My Holistic Approach To Food & Wellness
“You are what you eat… what you digest and assimilate…”
We are what we eat….meaning exactly that. Food is the foundation of life and good health, the building blocks if you will. When food is broken down, digested and the nutrients obtained from our food is then assimilated and transported throughout our body it gives us what we need to live, repair and function!
Below I have written down my food philosophy and guidelines that I live by most of the time.
START WITH WHOLE FOODS
In an ideal world, all we would need is healthy food to maintain or attain good health, unfortunately this is not always the case and good health is now ever increasingly hard to obtain from just eating well. There are many factors to consider and sometimes, eating well just isn’t enough. However, if you can just start with the basics and eat good, real wholesome whole foods you are at least on the right track to building a solid foundation on which to build from.
Have you heard the saying “Variety is the spice of life”? well this definitely rings true in regards to food. Keep food fun, interesting and varied. Try out new recipes, visit new healthy cafes or even organise a monthly catch up with friends where you can share food and experiment. A variety of wholesome food will also increase your nutritional profile intake, which is also a good thing!
Be mindful how you eat and when you eat, are you stressed? or are you thirsty? perhaps you aren’t actually hungry at all?….Sit down, turn the tv off or put your phone away and chew your food slowly. Take the time to sit down and be grateful for your meal and the nourishment it provides your body. Also, be conscious of your food choices…where is it sourced? is it local? organic? seasonal? thinking about where your food comes from and your choices are steps to being more mindful and a step towards good health and wellness.
CELEBRATION, ENJOYMENT AND THE 80/20 RULE OF THUMB
Eat foods you enjoy, learn to prepare different foods and learn to eat well again!
It is ok to eat foods at special occasions and celebrations, that perhaps you wouldn’t normally (and as long as your health doesn’t suffer) and it is also ok to decline…remember, you are in charge of your health.
I’d like to say that I’m pretty healthy most of the time, meaning that I do occasionally indulge and eat foods that I would definitely not recommend eating! This is called balance, and who knows how long we have on this earth to be obsessing about food all the time. Having said that, I’m not giving you an excuse to go nuts and indulge every day. For the most part, I’d eat mindfully anywhere between 70-90% of the time and then the other 30-10% depending on how I feel and the situation I’m in.
At the end of the day, it’s about balance and enjoying food and celebrations and being easy on yourself…life is to be enjoyed, food included. Just don’t allow your cravings or addictions take over, listen to your body and know when you need support. For the most part, eat to nourish your body and soul…as it’s not always just about the food we eat.
MY GENERAL GUIDELINES AND FOOD FOR THOUGHT
- Drink plenty of filtered alkaline mineral water if you can, approximately 2L depending on size and physical activity. I use a Zazen water filter system ( and have been for the past 4 years, its the best!) and highly recommend the investment in your health. Add some sliced lemon, oranges, mint, basil and other fruits and herbs, this will add flavour (and nutrients) if you struggle to drink enough plain water.
- Eat a wide variety of whole foods, these are foods that are predominantly in their natural state (as nature intended).
- Include a wide variety of seasonal fresh fruit in your daily diet.
- Include a wide variety of seasonal vegetables into your daily diet.
- Include a source of protein with every meal. If you eat meat, don’t eat too much. Be mindful of your portion size and aim to include at least one meat free day every week, it’s good for your health, the planet and you’ll save money too!
- Include a variety of grains into your daily diet. Eating a wide variety will enhance your nutritional profile intake. If you eat wheat, try not to consume it in more than one meal per day or only aim for one serve per day (Most people will benefit from reducing their intake of wheat). For example, a typical diet would consist of a wheat based breakfast, such as toast or weet-bix, lunch might be a roll/sandwich/wrap and then dinner, spaghetti Bolognese. I’m not saying that you can’t have these foods at all, just perhaps don’t consume it all in the one day!…..remember, variety is the spice of life and your GUT and health will thank you for it too. Try adding other grains instead, such as Spelt, Rye, brown rice, basmati rice, buckwheat, quinoa. Try making a sandwich with a sourdough Rye or spelt bread or a pasta with buckwheat spirals instead. Try new things, you might enjoy it!
- I respect cultural diversity and background and this should be considered when looking at an individuals food plan or dietary modifications. For example, if you would traditionally eat dhal and rice or rice congee for breakfast, I’m not going to suggest you swap it for a green smoothie first thing in the morning! perhaps later in the day as a snack would be more appropriate for you as an easy way to get more greens in. We don’t all need to be consuming green smoothies, activated nuts, turmeric lattes or raw desserts to be healthy…they can be healthier and delicious choices for some but it is not necessary for good health for everyone.
- Economical- I understand that food can be expensive and families are already under enough financial strain. One of the biggest misconceptions is that you can’t afford to eat healthy or that you have to buy the seemingly expensive “superfoods” to become healthy. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to spend more than you currently are, however I will be honest in saying that it will take your time and commitment to change, gradually. Remember one small change a week or month will have invaluable benefits on your health in the long run. I wouldn’t expect you to change your entire pantry in one go! you may have to invest some time and source bulk whole foods that can be delivered and purchased online. This means you may pay more initially, but it’ll last longer than the small packs and saves you time too. You are in charge of your food budget, and you can eat healthy on a budget. Start by looking at what foods you are currently buying, add up all the money you spend on processed foods (chips, juices/soft drink, dips, crackers etc) and meat in your next food shop. Then asses the quantity of meat you purchased, can you make it last longer? are you eating too much? can you use the money that you spent on prepackaged processed foods and spend that amount next time in making a bulk whole foods order?….its a start, and a good way to get you thinking about your current spending habits. In many situations (not all) people claim they can’t afford x, y,z (and I’m not just talking food)…..but in fact, it’s just not a priority for them at the moment, and that is absolutely fine. Just own it….don’t make excuses .
- Food should be enjoyable and fun! don’t think that being healthy is boring and means you have to cut out all the foods you enjoy. I always suggest adding foods in to the diet to increase a patients nutrient intake and to avoid over consumption of one particular food group.
- Enjoy alcohol in moderation- I would recommend a small glass of wine, red wine being my wine of choice for taste and health benefits also. Organic and preservative free wines are the best option.
- Everything in moderation, including moderation itself!
- TRY NOT TO DEMONISE FOOD. This can create an unnecessary obsession, however be mindful and aware about which foods are better for you and alternatives as such. One single food is not going to necesaarily make you unwell or well, its more than often a combination of factors and we shouldn’t be fixated on one factor alone.
- BE MINDFUL OF WHAT YOU SAY IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILDREN. Talk about what food can do for you in regards to your health and try not to say sentences, such as “this will make me fat” etc., but rather I choose to eat these foods because it makes me feel good, or it gives me more energy, or it’ll make me strong and smart. Children are like sponges and will absorb everything you do and say. So eat well and explain why it’s important.
- QUIT THE GUILT- If you want to that cake or dessert, eat the cake, enjoy it and be grateful. If you are going to feel guilty about it, put it down and grab some veggie sticks instead!
These are my current guidelines and philosophy around food and wellness that I live by for the most part. Time, knowledge and experience shapes us, gives us opinions and altering views….what I have written just now, will more than likely change over time perhaps. However, It’s a foundation, the start and a good basis to build upon.
If you’d like to work with me towards attaining your health goals, get in contact with me Contact Page or purchase a package today at the Shop.