Food Wellness: A Way Of Life!
With the festive season here once again, it's great to remind ourselves of the importance of making some space to relax and enjoy time with loved ones. At the same time, it's good to remember how to best keep taking care of ourselves at this time too!
So, In this blog, we will look at food wellness, an easy way to keep our mind and body healthy during the festive times so that we always feel vibrant, happy, and ready to take on the new year.
Let's dive right in!
What does Wellness really mean?
“Wellness” is a term that has gained a lot of popularity in the recent years, mostly due to athletes and celebrities making it more and more trendy.
But, how does Wellness differentiate from what we perceive health to be in more mainstream Western cultures?
Wellness is so much more than the absence of disease!
Being well and feeling well is when our body and mind are functioning optimally.
In this state, we are feeling full of vitality, really getting the most out of our lives and enjoying it.
Many of us are free to choose the types of foods we eat each day, as well as what we do with our free time.
But, freedom to choose is not that simple. In reality, how we think and direct our energies can sometimes take a little bit more practice and awareness to get ourselves out of bad habits. That said, habits are generally what keep us stuck in our day-to-day diet and lifestyle routines too.
They say that it takes three weeks to make a habit and three weeks to break habits.
The good news is that whilst starting to change behaviours can be a challenge at first, it becomes much easier over time.
Incorporating Food Wellness in your life
The best thing about including more health-promoting habits into your day is that you will not only start to feel amazing, you will also reduce the risk of developing chronic disease as you move through your life.
We all know that mental health issues are fast on the rise in our communities worldwide. There is a plethora of scientific research that supports nutritional adequacy as being one of the key factors involved in prevention of such issues.
This doesn’t just mean calories, it means ALL of the essential vitamins and minerals, healthy fats and loads of fibre, provide everything that our system need to do what it does naturally and that is heal and regenerate!
Our bodies do not make these essentials on their own, so we need to consume them through food intake.
#1 Rule: Eat loads of plants
Contrary to popular beliefs, eating fresh foods is actually much more affordable than you think. In fact, a recent study by University of Wollongong in Australia shows that it is cheaper for families to stick to the dietary guidelines rather than relying on fast and convenience or junk foods.
What are the current dietary guidelines?
The Australian dietary guidelines suggest that we need at least five serves of vegetables each day to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. One serve is only half a cup of vegetables or 1 cup of salad leaves, with a measured cup being only a teacup size or 250mL.
Currently, the statistics show that over 90% of us aren’t consuming the minimum 5 serves of vegetables each day. These numbers are concerning and can probably be attributed to why so many of us tend to develop some form of ill health
Embracing a plant-based diet
Eating a mostly plant-based diet has been shown repeatedly in the research to reduce the risk of developing chronic disease, like mental health conditions, as well as improves life expectancy and quality of life. Not a bad rap for food that just grows naturally out of the Earth!
A variety of different plants contain a large variety of different essential nutrients, like vitamins and minerals. Keeping a high intake of different plant foods will help to ensure you are getting ALL the essential nutrients your body requires to function.
When we talk about plant-based foods we are talking fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs and spices, nuts and seeds, beans and other legumes, unrefined whole grains, lean meats and seafood. There is so much variety to choose from.
Now it’s your turn
Wellness is often perceived as creating a lifestyle where we go on yoga retreats, buy bath salts and journal every morning. Although these are all incredibly beneficial in their own right, it’s important for us to go back to basics and understand what the root of true wellness really is.
In this case, embracing wellness can only begin once we look at our diet.
And it is not that difficult to achieve the mark. You simply need to consider where you can fit plant-based food to replace some of the higher calorie and low nutrition, side dishes with our meals, like breads, pasta, white rice and too much meat.
To guide you on quantities, use the new plate model is that 1/2 of the plate be vegetables, 1/4 protein and 1/4 wholegrains.
I hope you enjoy eating your rainbow during the festive season and every day after as a real shift towards a wellness lifestyle that will keep you healthy and happy in the long term!
Sending you good vibes,