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
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
Water is also available in foods we eat.
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,
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
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.
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
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 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