I'm a firm believer in Real Food – and the fact that healthy eating should be enjoyable.
- No faddy diets
- No freaky ingredients
- The science has got to be evidence-based
- It's got to be practical – we live in the real world!
My philosophy in a nutshell:
Make it yourself – try not to rely on processed meals
You'll slash the fat, sugar and salt content of what you eat – plus you'll know exactly what goes into your meals.
- Don't skip meals – breakfast is especially important
Wholemeal starchy carbohydrates (think porridge, no-sugar no-salt muesli or wholemeal toast), some fruit, and some protein (try yoghurt with the cereal or beans or egg on the toast) will keep you going until lunchtime
- Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day – more is even better!
They're packed with vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants that support your immune system and protect your from disease. Eat a variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables for the best range of nutrients. Fruit and veg are also great for fibre, which is good for your digestive system. One type of fibre also helps to reduce your blood cholesterol, benefitting your heart.
- Fill up with wholemeal carbohydrates
They have a lower Glycaemic Index (GI), so they'll sustain you for longer, plus they're higher in fibre than refined versions.
- Have pulses in favour of red meat – they provide low-fat protein
Red meat is a good source of protein and iron, but limit it to no more than twice a week. Chicken and fish are lower in saturated fat, and pulses such as beans and lentils are even better - packed with low-fat protein and fibre, plus healthy plant compounds.
- Eat the right amount of the right fats
Cut down on the unhealthy saturated and trans fats (found in meat, dairy and processed foods), but eat moderate amounts of the healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (nuts, seeds and their oils, and olive oil are great).
- Learn to love oily fish
Fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout and fresh tuna are rich in the polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acids – brilliant for healthy hearts and brains.
- Cut down on salt and added sugar
Salt can raise your blood pressure, putting you at risk of heart disease and stroke.
Added sugar can lead to obesity (especially since it's so 'moreish') and rot your teeth. Get sweetness from fruit instead.
- Drink plenty of water
Good health requires good hydration.