6 ways to clear through the daunting clutter of dietary advice

Food and eating is always a topic on my mind, especially in winter when the cooler temperatures seem to get my appetite racing even more than usual. With an increased appetite sometimes comes decreased discretion, and often we just hanker for any of the closest junk food at our disposal…

This is where it is extremely important to be mindful of your choices. With so many changing diet fads, advice and fad foods out there, I find it a bit overwhelming myself. Luckily I do not suffer from any intolerances, but for those that do, or those that choose to cut out a type of food from their diet, it must be even more difficult. Add to this the changing opinions on foods – where some things we were once told to avoid are later professed as the greatest thing since sliced bread (sorry gluten-free peeps for that pun), while other foods we were once told to eat in abundance, we are now being told to run away from.

Therefore I thought I’d share some ‘normal’ rules I use when deciding what to eat.

Does it resemble what it once was? Short explanation – avoid processed foods, and eat as clean as possible. Does that look like real cheese, or does it look processed? Learn to be mindful about noticing and enjoying the flavours of fresh, clean food, and eventually you’ll be able to resist overdoing it on the processed and artificially flavoured stuff.

What works for you? Listen to your body, and cut out anything that you are either not enjoying anymore, or that leaves you feeling ‘meh’ in any way.

Eat for energy. Most of us run around at a hectic pace during the day, and also (hopefully) do regular exercise or sports-training. Make sure that you choose the foods that support your body to produce the energy you need for this, so that you are not running on empty and depleting your reserves… As above, make sure that the energy-boosting food is what works for you. For some, it may be lots of carbs, for others perhaps less carbs and more fat. Just make sure your choices are mindful and you are getting the right fuel each mealtime.

Eat for immunity. Make sure that with whatever you choose to graze on, that you’re getting a good mix of fresh fruits and veggies with the right amount of nutrients and vitamins your body needs to keep healthy and well. It’s a good idea to up your vitamin C intake in winter when everyone around you has the splutters. Luckily beautiful citrus is in season!

Eat for cravings. Not only in pregnancy, our bodies will sometimes give us random cravings. Listen to those… I once had this total fixation and desire for broccoli in every shape and form. Turned out I needed magnesium. Same with soya sauce. At one stage I could have downed a shot glass full after heated Yoga. Turned out my body had sweated out too much salt. Give your body what it asks for.

Eat for enjoyment.  Most importantly, enjoy your meals (and snacks), make an event of them, and relish the sensory experience. After all, each time we are able to sit down to a plate of food, we are very, very blessed to be able to, so enjoy every bite!

I hope this will help get you through the daunting clutter of dietary advice that’s out there.  And remember ‘you are what you eat’….so grab a packet of nuts for your next snack.

Written by Catherine L Ronaasen

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Founder – Yogabox | Independent Consultant – Helping small businesses grow

Website: www.yogabox.co.za

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