Creating a Healthy Meal Plan

Wellness Ambassador, Remo Belluco encourages a healthy start to the New Year with a meal plan to keep you energised.
Many of us have lost our way with food.  In our fast-paced world, food has become a means of filling a gap ' the tummy gap and often the emotional gap.  What is the purpose of food really?  By understanding what real food is and what it does for us, we are able to make healthier, empowered and informed choices. The human body needs food for nutrients and to assist with energy production.  This is what food is about at its most basic, functional level.  The specific nutrients we require are far more than just protein, carbohydrates and fat.  More importantly, it is the micro nutrients within these macro nutrients that provide the greatest healing potential and they are also what we are truly 'hungry' for.   Micro nutrients refer to vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and phytochemicals, appropriate fatty acids and appropriate amino acids (protein).  They are often lacking in modern, Western diets and the food supply in general, as a result of thousands of years of agriculture which has depleted the soil and lost the wild ancestors of many of our modern day foods.  As our food is generally up to 50 times 'emptier' than what it should be, even if eating lots of plant-based foods we still may not be getting what we require.  Phytochemicals or plant compounds have healing effects and also promote positive genetic expression ' i.e healing as opposed to harm. This is partly why phytonutrients play an important role in helping to balance out the effects of modern day stress, pollution, emf's etc.   Any diet should focus on increasing micro nutrients, best obtained from high amounts of diverse, fresh, raw vegetables and some fruit. One of the best ways of doing this is to have daily fruit and veg smoothies and fresh vegetable juices. In addition, fatty acids and amino acids are essential for maintaining health and healing and rebuilding.  Regarding fats, we get an abundance of Omega 6 in our diets - nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil etc but generally not enough Omega 3.  Sources of Omega 3 are predominantly found in chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, walnuts and oily fish.   When it comes to oils, all plant-based oils should be raw and cold-pressed. Heating denatures and makes them pro-inflammatory, except for coconut oil which is, therefore, the oil of choice for cooking.  Oils and fats from animal sources mostly contain pro-inflammatory forms of omega 6 and should be avoided.   Where protein is concerned, plant-based sources are easier to digest and less inflammatory than animal proteins.  In general we need about 1 gram of protein for every kg of body weight.  A mindful mix of nuts, seeds, leafy greens and sprouted legumes may very well provide what you need on a daily basis but if you are very active or concerned you are not getting enough protein, you could supplement with a pea protein powder.  Pea Protein is a superb protein option as it's easy to digest, is alkalizing and has a low probability of causing an allergic response.   Carbohydrates are important.  They are the store houses of those invaluable micro nutrients and fiber. Vegetables and fruit should be our main choices and grains should be minimised or eliminated, especially those containing gluten.  Quinoa is a great grain substitute.   Once the foundation elements of micro nutrients, fatty acids and appropriate protein have been met, the rest of your meal plan should be focused on foods that do not cause inflammation ' i.e avoiding animal proteins and dairy, soya, coffee, alcohol, sugar and gluten.  Have fun with your food and remember that healthy choices = healthy life! Contact Remo by email on [email protected] or Cell: 072 455 8002.  www.phytopro.co.za

“Wellness Warehouse strives to help you live life well but because we are retailers and not medical practitioners we cannot offer medical advice. Please always consult your medical practitioner before taking any supplements, complementary medicines or have any health concerns and ensure that you always read labels, warnings and directions carefully, prior to consumption.”