Seeking Wellness

5 positive changes you can actually make to your diet

WHERE — Maldives

How to maintain a healthy, balanced diet without missing out on the good stuff. Because life is all about balance.

Most of us all aim to have a semblance of healthy, balanced diet. But in an age where our lifestyles often involve downing green juice after a night of prosecco, are we really as healthy as we think?

Kale, superfoods and almond milk may all be part of our daily vocabulary – but in all seriousness – how can we actually be a little more healthy, without actually missing out on all of the good stuff?

I spoke with the incredibly helpful and experienced nutritionist, Rosemary Ferguson whilst in the Maldives on a wellness retreat with Vaara.

After five days of yoga, afternoon swims and locally produced fare (yep, the Vaara retreat can only be described as wellness heaven), I sat down with Rosemary for an hour long session to look at my eating habits and general wellness. So if you’re aim is to be a little more health savvy in 2018, I’ve shared some of Rosemary’s key words of nutritional wisdom below.

How do I actually stick to healthy habits on vacation? Even if I like Piña coladas…

Repeat after me: eat fresh, eat local. If you are drinking lots you need to try and balance it out by eating lots of greens, veg and fresh food, and of course, try and eat as fresh as possible. It’s a crime to miss out on the local cuisine when traveling, so eat local; that will help you avoid the processed path. Oh and try to resist the bread!

Top tips for sugar addicts

Go for natural sugars. So if you can’t go without sugar in you tea, opt for coconut sugar. Try dates, agave syrup, date syrup. If you really are struggling with sugar addiction, the best thing you can do is go cold turkey for 2 weeks whilst also taking a chromium supplement to help balance out the cravings.

What should I snack on (without ruining my dinner)?

Sometimes the same snacks are suggested time and time again for good reason. Because when food is good for you – it’s good – simple as that. Try snacking on nuts, seeds, hummus, crudité, fruit, rice cakes, juice, smoothie. Try drinking more water or herbal tea as thirst often gets confused for hunger! Steer well clear of breakfast bars or anything pre-packaged; they may position themselves as being ‘healthy’ but in truth they are full of sugar and will then you leave you hungry in the long run (and craving more sugar).

What do we all think is healthy when really it’s not?

Low Fat anything! Not healthy. Anything with sweetener. Not healthy. So many people avoid fruit because of the sugar content – that is just silly – fruit is full of wonderful phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and fibre.

Yep, you’re mother was right, you should eat breakfast.

Breakfast is the first thing your body consumes after a nights sleep (when the repairs and detoxifies), so it’s important you start the day right. Wake your body up with nutritious foods that stimulate your liver, get digestive juices flowing, kick start your metabolism and give you a boost of energy until lunchtime.

Steer clear of coffee first thing, instead you should start with a hot water and lemon as this is alkaline and will get your liver working. It’s also really important to hydrate as your body has been deprived through the night. Ideal foods to start the day include: eggs and avocado, bircher museli, porridge, smoothie. These will all help to stabilize your blood sugar levels, keep you full and provide a great source of fibre. If you want to go the extra mile, certain nutrients can also be added such as chilli to boost metabolism, bitter herbs such as rocket and coriander to help stimulate your liver, or cinnamon which can help curb blood sugar levels.

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