I LOVE food.
This time last year, I was constantly eating out and spending many a late nights haunting dessert bars and scoffing chocolate-covered everything.
I was also a drive-thru queen. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, the pimply kids at the local McDonald’s would know my order off by heart and shove extra fries in my brown paper bag as a perk.
I was living the life. But this all changed when my mum was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes.
It never really occurred to me that our lifestyle was effectively killing us slowly. High blood pressure, insufficient physical activity, poor diet and carrying extra weight, mum had to start taking medication to help reduce the symptoms. She began her clean eating journey a lot earlier than me, however she’s now come to me for advice on how to shed some kilos and help her get back on track with her food choices.
Since I started thinking differently about food I’ve learnt that you must commit to a lifestyle change, not just a diet. I’m not talking about eating celery sticks day in day out. Eating right means taking the time to prepare meals in advance and choosing fresh, clean foods. The best advice I got from my PT is shop as much as you can in the fresh section of your supermarket and avoid anything that screams “healthy” or “99% fat free” on the package.
Start cooking and reduce the number of times you have to eat out. It’s been frustrating trying to tell wait staff not to smother all my food in oils, butters or other suspect sauces, so much so that my orders now all end with “I am highly allergic to excessive oils, dairy and gluten”.
My diet for the last 3 months had a heavy focus on high quality proteins, controlled portions of carbohydrates and reduction in sugars and oil. Here’s my staple wonder foods that have kept me leaner and feeling energetic:
- High Quality Proteins
– Lean meats such as kangaroo, chicken, fish especially salmon, beef
– Eggs (whole or whites)
– Low fat dairy such as natural greek yoghurt (unsweetened), milk, cheese
- Complex carbohydrates
– Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, oats
– Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, green beans, celery
- Healthy oils
– Coconut oil for cooking
– Handful of nuts such as almonds, roasted cashews
– Natural no-nonsense nut butters such as Sanitarium Crunchy Peanut Butter
Remember to watch portion sizes, because a calorie is still a calorie and if you over eat then those calories will be stored by the body.