We all know that eating a healthy, varied diet is optimal for our health and wellbeing, so why aren’t we? The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017-2018 National Health Survey found that 49% of Australians over the age of 18 did not eat the recommended 2 serves of fruit a day and a whopping 92% did not eat the recommended 5-6 serves of vegetables! It was also found that consumption of grains, lean meats & alternatives and dairy products & alternatives were below guideline recommendations across all age groups.
Could the word diet be getting in the way? Subconsciously, could saying you’re on a diet be setting you up to fail? For many of us, the word diet means going without, depravation and hunger, not exactly inspiring concepts!
What if, instead of thinking about dieting, we started thinking about nutrition? Instead of listing what we can’t eat or drink, we started to think about what our bodies really need for optimal health and wellbeing?
Knowing 2 serves of fruit and 5-6 serves of vegetables a day is ideal for your health, and being inspired to eat them are very different things! So what resolutions could help us with a nutrition mindset?
How about pledging to try 2 new recipes a week? There is no end of healthy recipes available online or perhaps an old-fashioned book with glossy photos would work better for you? It seems the older and busier we get, the more habits set in (Taco Tuesday anyone?!) spending 10 minutes looking for a new way to cook salmon could be just what you need to inspire you. Is there an ingredient you’ve never tried to cook? That lentil soup recipe may just become a new family favourite.
Grow your own. One way often recommended to get young children to eat vegetables is to get them to help grow them, watching that cherry tomato turn red and picking it off the plant themselves becomes part of a food adventure. Is it so different for adults? Having a planter box of fresh herbs on your windowsill could be enough to turn a boring salad into something you actually look forward to eating. There’s no way you will want to waste something you’ve put so much effort into!
Visit your local Farmers’ Market. Seeing fresh foods proudly displayed (without a plastic wrap in sight) by the people who produced them and asking their advice on how to prepare them is a great way to put the excitement back into meals.
Have a fruit & vegetable box delivered. We are all time poor, spending hours at a supermarket looking at heavily packaged produce that may or may not have been on display for a week isn’t how most of us would choose to spend the free time we have. Having a mixed box of fruit and vegetables delivered to your home not only saves you time, it stops you from buying the same things every week out of habit. It also makes vegetables the star of your meal, searching for something to do with radishes or kohlrabi is a great way to find your new favourite snack.
So, let’s stop the word diet from sabotaging our mindset, good nutrition is a far more positive path to health and wellbeing.