Last weekend I was invited to speak at the Fit + Fresh Fest hosted by the Hoxton.
This is an annual wellness event hosted across both The Hoxton, Shoreditch and The Hoxton, Holborn. With the likes of activewear sample sales, beauty and wellness treatments, stalls health food and drink brands (Think peanut butter.. lots of peanut butter), cookery demos, talks, and workouts – This one day event is filled with everything any fitness fanatic, or health foodie, could ever dream of!
For my talk, I decided to share what I like to call my ‘healthy hacks’. These are my simple tips and measures that help you to live a healthier lifestyle, seamlessly. Unfortunately, I could only squeeze just over 30 of you into my talk, so I’ve decided to share some important points I touched on.Hopefully those who couldn’t make it can pick up some tips too!
BEWARE OF LABELS
Fat FREE. Gluten FREE. Sugar FREE. Dairy FREE. Wheat FREE. Soy FREE. Calorie FREE.
When we see the word ‘free’ we automatically think it’s a good thing, especially when it comes to food.The reality is that very few things in life are free and they almost come with a some kind of cost. In the case of “free” foods, whatever is taken out is almost always replaced with something artificial – and arguably, less healthy.
For example, fat free yogurt may have less fat and less calories than its full fat counterpart, but it also contains more sugar, sweeteners and flavourings to help replicate the flavour and texture that fat offers.
Gluten is a whole other kettle of fish, and if you’re interested in my opinion I will be discussing the great gluten and grain debate on Sunday 5th at Fare Healthy.
SAY NO TO THE ‘D’
Diets, Detoxes, and everything in between.
The word diet has been incorrectly used by all of us. By definition our diet refers to our dietary habits, “i.e the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats”, but we have started using the ‘d’ word as a label, (and a form of punishment!), to describe a restricted form of eating.
Any form of restrictive diet ,whether it’s juicing, meal replacement, low calorie, low carb, low fat etc, more often than not leads to cycles of strict dieting broken up by periods of binges, and then the aftermath of guilt and negative feelings. My advice? ditch the diet mentality. We are doing this for life, not just for a quick fix. Focus on the long term goals and focus on balance – Move more, eat better, but don’t beat yourself up if you have a slice of cake at your best mates birthday!
The words ‘balance’ and ‘moderation’ are thrown around quite a bit by health bloggers, nutritionists, dieticians, and even doctors. We’re all telling you to find balance in your diet, but let’s be real – it’s easier said than done. What I want you to do is picture your diet as a venn diagram. One circle of the diagram contains all the food that you LOVE.
For me this would be things like smoked salmon, peanut butter, chocolate, strawberries and coffee. In the other circle I want you to picture foods that love YOU, i.e. foods that we know are going to benefit us. This would include things like leafy greens, oily fish, eggs, quinoa, nuts… the list is endless really. Now where the two circles intersect at the centre of the venn diagram I want you to think of the foods that you love that are also really good for you, so you may say something like salmon, chicken, eggs, nuts, fruit and vegetables. This obviously not a complete list but hopefully you can picture in your head what I’m getting at.
In order to find balance, I want you to spend 80% of your time within the intersection of the venn diagram so that 80% of the time you are making a conscious effort to choose good foods, but also the foods that you enjoy! If you slide into the circle of foods that you love (i.e. the realm of chocolate) that’s completely fine but just make sure you reign it back – once you’ve had your cake and eaten it!
This is just a glimpse of what we discussed at the event but if you are interested in what I have to say and the advice that I want to give you to help you live a healthier, sustainable lifestyle then I would love for you to check out The Food Medic book which comes out this coming May.
Thank you to everyone who came to the talk – I can’t wait to meet many more of you at the next one!
Photography: Jon Payne (@jonpaynephoto)