Healthy eating tips

A bowl of apples

Find out why meals matter with advice from the 'Nature Doctor,' Max Tomlinson.

BREAKFAST

  • Breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day, from a nutritional and a naturopathic point of view. If you don't fuel the machine properly, you're going to run out of fuel at some point during the day.
Max's five fridge favourites

  • A fresh and full drawer of fruit and vegetables
  • Organic milk
  • Wholemeal pasta and brown rice
  • Filtered water ready to pour and drink
  • Eggs

  • Some of my patients have said to me 'I wake up feeling nauseous,' or 'I'm not hungry,' and it's because we eat too much at night. So we're lying in bed digesting and when you wake up in the morning you're not quite hungry yet. So let's cut down what we're eating at night and eat more for breakfast, a simple breakfast.
  • Porridge is a simple and a great start to the day because you're getting all of the fibre and B vitamins from the oats and you don't have to be Jamie Oliver to make it. Just chuck some oats into a pan, add milk, put the heat on and stir.
  • B vitamins are really important for running the nervous system, and the nervous system is all about energy. So going to school with the right amount of B vitamins in your system will allow you to be alert.
Put down that chocolate bar!

Bananas are great for boosting energy levels and are a great natural form of sugar.

  • Porridge is great for protein, but most importantly it contains a form of sugar that enters the bloodstream slowly and consistently over the whole morning. So instead of feeling absolutely amazing for the first half an hour when you get to school and then thinking 'I'm hungry again,' you have good energy throughout the day until lunchtime.
  • Eggs are also a great source of protein, a brilliant source of vitamins and minerals and what an easy little snack in the morning.

LUNCH

The key to cheese

Rotate the types of cheeses you eat. There are so many to choose from including cow's cheese, goat's cheese and even sheep's cheese!

White cheese tends to be more protein based and yellow cheese tends to be more of an animal fat.

  • Lunch is important because it governs your afternoon. Firstly, have a bit of protein, which is red meat, chicken or fish. Protein is also in beans and tofu for those who are vegetarian. For example, a little bit of chicken breast that you've grilled, a little bit of red meat or some sausages, but just a mobile phone size.
  • Don't overdo the protein. If you can, combine protein with carbohydrates such as breads, rice or potatoes, so that your lunch will see you through to dinner.
  • Have vegetables with your lunch. Vegetables can be in the form of a salad or a juice. There are enough juices out there nowadays, that are not diluted and are actually made from fresh vegetables that you can have in place of a bowl of salad for example.

DINNER

Not all fats are bad

Reduce animal fats such as full cream milk, fatty yoghurts, sausages, bacons, and increase good fats which can be found in fish oils and olive oils.

  • Dinner is a very important meal. Let's go back to the meat and three veg concept. We've got so far away from the classic British concept of having meat and three veg, because it's deemed to be a far too simple a meal, but what a great thing to do. If it's red meat make sure it's lean with no fat on it, and if its chicken make sure you take the skin off. Then just serve with your three vegetables. What a joy!

SNACKS

  • Snacking is not bad. It is a way of keeping your energy blood sugars constant.
  • The classic snacks are crisps, chocolate bars and sweets, but these can be replaced by dried fruit or fruit. For my daughter I mix up raisins, cranberries, dried apricots and some sultanas. Those are her sweets and she loves them. She doesn't feel deprived.
  • Sugar cravings?

    Say 'No' once a day to a sugar hit. Then see if you can expand that to twice a day, then three times a day etc. It will then become a habit pattern.

  • There are so many alternatives to crisps on the market at the moment. There's rice crackers and crisps that are low in salt and low in fat.
  • Chocolate bars are a tough one because chocolate is yummy and it does have an emotional effect on the body. So what we do with chocolate is very clever, instead of having a big chocolate bar, go for one of the handy small size chocolate bars with 70% cocoa.

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