Get The Balance Right!
My Core Food Plan for a healthy balanced diet!
In the context of Functional Nutrition, a ‘balanced diet’ is one that is appropriate for your lifestyle, health concerns, and food preferences. In other words, there isn’t one specific diet or way of eating that works for everyone. Instead, food and lifestyle plans should be tailored to the individual in order to improve over-all health and well-being. For example, a person recovering from a traumatic brain injury has a specific set of nutritional needs, which is very different from the needs of someone who is active and wants to incorporate more fresh, whole foods into their diet.
That being said, there are some general guidelines to follow for balance. When macronutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrates) are eaten in appropriate proportions, they provide your body with everything it needs to function properly.The correct balance and distribution of these nutrients is vital for optimum health. This is the basis of my CORE FOOD PLAN which is appropriate for anyone looking to eat a healthy balanced diet.
Pack a punch with protein – Protein helps build and repair every part of the body. Without enough, or the right kind of protein, you can feel run down, lethargic and weak. Meats, eggs, poultry and seafood are excellent sources, but so too are vegetable sources like beans, legumes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, lentils, nuts and seeds, oats, potatoes, spinach, quinoa, and wild rice
Load up on healthy fats – Healthy fats support brain and heart and hormonal health, while keeping you full and providing the body with energy. Shoot for omega – 3s from avocados, oily fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, olive oil, sea vegetables, and grass-fet meats.
Eat more vegetables and less grains as your carbohydrate sources – Many people associate this vital food group with solely with grains. We are overconsuming bread, pasta, cake, and biscuits and not eating enough fruits vegetables and legumes. When balancing your diet try to get the bulk of this food group from vegetable sources. The fibre found in vegetables helps balance blood sugar, help detoxification and improve digestion.
Eat the rainbow – Consume a wide variety of brightly coloured whole foods. Foods such as green vegetables, oranges, peppers, sweet potatoes, squash, berries, tomatoes, beetroot contain medicinal compounds known as phytonutrients which have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-cancer compounds which are vital to optimum health and prevention of disease.
Stay hydraded- Remember hydration doesn’t always have to come in the form of water, however filtered mineral water is best source. Alternatives include herbal teas, broths, cold pressed vegetable juices. On average we need a total of 1.5 – 2 litres per day in total depending on diet and activity levels. Headaches, fatigue, poor concentration, dark coloured urine are all tell-tale signs of poor hydration. Carry a water bottle when you are on the go to ensure optimum hydration.
Remember moderation and balance is key – Be flexible and limit rules and regulations around food. Enjoy your food! Make a point to indulge every now and then without guilt or stress.