After many years of dieting, running two businesses on burnout, while watching my fitness idols in their size 8 bodies do amazing things, the last thing on my mind was to eat more nutrition. I did not have time nor energy. I did not believe that eating complete nutrition 4 times a day would give me the energy that I needed. But I was sick of the way I was leading my life. I couldn’t control my cravings and food portions. I knew in my heart there had to be a better way.
The only hard part is changing your belief about how hard healthy eating is and just getting started.
When I was hungry, my go-to was full cream lattes, toasted cheese sandwiches, fruit and chocolate. It seemed all too hard to eat veggies three times a day, protein in each meal… and white carbs were always a no no. Carbs like white bread and pasta made me feel fat and bloated.
Part of my journey to improving my nutrition was realising how powerful nutrition was. Eating complete nutrition meals most days of the week naturally improved my energy, eating habits and fitness.
I struggled with the concept for quite a while. “How did these girls have energy to do burpees every day and then post on Instagram with such small frames. Surely they are starving themselves”?
I realised that was my old way of thinking. They weren’t dieting or fasting. I was out dated with my thinking. When I looked into their lifestyle habits, they were eating and moving like athletes. And so they ate like athletes. Heaps of meals and heaps of healthy food as well as some treat food.
Even the models I was following such as Jennifer Hawkins a Miss Universe Australia winner in my time of competing in pageants was eating heaps and even cooking her own food. I was so surprised. I felt jibbed. Surly these catwalk models and fitness ambassadors have their own chef. Or perhaps God gave them free time. All I knew was it just didn’t make sense. How did they have time? That was not the case.
I started looking more into what they would eat. I couldn’t believe it. Jennifer Hawkins shared her recipes and experiences with the juices and meals she would have. She would have her fridge full of veg, fruit and pre prep meals. I thought “surly she didn’t have time to prepare meals and cut up fruit and go shopping. But somehow she did.
It then sunk in. High on these athletes priority lists was thinking, preparing and planning complete nutrition meals. Their mindset was so positively geared for a healthy lifestyle. Like it was no big deal to get up early, plan for the week, shop and invest in nutrition and drill it in to their kids.
Although I was a healthy weight, I knew my nutrition and lifestyle wasn’t right. I had really low energy levels, stress. And my attitude was “I cant be bothered”. But i was determined to be better. To feel better in my body in my mind. I wasn’t going to be held down by my ego. I decided I was ready to change the way I perceived healthy eating. So I started eating and thinking like they did.
So I changed my way of eating. From eating to lose weight or keep my figure to eating complete nutrition meals.
I created a meal plan and created pre pre meals on a Sunday. They were meals like casserole, vegetarian risotto with heaps of veg, lamb and veg risotto, salmon bakes and fresh fibrous Jennifer Hawkins juices every day. I also added magnesium powder and vitamin complex for my nervous system cortisol counteraction. I had studied that these supplements would help support my stress level recovery.
Honestly, in the first day I felt amazing. I felt so pumped with the vitamins. I was on such a high. It was so convenient having these meals ready to go. I would warm them up on my stove and they tasted so nourishing because they has all macronutrients. I wasn’t skimping on carbs or fat I was adding nothing but the best ingredients.
After a few more days I couldn’t believe it. My cravings had gone. Normally I would crave sugar or coffee in the afternoon. Instead I would just go as to plan have my 4 meals plus juice and just kept feeling this massive high all day.
My energy lows had gone. My cravings had gone. I felt more productive and did more work wise. My plan had worked. Even though I was spending 2-4 hours twice a week cooking and preparing meals, it was all worth it.
How I got complete nutrition from food. Here is my step by step guide so you can too start to enjoy a more balance eating life and discover joy again in eating healthy!
Eat meals that are complete in macronutrients plus veg
What are macronutrients and what does complete in nutrition mean? It means celebrating all macronutrients: fat, proteins and carbs plus vegetables in 70% of the meals or 3 out of 4 meals.
When we diet we tend to leave out fats or carbs. Or when we go vegetarian we forget to add in complete protein or to replace the iron and vitamin Bs that we have lost.
It is important when achieving complete nutrition eating to always think- the three macronutrients which you know now was fats proteins and carbs PLUS veg. I say to add vegetables because we tend to forget about those or find it hard to add in. But veg with red meat especially and in each meal so so important to helping to complete not only our macronutrient profile but also our micronutrient profile. Micronutrient profile means vitamins. Think macronutrients as food energy and micronutrients as vitamin energy.
Focus on buying natural ingredients and products
When we talk about natural ingredients in our balanced eating, we mean as natural to the natural source as possible.
For example a natural source of protein would be deep sea salmon or no additive chicken, home smoked ham, or no added flavour tofu. Non natural protein would be supermarket roasted chicken, ham with preservatives, flavoured tofu.
An example of natural carbs would be bakery bread, cooked raw white or brown rice, potatoes, cooked pumpkin. An example of not natural carbs would be supermarket bread with additives, pre packaged rice meal with additives, flavoured potato chips.
An example of natural fats would be: extra virgin olive oil in cooking or in salad, walnuts, fat from salmon, avocado. Non natural fat would be margarine, canola oil, peanut butter with sugar and vegetable fats,
Plan 4-5 meals a day
The best way i achieved and still achieve nourishing meals and snacks in my week is through planning. Planning once a week to shop and eat around my lifestyle.
If you have a family you may need to plan to cook prep prep meals for yourself as lunches or establish quality take away meals and then cook for the family at night a compete nutrition meal or set of ingredients that make good choices.
If it’s just yourself you may still prefer to prep cook meals and then cook a complete nutrition meal at night. I suggest mainly cooking at home rather than eating out as although we may be getting our does of protein fats carbs they may also add dressing and salt sugar fat to help enhance their dishes. Always ask what they use in their sauces and order a salad additionally to any meal to help add or complete your nutrition.
A goal without a plan is only a wish