This weekend I was queuing at the cinema kiosk with my
partner to get some diet coke and I was amazed by the amount of obese children
who were being bought thousands of calories of JUNK, by their parents. Don’t get
me wrong, I am not a boring old man before my age who doesn’t think you should
enjoy yourself – but when a child’s health is at question because they are already
in a dangerous state of health then I think a lifestyle check is needed. The weekend’s
events inspired me to put some ideas down which would help and promote families
to spend more time being health conscious.
These days it seems
that ‘’treat’’ food has to be unhealthy which simply is not the case. One of
the most delicious treats I have as well as many of my clients/friends is a
bowl of oats with blueberries, strawberries, banana and on occasions I would
also have kiwi fruit mixed with peanut butter with oats. There are endless ways
to enjoy food, and I think that snacking is a bigger problem which is why I listed
just a couple of examples of ‘’snacks’’ above. Use your imagination and come up
with snacks which are low GI, low in saturated fats and rich in micronutrients.
Nuts are another great quick snack and they are very
healthy. Natural yogurt with blueberries is another and even though this isn’t 100%
healthy, granola with natural yogurt and manuka honey is amazing!! All of these
are preferable to fast foods which seem to be the first point of call when
people want a snack these days, and trust me they taste amazing.
I am a firm believer that the route of a lot of people’s
health related issues to their diet is a lack of structure. What I mean by this
is skipping breakfast, maybe not eating until lunch and then compensating for
it by snacking all day then in the evening eating a mountain of food because
they are so hungry.
By implementing a simple structure with breakfast, lunch and
an evening meal with 2 to 3 healthy snacks in the middle you will inevitably
find that your body composition will improve – and health which is the point of
We are not talking about getting huge or ripped here; we are
talking about eating healthily. With that said I would encourage you to focus
on low GI forms of carbohydrates which are more wholesome and keep you feeling
fuller for longer. Things like oats, brown bread, rice, brown pasta and sweet
potato for example.
I am also a huge believer in healthy fat sources for health –
in the Mediterranean people look amazing well into their 60,70s and onwards with
high life expectancy. What is their diet rich in? Extra virgin olive oil!! Coincidence?
I don’t think so!! Nuts are also great, as are lean cuts of beef and oily fish.
Protein is a kingpin macronutrient, for most people in my
opinion. Lean cuts of beef, poultry, whole eggs and some dairy products such as
cottage cheese are all part of a healthy protein plan. You don’t need mountains
of it as a healthy child or adult, but it is certainly something I would
recommend having plenty of because it will help build strong foundations for
health and longevity.
Changing your ways to become healthier as a family doesn’t have
to be as tough as you might have thought. Instead it is about applying small
changes and being consistent with them!