I use the term healthy eating and not dieting with a distinct purpose. Dieting is normally associated with willpower, restricting foods that you ultimately crave and a roller-coaster of weight loss – weight goes on, weight comes off and repeat in a frustrating cycle. Healthy eating to me is different, it’s about gradual adaptations to your diet that result in slow weight loss (typically 1-2lbs a week) but that’s sustainable, it becomes your lifestyle.
Healthy eating is about so much more than weight loss, yes you lose weight but what you gain in the process is ten fold, I’ve experienced this personally but also had this supported by many people who I have worked with.
- Feeling happy – 90-95% of your hormone serotonin (the happy hormone) is produced in your gut. Providing the right environment for these hormones to thrive is key to feeling happy.
- Heightened energy and vitality – for me it has become limitless or certainly as much energy as I need to satisfy my exercise addiction. There were days when I didn’t think I’d have enough energy for another Zumba class, now I feel energised for all my classes and I’ve added crossfit and yoga to the mix. The world can literally become your oyster and it may not be that you want to add lots more exercise to your life (although I highly recommend it for so many reasons) you might just not want to be breathless going up the stairs or have more energy to play football with your children.
- Brain power – good nutrition can actually increase your number of brain neurons making you sharper whilst at the same time providing improved focus and concentration. Recent research has also found that the larger the waist circumference the more brain shrinkage occurs, which is never a good thing!
- Turbo charge your immune system – if you’re fed up with getting colds and flu all through the winter then putting the right combination of amino acids, vitamins and minerals can really help. Over the last few years, nutritional science has developed further to include probiotics to improve the gut flora and nurture what is now being herald the second brain. Further blogs to follow and probiotic recipes.
- Enhanced sleep – as your healthy eating improves, your ability to sleep solidly for 8-9 hours (if you’re lucky to get that much) a night improves. Adequate sleep is imperative for weight loss but you’ll also notice that you can jump out of bed in the morning and tackle what life throws at you if you’ve had a decent nights sleep, anyone with children can empathise here.
- No more 3/4pm crashes of energy – if you experience that lethargy in the afternoon that can normally only be abated with a super strong hit of caffeine, chances are it’s diet related and can be avoided.
- No more bloated feeling – if you’ve regularly gone to bed feeling uncomfortably full and having to undo the top button of your jeans you know what I’m talking about. Eating the right foods will make you feel totally satiated without the bloated feeling.
- Improved strength – whether you’re weight training or just want to be able to lift yourself out of bed that little bit easier you will notice the difference.
- Youth – it’s not quite the fountain of eternal youth but you can actually improve the appearance of wrinkles with living enzymes in raw food and when your 30+ who doesn’t want to look a bit younger.
- Blemish free skin and thicker hair – this is not an exaggeration, the tone of your skin evens out, you will no longer experience breakouts of spots. Your hair becomes thicker, (not sure if this applies to men!!) the only time I have had hair this thick was when I was pregnant and now enjoy long luscious locks.
Being healthy doesn’t mean depriving yourself of all the food you love, it means switching it up a little. It means eating real food as nature intended because that’s what was meant to power our bodies. You can still eat a piece of chocolate, cheesecake, crisps or even sweetened beverages it’s just knowing how to use real food to provide healthier substitutes, keep an eye on my recipes! It might mean you have to cook a little but I happen to think the payoff is worth the investment of your time.
This is why I am so passionate about food… it is about so much more than just maintaining a healthy weight (although important too!). Feeling healthy and happy literally sneaks in to infiltrate every part of your life – at work, family life and in all your relationships. Life is far from perfect but you will be so much better equipped to handle what life throws at you if you eat healthily.
Food of Happiness