Written for LIV by Jess McKellar, Owner and Co-Founder of Jessy&Co
I always say being a vegan is easy. It’s eating healthily that’s complex and – somewhere between veganism, macro-dieting and ‘clean’ eating – simple health has been lost. In place of vegetable soups and family hikes we have fermented turmeric lattes and ‘dynamic yin’ yoga. Fat is good, fruit is bad and eggs will kill you as fast as cigarettes, they say. Vegan, Paleo, Organic, Macro, I-Quit-Sugar; all diets claiming to hold the key to optimal health, and all unanimous in conflicting one another. We end up confused, infuriated and deterred from making any positive changes at all.
Why can’t healthy eating be simple, delicious and completely noninvasive? Why do we have to worry about carbs and calories in 2018, when people are living longer today than ever before? Why can’t we eat well, feel good and still enjoy the foods we know and love? Well, with a bit of patience and some very simple mathematics, I think we can – and the formula starts here.
Read the label
Are you familiar with all of the ingredients? Natural ingredients that you know and understand are the first rule of thumb. If you can’t even pronounce the name (or the name has numbers in it) you should probably toss it. It’s important that your shelves are stocked with simple, natural foods – tinned tomatoes that are 99% tomatoes and 1% salt, nut butter made 100% from nuts, coconut milk that’s 60% coconut and 40% water…you catch my drift.
Don’t over complicate things
The brown rice vs. white rice saga: honestly, how often do you really eat it? Two or three times a week? The Japanese have been eating white rice for thousands of years, and they’re probably the leanest race on the planet. I find that hang-ups like white carbs don’t actually help us to live healthier lives. And the same people who actively avoid bread tend to be those who will happily drink two litres of Pepsi-max a day instead, because it’s ‘sugar-free’. This is ill-informed. A rounded diet full of natural goodness can handle the starchy foods we’ve come to know as ‘bad’.
Say yes to plants. Not necessarily exclusively, but have them with every meal – and in a way that works for you. There are now millions of amazing, quick, free recipes available on the internet, and each one offers something exciting and unique.
As our lives get faster, busier and more stressful, the things within our control move further and further away from us. Without any conflicting research-based data, you can gain control of your diet again, and start working towards a healthier, happier you.