15 July 2012

The Commandments

As I mentioned in my first post I've been trying to eat as gluten free as possible lately. As well as limiting gluten I have also tried to eat as 'clean' as possible by sticking to fresh, unprocessed, unrefined foods that haven't been played around with too much. There is so much out there about what we should and shouldn't eat and conflicting arguments as to why not. I was overwhelmed by this at first but I'm starting to figure out what is right for me personally. I am a firm believer that 'you are what you eat' and that healthy food equals healthy mind and body. What works for me is a diet that includes a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, protein, good fats (i.e nuts, fish, some meat and whole grains. I try to steer away from 'bad' carbs (i.e. white bread) and up my intake of 'good 'carbs' such as beans and sweet potatoes. So the recipes I find and write about on the blog will be based on this balance. I am no expert in diet or nutrition, I'm still learning but my interest in food and what it does to my body fascinates me.

I have made lots of changes to my diet recently but its just a start, so this seems like a good time to set out the ideas I want to strive towards. The blog is about giving me focus to achieve this, to learn more about diet and nutrition and to keep a record of the journey.

1 - Eat natural, clean and simple foods - lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, lots of lean protein, complex carbs, no processed or refined foods. 'Clean' eating is a whole other post in itself and a way of eating I am still learning about, we'll come back to that one. The pyramid below however is based on the 'paleo diet' and is the closest I could find to the way I want to eat but doesn't allow diary or legumes both of which I eat at the moment. 

2 - Cooking from scratch almost all of the time - this is a priority for me and gives me total control over what I eat, its pretty much the only way you know what's in your food. Having said that I love eating out with Mr A, and I don't think eating out once in a while is a bad thing. As well as cooking from scratch I rarely make the same thing more than three or four times (apart from a few favourites), for me variety and discovering new foods and recipes is so important to eating well.

3 - Low Carb - my carb intake tends to come from fruit, vegetables and legumes rather than white potatoes, white breads and white pasta. This is because these are the foods I automatically go for when I'm hungry but also because I don't see the point of filling myself up with simple carbs when I can eat more healthy carbs! That doesn't mean I don't like a good portion of chips! For me this is about making healthier alternatives rather than sticking to strict 'do's and don't'.

4 - Limit Wheat and Gluten - I was surprised when I read up on the effects gluten can have on the body, like causing inflammation of the digestive tract. This is one of the main reasons I have been paying more attention to my diet, but more on that once we've got to know one another better :) I won't say that I will eliminate gluten completely just yet because I'm not sure that's necessary (because gluten is in everything including some yoghurt's and seasoning) but I will be looking to add healthy alternatives instead (like coconut and almond flours instead of plain flours)

5 - Quit Sugar - whilst I hardly ever eat chocolates, sweets or cakes I do take sugar (1 tsp) in my tea and coffee. As I have anything up to 6 cups a day, I know the effects this has on my blood sugar levels. Although I have a pretty healthy diet, my energy levels are all over the place throughout the day. Sugar is another ingredient that is in everything so if I can cut out the sugar in tea and coffee it can only be a good thing. I haven't been able to tackle this one yet, but I will. Soon. 


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