8 Overarching Principles
1. Eating is a personal experience. We all have different lifestyles, body types, health goals, tastes and preferences and personalised nutrition is one of the hottest trends in the food world today. However, whilst what may be good for me, might not be good for you, there are certain foods that won’t be good for either of us!
2. Ask your body, rather than a food scientist. We all have been given 5 senses to help us determine what is fresh and safe to eat and what isn’t. For some reason, we aren’t trusting those senses and choosing to buy foods in packets that have been created in laboratories.
3. Focus on nutrition rather than calories. If you think about it, you realise what nonsense this obsession with calories is. Yes, a focus on energy in and energy out is nice and simple, but in truth, a 200-calorie snickers bar has a completely different nutritional profile to a fresh salad, even though the calories may be the same. Nutrition, ie micro-nutrients nourishes our cells and breathes life and vitality into our bodies. If we eat nutrition-dense food, our body won’t need as much.
4. Look after your gut. There’s exciting and emerging research linking the health of the gut to the general physical and mental health of a person. As a result, fermented foods have come back into fashion with living drinks like kombucha being one of the fastest growing categories in soft drinks.
5. Don’t let the tongue decide. If we don’t plan and decide what we’re going to eat with our head, our tongue will lead us astray for sure. Plan and look forward to your meals in advance so that you have one less decision to make each day.
6. Eat all of the colours of the rainbow. One way to ensure you’re getting sufficient nutrients is to eat all of the colours of the rainbow. According to Chinese medicine, colour is a really important contributor to health, with different colours working together to keep us in balance.
The five key colours are:
BLACK – Linked to jing energy and life-force. What’s black? Well, how about black olives and raw chocolate, both of which contain a lot of zinc.
RED – Represents fire power which provides chi energy, or everyday energy, helping you mobilise your immunity response and supporting your blood and heart. How many red foods can you think of? Well, there are beets and tomatoes, which contain Lycopene the red compound.
YELLOW – Is all about happiness, is anti-inflammatory and supports life. The key point here is that the food itself needs to be yellow, not the peel; hence, a banana doesn’t count in your yellow quota as it’s actually white!
GREEN – I love green foods, as they are all about detoxifying and getting rid of the nasties. We’re attracted to green foods when we’re feeling unwell, as green is cleansing and will keep us clean on the inside. Chlorophyll is the green compound which gives greens their colour. There are so many green vegetables to chose from – kale, spinach, and broccoli are my favourites.
WHITE – A colour without a colour. White helps the lungs and the respiratory system. White foods include banana, cauliflower, astragalus, and ginseng.
7. Shake it up. Most people will eat similar things week in, week out. By shaking it up and bringing variety into your diet, you will attract new nutrients and microbes into your world.
8. Eat Organic Where possible. I know, it’s expensive, but being ill is even more expensive, so try to at least buy organic versions of the Dirty Dozen below whenever you can: