Tips from nutritionist Emily Hope, Hope Nutrition
Clean eating, diets, meal plans… we’re bombarded with so many different ways to eat and be healthy - it all gets a bit overwhelming! But nutrition and wellbeing doesn’t have to be complicated.
Emily Hope, from Hope Nutrition, is a New Zealand registered nutritionist, fig grower, mum, and smoothie drinker. She shares her tips for achieving a healthy and balanced lifestyle. They’re straight up, honest, good for you, and easy to add to your daily routine
Allow yourself to enjoy ALL foods. Yes, you read right! Remember: it’s what you do most of the time that impacts your health, not what you do sometimes. If you enjoy nourishing wholefoods most of the time, then a few soul foods that you absolutely love isn’t going to negatively impact on your health. Stressing about avoiding certain foods or banning them completely is worse! The vicious cycle of food restriction, craving, binging, guilt, and then back to restriction is more damaging than just enjoying the odd treat. Don’t ever let anyone tell you foods are either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. They are simply nourishing or they’re not. It’s extremely liberating once you begin to understand food in this light.
Learn to listen to your body. Do you know when your body is telling you it’s hungry? Maybe your stomach grumbles, or you feel lightheaded? When you know you’re hungry the important thing is TO EAT! If you’re ravenous then a single apple won’t do the trick. Try roast vegetable and chicken salad or salmon and potatoes with a few greens. But, if you are only slightly hungry, then a small snack like slices of apple with a little peanut butter may be all you need.
You should also listen to your body when it’s trying to tell you it’s had enough. Did you crave a piece of chocolate cake, but feel satisfied after a few bites? Then respect how you feel and stop. Most us are lucky enough to live in a society where food is plentiful and there will always be more the next day, and the day after that. So, save your beloved cake for when you feel like enjoying the rest. Enjoy what you have eaten and feel pleased that you have honoured and listened to your body.
Stop and think about how your body feels after eating. Food is meant to make us feel better after eating it (not worse!). So, if you really feel like something – say, another coffee – before you decide to indulge, stop and ask yourself how you’ll feel after you’ve finished. If you think you’ll feel more stressed and anxious, and most likely won’t be able to sleep well that night, your body would probably be better served choosing something like a chilled water, herbal tea, a smoothie blend, or even going for a walk!
Create nourishing habits. It’s what you do every day that impacts your health so try and create daily wholesome habits. This might be as simple as ensuring you have a nourishing breakfast before taking a sip of coffee first thing in the morning. Try a delicious smoothie blend, avocado and peanut butter on toasted sourdough, or a bowl of homemade granola with fruit and Greek yoghurt. Or, consider how many vegetables you’re eating on a daily basis. Vegetables provide a heap of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support optimal health. Could you squeeze in another serve each day by adding fresh herbs to salads or sprinkling microgreens over eggs? Small simple changes add up over time to create a lasting impact on your health.
Be kind to your body. Do you take part in movement you enjoy and love doing? Or do you force yourself to get out of bed and pound the pavement because you’ve read that running burns the most calories per minute, but you hate every minute of it? Find something you love doing and stick with it. It could be a dance class, yoga, or a walk along the lake with your friends. Movement helps us feel fit, healthy, and happy. It builds strong muscles that enable us to live with vitality. It creates a strong heart so we can love more fully and it helps clear the mind. That is so much more important than burning calories. Do what you love and you will want to do it forever.
Check out Emily’s website (which has some yummy nutritious recipes).
Image: David James Photography