Recent events have changed many aspects of our modern life. Some people have said that being on furlough or lockdown is a little like a holiday. The difference is in our opinion, when you’re on holiday you don’t have nagging doubts about the state of the world kicking around in the back of your mind. Stress is everywhere. People have good days. And bad days. We’re all doing the best we can…

And it’s natural to want something to make you feel good on those bad days. Many of us were raised in families where food was a treat. If we’d done well at school we might get ice cream – and for special occasions we might have had a BBQ or a party. Where they’d be plenty of cool food like burgers or cakes.

Because of this many of us still associate eating with happiness. Plenty of people over the past few months have thrown themselves into baking. Families and love often revolves around shared mealtimes. But basing your emotion on eating is a dangerous route to take.

Now more than ever, we have to try to remember the healthy eating patterns and rhythms that kept us in shape before lockdown ever started. Think back to those foundations of food…

These are the guidelines designed to ensure that the average person eats enough to maintain their energy, mood and health – eating well, without going over the top and cramming down the calories. And although everyone differs to a degree (with some people obviously having dietary requirements) these are the base idea that give us a great nutritional basis to our lives:

Fruit and vegetables – a cornerstone of a proper diet. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre are all present in this food group. You can eat more fruit and veg without getting fat – and there’s great availability throughout the whole of Europe, although we’d recommend that you always buy local and in season to get the maximum nutritional benefits.

Protein – the building blocks of life and muscle. Protein repairs your body when you’re sleeping and can be found in all manner of food stuffs, not only meat and fish. Think legumes, eggs, dairy products, nuts, cereals, etc.. With today’s knowledge and careful eating you can be a vegan and get your protein from other sources.

Healthy fats – we suffer from the false belief that all fats are somehow bad. This isn’t the case at all, and you’ll actually find we need a modicum of healthy fats in our diet. It’s about finding out about the good unsaturated fats that you’ll find in avocadoes, virgin olive oil, Blue fish, nuts and we complement with meat, dairy, eggs fats and so on. Yes, it’s not good to overindulge on these foods, but you will need some to keep up energy levels.

Fibre – again, found in fruit and whole foods (such as rice, pasta and bread) – complementing vitamin and mineral intake. Fibre is essential for keeping your bowels functioning correctly and ensuring that food is moving through the body, preventing obstruction and constipation.

There are tens more points we could add around healthy eating – and if you stick with these basics you should be well on track. Understand the different groups and try to incorporate them in all your meals – as this is the next step in meeting the nutritional needs of our lifestyles and exercise.

In addition to the points we’ve raised it’s obviously vital to maintain adequate hydration and check that you are not going over alcohol limits and trying to avoid the empty calories of sugar. In coming articles we’re going to be looking at good food practices, storage, shopping and cooking – over our next posts.

If you want to know more – or work with us to develop your nutritional plan then call us up at the usual number of get in touch with Xavi or Beatrice on Facebook. Have a great week of working out…