Now that we know what kinds of food are good for us and those to avoid like the plague, we’ll put it all together to build great meals.
Ever heard the phase “Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, Dine like a Pauper”? Well this is a great rule to follow. Load yourself with foods and energy first thing when you need it most. Good breakfast choices are: omelettes, smoked salmon, porridge, moi-moi, salads, and leftovers.
Both lunch and dinner meals can be interchanged. Try to eat more during lunch than in the evening. No use having all that energy at night just before bed. Meals can be made up of meats, vegetables, beans, lentils, and rice. Snack on nuts if you need a little something between meals.
Try to eat light in the evening. Fish is always a good option with a tasty salad. Make up a large meal and then save it for the next days lunch. Try not to eat too late and relax in the evening with low lighting and soothing music. Now is not the time to get all jacked up on caffeine and high adrenaline pumping dramas just before bed.
We all know the importance of drinking clean water. Aim for 2 litres per day. Drink herbal teas and limit green tea to mornings only.
One of the biggest mistakes in the nutrition industry is the belief that there is a one-size fit all approach to nutrition. It is important to learn what foods are right for you. This process is a time for self-discovery. It’s a time to try foods and see how your body reacts to them. Do you feel tired, full of energy, satisfied for longer, have abdominal bloating etc.
Keep your meals simple and discover what foods are right for you via a process of elimination. Perhaps you may eat like a vegetarian for a few days or eat more meat for a few days. Listen to your body. Some people find they need more fat and others find they need more protein. Again this is about finding out what’s best for you.
Start by dividing your meals into equal quantities of Fat (eg. olive oil, avocado, coconut milk, nuts), Protein (meats, fish) and Carbohydrate (vegetables, lentils, beans). Now depending on where your ancestors originated from you may be better with more fat and protein (ancestors living in colder climates) or more carbohydrates (ancestors living close to the equator).
So work with your proportions of fat, protein and carbohydrate and see what works best for you. You may also notice a desire for more fats in the winter or protein following activity and exercise. Try not to destroy all your food before you have had chance to eat it. Avoid microwaves, they destroy the molecular structure of the foods and cause problems in the gut. Try to eat some food raw and steam as much vegetable as you can. Eat local in-season veg with less air miles. Without a plan you are doomed. Write out your meals for the week. Clear out your cupboards so you are not forced to cheat. Make up big batches of food for lunches. Always plan ahead.
Eating and drinking the way we have evolved to eat and drink is vital for a healthy body and mind. Some of the above Bad Foods may seem a little harsh and even surprising. But the truth is your body will tell you what is good and bad. A healthy body is not tired, carrying excess fat or lacking vitality.
Try the above way of eating for only 21 Days and you will never look back. Go on a journey of self-discovery and see just what foods agree and disagree with you. Listen to your body and take of it.
Maje Ayida is a Wellness Coach and CEO of the award winning Health and Fitness Brand, Eden Lifestyle. The visionary behind the popular HIIT Squad, he is also a fitness columnist for a national newspaper, and has made numerous television and radio appearances, educating and motivation Nigerians on healthy living.