Over the past year or so the ‘clean eating’ brigade have received quite a lot of bad press, some possibly deserved and others perhaps not. This led me to reflect on what I had hoped to achieve when I embarked on eating ‘unprocessed’ and more importantly what message I was trying to deliver to others.
This reflection has led me to take a step back over the last few weeks and looking at what eating unprocessed means to me, what benefits it offers (and negatives of course), how anyone can achieve eating unprocessed easily and how our food culture is already adapting to the concept.
I’ll be writing a series of blogs over the next few weeks looking at this and hopefully giving you some useful tip and guidance so that you can create your own concepts that work for you.
‘The purpose has never been to lose weight – but instead to eat good quality locally sourced produce’
I think that the most important message that I wanted to spread, and the purpose of doing this blog is to distinguish between eating unprocessed and losing weight. Whilst someone may lose a few pounds by avoiding eating those chocolate bars or crisps, actually there are lots of ingredients that I often eat which are high in calories – but are very good for you. Good fat vs bad fat.
Since embarking on this journey almost 3 years ago, I wouldn’t’ say that I’ve lost weight, but I would definitely say that I am so much healthier than I used to be. Imparting this concept on my other half hasn’t been quite as easy, as he expects that if you eat healthily and avoid crisps or chocolate – that you should instantly begin to lose weight. Alas, no.
I really am a believer of doing everything in moderation. That is to say, enjoying those few pieces of chocolate and joining your friends for a glass of wine – but also making sure that you get some exercise be it walking to work, taking a stroll at lunchtime, going to a gym class or even hopping on a bike.
To be completely honest I’ve fallen off the wagon a few times with eating unprocessed, and I’ve largely realised that this has been due to a lack of preparation. When you’re hungry it’s so easy to pick up a chocolate bar or a packet of crisps from your local store and whilst stores are starting to offer some healthy alternatives, more often than not they’re not unprocessed.
The idea of preparation has been my main focus for the past week, and I’ve found some unprocessed snacks that you can prepare well in advance – and freeze. Hopefully this will leave you with no excuses! I’ll also be looking at what foods in the supermarket are on your side so if you do find yourself desperately scanning the shelves for a snack or for lunch – you should be able to go straight for what works for you.
Exercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude and your mood
Exercise deserves a bit more thought- because so often it’s abused. I know that many people drag themselves to the gym 3/4/5 times every week in the search of the perfect beach body. Cards on the table, that just isn’t me.
It’s taken me a while to find two morning gym classes that I really enjoy. If I didn’t enjoy them I simply wouldn’t get myself out of bed in the morning to go, I’d just end up becoming resentful.
As well as the gym, I also play netball twice every week which I enjoy mainly because it’s sociable. So, if the gym isn’t for you, then perhaps look for other sports groups/clubs in your local area.
The endorphins that are released whilst you exercise leave you feeling so much more relaxed and healthy afterwards. Exercising after a long day at work or when you’re feeling stressed can really help to put this back into perspective and leave you feeling much chirpier.