Let’s simplify healthy eating! We want you to fuel and nourish your body with by eating whole foods.
You may have noticed that people like to use labels these days to describe the way they eat: vegan, paleo, ketogenic. There is no one label that can describe our approach to eating at New Image.
Instead, we keep it simple. Stick to foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. Avoid ripping open a packet as much as you can, and when you do, get savvy with reading labels.
Limit packaged foods – with a caveat
The majority of what goes on your plate should be fresh vegetables and fruit, eggs and lean meats.
Not everything that comes in a packet is bad, especially if there is just one ingredient. Use your common sense! Canned lentils and chickpeas, brown rice, quinoa and even frozen vegetables all have a place in a healthy diet.
Similarly, not all processed foods are terrible. For example, tomato passata made just from tomatoes has actually improved upon its one natural ingredient by concentrating the powerful antioxidant lycopene. While it is technically a processed food, nothing good has been taken away and nothing nasty has been added.
Stop nutrition panel obsession
Many of our clients come to us obsessed with calories and fat grams. Instead, we like to avoid unhealthy added ingredients and choose nutrient dense foods.
Stop choosing food based on calories or fat grams. For starters, the most nutritious foods don’t come with a nutrition panel. And a hunt for packaged food with low calorie or fat grams can lead you to some really rubbish choices.
You could snack on a packet of rice crackers or a small handful of raw almonds and both would contain around 100 calories. The rice crackers are indeed fat free, yet they’re also nutrient void and cause a massive insulin spike and subsequent blood sugar crash.
Meanwhile, the almonds are fibre-rich, packed with protein and healthy fats that will keep you satiated to your next meal, while providing you with antioxidants and a host of protective vitamins and minerals.
I know which one I’d rather eat!
Read ingredient lists
So we’re going to forget about reading nutrition panels. That doesn’t mean I want you to stop turning the packet around and making informed decisions about your food.
If you can avoid opening a packet as much as possible, you can’t go wrong. When you do eat food from a packet, cast your eyes to the ingredients list. You want to be able to recognise everything in the ingredients as a FOOD on its own. Ideally, there should be just one ingredient. Where there are a few ingredients, you would at least want to be able to pronounce them all! And any added sugar is definitely a no-no.
Learn to love cooking
I don’t like to say that any one action is compulsory for being healthy. But I reckon learning to prepare your own food from scratch is as close to an imperative as it comes.
Even if you just start with basics such as cooking eggs, steaming veggies and making a basic salad dressing, you are much better off than always eating pre-prepared food.
Eating out or getting takeaway, even if you go for a healthier option, shouldn’t form the basis of your diet. You have no idea what oils they are cooking with or how much sugar is going into your food.
Preparing your food at home most of the time is the best way to ensure that you are eating a whole foods diet.