So here we are with just under 5 weeks to go until Christmas! How are you going? Has the silly season struck your household yet? Is it already difficult to find a blank on your calendar?! If you missed last week’s Blog it was all about sleep and the importance of getting enough good quality sleep, especially at this time of year, if you have any hope of getting through with your wellbeing intact and perhaps even enjoying yourself!
Today’s Silly Season Survival Tips are all about food, because, just like sleep, another one of the first things to go when you are super busy and under pressure is making sure that you eat nutritious whole foods from the earth. It can be so much easier to get takeaway or buy pre-packaged meals when you are short on time and have a hungry family to feed during the silly season! The other food related problem at this time of year can be over-eating, but that will be covered in Tip #6!
Problems with Quick and Easy Meals
The problem with the foods involved in many of the common quick and easy meal options is that they are low on nutrients and high on artificial ingredients. If you buy fast food or something from the supermarket that only requires ‘heating up’ or adding some other basic ingredients they are likely to contain colourings, flavourings, preservatives, enhancers, synthetic antioxidants…the list goes on. None of these are things that the human body was designed to process and none of them provide any nutrients. These convenience foods contain these things to make them look and taste more appealing and also to make them fast to produce and very long lasting.
Let’s have a think about preservatives for a start. Do you think it is logical to eat a food that is laced with a chemical that is designed to make that food last longer? What is that food going to do in your digestive system? How is your body going to process a chemical that designed like a protective armour for the molecules of the food? These chemicals cannot be broken down easily by the gut and greatly increase the toxic load on the liver and the build up of wastes in the body. So effectively, the decay that all food undergoes is no longer going on outside your body, where you can see it, but is instead occurring inside your gut!! Yucko!
Your food is the energy that you give to your physical body to perform – why would you want to give your body any negative energy?! You are exposed to enough other environmental toxins in the modern world, from pollution to heavy metals to radio waves, don’t add to the load on your body by consuming ‘food-like’ substances.
So what can you do about improving the wellbeing of your household and avoiding these harmful additives during the silly season and beyond?
Firstly you may need to shop more often as you will need to go for the fresh products that don’t contain additives, and they don’t keep as long! When you go to the supermarket try to stay around the outside (like buffalo girls!!) of the store – you will find that in pretty much every supermarket in the world the fresh stuff is in the outer areas of the store and the processed stuff is in the middle. It will also be a good idea to go to organic or ‘gourmet’ stores that have many more options for products without additives than the big chain supermarkets.
Secondly, READ LABELS! Check for additives and avoid them. You will probably find that the more expensive varieties of products have less additives, because foods are more expensive to produce without additives as they don’t last as long! To get the most up to date list of the additives that you should really avoid go to the Fed Up website. Don’t forget that a flavouring or colouring can be called “Natural” even if it only has a tiny percentage of the natural substance in it so you should avoid them too.
Thirdly cook and make more food from scratch at home – it tastes better and is so much better for you. Yes it will take more time but if you don’t make time for health, you will eventually need to make time for illness! If you have been out late and need to get some sustenance into yourself or your kids, don’t stop at Maccas on the way home. There are plenty of quick and easy options to be found in your kitchen! Whilst the kids are in the shower whip up some beautiful free range eggs, some smashed avo on toast and have lots of vegie sticks on the side. Even a toastie is a great quick meal with plenty of options for fillings – cheese, egg, spinach, avocado, tomato, tuna or preservative-free ham (such as Gamze). If even that sounds like too much effort some wholegrain toast with nut butter or avocado is so delicious and nutrious, as well as being really quick!
For any further information about eating clean, or anything else, please feel free to get in touch and I would love to hear your own family favourites for quick and nutritious meals on the run!