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What is a balanced diet?

(19 Posts)
Frequency Mon 14-Sep-15 10:45:19

I've been feeling run down, sloggish and generally unwell lately, so have decided to give my crappy, convenience food based diet an overhaul.

My sister is a slimming world instructor, after having shed over half of her body weight on their Syns plan, so I asked her for recipes etc.

My original plan was to eat along the lines of:

Breakfast: Porridge oats with berries or peanut butter and banana, fruit juice
Lunch: Homemade veg based soup with 2 slices of seeded bread and butter spread, natural yoghurt and fruit pieces
Dinner: Omelet (feta and spinach) and salad or chicken/fish with veg
snack: 9bar and handful of grapes.
Drinks: Copious amounts of coffee with milk, water.

I thought this was quite healthy, but apparently this is too much grain and dairy? I should only have porridge oats or bread and should swap my 9bar for a slimming world bar and I shouldn't have feta and milk in my coffee and porridge?

I'm not trying to lose weight, specifically, I just want to feel less like I'm 90 years old and to be able to go to the loo properly (tmi sorry) but weightloss would be a not unwelcome side effect.

itsonlysubterfuge Mon 14-Sep-15 18:48:14

I think this sounds okay, for the most part.

In my opinion there is nothing wrong with dairy or grains and I certainly would not call one bowl of porridge and two slices of bread too many grains. I do not know what 9bar is, so I can not comment on that.

I think it's great you are deciding to change your diet and swapping out processed foods, is definitely a step in the right direction. I think you should try out the above diet and see how it goes.

I think that any "diet" that advocates getting rid of any food group isn't a healthy, balanced diet. Grains shouldn't be making you feel sluggish unless you have an allergy or intolerance to wheat.

The only suggestion I would make is your diet seems a little light on protein, and protein will definitely help you have more energy for longer.

Hope you get more energy soon.

Frequency Mon 14-Sep-15 18:55:00

I could chuck some chicken or some bacon into the soup, maybe, depending which soup I make.

That was mainly a work-day plan, quick, easy but not shove in the oven from frozen crap.

I generally try to eat better on days off, but sadly I work full time, so I have more work days than days off and mainly spend my days off on the sofa or watching the dog run around the beach blush

9bars are nutty, seedy bars held together with some kind of honey, they are probably not healthy but they make up for it in taste grin

ouryve Mon 14-Sep-15 19:17:30

9 bars are pretty high protein, as snacks go!

I don't think SW is the approach you want to go for if you're eating for health rather than weight loss, though.

Frequency Mon 14-Sep-15 19:30:06

I don't think SW is the approach you want to go for if you're eating for health rather than weight loss, though

That's precisely what I was trying to say to my sister when she was trying to push me into joining her SW group.

I've tried combining healthy eating with weight loss plans in the past and it usually ends up with me spending all of my points or syns or whatever on fruit and seeds etc and then stressing that my diet isn't varied enough and ending up thinking "fuck it, I'm having some chips"

I do think that if someone went from eating, say, a sausage bun for breakfast, a pre packed sarnies, crisps, chocolate bar and fizzy drink for lunch, more chocolate for a mid afternoon snack and a couple of frozen sausages rolls and icecream for dinner followed by a bit more chocolate for good measure, to eating porridge, soup and sarnies, they'd lose weight, maybe not as quickly as they would on SW, but slower is better right?

Not that the above is in any way indicative of my former diet, because that would be really embarrassing <ahem>

9bars fill me, I walk home from work past many, many takeaways and sweet shops, it is oh so very easy when you are hungry to just decide to buy some chips and icecream and be healthy tomorrow instead.

I realise plain nuts would be healthier than sugar coated nuts and seeds, but I wouldn't eat those and would end up buying chips instead.

itsonlysubterfuge Mon 14-Sep-15 19:51:59

I think the choices you've made are good ones. If after you've gotten use to the changes you've made, you want to make further healthier choices, that's fine. If not then I think that you've got a good variety and choice there.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Mon 14-Sep-15 20:26:01

I also think you are making good choices. Totally agree that SW is designed to make you lose weight rather than health.

I also agree that a bit more protein, especially at lunch, might help. You could add lentils, beans or chickpeas to your soup or maybe add a small handful of nuts?

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Mon 14-Sep-15 20:30:48

There might not be enough iron in that diet OP. Perhaps add some red meat and leafy greens like spinach.

Btw, if you're still feeling exhausted after a few weeks, do pop along and chat to your doctor. You could be anaemic or Vit D deficient, for example. But I bet healthier eating and more exercise will make you feel lots better.

Frequency Mon 14-Sep-15 22:22:39

I could add chopped nuts to the fruit and yoghurt dessert after the soup, I'll also look into meat/lentil based soups with veg.

