In order for your body to be healthy you need to ingest water, carbohydrates, protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals. A good balance of these will help your body to function optimally and get you on the path to great health. The G.I. Lean lifestyle is all about eating balanced and nutritious Low-GI meals to help you look and feel great!
What You Should Be Eating:
In a perfect day you should eat:
- 1 serving of essential fats.
- 3 servings of protein (e.g. beans, lentils, fish, cheese, egg, lean meat).
- 4 servings of complex carbohydrates (e.g. wholegrains such as brown rice, rye, oats, baby potatoes, whole wheat pasta and breads).
- 6 servings of fruits and vegetables (best options include citrus fruits, apples, pears, berries, melons, dark green or root vegetables.
Even if you are eating a well-balanced diet filled with the right foods you are still unlikely to achieve the correct intake of vitamins and minerals. We recommend that you take a daily multivitamin, and perhaps essential omegas 3 and 6 if you are not getting them from your diet.
Cooking – How to prepare your meals:
More than half the nutrients in the food you eat are destroyed before they reach your plate and the wrong cooking method can add loads of kilojoules. The best methods of cooking food are grilling, microwaving, steaming and baking. Avoid frying, deep frying and burning your food. Eating more raw food is a great idea!
Try to cook food in its own juices, or use oils like sesame seed, olive oil, or coconut oil if needed and avoid vegetable oils and too much butter. Try to reduce your salt intake as it is bad for you.
When thinking of meals try combining proteins with carbohydrates as this helps to keep you fuller for longer.
The Bad Stuff:
Naughty food that add fat to your buttocks, thighs and stomach include refined carbohydrates, sugar, fried foods, cheese covered foods like pizza and pastas, energy drinks, oily foods, biscuits, chips, chocolate, sweets, sugary drinks, cream cheese, fruit juice, donuts, cakes, white bread and rolls, raisins, fatty meats, and foods covered in batter.
Avoid the temptations. Remove bad food items from your cupboard and fridge, instead stock up on healthy alternatives. Another tip is to make sure you are satisfied and not hungry when you go grocery shopping, as you will be less likely to grab bad food choices.
Social events often revolve around food and drink. It is difficult to navigate the friendly glass of wine, the eye-catching appetisers, the scrumptious food at your favourite restaurant or the popcorn and Coke at the movies. The problem with eating out is that you don’t know how the food has been prepared. Extra cream, oil or sugar could have been added to that innocent looking snack, which can have a negative effect on your healthy eating plan. Popcorn at movies for example looks like a great idea but in truth the popcorn has been popped in bad oil.
So what can we do to eat healthily when out?
- Well, a great idea is to have smaller portions of what is available or halve it with a friend. Ask for a side plate and dish out what you are not going to eat and ask them to put that in a takeaway box.
- Make healthy choices like salads, wraps, starter portions or grilled fish or chicken.
Choose salad or veg when asked what side you would like.
- For movies bring your own air-popped popcorn in your bag or eat dinner or a meal just before you go so you have no room for food. Don’t fall into the trap of buying fruit juice instead of Coke as it is very high in sugar. Rather choose water or Coke Light.
- When attending events or a friendly get-together, eat a healthy snack before the time so as not to be tempted, or offer to bring a healthy appetiser to share.
- Alcoholic drinks are often even higher in kilojoules than food, so beware! Take note of what you drink and have a glass of water in between every time to slow you down and keep you hydrated. If you are having a glass of wine, add a few extra blocks of ice to make it last longer. If you are having a mixer, choose diet or low kilojoule options. Avoid cocktails as these often have a high sugar content. Great options include white wine spritzers, sparkling wine, vodka with a diet mixer, light beers and ciders.
- If you have to eat out, look for healthy restaurants and cafes in your area to suggest to your friends, family and work colleagues. Also try and compensate for eating out by eating lighter for the rest of the day and doing extra exercise.
Purchase these foods:
These foods are great to keep in your kitchen, you can mix and match them for nutritious meals and snacks. To help you achieve great health, fill your trolley up with these Low-GL options.
Healthy choices include:
- Low fat cottage cheese
- Reduced fat mozzarella
- Soy milk
- Skim milk
- Fat-free and low-fat yoghurt
- Popcorn seeds (to be air popped)
- Brown rice
- Barley wheat
- Wild basmati rice
- Baby potatoes
- Rye bread
- Low-GL whole-wheat bread
- Whole-wheat Provitas
- Whole-wheat wraps
- Raw oats (not instant)
- Raisin-free muesli
- Salmon (there are tinned options)
- Rooibos tea
- Xylitol (natural sugar replacement)
- Green vegetables
- Dried fruits
- Olive oil
- Sugar-free jelly
- Diet custard
- Pancake mix,
- Lean protein like chicken breast, ostrich meat, lean mince, fish, lean steak, lean lamb and soya mince