Healthy eating is a term that so many people can get obsessed with.
Can you eat too healthy?
Its so hard to eat healthy!
What is a healthy snack?
Can you eat out and eat healthy?
Healthy eating is too expensive
What is a healthy eating meal plan?
The list goes on and on and on...
We get it. We understand how complex and nuanced this topic is, which is why we sat down to set the record straight.
In this Blog Post we will talk to you about what healthy eating should look like for you with regards to your life, how to try and balance your meals with this in mind, some of our favourite meals to eat, as well as give you some local top tips from restaurants and cafes we love to frequent here at Freedom Lifestyle and Fitness.
Thank you for being here and for reading our words - as a thank you we would love to offer you a 10 day free trial here; just click on the green button below.
Table of Contents for Healthy Eating in Toowoomba:
What is a healthy diet?
Examples of healthy meals and snacks
Healthy Eating options in Toowoomba
What is a healthy diet?
Conventional wisdom will take you to something known as the "eat well" plate.
Which looks like this:
The Eat Well Plate is very similar all around the world, and it does have its critics. But in truth it is a very excellent breakdown of what eating in a healthy way should look like in most people's lives.
Everything else you can layer into your diet, will just require small manipulations of certain aspects of this plate.
Things we love about this plate:
Carbohydrates take up 66% of the plate. 33% of the plate is dedicated to Fresh Fruit and Vegetables. The other 33% is dedicated to more dense carbohydrates like pasta, quinoa, rice, cous cous and breads. This is really important as Carbohydrate is the main energy source for the body.
Protein is only 25% of the plate. We love this because it is a massive mis-conception that Protein needs to the majority of your diet. It doesn't. Only 10-35% of your diet needs to come from Protein.
Color is a key feature of the plate. Colour in your diet is really important as it is a key feature of creating a health gut-microbiome as well as being a good indicator of whether or not you are getting enough micro-nutrients in to your diet.
It promotes balance. It includes your fun foods like alcohol, burgers, chocolates and chips.
It puts water as a top priority. Keeping hydrated will help you greatly with many things in relation to your diet.
Things that the plate misses out on:
There is no mention of Calories or Macronutrients. Calories and macronutrients can help you with making more informed decisions over your diet.
It doesn't recommend portion sizes. Portion control is a key aspect of keeping your diet in a healthy place, and is usually recommended thus:
A palm sized portion of protein, a cupped hand of vegetables or grains, a fist sized portion of salad, and a thumb tip of oil or sauces.
3. There is no recommendation for structure in relation to your meal times and food.
4. It doesn't explore the relationship between what you eat and your emotional wellbeing and the interaction between these two can never be underestimated.
The Eat Well Plate is the starting point for your diet and until you are within the guidelines of what this lays out, within reason, there is little value in worrying on a much deeper level about the makeup of your diet.
Put it this way, if you are eating McDonalds or other take out two to three times a week then by just working on reducing that frequency is going to help you immeasurably.
If your portion sizes aren't in a place that match the recommendations between the eat well plate and the portion size plate, then changing that will also help you immeasurably.
If your diet currently lacks the colour recommended on the Eat Well Plate then try to increase your colour and good things will happen.
When comparing your current diet to the Eat Well Plate there is probably some really simple and obvious things you can implement straight away and relatively easily to improve your diet.
From here we would then manipulate certain aspects of your diet to create progress towards your fitness goals.
For example, if your goal was to lose weight, we would be able to manipulate your diet thus:
Increase Protein to about 100g per day
Have fruits and vegetables with every meal
Reduce your refined Carbohydrate intake and increase your vegetable intake
Drink 2-3 litres of water a day
We would also have to enter into a conversation about your Caloric Intake and make sure the guidelines we have set out correspond to that as well.
To find out more about Calories and Weight Loss read one of
our other Blogs right here:
Whenever discussing a healthy diet, it is always crucial to discuss what healthy really means.
Without being "that guy" the definition of health is simply:
"The state of being free from illness or injury"
Now there is no food in the world that can cure you from an injury. Broken arms aren't fixed by eating apples.
With this in mind your food also can't cure illness. This is why we have medication. If food was that powerful we wouldn't need pharmacies and GPs.
That being said, the food you eat can certainly have a role to play as a factor that is under a semblance of your control, to help improve how you feel. Food certainly does impact your mood, your energy and certain aspects of the way your body operates and it is this third aspect where the conversation between health and diet correlates. For example the positive impact an increase in fibre can have on your digestive system will improve things, and thus will improve your health over time.
Added to that many "healthy" foods do have lots more micronutrients in them which can improve the way your body operates at a cellular level.
If we take this one step further and look at the World Health Organizations definition they state:
"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity"
Of which your food will play a role, but the food you do chose to eat will clearly be impacted by many other factors as well.
When looking at the role of food being "healthy or not" I prefer to reframe this with clients to the term "nourishment". When clients are eating their food I ask them to question whether the foods is nourishing for them. This makes them see food in a much more balanced way because there are times you need the nourishment from all the vitamins and minerals in a carrot, however there are also times when a pizza can be nourishing.
Sometimes you just need a donut to make your day better and that may well be the healthy option.
