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We are so worried about what we eat, and when we eat, we don’t stop to think about HOW we eat… put a good kid in a bad neighbourhood and he’ll probably end up joining a gang; but if you go into a bad neighbourhood in a crowd you have a good chance of leaving unscathed. Your crowd might even make an improvement, like cleaning up a park.  It’s like that with your food, the ‘friends of your food’ and the environment your food finds itself in…

So if you are eating white bread and you eat it with jam- no nutrients, high sugar, the ‘food’ is an assault and the good guy (you) loses… but if you take the bread and have a free range egg and tomato and spring onion and lettuce leaves and Himalayan salt, the ‘friends’ of the bread make it into less of a street thug

So here are 5 tips to help you find good friends for your food and to clean up your ‘neighbourhood’:

Cultivating The Good Crowd – food and friends of your food:

·        Consider the 80/20 rule : 80% of good, clean, colourful food and only 20% of processed, nutrient-poor or beige food.  Can you do this for every meal of the day?  (the coaching process will help you to integrate these changes)

·        Staying hydrated is vital, but did you know that you should not drink and eat at the same time?  Cut off fluids 30 mins before, during, and 30 mins after food (you’ll learn the science behind this Modifiable Lifestyle Factor during your coaching sessions)

·        You should not overeat, and you should stay vertical for at least 40minutes after your meal. If you can’t figure out why this is good for you, don’t worry… there’s a coach for that!

·        I recommend ‘All Food On A plate and All Plates On A Table – and your desk is not a table and neither is your dashboard.  Even if it’s a snack of crisps or biltong, put it on a plate and sit at your table… the idea of this makes a lot of people uncomfortable – are you one of them?  Ask a Coach how to make these changes

·        When you Eat Mindfully, you pay attention to flavours, tastes and textures.  You can appreciate the colours.  You chew your food.  You can enjoy the sensations and the luxury of eating. Your brain and digestive system are fully aware that eating is in progress.  It’s a very important Modifiable Lifestyle Factor.  It’s signalling your biology to respond appropriately to the ‘food & friends of your food’.  Why is it important?  Ask your Coach in session 1!

So, while What We Eat is Important, hopefully How You Eat is also something you’ll consider.  Lifestyle changes can be uncomfortable, especially if you focus on what you’re giving up.  But, if you can focus on all you have to gain, health promotion is very rewarding, changing your internal environment 1 ‘park cleanup’ at a time.