After years of eating cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and pasta for dinner we totally understand why the thought of ditching these for good might seem daunting, or even impossible. In a busy world where convenience often overrides health as a priority and ready meals have become the norm, the notion of sourcing and cooking all of your own food might just send you over the edge! With that in mind we’re offering you a few ideas on where to start your Fitter Food transition and develop healthy habits that ensure eating awesome, nourishing nutrition is effortless.
The key is not to over think or rush the process. It’s not a race to the finish line nor a quick fix, the changes you’re adopting here should be considered lifelong. There is no end of with this diet and hopefully, no back to eating the way you were before. It’s about changing your mindset and evolving your nutrition alongside your lifestyle and daily movement needs.
Step 1: Change Breakfast
This is where we started ourselves and with many of our clients. Increasing healthy fats and protein at breakfast is a great place to start eggs, avocado, fish, meat and vegetables.
One the positive aspects of this higher fat and protein meal in comparison to the usual toast and cereal is that it supports healthy blood sugar levels.
This is especially important in the morning as it determines your energy, hunger and cravings for the rest of the day. We discuss the importance of blood sugar health in further detail here. We have lots quick breakfast ideas for free here. Or grab a copy of our latest book, Paleo Primer: A Second Helping which is packed with everything you need to know.
Step 2: Simple Swaps On Carbohydrates
This move alone will deliver astounding health benefits by supporting optimal gut and hormone health.
All you need to do is ditch the bread, pasta, cous cous, wraps and crackers and other flour-based foods for root vegetables, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruit and good wholegrains like rice or rolled oats.
What you’re doing here is replacing a carbohydrate for a carbohydrate, but you’re opting for single ingredient, unprocessed foods.
One of the misconceptions about ancestral nutrition is that it’s a low carbohydrate diet. It’s actually neither a diet nor is it low carb. If you are active you need the carbohydrates to fuel your training and recovery. Some people just feel better with carbohydrates contributing 30-40% of their daily calories. Initially don’t change your macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) too much just change the source.
White rice is often questioned as a healthy food but most people tolerate rice well, it’s a gluten free source of carbohydrates and widely available when eating out. There is a place for healthy amounts of carbohydrates, it’s just a case of establishing your personal needs which you can do by testing your blood glucose – but don’t worry too much about that initially just make the basic swaps.
Step 3: Get Savvy In The Kitchen
This can make or break your Fitter Food adventure – you’re going to need to become a confident cook and the beauty is you can do this really easily.
One of the greatest benefits of Fitter Food is the love affair you will embark on with the ingredients you source to make your own meals. By cooking your own meals using simple ingredients you can ensure your dishes are full of awesome, fresh food and none of the hidden additives, thickeners and preservatives the food industry increasingly like to add to food these days (get label reading and you’ll see what we mean!)
However, we know this can be a tall order, especially if you are used to ready meals or eating out frequently and haven’t ever needed to use the kitchen for more than finding a bottle opener. The following helped us hugely when we first started out cooking all of our daily meals from scratch:
“How on earth do these help?” Like most people we’re pretty time poor and our food needs to be quick and convenient, so batch cooking is key and these are your helpful bits of kit.
The loaf tin became essential as we found baking loaves from eggs provide an awesome meal-in-one option that you can prep in advance and take for any meal. Check out our Brunch Loaf or Rosemary & Courgette Loaf.
Feel free to experiment and add your own ingredients, we’ve used different variations of spinach, smoked salmon, olives, mackerel, peppers and prawns.
The Good Grips Julienne Peeler will mean you can knock up some vegetable spaghetti or ‘courgetti’ in a matter of minutes. A big premise of Fitter Food is getting in the extra veggies we’ve spent years missing out on in favour of huge bowls of pasta or doorstop slices of bread.
Check out our Pesto Chicken on Courgette Spaghetti recipe, it’s the most searched for recipe on our website. You can use other vegetables such as carrots and butternut squash too. We recommend Good Grips as they are pretty robust, we’ve used ours a huge amount!
A tiered steamer means you can cook a great range of vegetables in one go and boil your potatoes in the bottom pan. We always batch cook so we have leftovers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As it’s winter you can always warm leftover vegetables and potatoes in a pan or microwave with some olive oil to make an instant, warming supper or side dish (aka bubble and squeak). That’s where the ceramic pan comes in. We like Ceracraft frying pan as they clean easily and make stir fry’s, frittata’s, steaks, omelettes a piece of cake!
Step 4: The 80:20 Approach
The main thing that seems to put people off a whole foods diet is relinguishing their favourite foods, however, this needn’t be the case forever.
You may come across situations that mean you fall off the wagon through no fault of your own, for example a meeting at work where sandwiches are the only things on offer. We’ve observed so many people giving up when faced with these pitfalls, believing that healthy eating is just too hard in a modern day world.
However, as we mentioned it’s not a race and the most important thing is that your next meal returns to the Fitter Food principles.
Once you’ve started to get the hang of things and feel your body composition, energy, skin and performance are responding positively it’s likely you will LOVE eating this way most of the time and then you can play around with 10- 20% of your intake. This means you can have the odd peanut M&M here and not worry that it’s going to do you any harm! 😉
Step 5: Stay Accountable With Our Online Plan
If you feel like this might be a difficult, intimidating journey for you might want to consider our online Lifestyle Transformation Plan Fitter 16 (www.fitter16.com).
Not only will you receive your own monthly meal plans, exclusive recipes, workout cards and exercise challenges, there’s also seminars on nutrition, hormones, stress and nutritional supplements, plus the support of 100’s of fitter foodies transforming their health with the power of food, movement and daily habits that bring out the best in them.
The community support and advice can be hugely motivating when you first step out to make positive changes. Head here for more details www.fitter16.com.