So you've decided that you want to take your healthy diet and healthy living plan seriously. That's great news! Here are our top tips to help you - why not print them off and stick them on your fridge?
- Eat pure, whole foods as much as possible. By including whole foods into your healthy living plan, you'll be eating living foods full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants - all of which will contribute to an overall feeling of vitality.
- Avoid processed and refined food. If you want to cut out processed foods from your diet, you need to start cooking your meals from scratch. Because this can be a pressure in an already busy life, we find that it's a great idea to cook enough food for two days - so all you need to do is reheat it the second night. If you're short on time and can't get into the kitchen, why not try our new Freedom ready meals? Our healthy recipes are created from quality whole foods and cooked from scratch, providing as many nutrients as possible for you to enjoy at your convenience and without guilt!
- Buy organic where possible - if not, at least try to source your fresh food from a local farm. If the foods are not organic, they will be able to tell you how many pesticides and fertilisers have been used to grow and produce them. Generally speaking, salad items tend to require more chemicals during their production than brassicas, which may not have been treated with any.
- Keep meat as a treat! If you want to include meat as part of your healthy diet, spend more money on smaller amounts of good quality organic meat, which has been sourced from an ethical farm. Try to avoid regular consumption of intensively farmed meat products.
- Be wary of dairy! Try to limit your intake of dairy products, and use either organic milk or alternatives such as rice, soya or almond milk. One popular myth is that you can't have a healthy diet without dairy, as you won't be able to get enough calcium. However, calcium can also be sourced from foods such as seeds, nuts, and crunchy vegetables such as kale, cabbage, cauliflower and carrots. By sourcing your calcium in this way, you also get the additional benefits of other essential nutrients, like vitamins and minerals such as magnesium.
- Eat for the seasons - don't put your immune system at potential risk by only eating salads during the winter. You may think that this is a great tool for weight loss, but when the weather is cold, you should fuel your body with hot foods such as broths, soups and stews, which will have plenty of essential nutrients and provide a fantastic winter alternative to a cold salad.
- Avoid fried, burnt and browned food - these are a powerful source of harmful free radicals, and we want to avoid them as much as possible!
- Avoid hydrogenated fat and an excessive amount of animal fats - bad fats do not a healthy diet make! If you're looking to achieve weight loss and boost your vitality, then these types of fats should be avoided. Read our article on fats for more information.
- Avoid stimulants - processed sugar, alcohol and caffeinated drinks, such as tea and coffee, will give you a temporary boost in energy which will be quickly followed by a big slump. When we notice the energy slump, we start to crave the stimulants that created the initial energy surge, which can create a cycle of peaks and troughs in energy levels which can lead to mood swings and illness.
We hope you've enjoyed reading our feature on healthy living, a healthy diet, weight loss and vitality. If you'd like to find out more about Kirsty’s healthy ready meals that launch in March 2012, please call back then.