5 May 2013

Blog Every Day in May: Fit and Healthy

today's blog every day in may challenge is to write about being fit and healthy, give tips and advice or talk about your plans. when I read this I thought right, I can most certainly not give advice as for sure there are so many people out there who know so much more about this stuff. However, I do run a food blog and as we all know that food is an important factor when it comes to a healthy life and it's the one factor I know about as I actually did learn a few things about it in school and still am learning about it now.

but rather than telling you what to eat and what not to eat I just thought I'd chat a bit about the things that I know and that I try and think of when I cook and eat. there are some general things but a lot of things simply do not apply to every person as we are all biologically different individuals and have different needs in addition to the needs we all share (water, vitamins etc.). but let's not get too serious here. I'll just share some of my thoughts and some of the things I've learned over time as I think it's important to learn about this side of food as well as the just eating and preparing it side (a rather important one too). now that was the longest intro ever.

banana&kiwi müsli (yogurt, oatmeal, banana, kiwi)

the brain(y) food
there's this one side to eating healthy which I want to call the brainy side, the medical side of you will, the one where you have to know what you need your food to give you so that you can be healthy. for this it is important for you to know your body. firstly it is always a good idea to do a bit of research and find out some of the general things e.g. what are vitamins? what are minerals? what do I need all that stuff for?
also you are the only one who can tell when something isn't right with your body, if you feel exhausted all the time with no apparent reason or just something, trust your intuition on that, and then you can do something about it. for example I had been feeling really tired for a while without actually doing too much and a blood test showed that I have an iron deficiency
once you know all those things, the general and the personal ones, you can start your research about the food and where you can get the things you need from. 
also I find it really important to do some research into the things you are eating, if you know where they come from and what exactly is in them chances are it's not only good for the economy but also for your health.

roast beef sunday dinner (recipe coming soon)

the soul food
this is an aspect of eating healthy that I find just as important as the brainy side as food is not just about eating the right things and avoiding the wrong things because well, life is not about right's and wrong's (but who knows what life is about). good food is a combination of those two and to take good care of your mind as well as your body. yes your body needs many things and you should listen to what your body says but your body is pretty useless without a happy you and a happy me just needs something delicious.
mainly what I want to say is don't always say no to yourself just because you think 'oh this piece of meat has too much fat' or 'well I want one but I really can't eat a piece of chocolate now can I'. do we really need to make our life even more complicated by refusing ourselves things that might make us happier human beings? I think not. 

basically (and this is scientist and cooking-lover me speaking) eating healthy is a healthy combination of those two things. eat brainy means know what you need and know your body. feed your soul means eat the things that make you happy but in healthy amounts (that's where the brain kicks in again).

chicken salad (recipe coming soon)

what I do
so after all this sort-of advice (didn't I say I wouldn't give any? oops!) I just thought I'd share a bit how I put those things into practice. 
first of all I was really lucky with how I grew up and this is how our relationship to food and eating develops. we had a lovely big garden when I was younger and I loved all the fresh things growing there which means from an early age I knew what a strawberry was and how a tomato is supposed to taste. we even went to the farmer's to get fresh milk and butter, cool right? 
all of this lead to me loving fresh food and it never even occurred to me that there could be anything better out there and well, there isn't. 
I try and always buy local things and just eat a lot of fruit and veg and drink a lot of water (which I struggle with sometimes, but I'm getting better). I don't eat a lot of meat but when I fancy it I mainly stick to chicken. the only thing I probably eat too much of is rice but I tell myself that it's still better than eating loads of pasta.
I am horrible at doing exercise and quitting the gym was the best thing I could've done for my bank balance. the only thing I do is I basically walk everywhere as I can't drive, I'm afraid of bikes and I can't be bothered paying loads for public transport.

what I want to do
so as you can see what I desperately need to improve is exercise as it is practically non-existent in my life at the moment. and even though I wish it were so I can't deny that healthy eating is not the only thing you need to be healthy. so I want to start going swimming more often over the summer and I hope that when I'm in uni in september I can join a football team as it's probably the only sport I would enjoy.
the other thing is that I really want to keep up the healthy eating thing when I'm in uni as I'll be all by myself and needing to save money. but good food is not more expensive when you know where to get it from.

of course being healthy is a lot more than all those things but I can not talk about everything in one blog post and there are so many things I just don't know enough about. but I just wanted to share some final words with you because I think that's an important thing when it comes to talking about staying fit and healthy. don't see your body as something you need to fight against when you're not happy with it. we all have times when we're not happy with ourselves for whatever reasons but the first step is to see that you're your body and you have to work with it and not against it. if you give your body what it needs chances are it will give you what you need.


this post is part of the Blog Every Day in May series.


Lisa-Marie Hughes said...

This is really smart. I've never thought of 'comfort' food as being part of food health before, but you are right, it is! Thank you for a new perspective!

Magdalena Hannah said...

I'm glad you liked it. :) x

Ruth said...

Really interesting post! Your recipes sound lovely too - very inspiring! :)

Just Me Leah said...

Well said! A healthy diet is a mixture of good foods that nourish us and give us energy, with the odd 'naughty' treat thrown in to make life a bit more comforting. The thing I find is healthy food tastes so good that when you're used to it (and not horribly over salted convenience crap) you don't need very many indulgences.

You are SO right about working with the body too - for so long I was taught my body was the enemy, but you can only start to make things better from a place of love. Women are taught to hate our bodies virtually from the moment we're born, and I wish I was strong enough to block out all the BS around weight and food earlier, because it really f*cked me up. I have only just started to ignore the horrible messages in the media about female bodies and how they *should* be. Ugh.

A really great post!

Magdalena Hannah said...

thank you so much. I couldn't agree more, I enjoy fruit and veg and all those things, I eat them because I enjoy them not because I have to force myself to. :) xx

Just Me Leah said...

Exactly. I feel much happier when I have veg every day because it makes me feel good. x x

Magdalena Hannah said...

thank you very much! :) x