Erika Doolan: Nutrition practitioner, motivator and fitness coach, Erika Doolan provides a consultancy service to hotel groups, restaurants and the food and health industry.
Is your healthy diet making you fat? Do you fill up on wraps and skinny lattes and still struggle to lose weight? Nutritionist Erkia Doolan has the answer to permanent and sustainable weight loss by creating a whole plant foods diet made up of vegetables, raw food, juices and organic produce.
Read her top tips here…
Boost Your System
Consuming a balanced diet helps your body to function at its optimum level. In general, if you consume a balanced diet, and include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, you won’t need a dramatic overhaul of your eating habits: just a few simple changes will make all the difference to your health and energy levels.
Having put on a little weight, we may focus on rapid weight loss, rather than on maintaining good nutrition. Crash diets will not improve your health and should certainly be avoided. If you concentrate on giving your body the vitamins, nutrients and minerals that it needs, healthy weight loss is likely to follow.
Plant Based Diet
It may sound obvious, but it’s true: fruit and veg are good for you. Fruits and vegetables are where we get most of our vitamins and minerals.
For example, Vitamin A, which is found in fruit like grapefruit, mangoes and apricots, and vegetables like carrots, cabbage and spinach, strengthens our immune systems; while Vitamin C, which supports the regeneration of cells and tissue growth, can be found in citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes and broccoli.
A simple (and delicious) way of getting in more vegetables and fruit is to invest in a juicer and make nutrient-dense juices daily. A tasty raw juice of celery, carrot, parsley, green pepper, tomatoes and spinach is high in antioxidants, while a carrot, apple and orange combination tastes great and can help ease digestion.
However, do remember that sweet fruits have high levels of fructose – a form of natural sugar – so they should be eaten in moderation.
While organic produce is usually – but not always – more costly than non-organic produce. If you cut out convenience foods and sugary drinks, you can use the
money that you save on fresh organic veggies at your local farmers’ market. As well as being better for you – organic produce tastes much better.
The cooking process destroys many sensitive micronutrients and heat can change their shape and chemical composition, making it more difficult to digest. So to ensure you are getting a high level of micronutrients, incorporate raw juices, salads, and
raw soups into your meals. Raw seeds and nuts will add flavour and nutritional value to salads and soups.
Drink More Water
Our bodies need a sufficient amount of water to perform at the optimum. Water helps all of our body’s system to function, it helps transport nutrients to our cells and carries waste products away from them. Swap those fizzy sugary drinks for water. Ditch the caffeine – which dehydrates our body – by switching from coffee to organic Rooibos tea, which contains lots of cancer-fighting antioxidants.
Looking Good, Feeling Great
There’s no better way to set yourself up for life than to nourish your body. Focus on good nutrition now and you will reap the rewards. A body which is well-nourished has a natural healthy glow. So, let’s get rid of the junk out of your diet and concentrate on giving yourbody what it needs. You will look and feel fantastic.