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Eating Whole Foods, with Fiona Harrington

25‐11‐14

Fiona Harrington is a qualified Nutritionist, health writer and self confessed brunch-junkie. When she's not at her day job inspiring the sisterhood at Lorna Jane through the Move Nourish Believe Blog, you'll find her basking in the Brisbane sunshine, discovering new breakfast spots and deeply connecting with a gratitude attitude to life.

Eating Whole Foods.  What is all the fuss about? Is a whole food diet something you can benefit from? Yes!

Just as moving every day is important for good health, it's one aspect of our overall wellness; we should approach health holistically, striving to nourish our bodies as well as we can. Healthy eating is not difficult, and it's definitely not a punishment! It’s all about eating foods that are whole, natural, and as close to its 'just picked' state. They are just as nature intended. Not refined, not processed or have any added ingredients like preservatives. They don't have to be organic, and are available everywhere: your local farmers market, the green grocer or the supermarket, usually around the outside aisles.

So, why eat whole foods? Choosing whole foods is the best way to get all the right nutrients for your body. Whole foods contain high amounts of antioxidants and phytochemicals that work together to nourish and repair the body - this includes protection against ageing and everyday cell damage. They contain everything in a natural form and have not had anything taken away, tampered with, and 're-added' (it's never as beneficial as when it is left alone). Take rolled oats, for instance: the oats are milled down to a microwaveable form, removing most parts of the grain, including the germ and endosperm which contain the beneficial fibre, minerals and vitamins. While this speeds up our preparation time, it is a sad statement on how busy we have become that we will eat poorer quality food for the sake of convenience. We need to take time to nurture our bodies with healthy, rewarding food choices everyday.

Eating a healthy, whole food diet can be challenging at first. It changes everything! No packets. No additives. No substitutes. But it's exciting too! The best thing about this is it encourages you to eat fresh and healthy and will inspire you to be creative with new ingredients, which will not only make you feel great, but you'll be so proud and motivated.

If you’re wondering where to find whole foods, they can include fruits and vegetables, brown rice, rye, spelt, nuts, seeds, millet, buckwheat & quinoa. Throw away that peeler! Whole foods also include the peel and skin of fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots (high in antioxidants and super flavonoids) and potatoes (a powerhouse of nutrition including Zinc, Vitamin C & Potassium which is super important for your muscles and nervous system). Next time you’re in the kitchen - think about not only adding the juice but the zest of a lemon or orange when you’re cooking! However, if the produce isn't organic, it's important to wash them thoroughly before eating to wash off any pesticide residue.

So, you're thinking of making a change? How can you switch to whole foods right now?

 Start with swapping everyday items such as:
White rice → brown rice
White bread → rye, spelt or sourdough bread
Lollies → dried fruit such as dates/prunes/sultanas
Muffins → raw nuts and seeds

It's about knowing what you're eating, where it has come from, and how it's affecting your health. With whole foods you know exactly what you're putting into your body. And no one knows their body as well as you do!

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