I don’t follow a particular “labelled” way of eating. I’m not vegan, nor am I paleo, I eat healthy, but I will also eat treats. I believe clean eating is about feeding your body with the right nutrients it needs to look and feel great. Which is exactly how I designed the nutrition component of my F.I.T programs. There are so many different “diet” theories out there, and it can get very overwhelming with what you should and shouldn’t eat. So, to help you out a little I’m going to share with you some of my guidelines around healthy eating and a sneaky look at what I eat in a day.
My healthy eating guide:
1. Clear the crap
First of all to understand how to eat clean, it’s good to get an understanding of what food should be cut out of, or minimised in your everyday eating. Personally, I stay away from as much packaged and processed food as possible. I don’t eat foods that are high in sugar and white carbs like potato, pasta and bread. The more processed a food is, the more likely it will be bad for you. If it has an ingredient list a mile long and you don’t recognise the ingredients as a food source, then it’s probably best to stay away. Also, look at what added sugars and additives have been put in the food. So much food that is marketed as “healthy” has all sorts of nasties that are not only bad for your waistline, but also your overall health.
2. Ditch the diet
I’m a firm believer that "fad diets” aren’t a good approach to your health and fitness goals. I see so many girls go on major deprivation diets, giving themselves metabolic issues, only to put the weight back on after they return to normal eating. My philosophy is about finding a healthy way to eat that is sustainable over the long term. If weight loss is your goal, then make sure you are eating in a way where are losing weight at a healthy rate, but still providing your body with the right nutrients it needs to fuel your body and brain.
3. Eat whole foods
Focus on eating foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. My daily meals are generally made up of lean meat like salmon or chicken, lots of vegetables like dark leafy greens, complex carbs like sweet potato and brown rice, nuts and seeds with a bit of fruit. I eat organic when I can (to avoid nasty pesticides and chemicals), and will eat when I’m hungry (so I don’t deprive myself).
4. Eat protein
Protein isn’t just for bodybuilders and is an essential nutrient to include in every meal. Your body needs protein to repair and refuel its muscles, making it even more important to eat when you are exercising. It also helps to tell your body when you are full and gives you long sustained energy. Always make sure your protein is from a quality source like lean meat, fish, legumes and free-range eggs.
5. Don’t be scared of carbs
I say this all the time to girls "carbs are not your enemy". There is this total myth that carbs make you fat. You need eat good carbs so your body can absorb protein and you can build lean muscle. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn. In addition, carbohydrates are essential for our body and brain to function properly. However, not all carbs are created equal and it’s important to eat complex carbs like brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, pumpkin and oats. Stay away from simple carbs like white bread, pasta and sugary snacks.
6. Fat will not make you fat
Good fat is essential for your body, brain and organs to function properly. It also helps rebuild cells, gives you energy and produces fat-burning hormones. That’s why it’s an essential nutrient to include in your daily diet. Especially when you are doing extensive exercise and your body requires proper fuel. However, you need to make sure you are eating the good kind of fat that comes from whole foods like salmon, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds. Stay away from saturated fats (excluding coconut oil) and trans fats.
My typical day of eating:
At the moment my breakfast usually consists of a grilled piece of white fish with cooked asparagus, zucchini and mushrooms
Homemade chocolate protein balls or a handful of almonds.
Smoked salmon salad with kale, spinich and goats cheese
Vegetable sticks and homemade hummus or a green smoothie.
Grilled chicken and brown rice with yellow curry sauce and chilli.
Remember, to be your best you need to feel your best, which means you need make sure you are fuelled with wholesome nutritious food. Once you start eating clean and feeling great, your body will continue to crave more good food, making it easy to stay away from temptation.