The foundations of healthy eating

Henrietta Norton BSc, Dip NT, MBANT, AFMCP Co-founder of Wild Nutrition and Nutritional Therapist.

Eating with Awareness everyday

“We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless be much more than what we are.” – Adelle Davis

 

Taking time for the eating experience can help us to reduce cravings, control our portion sizes, and enhance our interconnectedness with the flow of people, animals, and nature that contributed the food to our plate. Here are some tips to enhance your eating experience to make it more deep and healing:

 

  • Don't eat your emotions. Eat in a setting where you feel relaxed. If you are eating in the car, in front of a computer doing work, or on the phone, you are not able to give full attention to eating, and, as a result, you may tend to eat more or eat foods that are not healing. If you are feeling emotional and are tending towards eating, see if you can first acknowledge and express your emotions rather than eating them. These practices will all help with the digestive process – helping you to get the most out of food.
  • Eat a rainbow everyday. Many people eat a “brown, yellow, and white diet”. Instead of lacklustre, bland eating, try to sample all the colours of food, including red, orange, yellow, green, and purple, to ensure that you get enough of the important phytochemicals that have health benefits.
  • Sample a variety of flavours. When we don’t eat all of the variety of flavours at a meal – salty, sweet, bitter, pungent, and savoury – we may come away from the meal feeling like we are “missing something” and ultimately, food cravings can result. By getting small amounts of all the flavours of food, a practice common in other cultures such as in Asia, we may feel more fulfilled and desire less food after a meal.
  • Chew thoroughly. The process of digestion begins in the mouth where enzymes are secreted in saliva to break down food. If we do not properly chew and make our food morsels smaller, we may be subject to indigestion and other digestive problems. The act of eating allows us to be mindful, and in the moment, aware of our exchange of energy with foods.
  • Drink in between meals. Gulping liquid during meals can dilute the digestive enzymes needed to breakdown the food and can lead to digestive problems.
  • Eat protein with every meal. Protein is needed to carry nutrients from the food around the body. Protein also supports blood sugar balance and the repair of everyday wear and tear in the body. Protein sources are not only poultry, fish, and lean red meats but also nuts, seeds and pulses.
  • Choose nourishing carbohydrates. Replace non-nourishing carbohydrates with nourishing carbohydrates (see below) that will nourish your body and balance your energy levels & weight.

NON-NOURISHING CARBOHYDRATES

NOURISHING CARBOHYDRATES

Refined white flour – white bread, packaged cereals, cakes, puddings, pastries & biscuits, white pasta

Whole-grains – whole-meal bread, wholegrain pasta, barley, millet, spelt, quinoa, brown rice, rice flour, rye flour, porridge oats.

Refined white sugar – sweets, chocolate, jams/marmalades, golden syrup, glucose, fizzy drinks

Unrefined sugars – demerara sugar, honey (manuka or local untreated variety), black treacle, raw and organic dried fruit, maple syrup, agave syrup.

Sweeteners – low fat foods, chewing gum, diet drinks

Natural sweeteners – Xylitol, a vegetable sugar.

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