Why Healthy Eating Doesn’t Mean Dieting
Something that Ella is constantly aware of is the misconception that healthy eating is a form of ‘diet’. Recently there have been several articles relating this way of living, and crucially eating, as being connected to deprivation. For Ella health eating is absolutely not a diet. Its all about balance, moderation and variety. Healthy living and eating should not dominate your life, and it should never be taken to an extreme. Instead, you should focus on enjoying the nourishing food and tastes that are suited to your body and life style. Trial and error is key when changing the way you eat, as you are the only one who can really figure out what’s best for you and your body.
We believe that healthy living and eating isn’t something prescriptive and it is definitely not something that should take control of your life. Quite the opposite actually, it should be solely about enjoying nourishing food in a way that tastes good and makes you happy. There’s no fixed rule about the amount of kale or quinoa you have to eat in a week, and there’s no ban on things that aren’t green either!
Ella started this way of healthy living and eating fundamentally because of her illness, controlling what she ate helped enormously with managing her symptoms. However, she eats this way all of the time because of her love of plant-based meals and how great they make you feel in comparison to processed foods. She worked very closely with a qualified nutritionist who helped her find the right tools when she started of eating this way and found that individual/specific advice was very effective for her.
The key is to eat what you want, when you want. Ella found one of the most important things for her was to never count calories or to worry about portion sizes. Although Ella is an incredible guiding light through healthy eating, it is essential that everyone know that they don’t have to only eat these foods or eat this way all the time just because she does. Feel free to adapt her recipes to make them work for you too; use them as side dishes or add other ingredients to them to help them fit into your lifestyle and the way you like to eat.
For example at home Ella and Matthew eat lots of bowls of porridge with almond butter, warming veggie stews with lots of spices served over brown rice, chocolatey energy balls and rye toast with honey, but when they go out Matthew loves a pizza followed by ice cream with extra chocolate sauce! They have a different balance, as they both have different reasons for eating this easy. Find what works for you and go with that.
It’s great to go out and enjoy food that you love, and you should never feel guilty about it.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a deep fried mars bar or a chia pudding with cashew butter. What you eat is your decision and it’s not something anyone should be judged on.
If you want to make changes to the way you eat to incorporate more whole foods and less processed ingredients this is a great way to start, but don’t feel you have to change everything you eat or that you can only eat green leafy veg – the good news is that guacamole is a vegetable too, as are spiced peanut sweet potatoes and Asian style broccoli and bok choi.
Remember that food is a beautiful thing and should always make you smile.