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©2020 by Jonathon Reid

  • Jon Reid

3 Steps Towards Healthier Eating



Getting started with healthy eating can be overwhelming. Begin with these three steps to get the healthier eating ball rolling...


Three Steps

  1. Reduce Processed Food

  2. Increase Vitamins and Minerals

  3. Drink Water

Reduce Processed Food

Processed foods have little nutritional value and tend to contain trans fats, sugar and lots of calories — reducing these is a good thing for most. People often see and feel noticeable differences within a month of getting rid of this type of food.


What are highly processed foods?

Foods that have been altered either to improve taste or extend shelf life are generally considered processed foods. Examples include microwaveable ready meals, cakes, crisps, fizzy drinks, breakfast cereals such as Coco Pops and meats that contain chemical preservatives.


Moderation

Reducing processed foods doesn’t mean you’ll never have a cake or a biscuit again, it just means it’s not a part of your day-to-day; save cake for special occasions such as birthdays, weddings and chess victories.


Increase Vitamins and Minerals

Whether you’re trying to lose weight, improve your sports performance or simply feel more energetic, your body needs vitamins and minerals to function at its best… and ideally we want to get these vitamins and minerals from fruits, vegetables and whole foods, not pills.


Smart Choices

Focussing on the vitamin and mineral content of food helps drive smart choices and helps move you towards eating foods that will nourish your body, provide you with energy and help you towards your health and fitness goals.


How do you Increase your Vitamin and Mineral Intake? Focus on whole foods, fruits and vegetables. Two quick ways to get more vitamins and minerals:

  1. Add vegetables to your plate

  2. Start snacking on fruits, nuts and vegetables

Adding Fruits and Vegetables

This can be as simple as taking your regular meal and adding a chopped pepper, carrot or whatever you fancy. Vegetables that can be eaten raw are particularly good as they require almost no cooking skills or preparation — simply wash, cut and eat!


Once you’ve added vegetables to your plate you can then look at phasing out the not so nutritionally beneficial parts of your plate and bringing in more of the good stuff.


Quick and Healthy Snacks

Raw vegetables with hummus is a quick and easy snack; many supermarkets now sell carrots, peppers, tomatoes and hummus in ready to go packs — quick, nutritious and convenient.


Similarly, fruit and nuts make a quick and nutritionally dense snack.


Switch Sandwiches for Salads and Bars for Berries


Lunch Option 1: Tuna Sandwich and a ‘healthy’ cereal bar.


Lunch Option 2: Tuna Salad, cashew nuts, an apple and some blueberries.


Simply by switching from a sandwich to a salad you will get a much higher dose of vitamins, minerals, fibre, good fats and protein. Plus, you won't get any of the processed and refined carbohydrates in the bread.


Switching the 'strawberry with real fruit cereal bar' to... strawberries accomplishes the same thing: garbage out, vitamins and minerals in.


Water

Often I’ll ask exercise and nutrition coaching clients about how much water they drink and how they hydrate themselves daily.


("Hi, I’m Jon, how do you hydrate yourself daily?")


After a short sigh and an uttering of ‘oh man, these are the sort of questions I’ve signed up for…’, clients often respond with:


"Hydration wise, I think I’m fine, I drink a lot of water, probably about 2 or 3 litres a day"


A week later their food diary comes in…


"huh… I thought I drank way more than that"


or,


"ah... right... I thought tea, coffee and diet coke counted as water… it is liquid after all"


Making water your go-to drink can go a long way to increasing energy levels and helping you achieve your health and fitness goals. Take a reusable (save the planet) water bottle with you wherever you go.


Summary

Start off with the basics:

  • Focus on whole foods

  • Try to cut out processed food

  • Add some fruits

  • Add some vegetables

  • Make water your drink of choice

Do the above and you'll give yourself a solid foundation to progress towards the next level of changes that will help you towards your health and fitness goals. Enjoy!