that you should consider eliminating it from your diet.

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Protein is hands down one of the most important nutrients to include in any balanced diet, but the way you consume your protein is important to consider. While protein bars are a simple snack, they are generally not well suited to promoting weight loss and wellness, and are often full of preservatives, excess carbohydrates, and added sugars, but they can make inflammation in your body worse.

“Unfortunately, the quality of most bars on the market is very poor and should not be considered healthy,” warns registered dietitian Trista Best. “The vast majority are made up of refined carbohydrates, sugar and gluten, all of which can lead to gas and fatigue . “

If you’re snacking on a protein bar, chances are you’re looking for a quick protein boost and enough energy to get you through to your next meal. However, opting for a bar over a naturally occurring source of protein can come with a number of side effects, many of which are uncomfortable for the body. “As the body works to process these ingredients, it becomes inflamed, especially the intestines, and this inflammation leads to gas and fatigue, among other things,” says Best.

Although gas isn’t directly related to weight gain, it can make your body feel uncomfortable and negatively affect your mental health. If you feel that your clothes are tighter you may be inclined to ditch your healthy eating plan, but it is better to identify the foods that are causing these problems rather than assuming your weight loss plan will fail.

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Since protein bars are often filled with additives and excess sugar, they can also have an inverse effect on your metabolism, making it difficult to burn fat at rest and consequently, weight gain over time. This snack may go well with your healthy diet as it provides one of the most important macronutrients you need to streamline your diet, but at the end of the day, getting your protein from more natural sources like chickpeas will serve you better Salad, lean meat, or even Greek yogurt.

These foods are more likely to keep your body energized while also being low in calories, sugar, and unhealthy preservatives, making them better at limiting inflammation, fatigue, and weight gain.

If you’ve just finished a difficult workout or are severely low in calories for the day, a low-sugar, high-protein bar may not be the worst option for getting a quick burst of energy. However, make sure that you don’t rely on this highly processed snack in your daily diet to banish gas, unnecessary fatigue, and discomfort and try to find more natural alternatives to give your body the energy it needs needed to make it between meals.

As with any food, you can enjoy protein bars in moderation and still see success with your healthy diet, but contrary to popular belief, in order to feel optimal about your body, they shouldn’t be a part of your diet. A good rule of thumb is to eat as many natural, whole foods as possible, and there are a variety of different sources that will benefit your body in the long run.

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Healthy Eating

1 in 5 Parents Too Busy to Cook During Pandemic: Fast, Healthy Options

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Share on PinterestA new study found that many parents say their children were more likely to eat fast food during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, health experts say there are alternatives to eating that are quick, easy, and nutritious. mixetto / Getty Images

  • According to a new survey, one in five parents said they were feeding their children more fast food than before the pandemic.
  • Parents of overweight children reported eating out at least twice a week.
  • The reasons given were being too busy or too stressed.
  • However, experts say that having a healthy meal at home doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming.
  • They suggest that working on healthy behaviors rather than dieting is the best approach for children.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many families found options for healthier diets and more physical activity.

For others, however, it meant more stress and less exercise as the home shifted to school and work.

This has also made it difficult for parents to find the time or energy to prepare always nutritious meals at home.

According to the University of Michigan Health’s CS Mott Children’s Hospital national child health survey, roughly one in five parents said their children had started eating fast food more often than before the pandemic.

The survey, which included responses from 2,019 parents of children aged 3 to 18, found that roughly one in six parents said their child eats fast food at least twice a week.

Parents who reported their children were overweight also reported their children ate fast food twice a week, compared to parents who reported their child was a healthy weight for their age and height.

When asked why they couldn’t prepare meals at home, around 40 percent of parents said they were just too busy.

About a fifth of parents said they felt too stressed.

These barriers to eating healthy have been most commonly reported by families with overweight children.

However, nutritionists say putting together a healthy meal at home doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. It doesn’t necessarily have to be cooked once.

Dr. Mary-Jon Ludy, Chair of the Department of Public Health and Associated Health at Bowling Green State University’s College of Health and Human Services and Associate Professor of Food and Nutrition, suggests using the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as a starting point for planning your meals.

“In summary, half of our plates should be filled with fruits and vegetables, half of our grains should be whole, proteins should be lean, dairy products should be low in fat, and variety is encouraged,” said Ludy.

Some of the simple meal suggestions Ludy offered included:

  • For breakfast, low-fat natural yogurt with fresh or frozen fruits, chopped nuts and whole grain muesli.
  • For lunch, a nut butter sandwich on wholemeal bread filled with sliced ​​apples or bananas, with baby carrots or cucumber as a side dish and a low-fat milk to drink.
  • For dinner, whole grain tortillas with black beans or shredded chicken, brown rice, avocado puree, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and grated cheese.
  • As a snack between meals, hummus with sliced ​​peppers or whole grain crackers.

“These are great options,” said Ludy, “because they require minimal prep time, healthy carbohydrates and lean proteins are balanced, have a variety of fillings / additives, and are simple enough to involve children in prep.”

Therese S. Waterhous, PhD, RDN, CEDRD-S, an in-house eating disorders expert in Corvallis, Oregon, said the best way to lose weight, especially in children, is to take a nutrition-free approach. Diets don’t work, she explained, and most people put back any weight they lose.

“Instead of dieting, it’s good to choose healthy behaviors and work on them,” she said.

She said food shouldn’t be taboo when eating, but rather focus on optimizing health so that children can grow and reach their potential.

She suggested that making young children or teenagers feel bad about their bodies was “critical”. This leads to stress and, in some cases, eating disorders.

“Weight stigma is very harmful to children and is prevalent in our society,” said Waterhous. “Instead of focusing on weight, it is best to focus on these health behaviors.”

Instead of demonizing certain foods, focus on getting enough fuel, enough protein, enough vitamins and minerals, she said.

In particular, she said, most young people are not getting enough products that provide essential nutrients and fiber. She suggests adding two to three servings of vegetables or fruit to each meal. One serving is about 1/2 cup or a medium-sized piece of fruit, she added.

However, even with the best of intentions, there can be times when a quick meal at a restaurant is the option that best fits your busy schedule.

Ludy offers the following tips to help you make the best choices when eating out:

  • Add vegetables whenever you can. For example, ask for lettuce and tomatoes on sandwiches, peppers and onions on burritos, or mushrooms and olives on pizza.
  • Choose beverages like water, 100 percent fruit juice, or simple low-fat milk instead of sodas or sweet tea.
  • Opt for side dishes like apple slices or carrot sticks instead of french fries or fries.
  • Order small or child-sized portions.
  • Try to make fast food only occasionally.
  • Model healthy eating for your children by making healthy choices for yourself.

Waterhou also suggests that you can get a sandwich or fried chicken from the grocery store as a base for your meal. Then add simple options like a fruit salad, a mixed salad, or vegetables at home to complete your meal.

To add some starch to your chicken, you could have rice, mashed potatoes, or a slice of bread, she said. You can even prepare your side dishes in advance and reheat them for dinner.

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