Eating for perfect health presents us with three principal considerations. We have to contemplate what we eat, how we cook or prepare it and – every bit as importantly – when in the day we actually eat it.
There are of course more guidelines and instructions issued regarding our eating habits in modern times than even our very recent ancestors would have believed possible. This can lead to confusion and not a little fear as scares develop overnight regarding one foodstuff or another and are widely reported in the media. This is where plain old common sense has to come in to the equation.
Firstly, it is generally recommended that we eat five portions of fruit or vegetables every day. This may initially sound like a lot but if we consider things like a glass of fresh fruit juice as part of our breakfast counting as one of those five a day, it is easy to see how this objective may be achieved. We also of course need other nutrients than those supplied by fruit and vegetables so we should be looking at cereals, lean meats and fish and natural breads and pastas. As it is also recommended that we eat more earlier in the day and less in the evenings, let us consider a typical, healthy daily menu.
Breakfast could consist of first of all that glass of fresh fruit juice we looked at earlier. Make sure it is fresh, however, and not a processed and chemically enhanced variety. Follow this with a bowl of wholegrain cereal, accompanied by some fresh fruit. Try varying the fruit types you use and chop them up in to bite-sized pieces beforehand. A small bowl of natural yoghurt can be served along with it as a dip and makes a delicious breakfast alternative. Two slices of wholemeal toast with an olive or sunflower oil based spread as opposed to butter can round off our meal, accompanied by a cup of coffee or tea.
Lunch should provide us with our biggest meal of the day. So often in the society in which we live, people either skip lunch, grab a hurried sandwich or eat it as quickly as possible in order to get back to their tasks at hand. This is a practice extremely damaging to our health in the longer term and one we must strive to avoid at all costs. Make the time for lunch, planning well in advance what you are going to eat and when. It need not be overly complex but it is vital that we get our required sustenance at this time of day.
If we have to take our lunch with us to the office or place of work, prepare it the night before. One idea is to buy a miniature French stick of bread and make a delicious and healthy sandwich. Try adding some fresh green salad leaves, some tomato and cucumber, followed by some slices of meat. The possibilities are endless and with only a little thought we can vary our menu on an extremely wide basis. Follow this with perhaps a piece of fruit and a small carton of yoghurt, all washed down with water, milk, or even coffee or tea. It does not take long to sit back and enjoy such a meal.
If we do have more time to prepare lunch – at weekends, for example – this is when we can perhaps consider some roast or casseroled lamb, pork or beef. Serve it with new potatoes and the vegetables of your choice.
In the evening, when we are likely to have more time, consider a light pasta or rice dish. Try making a tomato, basil and garlic sauce then stir your cooked pasta through it prior to serving. Alternatively, boil some rice and mix some chopped vegetables through it.
It is important that we don’t eat too much late at night as the undigested food is lying in our stomachs as we sleep, we are not burning the calories and they are consequently turning to fat. By following and adapting to our own lifestyles the simple if rough guide above, therefore, it is possible to adapt our eating habits in the pursuit of perfect health.