Nourish with real foods:
We should be eating real foods. That means foods that we grow, hunt or pick. Foods that are unmodified and come from nature. When possible, we should aim for the most nutrient dense foods, because that’s why we eat, to nourish! The majority of what we eat should be the following:
Animals | Seafood | Eggs | Vegetables | Nuts | Fruit
I can already see the question on your face, why aren’t wholegrains on the above list? Well, they aren’t ideal for the human body. Read my post on Grains here
The quick run down: Grains contain ‘anti-nutrients’ which in short, are designed to keep the grain or seed from being digested so that it can grow once it leaves our body. These components of the grain damage our gut lining (please don’t underestimate the power of a damaged gut) and they bind to essential minerals which means the body can’t absorb them. Apart from this, grains aren’t nutrient dense and they don’t contain any nutrients that we cannot get elsewhere.
So do I ever eat grains? Yep occasionally I do, because you will read below that I don’t obsess about any of the foods I eat or don’t eat, its counter-intuitive.
We need healthy sources of fat. Nope, that doesn’t mean margarine and vegetable oil. This stuff is processed, inflammation causing junk. Its not food. Watch this short video on how Canola oil is made and see for yourself…. Totally gross right? The healthy fat I’m talking about is from pasture raised animals, coconut oil, avocados, olives, good quality dairy (raw if you can get it – unfortunately it isn’t legal in Australia. Help change that here) and cold pressed oils. It’s the real fat that comes from real food. Again, I will go into more details in a later post because this is an extremely important topic, but for now just consider the following:
- Saturated fat makes up ½ of the structure of our bodies cell membranes
- It provides fat soluble vitamins as well as aiding in the synthesis of essential fatty acids (essential meaning we must get it from our diet)
- It enhances our immune system and is incredibly satiating.
- The whole perception that ‘saturated fat is unhealthy’ is based on a study that was manipulated in a huge way to show the results the organizer wanted. Its wrong. Interested in more? See this 2 minute video. And if you have time you should definitely watch the 2 part series ‘Heart of the Matter‘ by ABC’s Catalyst.
- Cholesterol is vital for the human body. It doesn’t cause heart disease and your body produces more cholesterol than you will eat.
Consider where the food came from:
I believe that where your food comes from is just as important as the food itself.
To start with, buy local whenever you can. Aim for anything produced in your local community first, then your local state and always choose Australian if the option is available to you. Consider this – local food is fresher so it will taste better and contain more nutrients. Local means less freight so it’s cheaper, its better for the environment and you will be supporting your local community. I personally always aim to purchase from the local farmers markets or small retailers over the big supermarket chains.
Secondly, avoid all genetically modified foods, they are not your friend, they are not the environments friend and they are not the farmers friend. If it’s possible for you to buy organic, do so. If its not available or your budget doesn’t allow it, simply washing your produce can make a big difference. Also, keep in mind that your local farmers markets will often have producers who are selling uncertified organic produce, at low prices. Sadly, certification is quite expensive so a lot of producers can’t afford it and these are the exact people we should be supporting! The other option, my personal favorite, is to grow it yourself!
Thirdly, choose animal products that come from animals that were raised in their natural environment (or as close as possible), by responsible producers who care about the welfare of the animal and for the environment. I also believe it’s important to use the whole animal, for a number of reasons:
- The animal has given its life for us so we should not be disrespectful by wasting it.
- If we only eat one part of an animal (chicken breast for example) we are contributing to the requirements of mass production. This type of farming never leads to good animal welfare or healthy sources of food for us.
- Organ meats and skin are extremely nutrient dense.
- Bones can be used to make bone broth, which is a traditional superfood. (I love this stuff)
Hydration is very important and very simple: Drink water. I don’t like to complicate anything that doesn’t need to be! If you listen to your body, it won’t be necessary to count the number of glasses you have each day. Avoid soft drinks, sports drinks and juices, they contain WAY too much sugar (Sugar is another one of those big topics I will cover in later posts, sign up to my newsletter here so you don’t miss it) and usually contain additives as well, which the body is not designed to deal with.Please be careful with any artificially sweetened drinks and consider the words ‘chemical sh*t storm’ when you read them on the ingredients list!
Don’t diet, it doesn’t work, and it makes you miserable, I know I’m right because I have been there! If you want to be healthy you have to change your attitude towards food and make it a lifestyle.
Don’t get too obsessed with perfectionism. In today’s world, the cruddy food is absolutely everywhere and you will definitely be in situations where you just have to do your best with what you have. Worrying or getting upset is not healthy and it’s not good for your digestion. In fact, a lot of the time the stress you put yourself through because of a ‘less than ideal meal’ is more harmful than the meal itself.
A few last notes:
- Listen to your body, its smarter than you.
- Question conventional wisdom!
- Ask yourself: Is this food going to nourish and provide my body with the fuel it needs, or won’t it?
And one more thing, which I really want you to know. The information I share is to help you make informed decisions. Its your life and your body, I’m not here to tell you what to do and I would never judge you on your decisions. Many of you will not agree with everything I say, and thats totally cool.