A healthy diet provides your body with all the nutrients it needs to function: protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Rather than being a limited and boring way of eating this actually means choosing from a wide variety of foods and eating them in all different kinds of ways. Here are some basic guidelines to healthy eating.
Drink plenty of fluids to help kidney and liver function:
- Filtered or bottled water
- Fresh fruit and vegetable juices
- Herbal teas: peppermint, chamomile, green tea, dandelion root “coffee”, spiced Indian chai, ginger tea
- Limit: coffee, black tea, milk, carbonated soft drinks, cordial, wine and other alcohol
Fruit and Vegies
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables:
- A diet rich in fruit and veg provides many, many benefi ts: they are packed full of vitamins and minerals, as well as fi bre, antioxidants and energy.
- Eat them raw, steamed, stir fried, in soups, salads, stews, and the rest.
- Aim to eat 2 pieces of fruit and at least 3 serves of vegetables (about a cup full per serve) - eat different colours and types of fruit and veg, as they all contain different nutrients
We all need about 1 g of protein per kilo of body weight per day and it’s best to include some protein with each meal. This roughly equates to a portion size of protein to be about the size of your palm for main meals, and half your palm size for snacks. Sources include:
- lean meat and chicken without the skin
- beans (legumes) including lentils, kidney beans, lima beans, baked beans and soy products including tofu
- nuts and seeds
- dairy foods - see later
Aim to have fish at least 3 times per week, meat and chicken a couple of times and also include the vegetarian protein foods, namely lentils and beans, soy products, eggs, nuts and seeds, sprouts and dairy foods.
Along with fruit and veg, grains are a very good energy source and they also provide fibre, some protein, vitamins and minerals. Unless you have a very active life, you don’t need a lot of grains, but you do need some.
It’s best to eat whole (unprocessed) grains wherever possible. Grains include: wheat (including bread, pasta and couscous), rye, oats, barley, millet, spelt, quinoa and buckwheat.
White bread, most white rice (except basmati) and many breakfast cereals have a high glycemic index (GI). When eaten they are broken down and absorbed very quickly causing a flood of glucose (a sugar) to enter the bloodstream. This affects both energy levels and also weight loss. It is best to avoid these high glycemic index foods.
Fats & Oils
Some fats should be limited. These include saturated and damaged fats which are found in pork, sausages, bacon, ham, smoked and processed meats, fatty meats, deep fried foods, chips, cakes, cream buns and margarines.
Others, such as the essential fatty acids are vital to good health. These include omega 3 and omega 6 oils and are found in:
- deep sea fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, sardines, kippers;
- nuts and seeds;
- cold pressed oils such as extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil and flaxseed oil;
For most people small amounts of dairy products can be beneficial, especially:
- cultured yoghurt with acidophillus;
- Quark (a cultured cheese);
- low fat cheeses such as ricotta and cottage cheese.
These provide important protein, calcium, and other minerals. Quark and cultured yoghurt also assist digestion.
High fat dairy foods should however be limited, these include: butter, most cheeses and cheese spreads, cream, chocolate, ice-cream.
Sugars and refined/processed foods
- Limit sweet foods such as lollies, sugar, soft drinks, cordials, syrups, biscuits, cakes, tinned fruits in syrup. The odd cakey thing is not going to be a problem, but these are not every day foods.
- Use small amounts of honey, molasses, dried fruit and fresh fruit for sweetness
- Avoid overly processed and refined foods like dried and tinned foods, ready-made meals - fresh is best wherever possible.
Suggested Menu Plan
On rising - to stimulate liver and digestion:
- Juice of half a lemon in warm water (honey optional); or
- One teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (honey optional) in enough warm water to make it palatable.
- Muesli (sugar free) with milk, a dollop of yoghurt, sliced banana and a sprinkling of mixed nuts and seeds.
- Oat porridge with a spoonful of ricotta, grated apple, cinnamon and honey
- Poached eggs on wholegrain toast with sauteed mushrooms, English spinach and grilled tomato
- Fresh fruit with natural yoghurt, a spoonful of mixed nuts and seeds and LSA
- Smoothie made with soy milk, fresh fruit and yoghurt
- Baked Beans on toast with a small glass of freshly squeezed orange juice
- Cooked brown rice with yoghurt, fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey
- Nut breakfast - combination of chopped almonds, walnuts, cashews together with sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, linseeds and pepitas. (add or subtract any nuts or seeds you particularly like or dislike). Combine with milk or yoghurt.
Lunch and Dinner
- Stir fried vegetables with soy sauce, garlic, ginger, tofu / chicken / fish and a sprinkling of cashew nuts
- Lavash bread wraps filled with avocado, grated carrot & beetroot, tomato, lettuce, shredded cabbage, toasted sesame seeds and chicken, tempeh or low fat ricotta.
- Mushroom and tomato omelette with a large side salad
- Large bowl of mixed salad with tuna / lentils / hummous / cottage cheese
- A hearty vegetable and chick pea stew
- Roasted vegetables (pumpkin, red onion, zucchini, sweet potato, parsnip, garlic, capsicum, etc) with feta cheese and chopped parsley sprinkled over the top.
- Pasta with tomato and vegetable sauce, mix through a dollop of ricotta cheese and serve with a side salad
- Grilled/BBQ-d meat, chicken or fish with a big bowl of salad or steamed vegies.
- Small handful of mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit
- Hummous and raw vegie sticks
- Fresh fruit and natural yoghurt with a teaspoon of honey
- Ryvita with avocado, tomato and a sprinkle of mixed seeds
- Bottled or filtered water
- Fresh fruit and vegie juices
- Herbal teas: peppermint, ginger, chamomile,
- Green tea
- Dandelion root “coffee”.