Eating like a model isn’t rocket science, I promise.
So many people are looking for shortcuts to what they deem the “perfect” body. Models are often a point of reference, and as a model myself I can tell you that maintaining a body that fits into sample sizes takes work.
But as a chef, I can also tell you that acquiring some simple, mindful habits with regard to your nutrition will do wonders for your health and body shape without feeling like you’re restricting the joy that preparing and sharing food brings you.
Keep refined sugar at bay
Sweet treats are fine on occasion. It’s pretty obvious from my Instagram account that I’m a big fan of baking cakes and cookies, and I have no plans to banish them from my kitchen forever. But keep them as just that – a treat.
Too much refined sugar in the diet not only incurs the obvious health risks like weight gain and a risk of diabetes, but it affects huge energy spikes and slumps throughout the day. It can interrupt your sleep and also has a numbing effect on your tastebuds if consumed in large, daily quantities.
So, sure. Do indulge in your favourite things. But do so sparingly to really savour your favourite treats.
Make whole food versions
I’ll bet that loads of your favourite things can actually be enjoyed as whole food versions. How’s that for a guilt-free indulgence?
Replacing processed flours with wholemeal versions, refined sugars with coconut sugar, vegetable oil with coconut oil and unhealthy binding agents with mashed banana or medjool dates can help eliminate the unhealthy bits of lots of treats, ensuring they have a far better effect on the body.
Just remember, too much of anything (even healthy stuff) isn’t good for you or your body shape, so exercise moderation.
Eat what works for you
I’m gluten-free because gluten just doesn’t work for me, and I came to it through Lyme disease. Some people are coeliac and others just find that too much over-refined flour upsets their systems. But cutting gluten out is only healthy for people who suffer those reactions.
Recent health movements have begun to demonise gluten, as well as dairy and meat, and whilst I wholeheartedly applaud the move towards whole food diets and eliminating things that you find hard to digest, I think it’s important to be mindful of what works for you.
Bread and milk, for example, have been eaten for hundreds of years. They have health properties that, if your body happily accepts them, you probably need. So unless you have a health or moral reason for cutting them out of your diet, just consume in moderation and enjoy them. You’ll avoid mineral deficiencies that can affect you day-to-day, not to mention make your life in general a little easier!
Fast food doesn’t have to mean fatty food
When we’re busy, it’s easy to turn to fast food. I’m a huge advocate for home-cooking, but a hectic schedule just doesn’t always allow it.
Try to make these occasions a guilt-free indulgence by choosing healthier dishes, or even visiting a health inspired restaurant, many of which are popping up in my hometown of New York.
Opt for dishes with lean proteins, salads and vegetables rather than those padded out with creamy, greasy sauces and a tonne of bread, rice or deep fried accompaniments. You’ll avoid that horrible, over-full slump at the end of the meal, get your daily dose of vitamins and still get to enjoy the fact that you haven’t been slaving over the stove.