"You must really watch what you eat"
In my world as a Sports Dietitian, this kind of question/statement/remark is as common as “How great/ridiculous is the weather today in Melbourne?!?”.
The truth is – well, I am mindful and informed BUT I am most definitely NOT counting every kilojoule or gram of carb, protein or fat that passes my lips. I could not think of anything more boring or mind-numbing! Yes, carbs are my friend. Yes, I do have *gasp* WHITE sugar in my latte every day and NO, I don’t just eat salad for lunch.
Sounds shocking? Well, really, my approach towards food and nutrition is that eating (your main meals particularly) is an OPPORTUNITY to nourish not just your body but also your mind. Eating is for health and well-being (as opposed to outright weight. You are MORE than a certain number on a set of scales!)
But how do you eat for “well-being”? I know you all dread hearing “moderation is key”, but how many of us ACTUALLY know what this means?
Here are 3 basic practical things I remember at each of my main meals to practice “moderation” (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner). This way of thinking leaves me feeling satisfied and full as these meals will be fiber and protein rich, whilst filling and tasty!
1. ¼ of my meal/plate will include a Low GI carbohydrate source – rich in brain and muscle fuel (glucose)! I consistently choose whole-grain and high fibre breads/pastas/noodles/ rice/ cereals- oats. Examples include soy and linseed bread, whole rolled oats and basmati rice. Anything that has 3g or more of fiber per serve is fantastic!
2. Another ¼ of my meal/plate will include a high quality protein rich food from either my lean meats/eggs OR low fat dairy food group.
3. ½ of my meal/plate will include at least 3 colours or varieties of vegetables/salads and fruit. The deeper the colour the vegetable, I know that it will be super nutritious. Example: I consistently choose baby spinach and rocket as my sandwich salads or salad bases instead of ice-burg lettuce. A lot more interesting and tasty while being rich in folate and iron(for energy and vitality) with almost 3 times more fiber per serve as lettuce!