You Are What You Eat

You’ve probably heard that saying a thousand times before.

When I was younger and training 4-5 hours a day as a gymnast, I could eat whatever and as much as I liked. Literally. It didn’t matter how much junk food, alcohol, chocolate etc I put into my body, I never gained weight, and always stayed in shape.

Now, however, as I’m fast approaching my 30th birthday, times… they are a changing! 🙂 Now I just look at a piece of cake and gain weight! Perhaps you feel the same way.

And so, in an attempt to make sure I’m eating right in 2012, I’ve enlisted the help of a good nutritionist friend of mine, Stephanie Wills, who helps run Lifestyle Health in Ballito. Here are a few tips from Steph’s blog on eating well, feeling good, and staying healthy.

1. Snack right

Rather than chocolate, sweets or chips reach for healthier snacks to balance your blood glucose levels, maintain adequate energy levels and promote healthy weight management. Choose an apple with 2 tablespoons of almond nut butter, plain yogurt with seeds and blueberries, a home-made trail mix, a sprout salad or a small protein shake.

2. Switch to small plates and teaspoons

Research has shown that downsizing dinnerware promotes portion control and mindful eating without the feeling of deprivation that comes with other dieting methods. It really is one of the easiest and most effective small changes you can do for weight loss.

3. Salt, pepper and CHIA

It’s time for the modern dinner table to welcome an additional partner to our familiar duo: chia seeds. Chia is incredibly high in fibre, full of anti-oxidants, omega-3, protein, vitamins, minerals and enzymes as well as being virtually tasteless. This means you can boost the nutritional content of any meal with a sprinkling or two of this amazing superfood!

4. Support your body with supplements

Steph suggests 5 basic nutrients to ensure long-term health and well-being: A comprehensive multivitamin, omega 3, vitamin C (the non-acidic form), vitamin D, and a bone/joint support formula high in magnesium. If you can’t do them all, just start with one.

5. Sleep

I know you’ve heard it all before but be honest – you’re probably getting far too little? Sleep is when your body does its best healing and repair including preventing viral infections, maintaining proper fat metabolism, reducing stress hormone levels and rejuvenating your liver. Turn off that TV, iPad, cellphone and computer, and go to bed!

6. Grow your own

Why not try grow as many of your own organic vegetables, sprouts, and herbs as possible! It is cheap and easy, extremely convenient and of course highly nutritious. I started my own herb garden about a year ago and it has been such fun!

7. Learn to love lemons

Lemons are full of anti-cancer, anti-acne, liver supporting and immune boosting nutrients as well as being incredibly cleansing and alkalising. Drink hot water and lemon juice in the morning, add lemon slices to your water, cook with it and use it in salad dressings.

Hope these few tips help to inspire you to achieve improved health and happiness.

24 Replies to “You Are What You Eat”

  1. “You are what you eat”, yes, that is a line I have heard post a thousand times. However, there are some interesting pointers in here that I wasn’t aware of. Thanks for sharing this Tom. I for one will be picking up some CHIA at my next grocery torture session (hate grocery shopping). The small plates and teaspoon idea is also awesome! And the sleep? DEFINITELY going to take that advice… this is like the best diet ever, you get to chow pretty cool stuff and it is prescribed that you get more sleep… I’m sold!


  2. Thank you for a lovely post. 🙂 I started getting them snacks right about last year, and these days I don’t even feel the craving for junk food. I’ll take fruits and yogurt aneyday, over other processed food. Also, much touted but rarely practised truth is that healthy food isn’t boring food. The sooner we realise, the easier it becomes to switch!


  3. Thanks for sharing the many great tips for healthy living, as I also recently started eliminating certain foods from my diet, and instead began incorporating lots of living foods~~foods affect us so much! On another note, I have a question.. I love reading your posts, but I don’t know how to follow your blog. Did you only enable the RSS feed function? I think that is the only way I can get your updates. Thank you!


    1. Thanks for reading. You can subscribe via email on the right hand side underneath my social media icons. Otherwise, their is a RSS feed for my blog. If you can’t get it to work, let me know and i’ll manually add you… 🙂


      1. I tried doing the e-mail subscribe, but it just directs me to a different page, and I don’t really know where to go from there, so it would be nice if you could manually add me (haha I didn’t know there was that option..) Thank you! 😀


  4. Hello Tom,

    i went completely raw in 2011 and im running a blog about, what it eat.

    Nice to read something about good nutrition on your blog.

    What I can recommond for a healthy snack that is totally crispy and tastes a bit like chips are dried sweet potato. Not like the ordinary potatoes you can eat them raw.

    Greetings and keep up the nice work!


  5. Hi Tom
    I like the “smaller plate and teaspoon” point. It works. I started doing a similar thing this year and already lost 3kgs


  6. Hi Tom,

    Good suggestions, but I think it’s more complicated than that! I have 40 more years of experience with eating healthy and have come to realize “You eat what you (or others) COOK!” … whatch what you buy or grow and learn to cook yourself.

    Check out my blog:

    For ideas on nutrition, based on considerable research and the eventual implementation, with some modifications, of the principles of The Mayo Clinic Diet


  7. Ever since my fateful visit to a higher-end steakhouse some years ago, lemon juice has been my salad dressing of choice. It really gives the vegetables an extra kick!

    As a kid, I used to eat lemons raw.


  8. Hi Tom!

    I am nutritionist and I always love to talk about ways to improve our health and well-being. It is never to late to start. One small change can make a huge difference on how we feel, it is a domino effect, one good thing leads to another and another…..I would add to your list water!

    Water is absolutely essential to life, our bodies are 50%-70% water. In order for metabolic processes to be properly functioning it is very important to get adequate filtered water through out the day. Start by slowly increasing your water intake (to avoid taxing the kidneys) until you reach half your body weight in fluid ounces daily (not to exceed 100fl. oz.). Example if a person weighs 140 lbs half of that is 70, this person would need to drink about 70 oz. of water daily.

    Drinking plenty of water will keep you feeling energized and your metabolism up thus making you loose weight in the process.

    Thank you for your post!

    Wishing you health and happiness,


  9. I’ve recently become a huge fan of the chia seed. I got back into juicing and dump them into my juice. I notice a difference when I take them both. Quite an energy boost throughout the day!


  10. Thanks for writing this! I’ve been trying to find ways to eat better and be healthier. We only get one body and I want to start taking better care of mine. Now that I’m done with college I need to get back in to shape and start living/enjoying life more 🙂 One thing I’ve found that has been helping me is that I make and take my own lunch to work each day, rather than buying lunch. I tend to make a healthier lunch then anything I would eat out.


  11. Must be something about entering the 30’s that gets us evaluating our health and lifestyles! I have definately realised that I need to honour and look after myself if I want to be a great Mum, wife and Pastor, and go the distance.Made a lot of changes to how I eat and have a lot more energy as a result. Shame I can’t kick the coffee habit 🙂


  12. Thanks for this post. I love eating healthy and cooking healthy meals. I normally am a pretty healthy eater. I am excited to try out the Chia. Thanks. I always look forward to your posts.


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