Tag Archives: nutrition

JERF, CRAP and Clean Eating!

I had a request from one of my email subscribers to write about clean eating. Now those of you who know me will know that I’m not averse to eating cake or having a drink. To my mind, it’s just food – there is no point in labelling things good or bad.


But I do try to eat as healthily as possible – following the JERF principle of Just Eat Real Food.  I cook from scratch every day and avoid ready-meals – anything with a huge ingredient list is out!  I also try to avoid artificial sugars and manufactured sugars such as high fructose corn syrup. This often means that my best choice if I want something sweet is to make it myself!

The balance of food is worth looking at too – breakfast traditionally is very sugar and refined carbohydrate heavy. I never liked cereal but did love toast. Now I have egg most days and never get hungry mid-morning.
My evening meal also has a different balance – probably half the plate is vegetables and the rest is protein. It may not be necessary  to cut out carbohydrates but the portion size is important and also not relying on refined carbs such as pasta and white rice.
The other key element is drinking plenty of water – I have water on the go throughout the day and will get through a litre when I’m exercising.  When you think you want food it’s worth having a drink first as you may just be thirsty. And keeping a water diary can help if you’re not sure how much water you have – the advice is 6-8 glasses a day, just over a litre. Bear in mind if you’re breastfeeding or exercising you will need more.
If you want to go further with clean eating though an easy way to remember it is to cut the CRAP

  • Caffeine
  • Refined sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Processed food

The other things to bear in mind when it comes to health and fat loss though are all the non-food things that also have an affect. So instead of just focusing on food also bear in mind your stress levels and your sleep patterns.  I think if changing your food habits too much stresses you out not only will it be unsustainable but it may make you feel worse. Be kind to yourselves.


Further reading

Heal your diastasis with food!

Nutrition for the postnatal period

Nutrition for the postnatal period

When it comes to optimal nutrition for the postnatal period, there is more to consider than just regular healthy eating advice.  For sure cutting out processed foods, refined carbs and sugar and limiting the intake of alcohol and caffeine is good advice for us all.  But there are also a few other factors to consider postnatally – the body has to gone through trauma, whatever the birth experience, and the postnatal body needs to heal and be renourished.

Nutrients to include in your healthy eating plan:

Vitamin A – low levels of this can delay healing of wounds and can leave you open to infection.  Having avoided classic foods rich in vitamin A throughout pregnancy, the postnatal body may already have low stores.  Found in cheese, eggs and yoghurt and in very high amounts in liver and pate (NHS advice is to only eat one portion a week), it is also converted from yellow and orange vegetables – sweet potato, carrots, peppers, green leafy vegetables and yellow fruit – mango, apricots, melon.

Iron – again, low levels can delay healing.  Blood loss during the birth may leave the postnatal body deficient.  Found in liver, meat, nuts, wholegrains, spinach and eggs.

Glutamine – intake of this amino acid is essential when a body is severely wounded, for example after a caesarean section.  Good sources of glutamine are eggs, pork and chicken, yoghurt and milk, ricotta and cottage cheese, spinach and cabbage

Water – dehydration can reduce the efficiency of blood circulation, meaning impaired supply of oxygen and nutrients to the wound site

Vitamin C – helps wound healing, maintains healthy connective tissue and helps to prevent infection. Found in a wide variety of fruit and veg.

Protein – essential for healing, helps in repairing tissue

Part of the healing process involves inflammation around the wound site.  In order to help the body to continue to heal we need to be eating anti-inflammatory foods – good fats , whole fruit, berries and veg, most  fish and seafood, nuts, ginger, garlic and turmeric

It’s very difficult to think about healthy eating in the early postnatal period – sometimes getting any food into you is a bonus! And later on our focus can sometimes be more towards losing the baby weight.  But instead, try to see your food intake as a way to nourish yourself and heal from the inside.