It's possible there is an underlying health issue, but given that I subsist mainly on sausage rolls and chips, I'm thinking diet is probably the key grin

I do understand nutrition, I just don't practise what I know blush

My sister confused me with the bread/oats thing. I was certain that my plan was fine until she questioned it, I presumed being a SW leader, she'd have a good working knowledge of nutrition, however, she clearly just thinks I'm heifer the cow grin

I could do with losing weight, but atm my weight isn't effecting my health, my poor diet is, so I'd rather concentrate on that first and takes things from there, if once I feel more energised I still am not loosing or think I could benefit from loosing weight I could look into adding some extra activity.

Saltedcaramel4 Mon 14-Sep-15 22:31:03

Dairy is great as long as you're not intolerant. The 9bar, grapes, banana and fruit juice are very surgery. I'd probably just the eat least processed sweet things - so the grapes and the banana. The nuts help balance the banana first thing.

I wouldn't consider SW to be particularly healthy

RueDesTroisFreres Mon 14-Sep-15 22:46:02

It sounds good to me. Personally I would steer clear of SW, and I wouldn't worry about sugar in fruit at all, or in fruit juice if it's just a glass with breakfast. I might consider an alternative to coffee if you possibly can. I find when I've gone through periods of drinking lots of it I definitely get more tired and sluggish as the day goes on, but that may just be me smile

Frequency Mon 14-Sep-15 22:52:49

I need to cut down on coffee (and pepsi max) but I'm taking things one step at a time. I usually go all or nothing when I start something new and all doesn't last long before it becomes nothing, so I'm doing babysteps this time.

The eating crap/drinking too much coffee is a vicious circle. The more crap I eat, the crappier I feel, the more I feel like eating crap instead of cooking. Same with the coffee, the more coffee I drink, the less I sleep, which in turn leads to more coffee....

I am going to be drinking water with meals, so hopefully will replace the coffee with water/green tea over time.

It doesn't help that the children eat at childcare, so I only have me to cook for.

RueDesTroisFreres Mon 14-Sep-15 23:02:14

Know what you mean about vicious circles thing. I think it sounds like you're making a really positive change. Don't worry about what others say. I hope it works for you.
Batch cooking and freezing works well for me, then I have convenience options that are healthy. (But I also leave s trail of trampled new leaves in my wake) ...

Frequency Tue 15-Sep-15 08:32:10

I was going to batch cook the soup, we have a soup maker so I was going to spend tomorrow making a few soups to freeze and then I can just grab a soup out of freezer on my way to work and by lunch it will be defrosted.

I'm on the early shift today, so have time to make soup with squash I pre roasted yesterday and I found some lentils hid in the back of the cupboard, I think they're DC1's, she likes to make curries etc from scratch but she won't mind if I eat some, they're soaking now, ready to be chucked into the soup maker later.

Time is the issue. After a shift at work the last thing I feel like doing is standing cooking. That's where this all started. Before I started shift work, I ate reasonably well.

tabulahrasa Tue 15-Sep-15 08:49:45

"I've tried combining healthy eating with weight loss plans in the past and it usually ends up with me spending all of my points or syns or whatever on fruit and seeds etc and then stressing that my diet isn't varied enough and ending up thinking "fuck it, I'm having some chips""

Well the beauty of slimming world is that you don't count fruit...and you can make chips, lol.

But if you're not trying to lose weight just now, there's really no point in joining.

The basic principles though are pretty much in line with healthy eating guidelines, eat more fruit and veg, cook rather than buying processed stuff...so if what you were after was just meal ideas - look on the SW website, you don't need to log in to look at their recipes.

Bakeoffcake Tue 15-Sep-15 08:54:49

I agree with others that you are making really healthy changes and you ought to stick to what suits YOU, not what other people think.

Cutting out any food group may make you lose weight quickly but it isn't healthy IMO.

Do add a bit more protein at lunch though and good luck!

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Tue 15-Sep-15 10:02:43

Here's a few soup ideas for you OP:

Tuscan winter veg soup

sweet potato and lentil

red lentil chickpea and chilli

The last one is a particular favourite in our house.

Frequency Tue 15-Sep-15 15:08:59

Thanks Soul, I'm liking the look of the sweet potato one.

I had curried butternut squash today, there's a fair bit left to freeze if it survives the children coming home from school, that is.

I've never used lentils in soup before, I couldn't really taste them tbh.

Fratelli Sat 19-Sep-15 09:14:09

Your plan sounds great! Taking things one step at a time is definitely the right way to go. I don't think sw is very healthy, it's for weight loss not health. Not all slim people are healthy! I wouldn't worry about the sugar in fruit etc. My dentist said you would have to eat unusually large amounts of it for it to affect your teeth and it's a lot better than the sugar in chocolate for example. Good luck with it!

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