Have you ever wandered around a supermarket and worried about which foods are healthy and found yourself confused by health claims on food packaging? Welcome to modern eating and the ever-changing, confusing concept of health we all chase and try to understand, hoping to find balance, more energy and happy hormones!
Wouldn’t you like to know how to put all that confusion to bed forever? To know how to navigate towards real foods and take responsibility for your own health and live a life where you felt confident in your body all of the time?
Below is a list of 12 healthy eating rules I have adapted from Michael Pollan's book titled 'Food Rules' to help you navigate a road towards being able to work out “what should I eat?” and understand how to decipher the confusing world of nutritionism and western diet gibberish:
- First and foremost is your decision to choose to eat WHOLE, VIBRANT, COLOURFUL FOODS, mostly from plants. Research has shown that a diet that consists of at least 80% of plant-based foods will lead to longevity and a healthier life as seen in the blue-zones around the world.
- “If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t!” Avoid all processed foods made in factories which contain ingredients that are either unfamiliar, unpronounceable or contain high-fructose corn syrup. Similarly avoid food products with wording such as ‘lite’, ‘low-fat’ or ‘non-fat’ and avoid foods that are pretending to be something they are not i.e. margarine, skim milk, quorn.
- Avoid all food products that make health claims on their packaging or are advertised on television.
- Avoid foods that have sugar or sweetener listed among the top 3 ingredients. Instead eat sweet foods as you find them in nature such as ripe fruits or fresh coconut water.
- Shop for food outside of the supermarket. Utilise farmers markets, local bakers, butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers and local producers. Forage and eat wild foods where possible.
- Pay a little more; eat less of far greater nutrient-dense quality. Only eat foods that will eventually rot or you can picture in their raw state growing in nature. Eat well-grown food from healthy soil. You are what you eat eats too!
- Eat mostly plants, especially dark-green leaves. Treat meat as a side serving or an occasional food and if you do eat meat, eat animals that have themselves eaten well. Avoid fish at the top of the food chain such as swordfish, tuna and shark. Instead eat small, oily fish varieties such as sardines, mackerel and anchovies.
- Follow this Chinese proverb: “Eating what stands on one leg (mushrooms and plant foods) is better than eating what stands on two legs (fowl), which is better than eating what stands on four legs (cows, pigs and other mammals).”
- Eat foods that have been pre-digested by bacteria or fungi such as sauerkraut, tamari, kimchi and sourdough bread.
- Eat meals and eat with people, around a table (a desk is not a table). Its not food if it came through the window of your car and never get your fuel from the same place your car does.
- Eat when you are hungry not when you are bored and stop eating before you are full. Cook and if you can plant a garden, or at least a herb garden.
- Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. But break the rules once in a while and treat treats as treats.
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