I am writing this with a two day hangover from hell, thinking of everything in my head that I wish I had on hand to get me back to fighting fit in the shortest possible time. I think the ship might have sailed on that – hangovers are one things even a healthy body has to ride out… I cant wait for the time a food genius masters this human conundrum.
For a while I have been thinking about this. I feel that a ‘food enjoyment/ body love balance’ conversation is needed. There is a bit of an expectation of perfection being a healthy foodie. We probs don’t drink, eat sugar, crap like everyone else. But being into good food does mean you can be a fun loving kinda person just because we prefer choosing salad over chips… Well thats the only difference really, what we choose and choose not to pop into our mouths.
So this is not a who’s who of how to be perfect. Obviously, as you already might know by there is no such thing as a perfect diet and everyone is unique in their needs and has something that works best for them but I wanted to share a few tips on ways I bounce back after the weekend, the random assortment of condiments and healthy ingredients in my fridge and a few tips I try to live by. I hope you find it helpful.
12 Tips to keep my on BALANCE
- Crappy pizza or kebabs won’t cure or help a hangover. They will put you into a horrid food coma. Go for a noodle soup, baked potato with tomato salsa, sushi or big bowl of pasta with a tomato/ veggie based sauce to satisfy your carb cravings without feeling like a comatosed sofa whale (we’ve all been there)
- `Don’t think of food in terms of calories, but colour. Opt for whole ingredients, like spring greens, carrots and wild rice with mega dressings (check out my book for some top ones) Satisfy your tastebuds and body and you will feel fuller for longer than opting for a low calorie ‘diet’ food alternative.
- Go easy on white, bleached, refined sugar as it peps up tastebuds and leads to cravings. Natural sweeteners, in small quantities, such as honey, maple syrup are much better. Drizzle them on porridge and use to sweeten plain yoghurt, but avoid pairing them with nuts and fats.
- Drink a mega glass of water 30 mins before thinking about snacking. Half the time I snack in the afternoon to quench my thirst, because I think I am hungry. Lemon, or lime and cucumber shavings add a nice hint of taste.
- Nourishing and tasty, soups, stews and broths can provide the body with lots of easily-digestible nutrients easily. They are also simple to cook and transport
- Invest in your intestinal bacteria by eating plenty of naturally fermented and cultured foods, like sauerkraut, kimchi (fermented and spiced cabbage – both recipes in my book) kombucha and miso.
- If you get consipated, eat less meat and drink more water. Also drink liquorice root brewed in hot water to help stimulate the digestion.
- Try to go for 2/3 veg on the plate. Make every meal work to this ratio. Focus on the colourful vegetables wherever you can. The other third can be beans, pulses, meat or fish.
- Protein based meals like steak and roast chicken, which have a moderate to high level of fat are best eaten with lighter, low starchy foods for optimal digestion
- When you eat high carb, starchy food like pasta or bread is best digested with a lighter sauce or dressing. Fats and carbs don’t digest so well and trigger fat storing hormones.
- Eat good fat, but not too much. Good quality extra virgin olive, avocado and linseed oil all make great salad dressings, but try to stick to stable ‘solid’ fats to cook with. They fare better with high temperatures.
- Good probiotics and aloe vera gel, when I remember to take them, help calm acid reflux and IBS. Always good for the coffee drinker, or if I have eaten any raw onion (which I can’t digest)
*by good fat I am referring to polyunsaturates and fats that are high in omegas, like avocado, oily fish, linseed oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter