The Ultimate Guide To Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

Healthy eating habits start with having only healthy foods in your house!

We all want to eat healthier to live a longer, more fit and healthy life.

But it’s not enough to “want” to eat healthy. You must take action!

The first place to start is acknowledging that most of the foods we eat are processed with unhealthy ingredients like refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, salt and artificial flavours.

They hardly have any nutritional value and in fact will do your body infinitely more harm than good.

Second, you must be informed.

Educate yourself with what healthy eating is all about.

As they say, “knowledge is power” and this article will empower you with what you need to know in order to eat healthier.

Not only does being unhealthy prevent us from doing the things we love, but the costs of health care are rising.

Let’s begin with introducing you to the macronutrients your body needs for good health.

What Are Macronutrients?

Macronutrients are the main sources of energy and growth. They also provide the nutrients needed for specific bodily functions.

The 3 macronutrients and their functions are:

1.  Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are chains of simple sugars that are broken down into glucose and are the body’s immediate source of energy.

Simple carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and are essential for proper functioning of the body, brain, heart and the Central Nervous System or CNS.

Complex carbohydrates contain fibre which help digestion and regulate glucose levels.

2.  Proteins

Proteins consist of amino acids which are responsible for building and repairing muscle tissue.

There are 20 different types of amino acids; 9 are considered essential because our bodies cannot produce them and must be obtained from food sources.

Animal protein have all 20 amino acids and are called “complete proteins”.

3.  Fats

There are two types of fats. Unsaturated fat is often referred to as the “good fat”; it contains Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 which lower bad cholesterol and protect your heart.

Saturated fat, trans-fat are examples of the “bad fat” which increases the level of bad cholesterol in the body and have been linked with heart disease and obesity.

Vitamins And Minerals

In addition to macronutrients, the human body also needs other nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals.

Magnesium

Many people are believed to be magnesium deficient due to consumption of highly-processed foods

But these are required in small quantities and are thus referred to as “micronutrients”.

Among the vitamins and minerals that are regarded as deficient in our diet are as follows:

  • Vitamin D- Protects our immune system and regulates calcium.
  • Vitamin K2- Important for bone strength; health of arteries and blood vessels.
  • Vitamin B-12- Provides energy production, DNA synthesis and blood formation.
  • Magnesium- Involved in detoxification and proper metabolic function.
  • Calcium- Helps develop strong, healthy bones.

Another important consideration to make when selecting healthy foods is how the nutrients react inside your body, particularly the kidneys.

Why You Should Eat Foods That Alkalise In Your Body

Food sources that produce more ammonium are acidic. These include fish, meat, cheese and eggs.

Food sources that produce more bicarbonate alkalise in the body. These include fruits and vegetables.

There are studies that show a diet high in alkaline-producing foods has the following benefits:

  • Promote Healthy Weight Loss
  • Reduces The Risk Of Arthritis
  • Reduces The Rick Of Certain Types Of Cancers
  • Lowers Risk Of Developing Kidney Stones
  • Improve Heart Health
  • Improve Brain Function
  • Lowers Risk Of Type II Diabetes

Thus, it is important to include healthy, natural fruits and vegetables in our healthy eating plan that alkalises the body.

These include leafy greens such as kale, chard, lettuce, mustard, spinach, parsley and arugula.

A healthy eating plan promotes balance as the key to overall health and wellness.

It is about creating an environment in our bodies that maximises the benefits and inhibits the shortfalls of some of the key nutrients.

What Are The Benefits Of Healthy Eating?

It is one resolution which is easier said than done; but once you commit to it, healthy eating is one of the best things you will ever do in your life.

How To Eat Healthy

The benefits of healthy eating extend beyond just your physical body

For many who have lived nearly a lifetime of eating food processed with unhealthy levels of salt, refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup and artificial substances, shifting to healthy, more natural food sources can be difficult.

But the benefits of healthy eating are significant enough to validate throwing away the packs of potato chips, cookies and cans of soft drinks:

1.  Improved Health – Processed foods contain artificial ingredients that cannot be assimilated by the body and eventually become toxic.

These have been linked with diseases such as diabetes, heart ailments and cancer.

Eating foods in their natural, organic state provides us with the necessary macronutrients and micronutrients that our body can process and safely digest.

2.  Improved Disposition – Foods high in refined sugar cause massive spikes in blood glucose levels that affect your mood.

Complex carbohydrates contain fibre which regulates blood sugar levels and help remove unwanted toxins in your body. Healthy eating has been proven to lower levels of depression.

3.  Physically Look Great – Switching to healthier carbohydrate sources such as fruits and vegetables will prevent storage of excess sugars which convert to body fat.

A diet rich in healthy proteins and fats such as organic steak and salmon will help build and preserve muscle. Healthy eating can help you lose body fat and maintain muscle mass.

4.  Prevent Diseases And Illnesses – The stories of people who were able to reverse the effects of diseases and illnesses that were categorised as “terminal” are true. Healthy food can be your medicine.

Many foods in their natural state such as beans, wild rice and vegetables like kale have a history of positive health effects going back as far as 3,000 years. These were times where organic food was the only medicine.

5.  Live Longer – As you age, you become more susceptible to diseases, illnesses and physical disabilities. Healthy eating lowers your risk of these diseases and helps stave off the physical ravages of ageing.

It is not surprising that the countries with the longest life expectancy rates: Iceland, Switzerland and Japan also have the healthiest diets in the world.

Lastly, taste is a matter of perception. People who have a hard time shifting to healthy eating have been programmed to believe food needs to be processed to taste good.

Nothing tastes better than fresh wild salmon or refreshing as a salad tossed with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, kale, sliced grapefruit and drizzled with lemon and olive oil.

Give healthy eating a try. It could add years to your life!

Healthy Food To Include In Your Daily Diet

One of the biggest issues for people who want to eat healthier is simply not knowing what to eat.

Healthy Foods

Healthy foods such as Salmon provide your body with balanced nutrition and tastes great too!

Here is a list of healthy food to include in your daily diet.

These foods are rich in essential vitamins, minerals as well as fibre, Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) that protect your heart and compounds that lower your risk of cancer and other dangerous diseases.

Meats

1.  Grass Fed Beef – Rich in Omega 3, vitamin E, vitamin B, beta carotene and contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid or CLA which has been proven to improve heart health and help with weight management.

2.  Pasture-Raised Organic Chicken – Good source of anti-oxidants such as vitamin E, choline and selenium.

3.  Wild Salmon – Rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 which helps lower bad cholesterol levels.

4.  Shellfish – Provides important minerals such as iron, zinc, selenium and iodine plus Omega 3 fatty acids.

5.  Grass Fed Liver – Good source of vitamin A, copper, choline, folate and vitamin B.

6.  Sardines – Affordable and rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids.

7.  Organic Turkey – Leaner than chicken; contains vitamin E, selenium and choline.

Vegetables

1.  Watercress – Contains 15 essential vitamins and minerals; can help heal wounds, boils and abscesses faster.

2.  Chinese Cabbage – Rich source of vitamins A and C; contains cancer-fighting phytonutrients.

3.  Chard – Good source of fibre, protein; vitamins C, E, B6 and B-12 and minerals zinc, calcium and iron.

4.  Beet Green – Provides fibre, magnesium, B6, copper and manganese. Can help ward off osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

5.  Spinach – Good source of niacin, zinc, fibre and vitamins A, E and K.

6.  Arugula – Provides fibre; vitamins A, C and K plus folate, calcium, magnesium and manganese.

7.  Romaine Lettuce – Rich in vitamins C, K and contains the minerals iron and calcium.

8.  Kale – Rich in fibre; great source of anti-oxidants like vitamins C and A plus the mineral manganese. Contains glucosinolate isothiocyanate which protects the stomach lining from gastric bacteria.

9.  Broccoli – High in fibre; rich in vitamin C, K and minerals potassium, calcium and magnesium which help lower blood pressure.

10.  Cauliflower – Good source of fibre; provides anti-oxidants such as vitamins B, C and K plus compounds such as allicin which reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are often the most overlooked group of foods for healthy eating

Nuts And Seeds

1.  Macadamias – Rich source of vitamin B1, magnesium and manganese.

2.  Pecans – Contains more than 19 vitamins and minerals; can reduce bad cholesterol levels.

3.  Walnuts – Excellent source of Omega 3 plus the minerals copper, molybdenum, manganese and biotin.

4.  Almonds – Rich in antioxidants phenols, flavonoids and phenolic acids that reduce risk of heart disease.

5.  Brazil Nuts – Contains the same amount of vitamins and minerals as other nuts but has the additional benefit of selenium which can prevent certain types of cancer.

6.  Pistachios – High in lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin E compared to other nuts which lower blood pressure.

7.  Pumpkin Seeds – Good source of magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc.

8.  Sunflower Seeds – Contains phytosterols which are beneficial for your heart health and immune system and may help lower cancer risk as well.

Fruits

1.  Coconut – Contains Lauric acid, a fatty acid that has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

2.  Berries –  Contains phytochemicals such as ellagic acid that provide antioxidant protection plus fibre, vitamin C, carotenes, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium.

3.  Papaya – Rich in antioxidants like carotenes, vitamin and contains B vitamins B, E plus folate, and fibre.

4.  Avocado – Good source of Omega 3, dietary fibre, vitamin C, vitamin E, riboflavin, and vitamin B6.

5.  Guava – Great source of vitamin C, lycopene, carotenoids, folate, potassium, fibre, calcium, and iron and can reduce bad cholesterol levels.

6.  Kiwi – Provides antioxidant vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene.

It is very important to make sure you buy your food from reputable retailers or wholesalers. You can create a daily menu of healthy food from these sources.

Now that you know which foods to buy, it’s time to clean out your refrigerator, shelves and cupboards of processed items and make room for healthy food choices.

What Foods To Eat And When

Healthy foods are those which are in their natural, organic state that provide the right balance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals just as nature intended.

Body Type

Knowing your body type can be quite liberating. Now you know what to eat when

But if you want to maximise their health benefits, you have to know what your body type or somatype is.

Your body processes these macronutrients differently from other people and this has to do with your somatype.

There are 3 somatypes:

1.  Ectomorph – This is an individual who is very lean. We often think of long distance runners as ectomorphs. The characteristics of an ectomorph are as follows:

  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Difficulty putting on muscle
  • Highly insulin sensitive
  • High thyroid output
  • Low testosterone levels
  • High metabolism

An ectomorph being highly insulin sensitive, can process carbohydrates very well. They can consume high calorie meals without putting on weight because their metabolism is high.

The ectomorph should focus on protein as his macronutrient to help him or her put on muscle. Ideally, the ectomorph should target a baseline of 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

The ectomorph needs the calories and basically can eat what he or she wants as long as these are healthy food choices.

2.  Mesomorph – A mesomorph is the person whom we often refer to as one “blessed with good genetics”. The characteristics of a mesomorph are as follows:

  • No difficulty putting on muscle weight
  • Can remain fairly lean
  • Excels in sports
  • Good level of  insulin sensitivity
  • Good level of thyroid output
  • Good metabolic rate
  • Produces good amounts of testosterone
  • Produces good amounts of growth hormone

Similar to an ectomorph, the mesomorph should strive for a baseline rate of 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

However, he should be more wary of his consumption of carbohydrates because he doesn’t process them as well as the ectomorph.

He or she should limit intake of simple carbohydrates and focus on complex carbohydrates from vegetables and healthy grains.

The mesomorph’s carbohydrates are best consumed at breakfast and after exercise.

3.  Endomorph – Endomorphs are generally regarded as overweight individuals. But there are overweight people who believe they are endomorphs but are actually mesomorphs.

They just took healthy eating for granted and ended up with excess body fat. Here are the characteristics of an endomorph:

  • Gains body fat and body weight very easily
  • Excel in anaerobic activities
  • Highly insulin insensitive
  • Slow metabolism
  • Slow thyroid output

For the endomorph, carbohydrates are the macronutrient he or she should focus on by limiting intake.

The endomorph should limit intake of simple carbohydrates especially from fruits and focus on getting his or her sources from cruciferous and green vegetables.

A low carbohydrate diet; or one which prescribes no more than 100 grams of carbohydrates per day will help the endomorph shed body fat.

Carbohydrates are best eaten after exercise where metabolism is at their highest.

If not exercising, it would be best to have 60% to 70% of their carbohydrates before around 3pm each day to reduce the risk of fat storage.

Here is a list of foods to eat for each somatype:

Macronutrient Ectomorph Mesomorph Endomorph
Carbohydrate Organic Wild Rice, Oatmeal, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Watermelon, Pineapple, Pears Berries Organic Wild Rice, Oatmeal, Watercress, Chinese Cabbage, Kale, Coconut, Berries Organic Wild Rice, Watercress, Chinese Cabbage, Broccoli, Kale, Cauliflower, Grapefruit
Protein Grass Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Eggs Grass Fed Beef, Organic Chicken, Eggs Salmon, Tuna, Organic Chicken, Sardines, Eggs
Fat Salmon, Avocado, Walnuts Salmon, Avocado, Walnuts Avocado, Pecans, Sunflower Seeds

If there is one rule that applies to all somatypes, it is not to eat foods that have been processed, contain refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients.

These have no nutritional value and can lead to future health problems.

You should also be aware of how much to eat from each macronutrient in order to reach your health and fitness goals:

Somatype Calories Carbohydrate Protein Fat
Ectomorph 39 kcal 4.0 gm/kg 2.2 gm/kg 0.80 gm/kg
Mesomorph 35 kcal 3.0 gm/kg 2.2 gm/kg 0.75 gm/kg
Endomorph 22 kcal 1.6 gm/kg 2.5 gm/kg 0.60 gm/kg

Timing is also crucial to get the most benefits from the macros.

The chart below assumes you exercise regularly; 3-4 times a week and covers distribution of carbohydrates throughout the day.

Time Period Ectomorph Mesomorph Endomorph
Morning 60% 50% 40%
After Workout 30% 40% 50%
Evening 10% 10% 10%

Carbohydrates are essential to provide energy for workouts and to jump start recovery after exercise.

Protein should accompany every meal while fats are best eaten with snacks or before bedtime to preserve muscle protein.

Body Types

Adjust your exercise and meal program around your body type for best results

This is why diet is often regarded as responsible for 80% of your outcome. It is all about finding the best way to get the macronutrients to support your fitness goals.

An ectomorph’s exercise program should focus more on anaerobic activities such as resistance training to build muscle and preserve protein.

On the other hand, an endomorph should still do resistance training but also dedicate time for cardio exercises particularly high intensity training programs which utilise carbohydrates as the main fuel.

The mesomorph can basically do what he or she wants! If the mesomorph wants to put on muscle mass, he or she can do more resistance training and high intensity interval training.

It is very important for all body types to eat healthy balanced meals in order to manage their hormone levels.

Hormonal deficiencies can lead to cognitive decline as you age, hot flashes for women at the menopausal stage and depression.

Here are some tips on how to use healthy eating for hormone regulation:

  • Refined sugars and high fructose corn syrup have been found to decrease 7 of the 12 most important hormones. Another reason why you should avoid eating processed foods.
  • Natural or organic foods support growth hormone production even as you age.
  • Alcohol decreases growth hormone production.
  • Magnesium helps with the production of sex hormones particularly testosterone and HGH.
  • High quality protein and foods rich in Essential Fatty Acids can support hormone production.

It is not enough to look good on the outside; which you will by eating healthy foods, but you should also feel good on the inside.

One of the best ways is to include healthy oils in your diet. These healthy oils will benefit everyone regardless of somatype.

Here a few healthy oils which you should include in your diet:

1.  Coconut Oil – Contains medium chain fatty acids which is converted into energy by the liver and is not stored as body fat.

  • Protects the heart
  • Improves brain function
  • Support thyroid function
  • Strengthens immune system
  • Maintain youthful looking skin

2.  Organic, Cold-Pressed Olive Oil – Provides good amounts of unsaturated fats.

Healthy Oils

Healthy oils are essential for optimum health and can be easily added to most meals

  • Good for the skin
  • Contains anti-oxidants
  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Lowers risk of heart disease
  • Regulates blood glucose levels

3.  Hemp Seed Oil – Rich in amino acids; has a complete amino acid profile. It is also rich in EFAs and anti-oxidants.

  • Good for the skin
  • Regulates blood glucose levels
  • Can lower blood pressure
  • Can prevent heart disease
  • Can address depression
  • Can slowdown the onset of arthritis

Healthy eating is a holistic way to achieve overall health, fitness and wellness.

Eating healthy food provides us with the best sources of calories to fuel our workouts, and enhance recovery. In addition eating healthy protects our immune system and vital organs.

Healthy eating will benefit everyone regardless of body type.

Which Diet Or Nutrition Plan Is Best For Me?

Since Dr. Robert Atkins introduced the mainstream media to the health and weight-loss benefits of The Atkins Diet, more diet plans have entered the market.

While low carbohydrate diet plans remain the most popular, other new methods have found their own share of loyal followers.

Which diet/nutrition plan is best for you?

Here is a outline of the 5 most popular diet plans and how to use them:

1.  Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet claims you can lose weight simply by eating as much protein and fat as you want as long you keep your carbohydrate intake very low.

Studies on Atkins show greater weight loss versus low fat diets. There are also reported improvements in good cholesterol, reduced blood sugar levels and triglycerides despite the high intake of protein sources that are high in saturated fat.

Followers of Atkins are required to go through 4 stages: Induction, Balancing, Fine Tuning and Maintenance.

These stages allow the user to gradually reduce the amount of carbohydrates in his or her diet until the target weight goal is met. Then carbohydrates are slowly introduced in the body.

2.  South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet is similar to the Atkins Diet in a number of ways. It was designed by a cardiologist, Dr. Arthur Agatston.

Second, it follows a low carbohydrate, high protein and fat protocol. Third, it takes the user through a set of phases.

There are 2 differences however. The first is that South Beach does not advocate the consumption of protein sources that are high in saturated fat.

It recommends leaner choices of protein but supplemented with healthier fat such as olive oil, canola oil and Omega 3.

Second, while Atkins recommends counting carbohydrates, South Beach allows a free flow of carbohydrates as long as these are all from non-starchy vegetables.

3.  Paleo Diet

Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is a very popular nutrition plan that suits a variety of lifestyles

 

The origin of the Paleo Diet came from the collection of research work on the dietary habits of our human ancestors.

The idea behind Paleo was that man was in the process of natural evolution until farming and modern advancements radically changed the human diet.

Thus Paleo strictly forbids processed foods, and carbohydrates are restricted to only small amounts; usually sourced from nuts and vegetables.

There is strong emphasis on consuming only organic meat. Paleo recommends grass fed beef, organic chicken and wild fish.

4.  Skinny Bitch Vegan Diet

The Skinny Bitch Vegan Diet was created by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, former models and staunch advocates of animal rights.

The diet requires the user to simply drop animal products and simple sugars to lose weight and get healthier.

With the Skinny Bitch Vegan Diet, you cannot have meat, eggs, dairy and fish. You also have to remove sugars, artificial sweeteners and refined carbohydrates from your diet.

You are limited to eating only fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

According to the diet, you can eat as much of these foods as you want and there is no need to count calories.

5.  Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting or IF requires its users to find an “eating pattern” or schedule whereby he can skip 1-2 meals; usually breakfast and lunch, then resume eating within a 24-hour period.

For example, you can eat from 6pm until 12:00am then skip breakfast and lunch the following day only to commence eating again at 6pm.

The idea behind IF is that keeping the body in a fasted state allows it to become more insulin sensitive.

Thus, carbohydrates that are consumed later in the day are fully assimilated and not converted to body fat.

During your eating schedule, you can eat 2 large, carbohydrate-rich meals plus 1-2 snacks.

There is a reason why these diet plans continue to remain popular: many users continue to claim positive results.

Generally, your choice will depend on your lifestyle and health and fitness objectives.

If you are physically active and exercise at least 3-4 days a week, Atkins, Paleo and IF could be the diet plans for you.

If you hardly have time for exercise, then the Skinny Bitch Vegan Diet or South Beach could be your diet plan.

The bottom-line is to find a diet that best represents an ideal balance of your nutritional requirements.

Give it a try, record the results and get a medical checkup to assess the benefits to your health.

Sample Healthy Eating Meal Plan

If you plan to eat healthy, you have to plan ahead. This makes it easier for you to remain consistent with a healthy eating lifestyle.

It may seem tedious at the start but once you get used it you can portion your food through sight alone.

Healthy Eating Plans

Eat for your body type and your activity level for optimum results

Here are sample meal plans per somatype:

Body Type:  Ectomorph
Bodyweight:  60 kgs
Calories:  2,340
Carbohydrates:  240 grams
Protein:  120 grams
Fat:  48 grams

The eating plan for the ectomorph features carbohydrate rich meals because he or she needs more energy throughout the day. 60% of carbohydrates are eaten before exercise.

Time Period Food Source
Breakfast Oatmeal x 50 grams
Raisins x 30 grams
Whole Eggs x 2
Greek Yogurt x 1 tbsp
Mid-Morning Snack Apple x 1, medium
½ cup Cottage Cheese
Lunch Wild Rice x 1 cup
¼ Roasted Chicken
Spinach x 100 grams
Mid-Afternoon Snack Almonds x 30 grams
After Exercise Watermelon x 280 grams
½ cup Cottage Cheese
Dinner Grass Fed Steak x 225 grams
Wild Rice x 1 cup
Sweet Potatoes x 100 grams
Pineapples x 165 grams
Pre-Bedtime Banana x 1, medium
Almond Butter x 1 tbsp

Body Type:  Mesomorph
Bodyweight: 80 kgs
Calories: 2,800
Carbohydrates: 240 grams
Protein:  160 grams
Fat:  60 grams

There is very little difference between the eating plan of the mesomorph and the ectomorph.

The only adjustments are that the mesomorph eats less simple carbohydrates and eats a bit more protein. 50%-60% of the carbohydrates can be eaten before exercise.

Time Period Food Source
Breakfast Oatmeal x 50 grams
Raisins x 30 grams
Whole Eggs x 2
Greek Yogurt x 1 tbsp
Mid-Morning Snack Apple x 1, medium
½ cup Cottage Cheese
Lunch Wild Rice x 1 cup
½ Roasted Chicken
Spinach x 100 grams
Mid-Afternoon Snack Almonds x 30 grams
After Exercise Banana x 2, medium
½ cup Cottage Cheese
Dinner Grass Fed Steak x 225 grams
Wild Rice x 1 cup
Sweet Potatoes x 100 grams
Broccoli x 50 grams
Pre-Bedtime Banana x 1, medium
Almond Butter x 1 tbsp

Body Type: Endomorph
Bodyweight: 100 kgs
Calories: 2,200
Carbohydrates: 160 grams
Protein: 250 grams
Fat:  60 grams

The endomorph has to be very strict about his intake of carbohydrates and his sources of protein. 40% of his or her carbohydrates should come in before exercise to get the body to use stored body fat as energy.

60% of carbohydrates are eaten after exercise because this is the period where his or her metabolism is at its highest.

Lean sources of protein are preferred which should be supplemented with healthy fats.

Time Period Food Source
Breakfast Whole Eggs x 2
Ground Chicken x 225 grams
Greek Yogurt x 170 grams
Mid-Morning Snack Tuna x ½ Can; light, packed in water
Pecans x 30 grams
½ cup Cottage Cheese
Lunch Wild Rice x 1 cup
Wild Salmon x 300 grams
Spinach x 180 grams
Mid-Afternoon Snack Tuna x ½ Can; light, packed in water
Almonds x 30 grams
½ Avocado
After Exercise Banana x 1, medium
½ cup Cottage Cheese
Dinner Grilled Flounder x 340 grams
Wild Rice x 1 cup
Pre-Bedtime Almond Butter x 2 tbsp

When not exercising, you should remove the following meals from the above plans:

Somatype:       Meals:
Ectomorph     ‘After Exercise’ Meal
Mesomorph    ‘Mid-Morning’, ‘After Exercise’ Meals
Endomorph    ‘Mid-Morning’, ‘Mid-Afternoon’, ‘After Exercise’ Meals

Take your bodyweight every Sunday morning on an empty stomach to check your level of progress.

Feel free to adjust the food sources in this healthy eating meal plan as long as you follow the basic principles and choose only from our list of healthy foods.

Should I Take Supplements?

Supplements play an important role in adopting a healthy eating lifestyle for 3 good reasons:

Supplements

Supplements have their place in a healthy eating plan

  • Fill In The Gaps – In case you become deficient in certain vitamins and minerals from lack of certain foods, supplements can be taken to provide these nutrients.
  • Convenient – You can take them with you every time and anywhere which is great for those with a busy, unpredictable schedule.
  • Get You Back On Track – Occasionally, there will be the usual diet slip ups. Fear not, supplements are here to save the day!

There are many good supplements in the market but these 5 are the best for overall health:

1. Probiotic

Probiotics are naturally produced by the body. These are often referred to as “good bacteria” that reside in your stomach.

Probiotics help in your digestion, consume bad bacteria, produce key nutrients to limit the growth of yeast and potentially dangerous contaminants.

Even though your body produces 100 trillion of these good bacteria, factors such as stress, unhealthy lifestyle, pollution and the use of antibiotics inhibit the growth of probiotics.

Take a daily supplement that provides at least one million CFUs or Colony Forming Units.

2. Vitamin D3

Nutritionists often refer to vitamin D3 more as a pre-hormone than a vitamin because it is involved in many functions and provides many benefits.

Popularly known as a supplement to help absorb calcium and build bones, it has also been found to strengthen muscles, the immune system and provide protection against heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancers.

Recommended daily dosage is 600 IU for those aged 1-70 and 800 IU for pregnant women and men over the age of 70.

3. Resveratrol

This powerful anti-oxidant is found in grapes, cocoa, red wine and vegetables. It has been widely promoted as the anti-aging supplement because of its reported ability to ward off ageing-related diseases.

Studies show resveratrol can reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, improve elasticity of blood vessels for a healthy heart and prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. Recommended dosage of resveratrol is 40 mg daily.

4. Vitamin C

Vitamin C has been dubbed the “grandfather” of vitamins as it has been thoroughly researched and studied.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for optimum health

Your body cannot produce vitamin C thus, you have to get it from food or supplement form.

Vitamin C helps to strengthen the immune system, fight off the common cold, heal injuries faster and remove free radicals in the body.

Intake of vitamin C can help produce collagen which is essential to convert fat into energy.

Men should take at least 90 mgs a day while women at least 75 mg. Pregnant women should up the dosage to 120 mg daily.

5. Fish Oil

Fish Oil is rich in the Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) Omega 3 and Omega 6. These EFAs help prevent chronic diseases and protects you body from inflammation.

EFAs also strengthen the immune system and promote cardiovascular, vision and joint health.

Fish oils can improve nutrient absorption, metabolic function, cognition and memory.

Recommended daily dosage for Fish Oil is 2 grams.

So yes, you can take supplements if you’d like. But keep in mind that supplements are exactly what they are. They are not intended to replace whole food sources.

Follow a healthy eating schedule but include supplements to make sure you get the required amount of nutrients to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The Top 10 Foods (And Drinks) To Avoid

The challenge to maintaining healthy eating habits is that unhealthy food is everywhere.

Aisle upon aisle in the local supermarkets and grocery stores are covered with unhealthy, processed food.

Restaurants, movie cinemas and even school cafeterias serve food selections that have no redeeming nutritional value.

To make it easier for you, here are the top 10 foods… and drinks… to avoid:

1. Microwave Popcorn

Microwave popcorn may seem light to eat but these nighttime favourites are heavy on banned substances.

The bag itself is lined with perfluorooctanoic acid, the same lining used for non-stick pots and pans.

Studies have shown when heated these substances caused cancer on rats.

The “butter” flavour is made with a chemical called diacetyl which is so toxic it made the factory workers making the popcorn sick.

2. Pancake Mix

This breakfast favourite can be made healthy if made from scratch and with natural ingredients.

Commercial pancake mixes are loaded with trans-fats which have been linked to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and strokes.

Many of the leading brands have partially hydrogenated soybean or cottonseed oil both of which are bad for your arteries and overall heart health.

3. Packaged Biscuits/Cookies

Biscuits

Biscuits offer zero nutritional value and will only detract from your health

 

It’s hard to resist buying packaged cookies from girl scouts looking to raise some honest money.

Unfortunately, buying these packaged cookies may hurt more than just your wallet.

Similar to pancake mixes, these packaged cookies are loaded with trans-fats and made with partially hydrogenated cooking oil which are both dangerous for your heart.

These cookies are also packed with refined sugars which have been linked with obesity, type II diabetes and enlargement of the heart.

Lastly, these packaged cookies include artificial flavouring and colouring.

4. Soft Drinks/Sodas

Whether it’s labeled “diet” or “caffeine-fee”, there is nothing healthy about soft drinks.

One can of regular soft drinks has 26 teaspoons of sugar and many popular brands are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.

Another main ingredient is phosphoric acid which inhibits the absorption of calcium. This makes it a significant factor in leading to osteoporosis.

The water in soft drinks has also been found to contain fluoride, chlorine among a host of contaminants. They’re also flavoured artificially and contain food colouring.

5. Packaged Cereals  

Once upon a time, packaged cereals were thought of as the perfect breakfast food. It was advertised as containing “all the essential vitamins and minerals” you need to be healthy.

Today we know these packaged cereals contain more ingredients that can make you unhealthy.

Let’s start off with refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavourings then follow through with the brand of GMO corn these manufacturers use.

GMO stands for Genetically Modified, products that are not natural and cannot be assimilated by the body.

6. Processed Hamburgers

Before you grab a hamburger at your favourite fast food restaurant, keep in mind these patties are heavily processed to maintain shelf life.

Studies on fast food burgers show cattle used for these products are pumped with antibiotics and hormones.

Manufacturers also add a substance referred to as “pink slime” which is actually the fat butchers remove from the meat portion of the cow.

Pink slime is mixed with ammonia and added to processed burger patties as fillers. Do you know what pink slime is used for? Dog food.

7. Fruit Juices/ Sports Drinks

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are often thought of as healthy but contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Avoid them at all costs

 

There is nothing healthy about fruit juices and sports drinks. These beverages are nothing but water mixed with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavouring and colouring.

Fruit juices are only “fortified” with vitamins which means the original content has been removed during the processing.

The nutritional content of these vitamins is insignificant compared to the damage done to your body by the sugars and artificial ingredients.

As for the sports drinks, you get better electrolyte replacement from fresh coconut water without the calories and excess sugar.

Citrus flavoured fruit juices and sports drinks have also been found to contain a dangerous fire retardant called Brominated Vegetable Oil or BVO.

8. Alcohol

There have been many studies on the health benefits of alcohol. Red wine contains resveratrol which is a powerful anti-oxidant.

Red wine has been associated with lowering blood pressure and maintaining a healthy heart. Beer has B vitamins from yeast and contains fibre.

But these still contain calories, sugars and excess alcohol can compromise the liver.

Alcohol can also lower your production of testosterone and natural growth hormone.

It can affect your sleeping patterns which will open the door to more health maladies. The key is moderation.

One glass of red wine has been shown in several studies to have health benefits.

9. Chips/ Fried Snacks

Chips and fried snacks are not only fried in partially hydrogenated vegetable oil which is bad for your heart.

These are also loaded with sodium which increases blood pressure. Packaged potato chips include many artificial flavours and colours.

There is nothing healthy about chips that are branded “low fat”.

These are made with Olestra, a fat and cholesterol free fat substitute which has been linked with diarrhea, cramps, leaky bowels and oily discharges.

10. Donuts

Donuts

Donuts offer no nutritional value and must be avoided completely

 

How good can a product be when its ingredients include refined sugar, artificial flavouring and colouring and trans-fats and then fried?

There is nothing good about eating a donut. Its flour, frostings and fillings are loaded with all the worst kinds of carbohydrates and unhealthiest fats.

Studies have identified the donut as one of the most dangerous foods to eat.

Consumption of donuts has been linked with several cases of cancer.

For sure there are more foods out there that can do your health more harm than good.

Always keep in mind that processed food is never good for you.

Before you buy packaged food from the supermarket or grocery store, check the label and read the ingredients carefully.

If you don’t know what those ingredients are, you shouldn’t be eating them!

When eating in a restaurant, ask the waiter how the food is prepared.

After all, your body and health are your responsibility. You have the right to know what goes into your food.

Eating Healthy Action Steps

If you have not been a healthy eater for most of your life, be assured that it is not too late to become one. All you need is to take that all-important first step.

Eating healthy is transformative; it will make you view food and nutrition in a different light. But it is a process that will take time.

Here are some action steps you should take to get you started on this life-changing journey:

1. Commit to adopting the healthy eating lifestyle.

2. Remove all processed foods from your home.

3. Find reputable suppliers or retailers of natural and organic food near your home.

4. Stock up on the healthy foods identified in “Healthy Food To Include In Your Daily Diet”.

5. Commit to regular exercise.

6. Identify your body type and prepare a daily meal plan. If you are not sure of your body type, consult with your doctor or a nutritionist.

7. Always track your daily calories and macronutrients.

8. Get a complete medical examination; include blood work to find out if you are deficient in specific vitamins and minerals.

9. Buy the necessary vitamins and minerals to cover deficiencies plus probiotics, resveratrol and fish oil.

10. Print out a list of the worst foods and drinks you should avoid and post it on your refrigerator door.

With consistency and dedication, healthy eating will not be a “phase” or “stage”. It will be your way of life which is how it should be.

Summary

To the misinformed in society, healthy eating is often viewed as ‘boring’.

They think to eat healthy means to “suffer” through bland, texturally challenged and unpalatable food.

They refer to processed food as “comfort food” because indulging in these types of food “makes them feel good”.

But in truth to eat healthy is to embrace life.

You appreciate food according to how nature intended it to be; unprocessed, natural and organic with its vitamins, minerals and other nutrients intact.

The benefits attributable to healthy eating extend to every facet of your life: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

Eating Healthy

Visit a local farmers market and stock up on fresh, locally grown produce… and make healthy eating your lifestyle

Your risk of acquiring dangerous illnesses such as type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer are significantly reduced.

You are less prone to becoming overweight or obese which predispose you to more illnesses and diseases.

Eating healthy, clean food is analogous to putting clean, efficient fuel in your car.

You run and function better every day. Your body and mind are stronger; cognition is higher, memory sharper while your muscles and bones are stronger.

On the other hand, eating “comfort food” is analogous to putting diesel in your gasoline-powered car.

In time it will break down and you will have to undertake expensive flushing.

In the end, it is your body and it is your life.

Eat healthy, love life!