Summer Eating

So I haven’t posted for a while. I’ve been labouring for a friend for the last few weeks or so, but now I’ve finished. I wanted to share some of my observations. I found that while I was working, my diet subtly changed.

Up here in north Queensland it’s been hot, some days really hot. It reached 37 degrees Celsius, nearly 100 F, on my veranda several days in a row.   At first I was shattered at the end of the day. The heat, coupled with the increased activity, took its toll.   As a nutritionist I am generally conscious of what I eat and drink and I’m also getting good at ‘listening’ to my body. I raced home for lunch had to make something quick. The lads working on the site sat down to a sandwich or a pie.

Whilst I felt hungry I didn’t feel like carbohydrate rich foods. It was almost an unconscious decision. I sensed that in the heat carbohydrates would have slowed me up, made me feel heavy and fatigued. Some days I chopped up a range of vegetables, mostly greens and made a stir-fry, being liberal with the coconut oil. On other days I cut up a lettuce, which I ate with sardines and sauerkraut. Occasionally I ate cheese with cucumber and sauerkraut.  Sometimes I might have a small piece of meat, or some bacon and eggs. Often I would wilt some leafy greens while I poached a couple of eggs, always giving a generous splash of olive or macadamia oil. Surprisingly these hastily prepared, simple meals became my main meal of the day. In the evening I’d have something small.

I felt good for it. I had more energy and I lost a bit of weight.  I have no doubt I expended more energy than usual. I had to give away the sweet potatoes and I didn’t eat rice. I stopped buying the tropical fruits, which are generally high in sugars, in favour of some local temperate fruit, apples, peaches, nectarines and blueberries.

I think we forget these days to eat to the environmental conditions, to only eat when we’re hungry and to eat good, nutritionally dense foods. How often do we eat when we’re not hungry, out of habit, or eat something quick and convenient because we’re in a hurry?  Then again, how often do we pick at comfort foods?

We’re all different, have different needs and likes but there are some core recommendations, or nutritional practices common to all of us. That is to eat nutrient dense foods, avoid starchy and processed foods, empty of nutrients and high in calories. Eat mostly fresh, organic plant based foods, colourful where possible. It goes without saying; we should avoid grains and sugar. Eat quality fats, coconut, olive, macadamia and avocado oils. Above all, eat less and enjoy it!

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