Written by: Bianca Armitage, Health & Wellbeing Coach, eMed
We all know we should be eating healthy foods and drinking lots of water. So why don’t we?
Sometimes, the advice is a little overwhelming. Or maybe a bit generic and not very actionable in day-to-day busy life. Let’s change that.
It’s Nutrition & Hydration week, and this is a super common topic I work on with my patients at eMed. Nutrition and hydration play a massive role in preventing many diseases and illnesses. Eating a healthy, balanced diet has been shown to reduce inflammation, prevent heart disease and can even get Type 2 Diabetes into remission. There’s also emerging research on the links between what we eat and our mental health! All sounds great, right? But there’s a massive gap between knowing we maybe SHOULD be doing something, and actually doing it. That’s where I come in! Firstly, forget the “should”. Do you WANT to? And what’s your “why”? Only then do we add tools.
A great place to start when it comes to our nutrition is diversity. We really want to be eating 30+ different plants a week. Sound like a lot? Well, it’s not so hard to do when we realise what counts as a plant. This can be anything from your classic fruits and veggies, to beans, nuts, wholegrains and even herbs and spices! You’d be surprised how many you’re probably already eating.
Having lots of plant diversity not only fills us with lots of nutritious goodness but it also helps support our gut microbiome to be full of all the “good” gut bugs we want. Research has shown that having more diversity of good gut bugs is associated with better brain, heart, metabolic, immune and mental health, just to name a few! If you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed at the idea of eating 30+ different plants, start super small. Try this: stick a list on your fridge and note down how many plants you ate that week, then just add one next week. And I’m not saying eat 100% healthy all the time either. I may be a Health and Wellbeing Coach but my love of pizza is borderline ridiculous. And that’s okay. Food is about enjoyment as well as nutrition. A great split we can aim for is the 80/20 model: 80% healthy, 20% just enjoyment. Plus, if you find yourself craving, say, a pizza a little more than 20% to start with, think “Can I add a plant to this?”. Maybe a handful of spinach? It’s all about those baby steps!
The same goes for water. Start with one glass of water on your desk or bedside table as you start the day, every day for a week, then build up. We can all incorporate one new plant or glass of water in our lives.
I challenge you this week, how many plants will you have? What new one can you add? And why not have a glass of water whilst you stare at your fridge list and have a think.
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