Hello there beautiful people ♥️
I hope you’re all doing well! As many of you may know, I held my last workshop for the time being, Saturday 9th November. As usual, I’m going to share a few of the highlights and insights from the last workshop with you all. Now I know this is a bit late but to be totally honest, I’m currently feeling like life is getting away from me in the sense that I’m constantly rushing from one thing to the other. Kind of off topic but a couple of you guys sent me reminders for this post and I’ve been meaning to finish it for a while; anyway – thank you for being patient 🙂
Before I get into it, I’d just like to say thank you for all the support and encouragement for these workshops; I’ve held a total of seven two hour workshops this year, met some wonderful people along the way and have enjoyed this so much more than I ever thought I would. Thank you for being a part of this, for showing up, for your kind words, for spreading the word, for the help and encouragement and for all the love 🥰 I appreciate it more than you know!
I thought that for my final workshop, I would focus on putting all the info I had shared over the sessions together to help give a clearer understanding of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Taking a more practical approach to a making positive, enjoyable and sustainable change. The topics were ditching diets, making lasting change and meal prepping.
I started off by explaining why most diets don’t work, how there is no one way to eat or live healthily and how very individual all of us really are. If there were a miracle diet that worked long term for each and everyone of us, we would all be slim, happy and healthy – right? There wouldn’t be a need for diet pills, new fad diets, diet teas, workout programs, nutritionist or anything else… And yet, the staggering amount of new diets that I come across still persists. Something must be wrong.
We live in the Information Age; whatever info we need is at our fingertips constantly. And yet when it comes to health and nutrition, there is so much misinformation out there and so many contrasting and conflicting ideas, that it can be hard to even wrap your head around it.
The health and fitness industry is BIG business and just like everything else that is profitable, there are always people who exploit that for personal gain. But I don’t think that’s the only problem. The truth is there is more than one way to eat healthily. There is no one way to live and there is no clear cut simple answer for any one question related to health and nutrition. The topic of nutrition is often oversimplified because we are looking for a definite, concise answer that is effective for all of us – and that’s just not realistic, nor is it attainable.
So let’s delve into some facts and some information that might be able to help in your journey towards self improvement.
Whichever way you look at it though, or whichever eating pattern suits you (high/low fat, high/low carb, fasting, carb cycling etc) the one thing that is consistent is that a healthy diet is a heavily plant based diet.
As I’ve explained many times before, consuming a heavily plant based diet does not necessarily mean going vegan or even vegetarian. For example, the Mediterranean diet has long been hailed as the best diet in the world – with emphasis on fresh veg and fruit, the use of beans, grains, pulses and the inclusion of nuts, seeds, olive oils and so on. A true Mediterranean diet is heavily plant based with the addition of fish a couple of times a week, some lean poultry and meat no more than once a week with little dairy. The base however, be it grains, veg, pulses and so on, is always plants. Eating this way will help improve nutrient consumption which leads to better functioning of the body, it will also increase fibre intake which in turn is really important to feed our gut bacteria, which in turn are responsible or play a part in a lot of the metabolic functions within the body. Our gut is also responsible for creating hormones that will in turn affect our mood and the way we feel. So, when we have an upset stomach, we actually do get upset. Moreover, approximately 70% of our immune system actually live in our gut so keeping our gut healthy will keep the rest of us healthy too!
I’m pretty sure that everyone reading this right now had tried to go on some form of a restrictive diet at least once -possibly and probably more. I know that I myself have tried more of them I would care to admit or recall if I’m being totally honest.
Now I know that most of us may have come to the very real conclusion that diets don’t work long term and that constant restriction is neither healthy nor sustainable. But I would just like to point out that we, as human beings, are biologically driven to eat. We are made to survive and to survive we need food, which in the past was not always available. Being constantly surrounded by food is a very new phenomenon for us as human beings. So if you have tried and failed to follow a form of restrictive diet, do not blame yourself or your lack of will power; we are literally programmed to eat and to crave food when we see it. Today, we see it all the time everywhere we go, so craving food and eating more than we perhaps should is largely a product of our environment.
