There are so many different diets and meal plans pedalled to us, it can be a bit overwhelming to know what to eat to live healthily.
Eat gluten, don’t eat gluten, avoid sugar, grains are bad, follow our 12-week meal plan for a bikini body. But how do we know what will work for us?
It’s quite easily really. Eat everything. Now, this, of course, does not mean literally everything, but rather if we eat a large variety of whole foods and then we can relax and take comfort knowing that we are fueling our body with a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
But how do we know what constitutes of whole foods and what has been largely processed by man? Quite simply if we avoid things that come in packages we have already done the hard work.
If it comes in a cardboard box, generally the cardboard will be more nutritional than the concoction of man-made chemicals inside. To quote Charlie Hunnam “I try to avoid anything f**ked with by man too much”.
Both man and animals evolved over thousands of years on food provided to us by nature but it is only relatively recently that our holier than now attitude has deluded us into thinking we are smarter than nature.
Read the nutritional contents of any packaged food item these days and there will be an onslaught of numbers and chemicals designed in a laboratory trying to out make things more convenient for us.
Ironically though, it is these ultra-processed foods that are contributing to our western obesity epidemics and adding to an ever-growing burden on the healthcare systems.
But we don’t have to play by the rules of capitalism and so-called convenience. Instead, we can just eat all the things nature intended us to eat. These are the very foods our bodies have evolved on so why try change the script now?
Most people are familiar with the recommendation to eat 5 vegetables and 2 fruits per day, and most people fall short of us. But we don’t need to try and be perfect, we just need to try.
If we are able to extrapolate this out to weekly recommendations, or even weekday recommendations if it better suits our work routine we can make a start.
Start by picking 3-4 in season fruits during the weekly shop and try and eat a variety over the week. Maybe an apple for a mid-breakfast snack and a banana for a mid-afternoon snack. Mix it up day to day with an orange, or a pear, or a mango.
For dinner use white potatoes sometimes, sweet potatoes others. Carrots one night, pumpkin another. Broccoli, cauliflower, onions. Chicken breast, beef, lamb, pork… mix up your meats too. They are all very different and each has its own benefits.
If we build our meals around a core variety of foods personalised to our own tastes we can relax with all the diet and meal plan recommendations.
If you follow this recommendation of healthy, natural whole foods I can’t promise that you will have a bikini body or 6-pack abs in 12-weeks but I think you’ll find it a lot less stressful than counting calories and with proper portion sizes and moderate exercise in time you will start to see the exterior change to represent your healthy interior.