JERF - Nutrition for life

Do a quick search on google for "diets" and you will be greeted with lots and lots of different suggestions on what the best way to eat to lose weight is.

There is no point going on an extreme diet that is not sustainable or enjoyable. The result may be positive at first, but when you deprive and limit yourself of all sense of enjoyment around food, it’s impossible to sustain.  

When it comes down to it, food is sustenance, but it's also there to be enjoyed.

Want a sustainable approach to eating? Sick of falling into the same bad habits after trying fad diets? I suggest you JERF. 

What is JERF?

It simply means, Just Eat Real Food. 

This means focusing on eating unprocessed, natural foods. Food that is in its natural form, with as little added as possible. These types of foods provide maximum nutritional benefit with no additives or preservatives and have little refinement.

Think food that comes in minimal packaging so vegetables, fresh fruit, meat ("whole" cuts rather than sausages or other overly processed meats/pre-marinated choices), legumes, whole grains.  

Focus on eating real food, and you will never need a fad diet. Life is much more enjoyable that way!

Tips to JERF

Find the value in simple meals

Focus on choosing a good quality piece of meat, load up with veggies (focus on a portion of greens and a portion of higher starch veggies) and some whole grains. That's a healthy, simple and balance meal. 

When you JERF, meals don't have to be overly time consuming. Of course it will take you longer to pull together a balanced meal rather than say warm up a microwave meal or boil a packet of noddles. But it's worth it. 

Try out this delicious Fennel and Brussel Sprout Salad recipe

Steer clear of plastic/packaging

That's not to say completely as there's plenty of JERF food that will come in packaging (like grains) but generally speaking, anything processed will be in plastic.

That includes any pretend health foods like "chickpea crisps"and other sneaky foods that position themselves as healthy that really aren't. If you missed my blog post on some of these top culprits, you can check it out here

Beware of the dressing

Packaged dressing or condiments are a real trap. Many salad dressings are full of preservatives and tonnes of sugar. Same goes for tomato or barbecue sauce. Try a more natural source of dressing such as yoghurt, olive oil, lemon on vinegar instead. If you do want a condiment, go for Dijon mustard that doesn't contain any sugar at all. 

Learn from the past

Our grandparents ate real food. There were hardly any packaged choices compared to present day and it served them well.

Try and emulate what food would have been like in the 50s. They certainly didn't have as much choice, but that also meant eating less sugary or processed foods.

Steer clear of unnatural sugars

Sugar should come from natural sources. Fruits like dates and berries, honey and rice syrup. And you should still use these sparingly. Unnatural or refined sugars are present in things like soft drinks, snacks like muesli bars, chocolate and again many dressings and sauces. 

Read the labels

If you don't recognise an ingredient on a label, it's likely processed. Try and select food that doesn't have a huge list of complicated ingredients. Fill the majority of your diet with foods that don't need a label to know its contents (like fruit, veggies and meat).

Water is number 1

I'm not saying don't have the occasional wine (wine's just grapes, right?!) but really make sure that water is the main drink in your life.

As well as eating real food drink cleanly too. Cut out sugary drinks (they serve no nutritional value to you!) and aim to drink 2-3 litres of water a day. When you want something different stick to herbal teas or a small coffee with just a small serve of milk. 

Just starting eating real food. No more fads, no sense of guilt or shame.

Having food in the form it was intended and really enjoying it. JERF!



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