Paleo, Keto, Intermittent Fasting, Low Carb High Fat, Carnivore, Pescetarian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Plant Based, Ayurvedic, Mediterranean, Raw Food, Macrobiotic, Clean Eating. there are so many different ways to eat - and it’s confusing, right?!
We are constantly being told what the “best” diet for our health is, so I want to share my own food philosophy.
My philosophy is actually borrowed from journalist Michael Pollan who says; “Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants” in his 2008 book, ‘In Defence of Food’. So, what does that really mean?
These days, when you walk down the supermarket aisles, you are bombarded with choice and convenience. Combined with questionable marketing techniques from food companies, this adds an additional layer of confusion to the question: what should I eat?
But “eat food” means real food - ideally food in its most natural state, not processed. This means switching your margarine to butter (it’s 2020, we now know some fat is good for us), making pasta sauces from scratch, ditching the cans of spaghetti and bypassing the Tip Top white bread.
Although it might sound like a great idea being able to buy strawberries all year round, eating seasonal produce should be high on your agenda. If produce is ‘in season’ it means it’s picked locally when ripe, so it travels a shorter distance and has the highest amount of nutrition, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Seasonal produce is generally cheaper - yay! We get up in arms about the price of avocados in NZ ($8 each when out of season!) but that’s a sure sign you shouldn’t be eating them.
The next gem of wisdom is to simply listen to your body. If wheat products make you feel bloated or dairy products have you running for the toilet, then it’s your body trying to tell you something. Continually ignoring these signs leads to inflammation in the body and, possibly, serious health conditions.
We are all built differently and some people thrive on eating more carbohydrates while others gain weight and feel sluggish. For some, meat provides energy, while for others it makes them feel heavy and slows their digestion. The key is to figure this out and fill your plate with a balanced (carbs + protein + fat) meal of unprocessed whole foods.
I have been vegetarian for 20 years and, honestly, I can’t remember what I felt like when I ate meat. I am full of energy and have good digestion, so this works for me. I don’t think everyone needs to forgo meat, but it’s important to know where your food comes from and have the best quality that you can afford.