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Top 10 rules that I live by as a Nutritionist

Gabriela shares her top nutrition tips for a healthy lifestyle.

Top 10 rules that I live by as a Nutritionist

Include Omega-3 fatty acids and try to make sure you are eating three portions of oily fish per week. By oily fish we mean sardines, mackerel and salmon.

1. Eat regular meals

Firstly It is always important to eat regular meals. This keeps your blood sugar levels balanced, preventing fatigue and cravings. It is recommended to eat three meals with two snacks if you need them – but you have to watch your portion size.

2. Carbohydrates can be healthy!

Entirely eliminating a food group is not recommended. Carbohydrates help provide the B vitamins involved in energy production. The most important thing is to avoid too many white, refined and processed carbohydrates such as white bread, cakes and biscuits. Swapping for wholegrain or rye, or spelt or bread or crackers is always a good idea.

3. Keep blood sugar levels balanced

Combining protein and carbohydrate is always good idea for balancing blood sugar levels but also energy levels. Examples include a few oatcakes with some nut butter, yoghurt with chopped apple, or avocado on wholegrain toast or guacamole on some crackers or porridge with chopped banana and nuts.

4. How can I make better choices when at drinks parties/being social?

Friends often ask me what to do when at the drinks party or being social as this can be a struggle. 
Party foods often contain more fat and salt than those prepared at home. Look for vegetable based canapés – crudités with dips and also lighter bites such as sushi, prawns and fish. Avoid canapés in pastry or breadcrumbs as those can have been deep fried. Also watch your alcohol intake. Try to have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink and opt for lighter options such as champagne and clear spirits over wine, beer and cocktails.

5. Whole fruit vs. juice

I try to eat whole fruit instead of juices when possible. Whole fruit contains more fibre and so the sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream slower. Sugars found naturally in whole fruit is less likely to cause tooth decay than juices or blends because the sugar is contained within the body of fruit.

6. Budget bites

Eating well does not need to be expensive. You can eat properly while on tighter food budget. Shop around – look for green local grocers and independent market stalls that often sell fruit and vegetables for less than the supermarkets. The same applies with beans and lentils. You can add those to meat dishes you are bulking them out – and you will make the meat go further.

7. Hair, skin and nails

My next rule is to include Omega-3 fatty acids – which found mainly in oily fish are important for healthy hair and skin. They are called essential fatty acids because the body cannot make them itself therefore they have to be obtained through diets. Try to make sure you are eating three portions of oily fish per week. By oily fish we mean sardines, mackerel and salmon.

Zinc is another key nutrient for skin. It is found in brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, oysters, shellfish, oats and eggs. Vitamin E in avocadoes, cold pressed oils and whole grains is important for shiny, luscious locks.

8. Blast off with breakfast

A golden rule of mine is never to forget breakfast. Soaking porridge oats overnight in milk or dairy alternative makes them more digestible. They are very filling and slow releasing. Make them into a nutritious bircher muesli by adding some grated apple, some probiotic yoghurt and nuts and you are good to go.

I am also a big fan of a green smoothie that’s an easy way to get in a good dose of fruits, vegetables plus you can add some extras such as wheatgrass and spirulina powders.

9. Watch your portions

I think portion size is where most people slip up. Even the best intentions can be jeopardised if you are eating too much! Make sure half your plate is covered in vegetables is a good way to ensure the portions of carbohydrates and proteins are balanced.

10. Beating the sugar cravings

It is important to beat sugar cravings. Firstly eat balanced breakfast in the morning – combining protein and carbohydrate. Secondly always ensure you carry small nutritious snacks to help keep your blood sugar balanced which means you are less likely to crave sugary foods.

Carry snacks such as few nuts and dry fruit such as dates which are particularly sweet and useful when you are in a bind.

This article reflects the opinion of Gabriela Peacock and is intended as general advice only.  You should seek advice from a professional before altering your diet, changing your exercise regime or starting any new course of conduct.

Gabriela PeacockNutritional Therapist