Friday, 15 February 2013

One Week in Sarah's Kitchen: Musings on Food and "Diets"

I've mentioned a few times on my blog that I like to eat clean and healthily, whilst enjoying an occasional treat. I also try and create healthier versions of my favourites to help avoid crumbling and succumbing to the oh so wonderful looking biscuit, cake, chocolate that in reality leaves me feeling not so great afterwards! In general, when I eat well, do some exercis, relax and have enough sleep I feel better. My physical and metal health are better, my skin, hair and nails respond positively and my body looks better. So I thought it'd be good for me to share this what I do each day for a week. I also think that the discipline of posting every day will be good for me as I can be a bit haphazard with keeping up to date and one of my resolutions was to blog more often. Also, after an extremely stressful week my body feels like it's been through the mill and some extra care and attention is needed.

Through research and my experience I don't sign up to the standard diet advice or 'calorie model' so many of the standard diets are so focused on calories and not enough on nutrition, and what that nutrition does to the hormones in your body. Put simply, I sign up to the belief and research which states a calorie is not just a calorie and that hormones have a bigger effect on your body shape than calories alone. I also don't aim for a massively low fat diet, especially good fats like avocado, nuts, seeds, olive or rapeseed oil.
I also, have huge concerns with the amount of chemicals and unknowns that go into the food we eat and what this may do to our health now and in the future The recent findings of horse meat in beef doesn't concern me from the point of view of eating horse but from the point of view of what else is in our food that we don't know about? Most people don't realise that food manufacturers don't even have to put everything on the label! For example most processed bread is made using a enzyme which is potentially concerning, but they don't have to mention it as it's only used in the processing.

It actually makes me angry when I see products loaded with chemicals and unnatural ingredients marketed as 'healthy' as soon as I see "sugar free", "diet", "low fat" I immediately look at the label to see what they have replaced the sugar and fat with and try to avoid things like chemical sweeteners. Where is the legislation to protect people from these blatant lies?

I mentioned above that I try to make healthier versions also, I have often found when I crave something not necessarily exactly what I want. For example the other day I really wanted cheesy chips. I've not had them in years, probably since uni but for some reason I really really wanted them. I tried to work out if it was what I really wanted or if something else would do and realised that what I really wanted was melted cheese. It wouldn't have matter if it was on a chicken breast. It wasn't really the chips I wanted (incidentally, as it turns out by the time I got home I wasn't too worried about the idea at all and was able to make a healthier choice all together but it has made me stop and think what I really want).

I should probably make it clear I'm not a nutritionist or similar so this is by no means advice. It's simply a diary of my food and the associated recipes made primarily from food that, through research, I consider healthy and balanced.
As I believe that food, drink, exercise, relaxation and sleep are all elements in the equation that makes for a lean, healthy body and mind each day I will fill in the following template.

If you want to read more research on this sort of thing I would start with Metabolic Effect as they have lots of blog articles on research papers and so on.

Food and Drinks:
Morning snack:
Afternoon snack:
Evening snack:
Other drinks:
Organised for tomorrow
Exercise and Walking
Relaxation and Sleep
Bed time:
Estimated hours of sleep:

Please comment if you have any feelings on the subject or if there is anything else you would like to see.

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