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  • The WLB

Balance your food for a balanced life

Anyone attempting to shift their food balance should focus on nutrient-dense foods, like veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, beans, seeds, as well as dairy and lean proteins

You won't hear or read us talking about which diets are better than others here. They all work, and they all fail sooner or later and all for the same reason; they're just not sustainable.

A more sustainable shift in lifestyle can only be achieved if you accept that dieting, although having short-term benefits for sure, is just not the answer. We've talked about Intermittent Fasting (IF) as a shift in balance about when you should eat, not what you should eat, but if you really are interested in shifting the what, then you'd do well to check the following out.

1. Water

It’s important to stay hydrated for so many reasons, not least the health of basically every major organ in your body. The amount of water that any one person should drink varies, but you should strive to keep your urine a pale yellow colour each time you visit the lav.

A dark yellow urine indicates dehydration, which can cause headaches, fatigue, and lightheadedness. Red coloured urine indicates an imminent trip to the STD clinic - and no one needs that!

So, keep your intake up around 2 litres a day and if the thought of tap or still bottled water water doesn’t excite you, add a squeeze of lemon juice, a few mint leaves, or cucumber slices to your water and pretend it's a Gordons and Tonic.

2. Avocado

What would we do these days without the Avo?

It may seem counterintuitive to eat the highest calorie fruit while trying to balance out your food, but the monounsaturated fat in avocado is extremely satiating. The key here is balance and you need those good fats in your system. One study even found that adding a half of an avocado to your lunch may keep you full for hours longer than if you didn’t eat the green gem.

3. Fish

There’s a reason you hear people say you must east at least eight ounces of fish per week. Not only is it rich in healthy fats and protein, it also contains ample amounts of vitamin D. And if you’re only eating a limited amount of food throughout the day, don’t you want one that delivers more nutrient-bang for your buck?

It's also incredibly quick and easy to cook. Just follow the 10 step process for bang on results every time.

  1. Find a fishmongers shop or go to your supermarket counter.

  2. Pick something whole (i.e., with head and tail) and ask the fishmonger to gut it (if you don't fancy dealing with that at home).

  3. When home, switch off your phone and pour yourself a glass of wine.

  4. Turn on the oven to 180 degrees.

  5. Heat a frying pan, drop in some nobs of butter and place the fish in pan.

  6. Leave it without touching for about 5 minutes.

  7. Remove from the pan and place into the baking tray, seared side down.

  8. Leave it for another 5-8 minutes.

  9. Pour another glass of wine.

  10. Eat it.

4. Cruciferous Veggies

Foods like broccoli, sprouts (yes, you can have them in addition to on December 25th), and cauliflower are all full of the f-word—fibre. If you are balancing your life with IF, it’s pretty important to eat fiber-rich foods that will keep you regular and prevent constipation. Fibre also has the ability to make you feel full, which is something you'll certainly want if you can’t eat again for 20 hours.

5. Potatoes

A no carb regime is no regime at all. You need carbs, protein and fats every day if you're going to get the most out of your body and mind. Case in point: Studies have found potatoes to be one of the most satiating foods around. Another study found that eating potatoes as part of a health regime could help with weight loss. So, don't forget your spuds; not all white carbs are bad!

5. Beans and Legumes

Your favorite addition to chili may be your best friend on the IF lifestyle. Food, specifically carbs, supplies energy for activity. While we’re not telling you to carb-load, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to throw some low-calorie carbs, like beans and legumes, into your eating plan. Foods like chickpeas, black beans, peas, and lentils, despite having the affect of getting your partner to slip on a gas mask as they slip into bed, have been shown to decrease body weight, even without the calorific restriction inherent with IF.

6. Probiotics

You know what the organisms in your intestine like the most? Consistency and diversity. That means they aren’t happy when they’re hungry. And when your gut isn’t happy, you may experience some irritating side effects, like constipation. To counteract this unpleasantness, add probiotic-rich foods, like kefir, kombucha or kraut, to your diet.

7. Berries

Your favorite smoothie addition is ripe with vital nutrients. Strawberries are a great source of immune-boosting vitamin C, with more than 100 percent of the daily value in one cup. And that’s not even the best part—a recent study found that people who consumed a regime rich in flavonoids, like those in blueberries and strawberries, had smaller increases in BMI over a 14-year period than those who did not eat berries.

Berries are also a good source of natural sugar. Raiding the cookie jar isn't.

8. Eggs

One large egg has six grams of protein and cooks up in minutes. Getting as much protein as possible is important for keeping full and building muscle. One study found that men who ate an egg breakfast instead of a bagel were less hungry and ate less throughout the day.

In other words, when you’re looking for something to do during your fasting period, why not hard-boil some eggs?

9. Nuts

They may be higher in calories than many other snacks, but nuts contain something that most junk food doesn’t—good fat. As we mention above, fats are needed in your balanced food regime. We like fats. We don't like processed foods.

Ever stop to wonder at your grandparents and their eating habits? Sunday roasts, dripping, eggs, cheese, spuds roasting in duck fat.
I tell you what they had; fats. I tell you what they didn't have; coronary heart disease and obesity.. oh and no processed foods. Think on!

Research suggests that polyunsaturated fat in walnuts can actually alter the physiological markers for hunger and satiety.

And if you’re worried about calories, don’t be! A 2012 study found that a one-ounce serving of almonds (about 23 nuts) has 20 percent fewer calories than listed on the label. Basically, the chewing process does not completely break down the almond cell walls, leaving a portion of the nut intact and unabsorbed during digestion.

10. Whole Grains

Whole grains are rich in fiber and protein, so eating a little goes a long way in keeping you full. Plus, a new study suggests that eating whole grains instead of refined grains may actually rev up your metabolism. So go ahead and eat your whole grains and venture out of your comfort zone to try farro, bulgur, spelt, kamut, amaranth, millet, sorghum, or freekeh.

If you've found this helpful, why not pass it around, or contact us for more information on balancing your food for a more balanced life.

Thanks for reading!

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