Eating healthy on the go in London is certainly a difficult challenge. The lunchtime food market is saturated by outlets selling you products laden with fat, salt and refined sugars. The temptation is to load up on a fatty lunchtime snack and enjoy a post lunch desk coma. It has happened to all of us at some point and it definitely isn’t the friend of living a fit and healthy lifestyle .
Personally as many of you will already know I advocate a high carb, low fat, Vegan diet. I understand that most of you reading this blog probably won’t be Vegan and thats ok.
These blogs isn’t about trying to convert you into a Vegan. However personally for me when I switched from being a vegetarian who ate too much cheese to becoming a fully plant-based person I experienced a profound improvement in my health.
As a result of adopting a Vegan diet my digestion improved, I lost excess weight, my overall energy levels were boosted and my skin was better than ever before.
Whatever your overall dietary choices we can all benefit from get more fruits and veggies in our life. Luckily restaurants and retailers are catching onto this and the available plant-based food options are expanding rapidly.
Putting the Veganism to the side for a moment you can easily make some simple changes to your diet which will improve your wellbeing.`
Below have a outlined a few simple food guidelines which I try to follow. By abiding to these most of the time I have experienced improved energy levels and lost a few unwanted pounds.
1) Fruit for breakfast
I like to eat fruit for breakfast. I am not talking about a few strawberries here but big portions of fruit these days this normal means 8-10 bananas and maybe some almond milk. Our brain runs solely on sugar so by eating 800-1000 calories of pure sugar for breakfast my brain is able to function well and I have the energy to get out there an exercise. Fruit for breakfast has many other benefits it’s high in fiber and potassium it keeps you hydrated and assists with maintaining a healthy colon.
My favourite fruit breakfasts’ include: 10 banana smoothie with a handful of berries (blueberries, strawberries) Bananas are generally good all year round but during the summer I like to move with the seasons and eat whatever in bountiful and therefore cheap.
2) Don’t panic buy organic!
Yes Organic… I know it has a reputation of being expensive but if you are smart about where and how you purchase your produce you can eat organic at even cheaper prices than conventional produce.
Firstly you need to shift your mindset, most of us think nothing of paying £4 for a glass or wine or a pint of beer? But we shudder at the thought of paying £4 for a bag of organic potatoes.
For me the turning point was recognising the direct link between the food I put in my body and how I felt. It is simple really, the better quality of food you eat the more nutrients your body receives and less toxins it absorbs. This means better physical and mental wellbeing.
I personally think the supermarkets are stitching us all up not just farmers but the consumers as well when it comes to organic produce. Firstly they don’t pay farmers a fair price for their produce and they have no qualms in charging us top dollar of a small amount of organic vegetables.
Ok, so how can we make sure our weekly shopping spend doesn’t skyrocket out of control all in the name of being healthy?
I know this couldn’t sound more middle class if I tried but their are a number of ways to source organic produce at a reasonable price.
Farmers markets are a great way to eat seasonal and organic, recently I purchased 4 kg of organic potatoes for £4.00 at my local market. Ok cycling home with it on my back wasn’t much fun but it was cheap and they tasted great. Going to local markets regularly will help you develop relationships with the farmers this will help you get the best deals and find out what is in season and therefore cheap.
The same applies to fruit, I go to a non organic market what sells all sorts of food from across the globe it’s called Ridley Road market and is based in Dalston, London. I buy boxes of organic bananas in bulk for between £12 and £14. Often fruit sold at these large wholesale markets will in fact be organic.
Buying in bulk is the best way to get source cheap organic produce, although this requires adopting the mindset as if you were running your own greengrocers shop. If you are one of the those few people who drive a car in the city, this could be the option for you.
Not all cities are London, I get that. If you city isn’t brimming with local food growing schemes and farmers markets. The way to source affordable organic produce could be by joining a vegetable delivery scheme. There are a wide variety of schemes available, some call for you to go and collect the items from a designated drop off space others will simply deliver to your front door.
3) Easy on the fat
To borrow a phrase from YouTuber Durian Rider. The ‘fat you eat is the fat you wear’.
Our fat consumption has skyrocketed in recent decades. The prevalence of fast food on our streets is unmissable and on our tv’s a fatty animal protein based diet is pushed at us with zeal by advertisers and TV producers. With this increase in fatty animal products diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol have rocketed.
I eat a high carb diet and go easy on the oils with my cooking once you acclimate your taste buds stripping out unhealthy fats from your diet becomes easier.
Bread is a British obsession but the bread we eat today is a far cry from that our ancestors enjoyed even just 60 years ago. The bread the majority of us consume from supermarkets is stuffed full of preservatives and chemicals, it is basically powdered chemical flour glued together.
In countries such as France supermarkets have been banned from opening large stores within cities centres. This has protected artisan producers of food and ensured access to quality bread products. In the UK the campaign for real bread has gathered momentum and accessing real sourdough bread made from just water, flour, salt and live yeast has never been easier. I tend to buy a loaf of bread as an occasional treat or when having a working lunch, if I do buy it I will always buy sourdough as chemicals in food definitely doesn’t make up part of a healthy diet.
Many doctors and health experts are advocating switching out cows milk to alternatives like almond, soya, coconut, oat or hemp milk. We are raised to believe that drinking cows milk is our only choice especially with a cup of English tea. But the reality is milk alternatives these days are widely available and incredibly tasty. Don’t worry about not getting calcium as all plants contain calcium and some studies have found cows milk to actually leach calcium from your bones as it increases your body’s acidity levels.
For more about why milk is bad check out this video by Dr Gregor on how organic milk increases the chance of getting prostate cancer.
6) Whole foods
What do I mean by whole foods? I mean unrefined foods, vegetables, preferably organic, an abundance of fruits, loads of roots like potatoes and beets. The processing of food depletes it of vital nutrients, when I eat refined carbohydrates which I massively enjoy and encourage eating in large quantities I like to opt brown rice or pasta to give me slow release energy in the form of complex carbohydrates.
Thanks for reading