What comes to mind when you think about mealtimes? Are you rushing out the front door with a piece of toast and jam in the mornings? Do you wolf down your lunch and then wonder why it’s over so fast? Are you confused about whether certain foods are good or bad for you? When it comes to eating, Jean Hailes naturopath Sandra Villella encourages you to think about the three Ps:
These three Ps are the secret to making your mealtimes healthier and more enjoyable.
First things first – think about what’s on your plate. The Healthy Eating Pyramid makes it easier to work out which food groups should be eaten in what proportion.
While you might be familiar with the pyramid, you may not know how to achieve all the targets for the different food groups. Here are Sandra’s tips:
Whether you’re eating in front of your computer, on the run between meetings, or during traffic light changes in your car, the “where and how” of your mealtimes can affect your digestive system and your health. Here are some helpful tips and reasons why this “P” matters:
Sandra says, “There are many benefits of eating mindfully, one of them is portion control. If you scoff down a bowl of food, you’re not giving your body the time or space to feel full and you’re more likely to go back for unnecessary seconds”.
It’s important to occasionally stop and think about why we eat. What is it all for? We eat to fuel our body and provide ourselves with essential nutrients. Certain nutrients are vital for normal body functions so we stay healthy. As Sandra explains, “A lack or imbalance of these essential nutrients can lead to poor health. Even mild nutritional deficiencies can increase our tiredness, make us more likely to get sick, and make it harder to cope with stress and the everyday demands of life”.
Healthy food can also be a great way to help protect ourselves from many chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease. “Fruits and vegetables contain many essential nutrients but also contain beneficial antioxidants that can protect our bodies and organs,” says Sandra.
As well as being a source of nutrition, food can feed other parts of life: it can be a way to celebrate and connect with your family, culture or customs, a welcome break in a busy day, or an avenue to express your creativity in the kitchen.
If you need some inspiration to practice these three Ps, stop by the Jean Hailes Kitchen and see Sandra’s wonderful collection of healthy and delicious recipes. And remember, the next time you’re planning a meal or sitting down to dinner, think: plate, place, purpose.