The rock climber and fitness expert tells us how to eat healthily.
- A good breakfast is important
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you sleep for about seven to eight hours, you don't eat during that time. You can't expect your body to be at its best physically and emotionally if you get up and go to work or school on a coffee and a couple of teaspoons of sugar. It's not going to work.
- Lack of time to make food in the morning...
The excuse of having to get up early to go to school or work and not having any time doesn't really wash. If you're committed to your health you will get up that little bit earlier to make yourself a good quality breakfast. That may mean going to bed earlier, which probably means less time cruising the internet or watching junk on TV.
You can prepare food the night before to take with you. I use a lot of leftovers for breakfast and lunch. I always make a little bit more food for dinner the night before which I can use for breakfast, lunch, and snacks on the following day.
- Food you can eat for lunch
Last night I had roast chicken and vegetables. I brought in a couple of chicken legs and put them in the fridge with some broccoli. If I go out for dinner the night before and don't have any leftovers for the following day, I'll make some lunch when I make my breakfast.
I tend to have a big protein breakfast. I'll have some organic sausages, bacon and vegetables. I'll make a couple of extra sausages, and I'll have those with a green apple or some mixed vegetables for lunch as well.
- It's important to have small, regular meals
It's important to keep eating throughout the course of the day. You need to make sure that you're snacking on real food. That keeps your blood sugar levels balanced. There are a whole host of foods I don't eat, but if I'd gone hours without eating and somebody offered me a greasy bacon and egg sandwich, I'd rather have that than let my blood sugar get low.
One of the worst things we can do for our health and our mental sharpness is to let our blood sugar get low. If you go without food then whatever you eat next, whether it's healthy or not, is going to get stored as fat anyway as your body will think it's gone through some mini famine. Then it wants to start laying down layers of fat for the next famine.
- Eat little and often throughout the course of the day
I'd recommend things like nuts, fruit, hard cheese and cold meats. You could try eating little tubs of salad. There's no golden rule. Some days I'll be working in the office until eight o'clock in the evening. At about five o'clock I'll grab a pummet of blueberries or whatever fruit is in season. Sometimes I'll get some cold meats or a tub of cottage cheese. It's pretty simple.
- Strike a balance
You don't have to be extreme. A lot of people think I spend my life doing weights and munching on carrots. That's not true. I live in London, I go out for dinners, I have fun, I go to the movies, I see my friends, etc. I just make sure that things are balanced and that health is my main priority.
It's all about putting your priorities in place. My priority is feeling good all day long, not getting sick and being able to do my job well. That comes from getting some early nights and eating the right foods. It comes from exercising and having a balance in my life.
- Remember, you are what you eat!
There is absolutely no doubt that food alters moods. A recent study has shown that the amount of sugar in children's diets is affecting their mood and behaviour.
The chemicals in what we eat are absorbed directly into our bloodstream and affect the way that our brain functions. I know that personally, if I were to go out and have a couple of glasses of wine without eating a decent meal, my mood would go up and then it would go down and I'd be in a complete low.
If I go for a few hours without eating and have a piece of fruit, I have an instant sugar spike and within 30 minutes, I'm back down again.
The majority of teenagers nowadays are living on poisonous trans-fats, sugar and processed carbs. They're not providing their bodies and their brains with the nutrients that they need. What you eat has a profound effect on the way you behave, think and operate.
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