Tips on eating wholefoods for good health

People often ask me. “What do you eat?” or they may wonder, “How do you feed your family wholefoods, work part-time and run a business? How do you find the time?”.

They are good questions. I understand why eating well can sometimes feel so hard. There is so much advice out there and so many diets recommendations. It can be very confusing to know what to eat, let alone know where to buy good quality food from, and then there’s the cost factor and time factor many people worry about or just can’t figure out.

I guess choosing to eat well comes down to two things:

  1. Your priorities.
  2. Your willingness to learn.

You see, I believe we will make time for those things that are important to us. We make them a priority. Eating well does take time, and these days most of us are time poor. Making the time to prepare and plan our meals can sometimes feel too hard. We simply don’t have time. So we choose the “easy road” and buy on the run. But what’s the consequence of that decision?

When was the last time you actually thought about what it is that you are eating?

Do you really know what’s in that cooked BBQ chicken from Woolies or Coles?

Do you know what’s really in that coleslaw you buy from the deli, while trying to buy some sort of salad to be “healthy”?

What about your cereal packets. Do you really think about it? How is it made? Where do the ingredients come from? Do they come from nature or are they man-made in a lab, resembling food (looks, tastes and smells like real food) but are really food-like remnants (not really food at all!). What’s this doing to your body in the long-term? How can one cereal be high in Vitamin D, when the only way we get Vitamin D is by our body making it after exposure to the sun! So, what have they used to fortify their cereal? Is it actually something our body can use and recognise or is it just a marketing scheme? When you’re open to learning about the truth behind your food, you start to realise maybe we should be asking more questions than accepting those words plastered on the packet.

Last week, when I was at work, I was hanging out in the staff room during lunchtime. I like to think that I am lucky to work with many highly intelligent people who specialise in their teaching area. But as I was eating my homemade Strawberry Chia Pudding, one work mate asked, “Ohh that looks interesting. What is it? Have you made some yoghurt of some sort?” I smiled as I calmly explained, “Well sort of. It’s like yoghurt. It’s a Strawberry Chia Pudding, made from Milk Kefir and Chia Seeds. The Milk Kefir contains many strands of good bacteria, as opposed to the common 3 strands found in Yoghurt, which is great for gut health and immune support and it can be made with non-dairy milk giving a dairy-free option.  The Chia seeds provide a good source of protein, which keeps you feeling full”. (I could have said more, but I left it at that as I could see her face looking confused). “Milk what?”, she asked, “and chee….?”. I gently laughed and continued to explain, but it made me realise that it doesn’t matter what your level of intelligence is, if you haven’t been taught about good nutrition, you simply don’t know. It was a good reminder for me. I have a lot of work to do! After all, I know what is taught in our schools as far as Health and Nutrition are concerned, and believe me, it makes me cringe. I personally don’t agree with the Australian Standard Diet (SAD) and I don’t believe that acronym is a coincidence! What the general population of people are eating these days really is SAD, and an area I’m passionate to educate about about because after all when you believe food is your medicine, many sicknesses could simply be avoided. Seeing so many people suffer with their health unnecessarily just breaks my heart. Don’t they know a few lifestyle changes could give them a very different result, for the better? Obviously not!

While I understand not everything can be fixed by a good diet, it can help A LOT, but more importantly it can serve as the best preventative measure to sickness. This is what it’s all about; eating for life and avoiding sickness, being proactive and taking preventative measures. Having an abundant amount of energy while looking and feeling great. But we are not going to put the time into our food preparation if we don’t understand what we are doing to our bodies or what we are able to prevent. Learning about this in detail takes time and is dependent upon seeking the right help and advice – all this needing to be a whole other blog post, or 2 or 3!

The other day I saw this quote on the Changing Habits insta page.

“People are fed by the FOOD industry, which pays no attention to HEALTH….And are treated by the HEALTH industry, which pays no attention to FOOD”.

This quote hit me like a tonne of bricks. It is so true. The majority of food companies that produce packaged foods found on our supermarket shelves and supplements in our Health Food Stores really do not consider your health when making their product, generally spekaing. They are a business after all and if there is an option to put an ingredient into their product that will make them more profit, they will. There is little consideration for how that ingredient could affect your health. And don’t be fooled by the “guidelines” – what companies can and cannot put into their food products is disgusting. The guidelines are very loose! Look at all of the colours, flavours, chemcials and preservatives that are deemed safe and are in our food. You don’t have to look far to see the effect of all this is having on our children! Again, this will be another blog post!

