Make your health your top priority in 2021!

A bowl filled with healthy balanced food

It’s the last day of the year. And what a year it has been! I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a year like we’ve never experienced before. Each and everyone of us has felt the effects of the Covid-19 crisis in one way or another, good or bad. Even though this crisis isn’t over yet, I look forward to 2021.

My 2020 in a nutshell

Despite everything that wasn’t possible this year, such as the culinary travels and workshops, I look back on a very productive year. I have spent a great deal of my time on improving my website. I am very proud of the result. We invested some money in a kitchen update! Among others a huge side-by-side freezer-fridge and extra countertop space. On top of that my husband surprised me with a Kitchen Aid freestanding mixer, a lifelong dream of mine. Resulting for instance in making my own pizza dough and developing a baked cheesecake recipe which is to die for! This machine is worth every penny, it has made my baking life so much easier. Other than that I bought myself a tripod, so I can start making video’s while preparing food. I treated myself with some beautiful dishes and cutlery. Everything to make kitchen life easier and more appealing and creating better content for you to enjoy.

But next to material stuff I also broadened my horizon. Last spring I started sprouting inspired by Doug Evans, the king of sprouting. I started offering one-on-one foodcoaching, initiated by helping out a friend who convinced me that this is something I should offer others too.

And last but certainly not least, I had a meeting the other day with &Olives Travel (formerly known as Isropa). Obviously, it was a bad year for the travel business. Nevertheless, we are positive about the future and I am delighted that we continue our partnership and our joint offer of culinary trips to Tel Aviv-Israel in 2021. As soon as traveling is possible again I will get back with more detailed plans. Lots to look forward too I should say.

What are you hoping for in 2021?

If there is one thing that has become clear this past year it is that having a healthy immune system is vital. Traditionally for many people the beginning of a New Year comes with New-Years resolutions. January seems to be the perfect start time for a new lifestyle and getting rid of ‘bad habits’. The desire to live a more healthy life is usually at the top of that list. But what is a healthy lifestyle actually? And how and where does one start?

Eat more fiber

A healthy lifestyle starts with eating healthy food. And by healthy food I mean, the right combination of nutrients that fuel your body. Nutrients such as: vitamins, minerals the so-called micro-nutrients. And the macro-nutrients such as: carbo-hydrates, water, fats, fibers and protein.

In today’s world we tend to to focus on protein. The most asked question to a vegan still is: “where do you get your protein?” My answer to that question is always the same: “where do Elephants, Rhinos, Gorillas, Hippos, etcetera get their protein?” Some of the strongest animals on our planet are plant-eaters!

Instead of being worried whether or not your protein intake is sufficient, the real question should actually be: “where do you get your fiber?” Hardly anyone in our modern world gets sick from a protein shortage. However, people do get really sick because of a fiber shortage. Fibers are essential to your gut health. And our gut is where our health starts!

There is an enormous amount of information to be found on the internet. About how gut health is linked to your all-over health, the importance of microbiome* and much more. I can strongly recommend to listen to this podcast, it will teach you everything you need to know!

What is fiber?

Fiber is that part of plant-based foods (like grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans) that the body can’t break down. It passes through the body undigested, causing your digestive system to keep clean and healthy. It will make your toilet visits easy, will get rid of cholesterol and harmful carcinogens (causing cancer).

Eating high fiber foods lowers risks of heart disease, strokes, diabetes and even helps to prevent colon cancer. It improves the health of your skin and hair and it can help you lose weight (another important one on the resolutions list).

Ok, you get it, to improve your health you need to eat more vegetables, grains, nuts, beans, fruits. Preferably from as many different sources as you can. As an added benefit you take care of your protein intake at the same time by doing so. In case that still is a concern to you.

It goes without saying that we talk about ‘real food’, meaning a real carrot, apple, broccoli, to name just a few. The kind you buy at the food market, also called whole-foods. Processed foods are not whole-foods. No matter what the package says about how high the product is in fiber, vitamins and protein, that’s just marketing! Nothing beats the real thing!

Fiber from whole grains

Carbo-hydrates have a bad image. That’s very unfortunate, because carbo-hydrates are actually very good for you. However, there is a difference in good and bad carbo-hydrates. Examples of products containing bad carbs are: white bread, white rice, white dough, cookies, cakes, cereal, etcetera. They contain refined carbohydrates with a low fiber amount, mainly white flour and sugar.

Whereas the good carbohydrates take longer to be broken down by the body and boost your energy. Good carbs are found in whole grain breads and cereals, wholegrain rice, products made from whole wheat flour, vegetables and fruits.

In short

Maybe this is a lot to take in and you feel daunted. No need. Changing your eating habits into a healthier one takes time. Allow yourself to get adjusted to this new way of eating but also a new way of grocery shopping. Some of you will choose to make a clean cut and clear out your pantry, getting rid of the white pasta, cereal, white rice, etcetera. Others take it slowly, more gradually. All is fine, do what suits you best. That way you are more likely to succeed and to fully incorporate your ‘new’ lifestyle. Below I will share some more tips on how to succeed in taking better care of yourself and changing your relationship to food.

Tips on how to…

  • Take your time! Set yourself a realistic goal. Rome wasn’t build in one day;
  • Change one thing at the time, don’t try to do it all at once. This way your are more likely to succeed;
  • Take it day by day. Having a bad day and slipped up? Don’t kill yourself over it, you’re only human. Just start over. It’s like learning to walk. It’s not about how many times you stumble, it’s about how many times you get back on your feet;
  • Only tell a few people most important to you about your goal, instead of telling everybody. Don’t put yourself under pressure like that.

Did you get inspired to start eating healthier but still feel you need help? Then contact me via this form and together we’ll explore what I can do for you.

I’ll end by wishing you an enjoyable New Years Eve and a Happy and Healthy New Year🥂🎇

*for more info on microbiome click here.