A lot of research had been carried out over the years that shows that restrictive dieting is not sustainable; weight might be lost especially at the beginning, however once normal eating patters return, the weight will return and actually increase. Meaning that once you stop the restrictive diet, you will gain more weight than when you stared. Here, I am referring to very restrictive diets, ones that eliminate entire food groups, are very low in calories and / or sound crazy. Say if you hear about an egg diet, which includes just, you guessed it, eggs, this will likely sound illogical to most, because it is.
Before moving any further into my talk and the discussion with the group, we stopped to make and of course enjoy some hummus. The recipe is linked here: https://holisticnutritionninja.com/2019/01/15/healthy-hummus-in-a-hurry/
MAKING LASTING CHANGE
I try to take a more holistic approach and look at the five pillars of health and wellness: nutrition, sleep, movement, stress management and community. Focusing on all the areas of your life you’d like to improve at once might leave you felling overwhelmed and diheartened. You might try to:
Get enough sleep while catching up on all of your work while making sure not to neglect any friends or family while making sure you eat exactly right and make everything from scratch all the while waking up at 5am to get in a workout.
Anyone EXHAUSTED form simply reading that? Yeah, me too!
Try to focus on one area at a time and build a new healthy habit slowly, that way, it might stick. If you have troubled sleep and feel that it is affecting your well being, give yourself some time to work on that and make it your priority for a while. Once you start feeling like you’re making progress, tackle something else. It really is about finding a better way to live. Life has become incredibly busy for most of us. Making positive changes to improve our lives need not make us miserable.
EAT BECAUSE YOU ENJOY THE FOOD AND THE WAY IT MAKES YOU FEEL.
MOVE BECAUSE YOU WANT TO AND BE GRATEFUL THAT YOU CAN.
Here, we stopped to make some treats. This time, we made my four ingredient energy bites – recipe linked here: https://holisticnutritionninja.com/2019/05/16/four-ingredient-energy-bites/
Health is so much more than just food; but, food is a really big piece of the puzzle. Meal prepping is a really efficient way to help you stay on track. Having some staples ready to use in the fridge is a big help on those really busy day.
I shared some tips at the workshop, here they are:
Don’t be afraid of taking ‘short cuts’ – Frozen fruit and veg is just as nutritious, and sometimes even better than fresh. There is nothing wrong with using tinned foods like beans, legumes and tuna and so on. Experiment with your dishes, many soups and curries freeze really well, make in bulk and freeze for busy days.
GREENS – Make sure you have greens in your fridge, like baby spinach, rukola or salad greens that you can use for: 1.Salads 2.Wraps 3.In sandwiches 4.In smoothies
GRAINS – Cooked grains, such as quinoa and brown rice, last up to 5 day in the fridge (provided you don’t add anything else to them) Cook a large batch of quinoa to be able to add to salads, wraps or add a sauce for your evening meals on busy days.
VEGGIES – Prep your veggies before-hand if you can. Carrot sticks, celery sticks, bell pepper and cucumber and great to serve with dips. Roast a large batch of veggies in the over to use as sides for evening meals, in wraps and over salads. Prep some salad veggies like shredded carrot, cabbage and tomatoes.
DIPS – Prepare a large batch of your favourite dip/s for the week. Serve with veggie sticks or wholegrain galletti for an easy quick snack, top your salad with the dip, use in sandwiches and wraps.
FRUIT – Make sure you have your favourite fruits in the house and ideally somewhere you can see them. This will make you more likely to grab and eat as a snack. Try to have your fruit with a source of protein and some healthy fat – like nuts / seeds or nut butter.
SNACK OPTIONS – Having a healthy snack you actually enjoy prepared beforehand will help keep you on track on busy days. Many energy bite recipes and oat and nut bar recipes are available on my fb page and blog.
Finally, we ended the session making another super simple delicious healthy treat – Medjool Dates stuffed with nut butter – quick, nutritious and satisfies your sweet tooth!
That’s it from me for today 🙂 If you like this, don’t forget to ‘like’ it – it helps let me know what you guys want to see more of!
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Thank you for taking the time to be here and read this ❤
Until my next post, be well xXx