What you eat is reflected in how you feel. As many people have learned in my Food Choices Workshops, you think you are eating healthy, until you discover what’s in the food you are buying. Another thing that I notice with my clients is that when we do a thorough health history at intake, their signs and symptoms started well before they realised they had a health issue. Anyhow, through my years of experience, here are the top 10 signs you should look out for that indicate that you need to address your health and food choices sooner rather than later, which can help prevent disease.
1) You feel tired, lethargic, or bloated after meals. This includes any indigestion or digestive upsets that you may feel. Indigestion is never normal and you shouldn’t have to accept it. That’s right, food should always make you feel happy, energetic, and light. So if food doesn’t make you feel your best, then you need to do something about it.
2) You don’t have at least 5 different fruit and vegetables a day. In fact, I say 5 servings isn’t enough. You really do need more than 5 servings a day to get your antioxidants, fibre and balance your nutrient intake. For your children, make sure their diet has a foundation in fruits and vegetables and not in starches and breads. For example, put more vegetables in sandwiches or make sure they have more of the vegetable stir-fry than rice.
3) You add extra salt or sugar to your foods and drinks. Unless you are making a dessert, you shouldn’t be adding any sugar to your foods, and even then, be sure to use a natural sweetener, such as agave or honey. If you are making your own food, adding a bit of salt is recommended, but if you are adding more salt when you sit down to eat or if you are adding salt to pre-packaged foods or when eating out, then that is a red flag warning.
4) You crave either sweet or salty foods. Food cravings are a sign of vitamin or mineral deficiencies. For example, if you crave salt, then you are likely deficient in electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, and chloride. If you have a strong craving for either sugar or salt, then its time to speak to a nutritionist (like myself 🙂 ).
5) You don’t feel hungry. If you lack an appetite and you don’t feel hungry during meal times, then that’s a huge sign that you are not digesting your food well. In this case, you really need to address your digestion, what you are eating, food combinations, and meal timings.
6) Your grocery shopping cart contains more packaged/processed foods than fresh fruits and vegetables. Your shopping cart represents you and I always say that if you can’t stand proudly by your shopping cart, then it is not worth it. You should always begin every food shopping trip in the produce aisle and stock up on fruit and vegetables, then go for grains. Stay clear of processed foods.
7) You use refined goods (ie white bread, white flour, white rice or pastas) instead of wholemeal options. There is always a wholemeal alternative for everything that requires white flour. Almost all baking recipes will turn out just fine if you substitute wholemeal flour for plain white flour. White flours and refined flours simply lack nutritional value. Studies show that those who eat white rice daily and/or refined flours are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
8) You have more food in your freezer than fridge. Your fridge should always have more food than your freezer, unless if you have personally frozen your own meals and food. Everyone has some frozen foods in their freezer. For example, I like to keep some Quorn and mixed vegetables (that don’t have any additives), and some meat. But make sure that whatever you freeze, you use up within 3 months and use freezer safe Ziploc bags and/or BPA free containers. The same principle applies to foods in your fridge…are more of the foods fresh or processed?
9) You reuse heated oil that was used for frying or deep-frying. First of all, you should always avoid deep-frying…most foods that require deep-frying can be baked and still taste great. Many people don’t like to “waste” oil, but once oil has been heated and then cooled, the oil goes rancid (meaning goes off) if you reheat it in any way. If you are prone to sore throats or respiratory colds/infections, reheating oil is often the culprit.
10) You don’t have protein at every meal. When you get carried away with having fruits and vegetables, sometimes you may leave the protein out. Its not enough to just have fruits and vegetables. You must also have a protein source at every meal, which may be meats, beans, lentils, or dairy products. Having protein also helps to stabilise blood sugar levels and helps with muscle and tissue repair and growth.
Even if one of the ten apply to you, then its time to take a look and reflect on how your choices are affecting your health. And then its time to make changes to your health and lifestyle. If you need advice or help, just remember that I am here for you. Just always keep in mind that prevention is preferable to cure and if you experience any discomfort with your health, get it checked earlier rather than later. Be proactive about your health!
Health and happiness,