The modern world is a busy and crazy place, what with work, social calendars, mum guilt, body image pressure, plus the ever-increasing desire to be healthy and live a perfect lifestyle.
There is so much information out there about what to eat and when, how to cook it and now food intolerances are adding to the mix.
As you know, we are all different, have different lives, taste buds and medical needs so no one diet will suit us all. As my daughter would say, ‘Do your best and forget the rest’, coz there’s no point stressing over another part of everyday life.
First up, I recommend keeping a food diary for a week and keeping notes about how you feel after each food, this includes energy levels, headaches, bloating, hunger signals, you get the drift. Then put on your Sherlock Holmes pants and become a detective. Sit down and try to uncover if there any foods that perhaps are causing any chemical changes in your body and therefore symptoms, if so, you may need to go one step further and look into an elimination diet.
Secondly, I recommend looking into your favourite dishes that pop up regularly on your menu and figuring out how you can improve them?
How would I improve them you say?
4 easy steps.
1. Substitute foods that are causing a reaction in your body.
If a food upsets your digestive system or give you mood swings, try a few weeks without it and see how it improves your health and reduces unwanted symptoms.
2. Add more plant-based foods to the dish.
This could be vegetables, legumes, grains, etc. And be sure to include at least 3 different coloured vegetables to ensure you are eating foods with various nutrients.
3. Reduce salt, sugar and processed foods.
Slowly reduce the added salt and sugar to your cooking to cut back on calories. Replacing processed food with homemade or natural alternatives will also benefit your health as there less preservatives, filler and chemicals being consumed. Win win.
4. Try to portion your meals with the use of your hands!
Your meals should roughly contain:
a. Protein- the size of your palm
b. Carbohydrates- the size of a cupped hand
c. Vegetables- the size of your fist
d. Healthy Fats- the size of your thumb
*These measurements can be doubled for active men and increased by a quarter for active women.
Follow the 4 steps.
Substitue problem foods
Add plant foods
Reduce processed foods
Example: Favourite dish is beef burger (dairy intolerance)
Substitute cheese for avocado or flavoured mayonnaise
Add plants- Have a salad on the side, grill large slices of sweet potato, eggplant and beetroot to layer in the burger.
Make the burger patties from scratch using lean mince, eggs, grated carrot, Gourmet You meal base and breadcrumbs.
Protein- palm sized burgers of beef each
Carbohydrates- cupped hand sized wholegrain roll
Vegetables- fist sized portion of vegetables and salad on the side
Healthy fats- thumb sized serve of avocado to spread on the roll
Example: Favourite dish is chicken carbonara (gluten intolerance)
Substitute pasta for gluten free noodles
Add plants- add in spinach, mushroom and diced zucchini or squash.
Make the sauce from scratch using Gourmet You meal base, light cream, eggs and parmeson.
Protein- palm sized serve of chicken each
Carbohydrates- cupped hand full of pasta
Vegetables- fist sized portion of vegetables
Healthy fats- thumb sized cream sauce serve
Example: Favourite dish is traditional Sunday roast lamb (fructose intolerance)
Substitute cauliflower for broccoli in cauliflower cheese
Add plants- roast a medley of potato, sweet potato, carrot, zucchini and mushroom
Make the broccoli cheese sauce from scratch using Gourmet You meal bases, nuttelex, corn flour and rice milk.
Protein- palm sized serve of lamb each
Carbohydrates- cupped hand full of mixed potato and sweet potato
Vegetables- fist sized portion of roast vegetables and broccoli dish
Healthy fats- thumb sized serve will be part of the olive oil used to roast vegetables.