Eating well is something that we all know we need to do. There’s mountains of information out there on what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat. It can all get a little overwhelming. I like to keep things as simple as possible and use my time more wisely to plan what we’ll be eating for the week so I can spend the rest of my time enjoying the things I love!
Here’s my tips on how to eat well for everyday life!
Eat the rainbow
Did you know that one of the biggest predictors of a healthy gut microbiome is plant diversity? The more varieties of foods you eat, the more diverse the range of bugs inhabiting your gut become, and this is a good thing. You should aim for 30 different types of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole-grains and legumes per week. It sounds like a lot, but a classic minestrone soup has a minimum of 15 different plant based foods!
Eat more REAL food and less processed foods
Now, I know you were expecting this one to be on the list and with good reason. We need to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat foods that come in a package, but it does mean that you need to know what you’re eating first. The simple rule I stick to is if an ingredient on a label includes a number or words that don’t resemble real food grown from the ground then I eat it less frequently.
I’m the first person to say that convenience is king, but the choices we make most often, should involve real foods with minimal processing.
Eat enough for your energy output
Knowing how much you need to eat is important but not obsessed over. It’s not just about portion or calorie control but rather about knowing how much food you, as an individual, really needs each day. For anyone who is physically active, you need to change how much you’re eating to match your energy output that day.
Last year I had a Body Composition Scan as a bit of fun with my husband. He is very physically active and I am only moderately active. We were both shocked to discover what our recommended daily calorie intake was. We were both UNDER eating! (How could this happen?? We own a meal prep company!!) After discovering this, so many things made sense. We were both tired all the time, which was something we thought was completely normal. We work hard, have two young girls to run after and love to be outdoors. Well, it turns out it’s not normal and once we started eating more, we felt so good. Like remarkably good. I personally was sleeping better and had more energy to do things with our kids. My husband found he was meeting his training goals faster and easier too.
Plan your week
Knowing what you’ve got going on for the whole week, can help you plan how much time you’ve got to make food for you and the family. Who has had food in the fridge go to waste because, even with the best intentions, you just simply didn’t have the time or energy to make it into a meal? Me too!
My biggest tip is to cook once & eat twice. Make double of something for dinner that you can either eat for work lunches or pop in the freezer for another dinner. If you’re going to spend an hour or more cooking dinner, why not take an extra 10 minutes to prepare a bit more.
For anyone who is time poor, there are convenient & healthy options out there. You can try Activate Foods’ ready made meals for days when you don’t have time to make something. With fresh & frozen pre-prepared meals, you can have something in the fridge or freezer that’s ready to heat and eat. We’ve even got a family size range which is my lifesaver for mid-week sport nights. I pop a Family Lasagna in the oven on low before I leave and I walk back in to the smell of melting cheese and our dinner is on the table when the kids have got out the bath!
Having a good relationship with food is super important. There shouldn’t be guilt associated with any food. EVERYTHING is good to eat in moderation. If you love ice-cream – eat it! And love every moment when you do.
There are so many different cuisines to try and new products that come on to the market. Eat them, try them, enjoy them!
If you find you don’t have a healthy relationship with food, I highly recommend speaking with a dietitian such as Nicole Saliba from Eatsense. A common misconception is that a dietitian is required only for people with medical conditions. This is untrue. They can be an incredibly important support to getting you on track to having a healthy relationship with food again.
Written by Megan Bowden, owner of Activate Foods.
Activate Foods is a family run ready made meal business based at Erina on the Central Coast, NSW. They’re passionate about showing people how eating well can be easy & delicious. They offer a range of single serve & family ready made meals as well as a plant based range and snacks. You can order online for a Monday delivery to Sydney, Newcastle & the Central Coast or pop in to their Erina store 7 days a week.
Take a peek at the menu here: https://www.activatefoods.com.au/all-products/