Improve your nutrition

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How can we enjoy good food and live our best life? Dietitian and Intuitive Eating Counsellor Erin Murnane shares her tips.  

1. Eat enough food

Not eating enough food can impact our gut health, mood, energy, and overall nutrition. So, if you're always ignoring hunger or skipping meals, think about how you can eat more regularly. 

2. Eat a variety of foods

Increasing the variety of food you eat is an easy way to boost your nutrition, as different foods provide different nutrients. Welcome to the ‘What can we add?’ era (rather than ‘What can we take away’?).

3. Increase fibre intake

Fibre is essential for our gut health and keeps us fuller for longer. Try adding a handful of fresh, frozen or canned vegetables to your evening meals, a small tin of chickpeas to your salad, or swapping white bread, pasta, rice or cereal for a brown or grainy alternative.  Learn more about the important of fibre here>

4. Add more protein-rich foods

If you notice you're hungry again quickly after eating, it may be a sign to add a protein source. Think about how you can add some meat, dairy, legumes or meat alternatives to your next meal or snack. Learn more about protein in our 4 part series here >

5. Pair iron and vitamin C rich foods

Next time you’re eating iron-rich foods like meat, legumes, dark leafy green vegetables, tofu and iron-fortified bread and cereals, include Vitamin C-rich foods like citrus fruit or juice, strawberries, tomatoes, or capsicum to help increase iron absorption.

6. Include foods with monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and omega-3 fats

Including healthier fat sources like extra virgin olive oil, avocados, soybeans, nuts, seeds, nut butter, tahini, oily fish and seafood such as salmon, sardines or tuna to your weekly meals and snacks is a great way to boost your nutrition.

7. Keep snacks available

Of course, there are the usual snacks like yoghurt, fruit, veggie sticks and hummus, but explore the snack aisle to find new favourites like muesli bars, roasted chickpeas, or pasta pots - these days, the snack options are endless.

8. Hydrate properly

Water is crucial for many essential bodily functions, so if you struggle to drink water during the day, try carrying a water bottle, add flavouring to your water, or use sparkling water instead of still.

9. Slow down and reduce distractions

When you can, limit distractions and bring mindfulness to your eating; pause before, during and after you eat to check how your body feels and see if you want more food. This activity can help ensure you're giving your body enough food and stop eating past comfortable fullness to the point of feeling sick.

10. Ditch the restrictive diet mindset

Being too restrictive around food can lead to strong cravings for and bingeing on high-fat, sugar and salt foods. If you resonate with this, try loosening your rules, including them occasionally and notice if you start to desire them less.

 

  • Bio: Erin is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor who helps women heal their relationship with food, find food freedom and accept their here-and-now bodies. In her spare time, she loves creating quick and easy recipes that are packed with flavour.  Find out more at balanceandbite.com.au

     

 

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