A fresh perspective on the concept of ‘diet’.

Food is Fuel

Broken Down CarYour body is constantly growing and/or repairing itself, and using energy from food as fuel to sustain life. If you want your body to run smoothly and last a lifetime, you have to put in the right ‘mix’ of fuel.

If you put in the wrong fuel when the body is experiencing significant change (e.g. infancy, childhood, puberty, pregnancy, menopause) or over a long period, the body will run rough and eventually break down.

The gradual decline in health and fitness often goes unnoticed as we lose sight of our ‘normal’ self.

Signs that the mix is not right include lack of energy, carrying excessive weight, getting sick easily, teeth, tummy or toileting issues and generally feeling flat.

Conscious consumption

Food is part of a broader concept called ‘diet’. Diet is about the whole eating experience including nutrition; how food is prepared and combined; quantity; timing; how you eat (sitting down or on the run), and your overall relationship with food. All these aspects of ‘diet’ will influence the health and wellbeing of you and your family.

The next step towards improving your diet is to become fully conscious of your overall approach to food and eating. Do you plan your meals and snacks or do you leave it to chance? Do you eat with others; at the table or your desk; in front of TV? Are you eating in response to physical or mental hunger?

Every day, you make countless conscious and unconscious choices about all aspects of your diet. Step back and focus on a few of the key decisions. Is there room for improvement?

Perhaps you are also making dietary decisions on behalf of your loved ones? Feeding children is a big responsibility.

Their developing bodies are vulnerable, and the dietary habits they establish as they grow up will endure into adulthood. Research has shown that overweight children often grow into overweight adults.

Positive dietary habits include:

  • Make conscious choices about what and when you eat. A little planning goes a long way.
  • Choose predominantly wholefoods - raw or minimal processing, plenty of fibre, no added sugar.
  • Cycle through a wide variety of foods. Use nature’s colour-coding system!
  • Go for simple, nutritious meals rather than complicated recipes. It is not a competition!
  • The Food Commandments
  • Be mindful of portion size.The goal is to feel satisfied not stuffed.
  • Keep up your fluids. Water is best. 6 - 8 glasses per day.
  • Bring the family together around the table to nourish both their belly and their soul.
  • Eating alone? Set the table with the best cutlery, a candle and put on some relaxing music. You and your body are worth it!
  • Be conscious of why you are eating. Are you actually hungry or is there something else at play?

Download ‘Conscious Eating Placemat’ activity to encourage children to eat at the table and to become more engaged with positive dietary habits.

You will also find Paddock to Plate useful with this activity.