The Naked Truth: the Bare Essentials for Eating Healthy
1. Eat with mindful intention vs wonton abandon. Studies have shown that when we eat take the time to think about why we eat what we eat and which part of our body needs the best nutrition and fuel for repair, we choose healthier meals. Next time you pass by an airport kiosk selling candy floss or honey roasted peanuts, ask yourself “Do I want more sustained energy or a short lived energy spike?” “Is the next food choice going to bring me closer to my ideal of health or further away?”
2. Pack some snacks as well as your laptop. If you don’t take some healthy food items with you to work or your next trip, you will be at the mercy of fast food restaurants. One fast food meal can have up to 1300 calories and 50 grams of artery clogging fat. Bring some high quality meal replacement or protein bars with you in your carry on. A small sandwich bag with assorted non-salted nuts or an apple in your briefcase goes a long way on those long commutes into the office. Also delays on the tarmac while flying or waiting for de-icing can be much more tolerable if you eat a high fibre apple or some nutrition dense nuts – stealthily taken from your computer carrying case.
Caution you will have to face the jealous eyes of the people around you. Ignore the mortals who travel with no food as they have to watch you with sad eyes eating your healthy snacks.
3. Never skip breakfast. Athletes and the top performing busy executives have heard about front-loading their week with workouts or projects so they can enjoy a few days off on the weekend. Front load your day with a high protein breakfast. Eating optimal nutrition first thing in the morning allows the primitive part of your brain to chill out and relax and put the search for its next meal on the back burner.
You will be better able to handle work challenges and stress if your body has ingested a good source of fats (omega 3 eggs) or energy building carbs (oatmeal).
4. If you feel thirsty, guess what? Your body is already dehydrated. Water is one of my SEVEN pillars of health. The human body needs it for every one of the millions of biochemical reactions it has all day long. Without adequate water, all metabolic and neural activity is hampered. Buy a nice looking BPA free container and carry it with you all day and don’t forget to fill it up twice for a total of 2 litres or 2 quarts
5. Brighly coloured fruit and veg. The average North American eats two servings of fruits and vegetables a day with Brits eating almost 4 portions a day. And some experts say the only way that most portions were achieved was because the diet included a bean (coffee) and potatoes (French fries).
Vegetables and fruits with their 100’s of flavonoids and polyphenols in nature’s perfect blend of proportions and with no side effects infuse an abundance of phytonutrients into your body. A naturopathic doctor friend of mine once told me that one of the easiest ways to boosts one’s health and vitality was to simply begin eating more brightly coloured fruits and vegetables each day.
Dr Uche Phillip Odiatu BA, DMD is the author of The Miracle of Health & Fit for the LOVE of IT! This practicing dentist is a NSCA Certified Personal Trainer & professional member of the American College of Sports Medicine. He has lectured in the USA, Canada, England, Denmark, Jamaica and the Bahamas.