Many mums worry about what they are feeding their families. They are confused about all the rules they should be following & all the media hype about new food trends such as the Paleo diet & raw foods can confuse even more. It can be totally overwhelming! At the end of the day, food should be enjoyable & fun. Something you can enjoy with family & friends in a relaxed environment. Living by rules takes all this away & creates stress & unnecessary worry. Eating well is not difficult. Opt to eat real wholefoods – super simple! Listen to your body & go back to basics. Before you know it you will have transformed your diet & improved the health of you & your family!
What are Whole foods?
Whole foods are real foods. They are foods that have had minimal processing, are free from additives & preservatives & have been refined as little as possible. Think of the farmer picking his fruit & vegetables, the butcher with his fresh meat, the fisherman with his catch of the day & the wonderful array of beans, wholegrains, nuts & seeds available. These are wholefoods! As wholefoods have had little or no processing, they retain many of their nutrients. In contrast, processed foods contain an array of chemicals, additives & preservatives that can impact our health. During the processing process, many nutrients are removed so they lack the nutrition found in wholefoods. They also are often high in salt or sugar & many people also find they feel bloated & sluggish when they eat processed foods due to the accumulation of toxins in their body.
Where Can I Buy Whole foods?
An easy way to think about whole foods is to think about where it comes from & try to get it in the form as close to how nature intended – so not in a can, plastic wrapping or plastic bag! You can get a lot of your whole-foods from your supermarket but if you can support your local suppliers (such as the butcher & fishmonger) then you will be helping the community around you too. Also consider ordering an organic fruit & vegetable box with lots of great fresh produce. Visit your local markets too as this is a great option where you can & speak to the suppliers & find out more about their produce (e.g. where it is from, how old it is & cooking advice). Markets are usually also cheaper than the supermarkets too!
Keep it Simple Try to eat real food with no rules attached & keep things simple. Enjoy your food & listen to your body. Eat food as close to its natural state as possible & avoid processed, chemical laden options. Take your time & slowly replace old foods with new – take it one step at a time. Try to eat a variety of fruit & vegetables so that you consume a good range of nutrients. You may hear the phrase “eat the colours of the rainbow”. This is good advice! Try to have fruit & vegetables of lots of different colours on your plate as this will not only make it look more appealing, it will ensure you eat a range of nutrients in your meal.
What Should I Eat?
Eating whole foods does not mean that you will be in the kitchen every day preparing food! Yes you will probably be doing more cooking compared to a diet focussed on ready meals & convenience foods, but moving to a whole foods diet need not be time consuming. There are lots of ways to introduce whole foods into your diet & your family’s diet including:
- Smoothies are a quick option for breakfast. For example, almond or coconut milk blended with some frozen berries, banana & mango. Pop them into your Sinchies reusable pouch then you can have them in lunch boxes or prepare them the night before so they are ready for breakfast.
- Home made sushi or rice paper rolls with a fresh citrus dipping sauce. Rather than sushi rice, use quinoa or cauliflower “rice” for some variety. Store your sushi or rice paper rolls in a reusable Sinchies wrap bag. This is a great lunch or dinner option & is suitable for lunch boxes too.
- Avocado on toast is a versatile option suitable as a snack or you could have it with eggs for lunch or breakfast.
- Snacks of fresh fruits or vegetable sticks are quick & easy.
- Simple grilled or baked fish, chicken or meat with some steamed vegetables makes a delicious healthy meal. Make some extra for lunch the next day!
- Dips are a great snack & also good for lunch boxes. These include hummus & salsa which are easy to make at home & can be eaten with vegetable sticks to make them extra nutritious! There’s a great pesto recipe which is also yummy as a dip and Sinchies are the perfect storage solution for a no double dipping win!
- Frittata made with eggs, vegetables & salmon is packed full of nutrients & can be eaten for any meal. It is also great in lunch boxes & for picnics too.
- Pasta with a lovely fresh pasta sauce made from chopped tomatoes, basil & garlic – so simple yet so tasty!
- Soup is another great option as it is so versatile & can be eaten for pretty much any meal. Make a big pot of it so you can freeze some too (Sinchies 500ml pouches or 1 litre pouches are great for freezing in bulk).
Eating a whole food diet need not be daunting. Take it one step at a time & build it up slowly & you will start to see & feel the benefits of eating in this way. We all have slip ups but don’t let that set you back. Throw away the rule book, forget the fad diets & instead listen to your body & enjoy your food!
Written by Caroline Harridence