There are many small ways you can improve your diet, here are a few I find work well for me and my clients. Try them and see what works for you, even small changes can have big results!
1. Listen to your body
Listen to what your body calls for. But learn to listen deeply, for example not to the call for a sugary treat but to what that could mean. Energy, comfort, low blood sugar, an endorphin hit; what is really being asked here? How can you respond to that in the most healthful way?
2. Try new foods
Lots of us don’t like new tastes. Did you know it takes up to 15 tastes of a new food to start to enjoy it? Kids, in particular are notorious for being difficult. I had two boys, one loved the most exotic food, the other hated everything. By the time he was 7, I was over it. We made a deal that he would try 1 mouthful of everything and I would cook one thing he liked in each meal. He gradually expanded his likes and by 10 was a varied eater. He had also discovered his favourite food in the world, Mount Everest Soup from the Tibetan Kitchen which, in his 20’s, he still eats once a fortnight. He often laughs at what we would have missed out on had I kept pandering to his hatred of anything spicy, peppery, or with meat, vegetables, beans, herbs, or if it was to hot or cold, or a yucky texture…
3. Organic and Local Organic is great!
I always feel much better when I eat organic, but also consider the distance the food has travelled. For Organics you can’t go past Northey Street on a Sunday – try Charlwood Farms amazing kale and spinach! Local fresh is also good. Try farmers markets, and ask if it really is the farmer’s produce and he or she grows the veggies him or herself or knows the person who does. Be especially aware of food brought in from overseas, whether frozen or fresh. Other countries have very different standards and the food may have more additives or be less clean. And that is aside from the giant carbon footprint. Saying that, I do like Aldi who are committed to no additives in any of their food.
4. Healthy Vegetarian and Vegan diets
If you choose no meat (and this is a valid choice; my grandmother, a vegetarian for 50 years, still cycled 20 miles to pick pecans at 80) please make sure you don’t just take meat out of your diet. It does supply essential vitamins and minerals so you need to replace these. Don’t rely on soy and gluten convenience foods for your protein and always combine your non animal protein sources (grains, beans, etc) to ensure you get the complete chain of amino acids. Be aware that the more you exclude from your diet the more vigilant you must be in what you eat. Make every mouthful count. Include whey or protein powder and eggs in your diet if you can.
5. Add boosters to your diet
There are lots of vitamin, mineral and protein packed foods and food supplements. Many we already eat, or could easily eat every day. Some of my favourites include Tahini, pumpkin (pepitas) and sunflower seeds, Flaxseed oil, Cider Vinegar, parsley and other herbs, nuts, cruciferous veggies (broccoli & cauliflower), eggs, spirulina, green powders and super foods.
A great way to find out how to boost your diet is to ask your local health food store. I often send people over to Nereda Wills and the staff at Sun and Earth on Brunswick Street, New Farm for a bit of booster education. She does food tours in the shop and has a 15% off day on the 2nd Friday of the Month, plus 10% off on every saturday for Club members : http://www.sunandearth.com.au/
6. Consider the wisdom of Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM)
I love TCM and have used their food wisdom many times to support my health. For instance I solved my 3yr olds constant loose stools with a weekend diet of congee. I have posted a great article by Rod Williams on my blog http://gaylandeta.com.au/spleen-energy-support-get-more-energy/
If you are feeling tired or having trouble with energy have a look. I hope you enjoy these ideas, and please, if you are experiencing ongoing physical dis-ease such as fatigue or digestion issues or any unexplained health concerns make sure you see you do check with a doctor to rule out any other factors.
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