So it’s the new year and you have started a new health regime, you have the shakes, the powders, the teas, the bars and those all important magic supplements. Then it gets even more complicated, obsessing about macro-nutrients, fat percentages, protein intake, carb cycling etc. Whilst’s that’s all gravy and you should absolutely educate yourself about nutrition & the effect that certain foods and food groups have on your body, there is a problem. We seem to forget that a “magic pill”, shake, bar or supplement claiming that it contains the perfect ratio of macro-nutrients, mineral, calories and what not, isn’t nearly as effective in fuelling our bodies compared to real food.
I like to base my principles of healthy eating around two acronyms KISS and JERF
Healthy eating doesn’t need to be complicated or restricted, its actually quite simple, JERF. Making the conscious decision to remove processed food from your diet and basing your meals on natural foods will allow you to lead a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Ready to drop the “fake foods” & fuel your body with some vibrant, nutrient-dense, non-processed stuff (also known as real food)? Whether you want to boost your brain performance, shed off any excess weight, get healthier & more energized or simply feel and look plain-old FABULOUS: eating real food will definitely allow you to ooze VITALITY allowing you to thrive at the game of life.
Five reasons why you should just eat real food
1. You will be healthier, feel better, sleep better & have clearer skin
Ant and I know from personal experience that removing processed food from your diet really works. This is because you replace processed food with natural food sources that are nutrient dense and nourish your body.
We eat real, natural and very minimally processed food. Our diet is paleo on a ratio of 80/20, but we do include white potatoes, ghee/butter, 90% dark chocolate (as a treat), pulses (properly prepared) and some grains (gluten free oats, occasionally quinoa/rice).
My IBS is now a thing of the past, we are leaner, stronger, we sleep better, have more energy, rarely have any spots and hay fever which tormented us both in the past has significantly reduced. As an added bonus we are much more aware of how our bodies react to certain foods, its easy to pick up on which foods do not work for us and we are quick to get rid of them from our diets.
2. Real food Is loaded with important nutrients
Unprocessed animal and plant foods contain the vitamins and minerals you need for optimal health. For instance, 100g of red bell peppers contains more than 100% of the RDA for vitamin C and just two Brazil nut’s provides all the selenium you need for an entire day. My favourite superfood the egg, is loaded with nutrients and especially high in choline, a nutrient that’s essential for proper brain function. There are many other examples of this. In fact, most real foods are good sources of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients.
3. Its simple
Eating this way is much simpler than following the UK’s current ‘Eatwell’ Guidelines. If you follow the simple rules of just eating natural and minimally processed foods and avoiding ultra-processed foods, then you no longer have to worry about deciphering packaging labels.
Packaging labels are hugely confusing, not to mention often misleading. Take this Waitrose pizza as an example.
The pizza is 165g but the nutritional information on the packaging label covers ½ (one serving) and 100g sizes. Goodfella’s pizza is actually worse and uses only one quarter of pizza for its figures.
Food packaging labels should be more transparent. If the pizza is 165g then the nutritional information should be for 165g when the reality is for a pizza this size the average person is not going to just have half.
4. Real food may help prevent overeating
A high intake of processed and fast foods has been related to overeating, particularly in those who are overweight. By contrast, real food doesn’t contain the flavourings and added sugars found in processed foods that help drive overeating. Its very easy to overeat pizza, but chicken, veggies with some butter not so easy at all.
5. Real food can help reduce sugar cravings
Once your body adjusts to eating whole, unprocessed foods, cravings for sugary foods such as cakes and sweets could become infrequent and even disappear altogether. Eventually your taste buds adapt and learn to appreciate real food more, leading you to find the taste of those sugary treats way too sweet.
So what does a plate of food look like when you Just Eat Real Food?
Here are some photos of some of our plates of food, they are made from nutrient dense foods, whole foods and are a reflection of what we love to fuel our bodies with. I’ve just included these as an example, everyone is individual and has different likes, nutritional needs and even intolerances, so your plate may look similar or a little different to this.
Interested in receiving one-on-one support? I currently work with a select number of clients each month interested in nutritional therapy.