Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Eating well is more than a salad diet

Well, where should I start? After being asked to write a regular blog on health and fitness I realised what a huge topic I was expected to cover.I am sure that you are already bombarded by media attention on health issues such as what you should eat, what you shouldn't eat, what you should drink, what you shouldn't drink, how much to exercise and what is safe exercise! I find it fascinating that what is supposed to be good for you one day is suddenly bad for you the next. I have always had the opinion that moderation is the key and as my husband always reminds me - even moderation needs to be moderated. Diet and exercise are obviously crucial to good health but I think as individuals we have to listen to our own bodies without giving in too easily. There is a huge amount of advice out there but I think that enjoying your food is the key. A classic example is the humble salad. Now to some of you this may mean a soggy old piece of lettuce, a tasteless tomato and the end of the cucumber that has been cut some time ago (Restaurant and cafe owners beware - some of this is directed at you!). If I ask for a salad I expect flavour and texture, I at least expect freshness, ideally local and organic but always fresh. A salad can be even more exciting, just nip over the channel and find selections of salad such as Tuna Nicoise a great healthy option that is full of flavour. Now the Plymouth Arts Centre knows how to do salad, they usually have four or five salads on offer and even my carnivorous husband is usually tempted by at least one of their vegetarian offerings. Of course eating salad does not guarantee you will be healthy and resorting to the nasty limp salad and then plastering it in sauce is not really the answer either. I am not saying that you have to live on salad in fact quite the opposite, after all variety is supposed to be the spice of life. Oh dear - now I sound like some born again dietician! Learn to enjoy food and always try new things. Your taste buds do change, don't eat things you hate. Remember diet is a very personal thing - think about your own health needs - are you trying to lose, gain or maintain your body weight. Do you have medical issues that affect your diet and what you can and can't eat? If in doubt always consult your GP. Here are some useful websites that I have found that may help. www.eatwell.gov.uk/healthydiet/- this is the food standards agency website www.womenshealth.gov/faq/diet.htm - an American alternative giving advice on Women's diet issues www.helpguide.org/life/healthy_eating_diet.htm - general advice on things such as portion size Eat well and stay healthy x

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