Examples of Some Healthy Foods and Snacks
Taking into account everything we have discussed above we thought it would be a good idea to share with you a couple of meals that we have designed and curated here at Freedom Lifestyle and Fitness for our clients.
Healthy Breakfast Recipes:
One of the difficulties with Breakfast is that time in the morning is always tight. From getting children out of the house, getting yourself to work, as well as the gym (wink, wink, nudge, nudge),
time to eat in the morning very regularly just evaporates, and before you know it, it is lunch time, all you have eaten is a cappuccino and suddenly you are so ravenous you could eat 5 Betty's Burgers from Grand Central in a heartbeat.
Breakfast has many important aspects to it, but one of the most important is that by having it, it can help regulate hunger throughout the day which will mean keeping your diet in a more healthy place.
These awesome breakfast recipes can be meal prepped the night before, whilst you are making dinner and then you will already be in a place to help keep your diet in a healthy place.
Other tips for keeping your Breakfast healthy are:
Have water before anything else in the morning
Make sure its a Breakfast you can have when at work as well.
Healthy Lunch & Dinner Recipes:
We often find with clients here at Freedom Lifestyle and Fitness that Lunch is usually on track with being healthy and a clients goals, when Breakfast is also a priority.
Added to that, Dinner will always be of a more nutritious or healthy nature when it is non reactive. The amount of times I have got home after a long, long day in the Gym and just not had the energy to even think about what I want for Dinner. Let alone actually cook it, which then leads to the inevitable call to Dominos...
If I had something pre-planned and organized when I had the energy for it, without a doubt my choices would be of a more healthy nature.
Stir Frys are a great option because they are very easily added to and then they keep really well in the fridge for a fair few days.
Plus, they are just a great example of portion sizing and having more coloruful food in action.
There is something so wonderfully magical about Satay anything.
This whole meal has about 168g of protein in it.
If you struggle with getting your veggies in because of taste, then the satay sauce will help you overcome that.
Healthy Snack Ideas
As a personal trainer with nearly a decade of experience, without doubt, one of the most asked questions I get is the following:
"What healthy snacks can I eat?"
The answer is really really simple, but many people just don't want to acknowledge it.
Fruits and Vegetables are the best way to snack if "healthy" is your goal. I know its not a very dynamic choice, and it can seem rather boring. But they tick all the boxes:
Full of Micronutrients
Full of Fibre
Easy to eat on the go
Hard to overeat
That being said, it would be remiss of me not give you some other options too:
These would be a great "brunch" snack option. Giving a you a nice helping of vegetables and protein.
Another great snack option that will be tasty at any point during the day.
Who doesn't love a breadstick?
Make sure if you try any of these recipes that you let us know what you thought by dropping us a message on Social Media - or the next time you are in the Gym.
Healthy Eating Options in Toowoomba
We have asked clients and colleagues alike for their best recommendations on where to eat out if you are trying to eat in a more nutritious way in the city of Toowoomba.
We would also like to add, that these are not paid partnerships in any way, just the places we like to eat and enjoy the food that they serve when looking at the topic in discussion here.
Raw Energy - 83 Bridge St, Mount Lofty, QLD, 4350
Recommended by our member Di, this café describes itself as:
"Your local hub for healthy eats, artisan coffee and the best customer service"
Their menu contains a really diverse menu of gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options as well so it really does cater for everyone.
This is their Poke Bowl which ticks a lot of boxes for healthy eating. Full of colour, full of fibre, a mix of fruits and vegetables and it will certainly fill you up!
Cafe 63 - Tenancy A, 801 Ruthven Street, Kearney Spring, Toowoomba QLD 4350
Cafe 63 has four locations across Toowoomba and they have a really diverse and plentiful menu. As our member Jacob put it:
"Plenty of options for everyone"
They have really great options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there's lots of space in their restaurants and it is well priced too.
This is the "Tuber" and you can switch between grilled Barramundi or Salmon and it comes with mashed potato and seasonal vegetables.
El Attar Middle Eastern Grill - 34A Neil Street, Toowoomba, QLD, 4350
Situated in the heart of Toowoomba on Neil Street Middle Eastern food hits a lot of the things you would look for with regards to healthy eating.
One of our members Liz said:
"The large menu is great for big groups, with plenty of vegan, vegetarian and GF options. We always love going there as a family"
El Attar do a number of Tagines, which you can mix up with tender meat and vegetables. Served with flatbread, rice and salad.
Thank you so much for reading our post.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask, or pop in, we are based on Ruthven Street, opposite Nutrition Warehouse.
Added to that, and to say thank you for being here we would love to invite you to have a 10 day free trial here at Freedom Lifestyle and Fitness.
About the author:
Adam Berry is one of our in house Personal Trainers. A fitness writer and personal trainer for over 8 years. He is from London, and has lived in Australia for 2 years. He moved to Toowoomba about 2 months ago.
He has won international awards as a Personal Trainer and last year was nominated as the best personal trainer of the year on the Gold Coast, as well as the best personal trainer of the year for the whole of Queensland by Australia Active.
He was also in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as a boy and continues to act here in Australia.
Feel free to come in and meet him and the rest of the team to help you towards whatever it is you are working towards.