10 Healthy Eating Tips
Simple Steps to Improve Your Eating Habits
- Up your Water Intake
- Start your day with a Substantial Breakfast
- Eat Small Portions 5 x a Day
- Reduce How Much Bread & Grains You Eat
- Rotate the Carbs You Eat
- Eat slowly, Chew Thoroughly
- Bulk Cook at the Weekend and Plan the Meals Ahead
- Eat Little Protein/ Oil with a Big Amount of Veg/ Carb
- Eat Food That Looks Good
- Stop Eating Before You Feel Full
What You Can Do Today to Feel Good…
I know that you have already made the decision to become healthier, and that’s awesome!
So how do you find the right balance of nourishing foods that sustain your energy levels throughout the day, help you stay calm, healthy and happy?
Granted, when you begin to change your diet to become healthier it can feel like you are starving yourself and depriving yourself of all the things you love to eat – Are you finding that?
I certainly did when I started my first Candida Diet. Looking back at what I’ve learned about nutrition so far I’d like to give you some tips what to focus on in terms of healthy foods & good eating habits.
Up your Water Intake
Drink a glass of mineral rich water on awakening and 20-40 minutes before every meal. Stop drinking 5 hours before you go to bed though if possible – this really improves your sleep. (exception: have a few sips of water if you are really thirsty in summer).
Start your day with a Substantial Breakfast
Slow release energy foods are best. If oats, buckweat or quinoa agree with you, perfect. If on the other hand, like me, you are prone to digestive or allergy issues it’s better to opt for a allergy friendlier alternative like cooked brown rice. On it’s own or mixed with other whole grains/ seeds is very nutrient rich and keeps your mood and energy levels stable for a long time. With rice milk and a sprinkle of hempseeds and cinnamon it tastes just lovely. Or for a savoury option try brown rice with roasted sesame seeds and vegetables for instance sea vegetables or kale.
(White fish or a vegetable stir fry/ omelette are of course also good sources – particularly during phase 2 of the Candida Diet – but most people would shiver at the thought 😉
Eat small portions 5 x a day
3 Main meals a day, the last one no later than 6pm and 2 healthy snacks in between are best to keep your blood sugar levels at an even keel so you feel good all day.
So what are the right amounts for a healthy meal?
- 1/3 of your plate should be protein (no more than 80-100g of fish, tofu or organic chicken breast, or 2 eggs); 2/3 veg (2 small handfuls of veg).
- Eat no more than 1 bowl of soup/ stew.
- Eat no dessert (at least not while you are not feeling well on the diet). But do cherish the moments when you do eat desserts – on special occasions (birthdays…).
- Initially to wean yourself off the habit of eating desserts after every meal – allow yourself to eat some, but only 1-2 spoons full.
- A sweet tooth can be tamed with a small amount of sweet vegetables like red pepper or sweet potato. Adding stir fried leafy green vegetables to your meal instead of extra pasta is also a healthy way to round off your meal.
Reduce how much bread and grains you eat
When you are feeling allergy & digestive symptoms free you can fill an additional 1/3 of your plate with whole grain carbs like yeast free bread, brown rice, millet (75 g uncooked weight) in addition to your 1/3 veg and 1/3 protein. Generally from my experience I can tell you that you’ll feel better when you cut your grains consumption down. Ideally have grains only with 1 meal per day, 2 at the most (only if you are feeling well). So don’t have bread with every meal.
If you eat cereal in the morning, strive to not eat another type of grains again the same day. For instance eat soup (or salad/ veg/ legumes) for lunch and fish with veg (or white meat/ tofu/ or eggs) for dinner.
Rotate the carbs you eat
Don’t eat quinoa every day. (Needless to say in the first few weeks of any Candida Diet you’re not allowed to eat any carbs). But afterwards pick the grains that agree best with you (in my case brown rice) and eat those on 2-3 days of the week. Then eat bread from spelt flour or a whole grains mix on 2 days, and quinoa, buckwheat or millet on the rest.
Top Tip: It’s also very beneficial for your health to have a few totally grains free days, particularly if you have IBS or Constipation issues.
Eat slowly, chew thoroughly & don’t eat under stress
Avoid eating big meals when you are under stress or not feeling well – a few light bites are enough to see you through any hectic time and won’t cause indigestion.
It’s hard to put a bowl of food aside when it’s already prepared – but you are not doing yourself a favour by wolfing it down, seriously.
Don’t eat before you exercise
Definitely not up to an hour before you exercise – you don’t want to have excess stomach acid sloshing up your insides when you are jumping up and down in the gym – hey, don’t use this as an excuse not to get active 😉 You can still eat something small when you come back. Your body is burning twice as much energy even an hour after your sport.
Bulk cook at the weekend and plan the meals ahead
Chance favours the prepared mind. So when you do get hungry, make sure you have something that you can whip out quickly.
How You Can Plan Your Week Meals:
- What works well for me is to plan the meals of the week at the weekend. You can pick 1 soup (say lentil or leek & potato), 1 stew (chicken, lamb or veg), that takes care of 4 lunches, the rest can be filled with quick salads or things like butter bean curry. In the evenings opt for 2x fish, 2x veg and omelette or something. You get the idea.
- Once you have roughly sketched out the week meals, come the day you’ll only need to take out the soup or fish out of the freezer. Then it will be nicely thawed when you begin the cooking and the meal will be done really quickly.
- To save time you can set the rice or grains of your choice cooking before you sit down to get on with other tasks. So you might set the rice going in the morning while you make the bed and do some ironing. Then it would be almost done when you come back and you’lI only need to fry some onions and steam some veg or open up a tin of beans/ fish and you’ll have a nutritious & quick meal.
Eat little meat/ oil with a good amount of veg
I found that eating a lot of vegetable matter (or carbs of any kind) with a greasy spicy sauce or a big piece of meat (particularly in the evening when you cannot work the excess energy off) then this has a negative impact on your health.
Those foods need a conflicting digestive environment. As a result too big a meat portion/ too oily food is draining your energy, sitting heavy in your tummy and might even cause acid reflux, aches, bloating, inflammation or other candida related issues.
So just remember, if you fancy eating lots of veg/ rice/ pasta… then make a light sauce to go with it or serve it with only a protein (fish/meat/egg/nuts…) amount that is smaller than the inside of your palm as a rule of thumb.
Eat food that looks good
Generally when you eat something that looks appetising you eat with all your senses. Which makes your meal relaxed and enjoyable. This goes a long way towards eating and being healthy. The same applies to your surroundings – if you eat in a nice environment you eat slower which lets you absorb more nutrients from your food and is more satisfying. And you are less likely to overeat to compensate for a sad eating experience.
By the way – food that looks old and has brown stains has already started oxidising which is bad news because it is causing free radicals in your body (the baddies that promote aging and cell damage) – So next time you see someone who tells you it’s better to eat a brown banana as it’s ripe, whack them on the head with it (you might as well since you can’t eat it anyway 😉
Stop eating before you feel full
Since it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to realise that you have eaten something and to signal you that it’s enough, you just have to call it quits before you are full; otherwise you overeat.
The trick is to decide before you fill your plate how much you want to eat based on your hunger and activity levels that day and stick with it.
Reserve those moments of indulgence where you eat as much as you like to the weekends or special occasions. Ideally at breakfast or lunch time so it doesn’t lay heavy on your tummy while you sleep).
Remember the info on this page is not meant as serious health advice. It’s just insights from my own health journey – I still hope they might help you, too, to become healthier and feel good all the time.
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