It’s important to understand all this is also not a debate about natural versus conventional methods, either. We need both – yes, good nutrition and hospitals and Dr’s, without a doubt. But our reliance and dependence conventional means is becoming a joke, in my opinion. We’ve been taught to pop a pill at any given moment, without thinking about what we are doing or how it’s affecting our body/health. We are not taught to consider if there is anything natural we could do first to help ourselves. There is so much we can do to help ourselves prevent sickness. There is also so much we can do to help ourselves during the first signs of sickness. Good nutrition and using Certified Pure, Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils are just 2 wonderful tools we can choose to adopt….AND THEY WORK! IF after doing what we can naturally doesn’t work, or the issue is bigger than this, then go to the Dr. Take the prescribed drug. But when we use drugs for those times when we really need it, as opposed to popping pills willy-nilly as though there is no consequence, then our body will be more responsive to that drug and we will only need a small amount. Both measures working together for optimal health and little side effect – short or long term. At the end of the day, it’s all about receiving correct education and having a willingness to learn. It’s about being empowered to take control of what you CAN do and being ready to make a change for you and your family’s health. I hope I can inspire you to make these changes?

So let’s start with some basics.

Here are some tips when starting to eat healthy – eating wholefoods for good health.

  1. Plan your meals ahead of time – Knowing what you’re having for dinner that night can help you stay focused to make good healthy choice during the day. For example, grabbing a packaged, processed snack at afternoon tea time or your 45th coffee for the day (!) could be avoided if you’re thinking, “no I’m having a beautiful homemade beef burger, with egg, nitrate-free bacon and salad tonight. I don’t want to spoil my appetite, so I’ll grab a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts and seeds for now to keep me going”. As you say this to yourself, grab and inhale 1 drop of CPTG Peppermint Essential Oil to re-energise as well, a beautiful natural pick-me-up to overcome 3:30-itis!
  2. Be organised – when we are not organised, it’s easy to grab a quick-fix, take away option.
  3. MAKE TIME to prepare meals or snacks ahead of time. This takes time to learn as it means making changes. It is also a challenge because many of us are time poor, so it does mean looking at your schedule and re-arranging things. Prioritising time for those things that are important to you is crucial. Being self-disciplined to stick to this and to avoid distractions is certainly a skill that takes time to learn. Having a family member or friend who can help you stay focused and perhaps accountable to your goals is a wonderful advantage.

Ok. So let’s look at these steps practically.

  1. Plan your meals. What do I have planned this week?
    1. Grass-fed beef burgers and salad served on sourdough
    2. Homemade Roast Chicken and veggies (left over chicken meat is used in our salad sandwiches and the carcass is used to make my own bone broth. I use this in place of stock in my pumpkin soup)
    3. Grass-fed Lamb Shanks cooked in the slow cooker – heaps of veggies added
    4. Grass-fed Steak and veggies
    5. Homemade pumpkin soup with homemade chicken bone broth
    6. Cauliflower pizza
    7. Salmon and salad
    8. Lunch boxes this week – chicken salad sandwiches (I buy organic, sour dough bread for my husband and daughter. For my son, who is gluten intolerant, I make his Organic Gluten-Free Sour Dough bread. I don’t eat bread. It’s just easier. I don’t have to make as much GF Sour Dough bread, then), Bliss Balls, GF Banana Bread, 2-4 pieces of fruit, Chia Puddings, nuts/seeds.
    9. Breakfast – Poached free-range eggs on sourdough, served with sauerkraut, milk kefir smoothie or water kefir and a small serve of steamed veggies on the side eg Baby spinach, tomato and capsicum (we don’t always have time to add the veggies). Sprinkle Turmeric powder, Himalayan salt and Cracked Pepper to serve over eggs.
  1. Be organised. Ok…I’ll be honest. This takes time to adjust. It’s important to make small changes often, to give yourself time to adjust and adapt to the change, giving you more of chance to stick to the change – allowing the change to become a new habit that you’re more likely to stick to. So, while I’m about to share what I’ve done to be organised for the week, just remember I’ve been doing this for years. It’s taken me a good few years to get it together like this….so don’t compare yourself, where you’re at right now, to where I am right now. Give yourself permission to learn this and over time, you can get there, too. Check out the photo of my fridge. Let’s look at what’s in here as most of it is part of being organised and ready for the week ahead. You’ll notice I’ve added the time it took me to make this stuff. I simply allocate a couple of hours once a week, after I’ve bought my groceries to get ready for the week ahead. In the scheme of things, this 2 hours of prep is nothing – we are healthy, rarely, if ever get sick and we look and feel amazing – lots of energy, we are all in a healthy weight range, we sleep well, learn/study/work hard, achieve and accomplish many things well etc, etc, So I feel this 2 hour investment is worth it.

