If you’ve been following a particular diet or have spent time trying to cut back on certain foods such as gluten, dairy and more, then you may be considering a change. I have spent most of my adult life seeking for new ways to improve my health through my diet. It is only now as I approach 40-years old that I am starting to realise that when my mum said, “everything in moderation”, is true.
Since turning my focus to “the health of my gut”, I am now able to eat everything that I once restricted from my diet, including dairy!
Everything in moderation
We are all different in how we approach our own diet and what works for me might not work for you but I have some simple principles based upon my up to date research and understanding of nutrition and health from knowledge I have gained now and in the past when I studied nutrition and personal training back in 2010.
1. Ensure that the diet is varied; all foods including plant-based foods, meats and fish.
2. Eat less carbs and more fat and protein. The human body uses carbohydrates for energy first, fat and protein are used for energy next. It is important to remember that if someone eats too many carbohydrates, then these carbohydrates will be stored as fat because the body cannot metabolise them. Therefore eating less carbs means your body will burn fat if it cannot access the carbs. Be careful not to cut carbs completely though. Choose carbs found in grains and vegetables as opposed to simple carbs found in sugary treats, fruits and high gluten meals such as pasta, white rice, bread, pizza, white potato.
3. If you have poor digestive health, then it’s likely you will also experience food intolerances. Therefore, taking an approach to the health of your gut is important to prevent food intolerances and allergies. Eat bone broth every day and slowly introduce yourself to probiotics in supplement form and from fermented drinks. Cut back on high sugar foods (including fruit sugars), gluten and dairy for 3 months.
4. Having certain meals at different times is important. For example; after training, I will always make sure I have a high protein meal such as eggs, or before a workout (if later in the day), I will carb-load before to give me plenty of energy. Equally, it’s important to remember if you have not done much exercise or not moved much on a particular day, then eat only two main meals, not three (snack on small amounts of food throughout the day instead).
5. Portion sizes and eating mindfully is important when it comes to living well. Many people each large meals; they will fill their plate up, eat their food too quickly and are then left feeling unfulfilled afterwards. Eat from a smaller plate and eat slowly, enjoy your meals and taste them properly, rather than racing food down for a deadline that usually doesn’t exist.
There are some food and drinks here that I am sure are a surprise to some people. And it’s probably also important to mention that I am extremely busy. Most days I won’t sit down for 12-14 hours. I also go to the gym 2-3 times a week and sometimes I may accidentally skip meals but I never have problems with energy levels, I feel awesome most of the time which I acclaim to having good gut health.
There are some other foods that people like to add to their diet including liver, fish eggs, raw fish, and other plant-based foods etc. I chose not to eat these foods mostly out of personal preference. However, there are many other foods that people choose to eat and if they work for you, then great. Eating is a very personal experience and really it takes years to work it out. Sometimes people can work it out on their own, others might need some guidance from a health professional. It’s always best to speak to a qualified health professional if you have any concerns about your health.