5 Tips From A Dietician

First published 25th Oct, 2022

Recently, I was invited to a local company’s wellness day in my capacity as dietician and as the owner of TasteBox.  They wanted me to chat to the employees about health and wellness, something I absolutely love doing. The catch though was that the slot was only 15 minutes long. My challenge was to try and distill years of advice and experience down into something that I could say in 15 minutes. I thought I would share it here.

When chatting to a group of people, you have to keep the information as general and broad as possible as everyone listening will have different issues they are dealing with. But you still want the information you are sharing to pack a punch and be something that they can implement immediately. So I decided to come up with 5 simple things that you can do to improve your health and wellness, starting today.

Know Your genes and Know your Numbers

Do you have parents or grandparents who suffered from heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or had a stroke? Unfortunately, this means your chances of the same are higher.

When was the last time you had your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood sugar and waist circumference checked? These are all very simple tests you can do at your local pharmacy, clinic or dietician and are very good indicators of your risk of developing chronic illness. You are never too young or too skinny to know your numbers! 

Follow The KISS Rule

My favourite (perhaps slightly offensive?) saying – keep it simple, stupid! Let me explain: it is easy to be caught up in the overwhelming amount of information out there. Should I eat this, should I avoid that? Walk down the “health aisle” at your local supermarket and you are bombarded with so many products all screaming at you about how healthy they will make you.

My advice? Block out the noise and think about what your great-grandmother would use to prepare meals. In other words, whole foods. As good a quality meat as you can afford, eggs, cheese and unsweetened dairy products, fresh vegetables and fruit, butter (not margarine!) and unrefined grains and starches. Shopping for and keeping these foods at home and using them to prepare your meals will serve you far better than any overly-processed “health food”.

Prioritise Cooking At Home

Now I don’t expect you to be a Michelin star chef. Learn to cook a few simple, healthy and tasty meals that you and your family can add to your supper rotation.

Get your kids involved by giving them age-appropriate tasks. If your children are fairly competent cooks by the time they fly the nest, you have given them a valuable skill they can take into their adult years.

Any meal you prepare in your own kitchen will most likely be healthier than any bought or bulk prepared meal, like ready meals or fast foods. 

Be Organised

Get into a routine of keeping a shopping list going on the fridge. Do a bulk shop on a weekly or monthly basis and have a meal plan for the week ahead – even if you don’t stick to it 100% of the time.

Avoid going shopping when you are hungry, you are more likely to buy things you don’t need! Pack a lunch box for the office instead of buying a meal or snacks during the day. Being organised and having the right things available when you need them significantly reduces those impulse buys.

Move Your Body!

We recently posted a blog about this, check it out here. The main point is that you don’t have to become a gym bunny or a marathon runner. It doesn’t matter how you move your body. It can be gardening, dancing, Pilates, karate or informal tennis with your friends.

Find something you enjoy doing so that you are more likely to keep it up. Find more ways to move during the day. If you have a desk job, get up and walk around for 5 minutes every 45 minutes. Park further away and walk to your office or the shop. 

It goes without saying that if you have a specific medical or health issue, you will need more specialized dietary advice and you should definitely speak to a dietician. And if you need some help with number 3, check out our meal kits here.



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