Just What Is ‘Healthy’ Anyway?

It seems we’ve never been so obsessed with healthy eating. But never has it had so many interpretations. In the old days, there was a doctor in a white coat pointing at a poster of a triangle-shaped pyramid, and that was about it. These days, the ‘one size fits all’ approach has completely gone out the window.

There is a dizzying array of schools of ‘healthy eating’ philosophies. Take your pick from low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie, high-protein, high-fat, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto, fasting, plant-based, raw foods, whole foods, organic foods, vegan, vegetarian, fruitarian, pescatarian, or even eating for your blood group. Not to mention the raft of detoxes and belief-based diets, if they’re what floats your boat.

It’s exhausting.

I’m no dietician or nutritionist, but having been on a health kick over the last two years that has resulted in losing nearly 40 kilos, I’ve formed an opinion or two along the way. The first opinion I formed is that for most people, going ‘cold turkey’ and trying to radically change your lifestyle hardly ever works, because it’s really hard.

I’m a big fan of the ‘slow and steady wins the race’ approach. As part of that, instead of giving up something I love altogether, I swap it out with a healthier or more natural version. When it comes to eating, I found that my body is happiest when I avoid grains, carbs / sugars, starchy foods and processed food / chemicals.

The second opinion I formed upon doing more research is that we are not all created equal. So one size really doesn’t fit all when it comes to your ideal diet. It’s a bit annoying, but you really need to try a few approaches and learn to listen to your body. Believe me, it will tell you loud and clear once you tune in.

Below is a list of some of my favourite substitutes, a couple of which go beyond food and into creating a healthier environment for myself.

If you’re going to embark on a new ‘healthy eating’ plan, I strongly encourage you to keep an accurate diary of everything you eat and drink, and how you’re feeling: energy, mental clarity, mood, gut happiness and weight. And give it a good go for a month to really let everything that you’re doing have an impact.

Good luck, and please comment below with any other suggestions for substitutions.

Sam Micich, Group Operations & Marketing Manager.

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