February 19, 2018 6:50 am 2 Comments
It’s February, and there’s every chance that your good January intentions have gone out of the window. First there was the post-Christmas slump to get over, then (perhaps) you got a bit of a cold and followed the advice to feed it, and then (maybe) it was just so cold and miserable that indulgence seemed essential. It’s the same every year, and of course, it happens with all New Year resolutions, not just those to do with diet. But at Naturally Good Food, it’s diet we’re interested in, and particularly, those good, solid diets based on wholefoods. So if you’ve fallen off the wholefoods wagon in the last couple of weeks – well, we’d love to help you get back on.
Why eat wholefoods?
Let’s remind ourselves why we love wholefoods so much! Quite simply, they’re the ‘whole’ of the food. They’re food that’s been processed as lightly as possible and that has as much of the original product remaining as possible. Wholefood rice, for example, retains the bran and germ. Wholemeal flour (and thus, bread, pasta and noodles) contains the bran, germ and endosperm. Our oils are derived from the first cold-pressing of the fruit, grain or nut; our pulses, fruits, nuts and seeds are as close as is feasible to their original state.
The result is that these products retain as many of their natural vitamins and minerals, and as much of their fibre and protein, as possible. And when nothing has been taken out, nothing has to be added in to counterbalance it. Our pulses don’t come with a list of additives. Our nuts are just nuts. Our oats, just oats.
Wagons roll! How to get back on
Convinced? But needing a leg-up back into the wholefoods wagon? Well, our advice is always very simple: take things one step at a time. The most successful converts to wholefoods diets make small changes, gradually. They’re not trying to undo twenty, thirty, forty (or more) years of bad food in one month. Instead, they’ll add one wholefood into their diet at a time, building up as the months go by. Here are some ideas.
- Start with wholemeal bread, for just one meal. Why not make your own bread, using a mixture of white and wholemeal flours, and increasing the quantity of the latter gradually?
- Choose an ingredient that you don’t currently use in a wholefoods form and substitute a wholefoods option for it. For example, try a bottle of extra-virgin olive oil in the kitchen, or an unrefined brown sugar instead of a refined white variety. It’s a small change, but one that gradually accustoms your taste-buds to wholefood textures and flavours.
- Replace white rice with brown rice, or use a mixture of the two, building up to a full wholefood meal. Brown basmati rice is the best for ‘beginners’, as it’s the closest in texture to standard white rice and the easiest to cook.
- Replace white pasta with wholewheat pasta (we’ve got a really great range here). Wholewheat pasta works very well with robust sauces and tastes even better reheated the next day.
- For a change from rice or pasta, think about using some wholewheat couscous or quinoa, which is even easier to cook than rice.
- Try to include some pulses in your diet once a week – building up to twice a week eventually. If you’re put off by the idea of working with dried pulses, start with tinned, in a soup or a salad.
- If you’re trying to cut down on sugar, work out when your body needs it least. Are you hungriest at lunchtime, but less bothered at supper-time? Then cut out the sugary pudding at bedtime, but keep it in the middle of the day. As your sugar cravings diminish, one day you’ll surprise yourself by not needing sugar at lunchtime either.
- Whatever you do, take it one meal, or one day, at a time. The diets that have the best chances of success are those that make gradual changes.
- And do build in the chance for some indulgence! But think about getting in some high-quality treats, instead of rubbish – how about some roasted, salted nuts, instead of crisps, or some toffee-like dates and rich apricots, instead of sweets?
As those inspirational online quotes put it: strive for progress, not perfection. And remember that Naturally Good Food’s wagon is always ready and waiting for those who are aiming at a healthier lifestyle!
Tags: apricots, brown basmati rice, cold-pressed oils, dates, dried fruit, extra virgin olive oil, February, flour, new year, Nuts, pasta, Pulses, quinoa, resolutions, Rice, roasted salted nuts, Seeds, unrefined brown sugar, wagon, Wholefoods, wholegrain, wholewheat couscous, wholewheat noodles, wholewheat pasta
This post was written by Yzanne