Eating right: take charge of your health and life

Eating right. What does it mean? It means different things to different people. The nutritionist will tell us it means consuming the right quantities of foods from all food groups in order to lead a healthy life.

The food groups as we all know are Carbohydrate, Protein, fat, Fruits and Vegetables, Diary, fiber etc.

Thus, when we combine all these in our meals we say we have taken a balanced diet.

But I say eating right is all about YOU. It’s about you and your goals.

When you eat right, you feel good about yourself and your food choices. You eat a variety of foods that provide the nutrients you need to be fit and in shape. You are investing in your body and your future by not overeating or taking in more calories that your body needs.

The World Health Organisation (W.H.O) gave 5 recommendations concerning Healthy eating:

  • We should aim for an energy balance and a healthy body weight
  • We should limit our energy consumption from total fats. We should aim for more unsaturated fats and not saturated fats.
  • We should up our consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts.
  • We should consume as little simple sugars as possible.
  • We should limit our Salt/sodium consumption.

As simple as all these appear, how many of us really practice these. When we eat our foods matters as much as what we eat.

Let’s take the normal day scenario of the Working Mom:

She wakes up early and starts getting ready for the day. She gets the kids prepared for school, if she is lucky she prepares their lunch, if not she branches at the fast food joint on her way for their lunch. The kids may or may not take any breakfast. If they do, maybe cereal or a slice of bread and a cup of beverage. Meanwhile, mom didn’t take anything hoping to take a cup of tea at work.

She drops the kids at school then hurries to work. She gets to work and she gets neck deep into the day’s activities. At around 11a.m, she starts feeling hunger pangs and she remembers “oh! I’ve not had anything”! The next thing she sends someone to buy a drink, a coke or a pepsi, and a pie and she eats! She doesn’t have time to eat a proper meal.

By the time she gets home, she balances to a large bowl of Eba and assorted meats. Because she is very hungry. She has not had any meal all day. And guess what time this is? It’s 9.30pm in the night.

As eating healthy is a nutritional lifestyle that promotes good health, another part to this is regular physical activity. To most of us, we say we are very active. But I bet this is not true.

We sit in air-conditioned car to the office, at the office, we sit all day till close of work. No form of exercise whatsoever. We believe there is no time to waste all in the name of exercise. For some people, they go to the gym, but right there after their workouts they are already consuming their regular drinks.

Regular exercises of 10-15mins, 3-4 times a week will go a long way to keep you fit and in shape.

In all of these, what should your goals be this year? They should be:

  • Better health and abundant happiness
  • Being a healthy, strong and fabulous mom
  • Being a fit, vibrant and confident wife, sister, daughter and professional.

So how can you achieve these?

  • By establishing a lasting lifestyle modification and creating changes in your diet and exercise routines
  • Staying away from unhealthy habits. Plan your day, from your breakfast, which is an important meal of the day to the apple for snacks rather than that chocolate or cake. Planning is very key in the achievement of goals. Also you might want to have water handy so that it will be easier to take rather than that fizzy drink whenever you feel thirsty. Yes make good old water your drink of choice always.
  • Making regular exercise part of your life. It doesn’t take the whole day to exercise. Wake up earlier than you used to. You can Jog on the spot, jump rope (skipping), take a walk. Just make it regular. Even in the office, you can decide to take the stairs rather than taking the elevator. Walk up to discuss with your colleague rather than using the intercom.

Healthy living is all about YOU. We have time for others but we don’t have time for ourselves. Start slowly. Get the whole family involved. Take that walk with your spouse, or daughter or your son. Get support. Surround yourself with positive thinkers. People who will encourage, inspire and motivate you.

The trick to lasting good health lies in mastering positive fitness and nutrition habits. Be that healthy, strong, fit and fabulous mom.

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