Health Angel Hailey's simple ways to eat well without fuss
Nutritional therapist Hailey Thomson rounds up her top six tips for improving your diet without significant expense or hassle.
Before I embarked on my own journey of healthy eating I was totally confused about what was good for you and what wasn't.
There is so much conflicting advice out there that it’s difficult to know what we should believe and what advice to take on.
It's the reason I decided to set up my business, Your Health Angel, and to share as widely as I can just how easy it is to eat good, nutritious food.
Here, I've set out a few basic guidelines that I follow and advise my clients to take on board to make healthy eating both straightforward and achievable.
1. Eat 'real food'
Eating whole foods - those that are as unprocessed and natural as possible – is the best way to get essential nutrients into your body. It also means you aren't loading your body with refined sugars, additives, and preservatives found in most processed and packaged foods. If you are buying packaged products my advice would be to read the ingredients on the back to make sure you’re aware of what's included.
2. Drink more water
It’s one of the simplest things you can do for your health – making sure you are fully hydrated. Your body needs water to function, detox, and help with digestion. Drinking more water will stop you reaching for fizzy drinks or coffee to hydrate you. Dehydration can sometimes be mistaken for hunger and it's at those times that we usually search out high-sugar and processed foods. Aim to drink between 1.5 to 2 litres each day.
3. Plan your week
Investing a little time to plan your meals for the days ahead will help you to eat well all week. It will also save you time, money, and food waste as you buy what you need and you use what you buy.
4. Batch cook
I love the concept of cooking once, eating twice (or more). It not only saves you time and effort but you know there will always be something healthy prepared that you can simply heat up, especially when your day has been particularly busy. If you don't have time to batch cook at the weekend, just double up on ingredients when you're making a meal one night.
5. Introduce meat-free Monday
Cooking without meat will encourage you to be more creative and also to use more vegetables. There are so many simple and healthy meat-free meals that are absolutely delicious and full of flavour too.
6. Fruits and vegetables first
Most children and adults in the UK aren’t meeting their five a day. The simplest way to achieve this is to build your meals and snacks around fruits and vegetables first. Consider snacking on fruits (or fresh veg like carrots and cucumbers) and practice the 50 per cent rule where half your lunch or dinner is made up of vegetables.