Keeping Healthy Simple

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Do you ever wonder if you’re on the right track with your health? If you take a look at the magazines in the supermarket you might be fooled into thinking you’re not really healthy unless following X, Y and Z diet or cutting out certain foods. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to be healthy and what’s healthy for you may be quite different from your friend or relative. 

Before looking to others, or the magazine shelves, why don’t you take stock of how you’re feeling now? How many of these health basics can you tick off?

  • Eat 5+ a day vegetables and fruit
  • Drink water, limit soft drink
  • Be physically active most days of the week
  • Eat from each of the four food groups, including lean meats/alternatives
  • Limit alcohol
  • Do not smoke

While these points might seem fairly general, it’s the place to start if you’re after optimal health. We don’t need to rely on supplements or a restrictive way of eating to be healthy. It can be as simple as removing a few items of junk food from our weekly diet and adding in more fresh fruit and veg.

The way we think about food can impact our relationship with healthy eating. Being able to switch off, sit down and enjoy a meal intuitively – regardless of what foods you are actually eating – is a component of a healthy lifestyle. Being able to eat mindfully i.e. eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full, is a basic concept but much harder in practise.

If weight loss is your only goal, dieting is unlikely to bring success in the long-term. Instead, it’s best we think about the concept of well-being which encompasses the physical, mental and emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions of health. This is actually a Maori philosophy called Hauora.

Next time you’re wanting to ‘get healthy’, why don’t you make it even more simple for yourself and think about Hauora. What can I do today to benefit my physical body i.e. eating mindfully, choosing healthy foods, exercising in a way that’s enjoyable; and how might I meet my mental, emotional and social needs? Perhaps it’s sharing a meal with family, reading a book before bed instead of scrolling social media, or running a bath.

Here are some more top tips from the Beef + Lamb NZ team:

  • Use your palm (without fingers) as a guide for serving appropriate portions of lean red meat.
  • Serve lean red meat and vegetables together for optimal nutrient absorption.
  • Remove excess fat from cuts of meat after cooking.
  • Include lean red meat 3-4 times per week to meet iron and zinc requirements.
Brooke Campbell