These days we’re being bombarded with so many food trends; gluten-free, dairy-free, raw, vegan, paleo and the list goes on. Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram are filled with beautiful accounts of trendy foodies touting organic, vegan or raw lifestyles. So is it just hype or another money making spiel? It surely seems as if healthy is the new BLACK.
Let’s get a few things straight, eating healthy isn’t exactly cheap and it certainly isn’t quick but I’ve decided the long term benefits far outweigh the costs. Here’s a few points to consider:
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I try to eat as natural as possible, meaning I avoid anything processed. I buy my fruit and veg from my local organic farmers market every Sunday morning. And I use the Dirty Dozen list for when I’m shopping at Woolies or Coles. I tend to buy my chicken and meat from an organic butcher however, if you’re on a budget opt for free-range or grass fed.
I’ve recently started growing a few herbs and veggies on my balcony and I’ve saved heaps of money as a result.
Personally, I’m mostly gluten and dairy free. I’ve always suffered from bloating, gas and tummy pain after eating too much bread or carbs. And I was the kid that hated ice-cream as it just wasn’t worth the pain a few hours later.
As an adult and after much research, I decided to eliminate gluten and dairy from my diet and voila…no more symptoms. I wasn’t following a trend, I just did what was best for my body and it worked. Remember though that products labelled organic, gluten or dairy free are not necessarily healthier either so always read the packaging labels beforehand.
I’m sure we all grew up eating junk food at some point. And as a result, I have a sweet tooth. I love chocolate way too much. So how do I control my sugar cravings? By not buying junk…if it’s not in the house then you simply can’t eat it. I’ll drink a fruit smoothie, eat a banana or some peanut butter or have a teaspoon of raw honey in my tea. Sometimes even a glass of water helps.
Once you start cutting back on sugar you’ll slowly crave it less and less. But I won’t lie and say it’s easy as its not. And as with everything else, it takes time. That said, I’m doing pretty well for a girl who used to have a 3 pm (pick-me up) chocolate bar everyday!
I love cooking but just don’t have the time to prepare fancy beautiful dishes anymore. I cook everything from scratch but keep my recipes really simple. For this reason I love breakfast smoothies, there’s a bit of prep involved but that’s about it. The blender does the rest. I use Pinterest and cookbooks for inspiration so that I don’t get bored with the food I’m eating.
And of course I love my dual pressure and slow cooker for stews, casseroles, curries and risottos. But when there’s just too much going on, we’ll have spinach scrambled eggs for dinner and that will be ok. Because there’s no point in beating yourself up, right?
Remember that certain foods may work better for some than others. Yes, its true that a diet rich in plant based foods and vegetables is essentially better but do what’s right for your family, your budget and your health.
Follow the 80/20 rule and spoil yourself every now and then. Start off slowly and take it one step at a time.
I’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried to improve your health or change your eating habits? Tell us about your journey or send me an email with your story. Or perhaps you have some advice or tips for fellow readers, if so please tell us in the comments.
This piece originally ran in The Gold Coast Post here:
All photos sourced from goldcoastpost.com.au.