Getting back to the….FRDIGE:

  1. Top shelf
    1. You can see store bought cream cheese (I agree with the ingredients in this product, which is why I’ve bought it!), used as a spread on sour dough or as a dip with veggie sticks for a snack.
    2. Homemade Hommus (took 2 minutes to make) – used as a snack/dip with veggie sticks – a great source of calcium.
    3. Homemade Pesto (took 5 minutes to make) – used as a spread on sour dough, dressing over steamed veggies for breakfast (served with a poached egg on sour dough), on top of veggies at dinner. A great source of good fats and protein. I’ll be talking about the importance of good fats in a later post.
    4. In the jug I have homemade Milk Kefir (5 mins after the fermentation period took place) – great for gut health and immune support. Use to make healthy snacks/breakfast, like a smoothie or Chia Pudding.
    5. Homemade Mayo (Mayonnaise – took 4 minutes to make). This goes without saying, right? We know how to use Mayo.
  1. Second top shelf
    1. Homemade Chia Seed Bliss Balls (5 minutes) – 2 varieties; Lemon as seen in front and just behind there are some Spearmint Choc Bliss Balls – perfect for school lunch boxes. You can find recipes for these in my recipe section on my website.
    2. Chicken Thighs cooked on the BBQ (we did this while making dinner one other night) – ready for school lunches – chop up and throw in a salad or between 2 pieces of sourdough with added salad food for a healthy sanga.
    3. Chopped up fruit ready to go (a few minutes) – this week I’ve done Watermelon Balls. This changes all the time. Great for a snack on the go – add a handful of nuts/seeds as well, or throw into the lunch box.
    4. Raspberry Chia Puddings (30 seconds to make) – serve for breakfast or transfer to appropriate container and have for recess at school. Add fresh/frozen raspberries, coconut chips, nuts/seeds of your choice and a drizzle of honey on top! High in protein and great for gut health (immune support).
    5. Medjool dates – these are our “lollies”. Grab one whenever you feel like something sweet.
  1. Third top shelf
    1. A HUGE variety of veggies and salad food – choose those that are in season, are spray free and locally grown – where possible. Go for colour – lots of different colours. Try something you haven’t had before or in a while. You may surprise yourself!
    2. Love Your Guts – this is beetroot and ginger sauerkraut. I usually make my own, but this week I didn’t! ha! There are many options when buying or making fermented food. We choose something different each week. Add 1 tablespoon to at least 2 meals a day. Great to support digestion and gut health.
  2. Drawers –
    1. You can see the first drawer is jam-packed full of veggies – used for salads, sandwiches, soups, stews/slow cooked meals, steamed and served with poached eggs for breakfast or just good old steamed veggie served with meat for dinner. We eat a good 2-4 cups each of veggies each day. Great for fibre (keeps you regular), a good serve of carbs (energy) and keeps your body healthy with necessary vitamins and minerals.
    2. Second drawer – meat. I try to choose 2 types of meat on the bone each week. This week I have a Whole Nichols Chicken and 2 Lamb Shanks. There’s steak and burgers in the drawer, too. In the freezer I have salmon.

Check out my photo – let’s look more closely at what’s in our doors of the fridge.

Left door – everything on the top two shelves that is bottled is store bought, except for Nana’s homemade relish – we love it! It’s important to know about ingredients when purchasing store bought products. These products have my tick of approval or at least, fall within our 20% of leniency! Lol.

On the bottom shelf, you can see a variety of fresh herbs (I use in my pesto), homemade Turmeric & Ginger Tea (20 minutes to make 2 litres – lasts 2 weeks), Maleo Syrup (homemade liquid sweetener, used in cooking. Takes 5 minutes to make, lasts for ages) and store bought Coconut “Soy” Sauce and Coconut Sweet Chilli Sauce, sugar free, no nasties.

Right door – “Green milk”, Homemade Raspberry-Apple Water Kefir, Eggs, Organic Butter.

Why we have these items and how we use them is straight forward, really.

Did you notice how everything that needs storing in my fridge is in glass? Avoid plastics where possible (yep, another post is needed for this topic!) Plastics are hormone-disruptors!!!!

So, there you go. I little glimpse into how and what we eat!

So let’s re-cap.

What are wholefoods?

Food that come from the earth/land or sea, still in its most natural form, non-processed, non-packaged, nothing added/changed. Food your grandmother would recognise and know!

Why do we choose to eat this way?

Because we recognise food as being fuel for the body and when we put the right fuel into our body, it’ll work at its best, keeping us strong and healthy! Understanding WHY you eat is important. But let’s save that topic for another post, too! J

If you would like to start your journey with wholefoods and getting back to basics, but need a little guidance and support, I’d love to help you. I am a Functional Nutrition Consultant and a Holistic Health Coach (yes, I teach, too!). Give me a call (0438024315) or make a booking (details will be added to my website soon). I can’t wait to see you discover just how good it is possible to feel when you eat well!

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