The J Word NZ

The Big Food Mystery

Food 10

Keep an eye out for an amazing free tool further down the page. It’ll change your life!
There are approximately one bazillion ideas about the food we humans should eat. Food that is “in” and food that is “out” you may also hear it referred to as “good” or “bad”, “real” or “fake”. On social media, we are bombarded with words like low carb, high protein, keto, paleo, raw food, gluten-free, dairy-free, pegan (yes this is different to vegan), vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, soy-free, dairy-free etc…

Messaging is always changing, we have been told that eggs are bad, then eggs are good, fat is bad, then fat is good, carbs are good, then carbs are bad… you get the idea. It’s no wonder we regular folk end up wondering WTF should I eat?

Our brains are filled with information and misinformation. Some foods are pushed so well by an industry that they have even managed to get their unhealthy products into national nutrition guides, rolled out at a government level. When you start looking deeper into where studies come from and where the money comes from to fund these studies it all gets very very murky. I like to keep things simple and I don’t like to be bullshitted to by profiteers. So, I like to eat whole foods and buy local.

Foods that assist in great health

The foods I eat to keep my body healthy and strong

My diet is based on reading hundred(s) of books, talking with nutritionists, sports trainers, trained health experts as well as regular humans with a stomach who have experimented over the years based on different allergies, issues or body shape and fitness goals. I will not go into the science in this blog but I will add a few book resources that I have found very helpful at the bottom, should you wish to research further. I have taken the knowledge gained from various resources over a decade or so and put them together to create something that works for me and my body. Maybe it could work for you and yours?

My goal with food is to fuel my body with good energy for good physical and mental health. I like to maintain a healthy weight, eat local organic produce and support growers in my community. I eat 3 meals a day, usually at 7 am, 12 pm & 6 pm.
Other than my chocolate squares I don’t eat after dinner and if I snack during the day, I will do this at 10 am & 3 pm.

Caffeine
I have 1 black coffee per day, in the morning, usually, around 7 am. I will NEVER have coffee after lunchtime as this would totally mess with my sleep. I drink instant coffee at home. I went for coffee with a friend the other day and had a full-strength long black and I nearly sprinted home. I really could feel a sudden burst of energy.

I would suggest every woman read about how caffeine affects our bodies, particularly hormones, in one of Dr Libby’s books. Not only does it affect our hormones it can also cause anxiety, something I suffer from and something that is certainly triggered by too much caffeine. Really, it should be avoided entirely but here I am being imperfect.

Vegetables
The Richie McCaw of your diet. Vegetables are your best friend and thankfully, there are so many to chose from. I try as hard as possible to eat a rainbow at every dinner. Not all veggies are created equal, though, you can see the nutrient charts above which explain more about the benefits of individual foods. I am not going to get into the science of every one of them (this information is found on the internet easily enough).

Supplements
I take B12 supplements as I have never been able to absorb this well from food.

Breakfast
Sandwich sliced Vogels (toasted) x 2 with Pics peanut butter or vegemite (if I am feeling it) + coffee. Boring I know, but I don’t have to ever think about it in the morning. I eat and get on with my day.
On weekends I get crazy and swap out the peanut butter for avo and tomato.

Lunch
Prep prep prep! I use containers and make a week worth at once, so it doesn’t a) suck having to make something every day, and b) you don’t have to think about it every day. Whip up a batch of something on a Sunday arvo, invest in some Sistemas and Bob’s your uncle.
Portion control – tick, avoid sneaky takeaways – tick, hanger? Nope.

So, what to meal prep? I make different flavoured homemade soups over winter. Salads, stir fry, burrito bowls, wraps or pasta in summer. Also, if you don’t want to eat the same thing all week, you can make a little extra dinner the night before and take leftovers.

DinnerYOU NEED TO READ THIS PART
Here is a copy of my meal planner; you can download it and create your own and have your entire life changed for the better. Mine is stuck on the fridge, and it takes away the problem of deciding what to make each night, helps with weekly shopping ordering and shares the load of cooking. Yeeha! So easy. Do you know what else is great, NEVER being asked “what’s for dinner, Mum?” because it is literally on the fridge! You Are Welcome.

Dessert
4 squares of 72% Dark Ghana Chocolate after dinner.

Snacks
My favourite options are carrot sticks with hummus, sliced apple with a little cheese, seaweed rice crackers, avocado & tomato on crackers.

Fruit
My favourites are Banana, Passionfruit, Feijoa, Tamarillo … actually all fruit. I love all fruit and berries. I don’t cap any of this. Why would you? These little gems are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals. I like to think of them as natures lollies.

Dairy
I love the taste of cheese but don’t eat too much. I have never eaten cream as it disagrees with me, and so does milk, but milk less so; I can stomach some A2 milk but very little and not very often. I also think it’s bizarre drinking another species’ breast milk as a human adult, but that’s another story.

Probiotics
I drink organic Kombucha for good gut health.

Processed foods
As little as humanly possible, if I were to go to a supermarket, I would definitely avoid the centre aisles and stick to the perimeter, that should keep you focused and away from the bulk of the worst types of “food” of course, there are some items you will need in those centre aisles, but they should represent the smallest amount of our grocery shop. There are 3 groups at play in the store: Unprocessed foods (closest to nature), Processed foods such as dairy, bread and cereal + Ultra-processed foods such as confectionery, fizzy drink and chips. You can usually identify an ultra-processed food by the more than 3 ingredients on the label and some weird colour.

Takeaways
We like to eat Singaporean, Turkish, Subway. These are our “go-to” meals when we eat out.

Water
2+ litres a day is ideal for me; this is the goal but not always where I land. When you first start with the big amounts of water, you can feel like you may drown and also need to pee every 5 minutes, but your body does seem to regulate itself eventually.

Conclusion
As you can probably tell by now, I eat a predominantly plant-based diet. I don’t call myself vegan because I sometimes eat small amounts of egg, milk, and cheese. My choice not to eat meat is animal welfare and doing my part to protect the environment.

Once upon a time, I would worry about carbs, count calories and be generally concerned about weight management. The way I have structured my diet now means I don’t need to worry about any of that because I am not eating unhealthy foods for my body.

I hope you enjoyed the read to the people who requested the food blog late last year; sorry it took so long!

Recommended Reads

Dr Libby – Women’s Wellness Wisdom
Dr Mark Hyman – WTF should I eat

J

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