General Wellness Diet Guidelines


We have already mentioned the importance of water in our introduction. But it is so critical to health that we will expand further here.

Under normal activity and environmental conditions, the average size adult needs 1-2 250ml glasses of water an hour.

Keeping full bottles of water in your car, place of work, bedroom, living room, and other places around the house makes it easy to achieve this. I always have a 750ml on my desk, which I refill every couple of hours. If its not there, I often don’t miss it, so keeping it visible does make a difference. I also take at least 2 bottles with me in the car every time I go out shopping, to meetings or travelling in the weekends.

Make sure that the water you are drinking is good quality bottled water or invest in a top of line water filter. There is a significant difference in both of these versions.

Water is also available in foods we eat.


General Eating

As fruit and vegetables supply the bulk of the essential vitamins and minerals we need, every meal should be at least 50% fruits and vegetables. To date, there has been a strong argument that these should be raw. However, further studies have proven that in some cases, for example tomatoes, cooking actually increases the bioavailability of the nutrients.

A simple way to ensure a good balance of fruit and vegetable types is to eat by colour. Green leafy vegetables, orange carrots and pawpaw, red peppers and berries etc. I love living and love food and wine, so am a bit stubborn about removing the things I love from my diet, like good wines. Proven to have strong antioxidant properties, I incorporate a glass or two into my diet every night, at least 4-5 nights a week, unless I am on a detox program.

Dark chocolate is always on hand also – it’s a girl thing, and we are sticking to it, we need it!!!

Good foods reward you with good health, more energy, good digestion, and vitality.

Sources of protein should be lower fat, more easily digested types. All meat should be grilled, baked, or broiled, and never fried.

For those who are really going to the limits, ensuring all food products are organic means they has a much lower content of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and pollutants.

If you are a snacker – as I am at times, make sure you have plenty of health snacks available. As I work from home these days, the pantry and refrigerator are a little too available, so I make a habit of keeping plenty of nuts and prepared vegetable crudités in the refrigerator. I just do a few extra in the evening for the next day. If I had to prepare them during the day, I know I wouldn’t, and instead would be reaching for carb laden snacks instead.
Protein shakes are also a good standby. If you are rushing to work without time for breakfast or lunch, have a quick protein shake. It keeps the energy up, the mind focussed and stops me falling into the glucose depletion zone at 5pm when it’s too easy to reach for the prezels with my wine.

My own admissions here, are to illustrate, that keeping to a perfect diet is not that easy, so understanding what your weaknesses are is important so that, like me, you can develop your own good eating distraction tactics.
A good rule of thumb with food decisions is, If in doubt, leave it out. If you're not sure if something is bad for you, it probably is.


Glycemic Index

There has been a lot of interest in recent years in glycemic index. The glycemic index is a measure of blood sugar release rate from different foods. Foods with a low GI, release sugars into the blood at a low rate, for a longer period, giving a more controlled, sustained energy mechanism.

High GI foods cause a rise in your blood sugar, which triggers a chain of reactions that ultimately results in inflammation of your cells, skin, and organs as well as weight gain and fatigue. Over processed, high carbohydrate and sugar based foods have a high GI and should be eaten in small amounts. Try cutting these out for a few days, and see what difference you get in your energy levels.


Eating Out

Eating out can be rather difficult when trying to sustain a strict diet regime. I spent many years as an international management consultant and was constantly in hotels or in Europe for up to 6 months each year. Fortunately, many hotels recognise the time executives today spend away from home and I have found the restaurants very cooperative in preparing foods to my requirements.

In my base country, New Zealand, I still eat out several times a week. Fortunately, we have an abundance of fresh fish and strong public advocacy for naturally grown fruit and vegetables. Hence, restaurants generally have NZ menu items to showcase our produce making it easier to find healthy options. As much as I love the rich French cuisine with its creamy sauces and abundant use of butter, I stay away from them, instead opting for Mediterranean options from Turkey and Morocco or Asia. It’s a small price to pay and it means when I do indulge, it’s a real treat.

One device I use to help maintain healthy food decisions is operating a food bank system. For every non-essential item on the not-so-good-for me list, I do a quick mental tally of what toxic damage it will contribute or what additional exercise I am going to have to do to work off any additional calories.

Wellness Foods to Include

NEXT: Foods To Avoid

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