Wednesday 11 January 2017

Healthy Eating Patterns

Healthy Eating Patterns

So, here we are in the post New Year haze of too much eating and drinking considering the coming year ahead of us, personally I like to think of these feast times as necessary – our gut bacteria must have a ball!

Thankfully there are seasons to eat, drink and make merry, and there are spaces in between to eat normally just as there are times it is best to fast and let our digestive systems empty out, rest and repair.

Many of us are busy getting back to our usual meals and portions right about now and feeling all the better for it. A new year is a great time to create better ways of feeding ourselves, as always, small changes pay large dividends diet wise. 

However, I know for myself, making the transition back to healthy eating after indulgence was always a struggle. I am hearing from people already about how difficult it is to switch off from the 2 weeks of feasting and get back into a normal pattern.

It has got me thinking, exactly what is a healthy eating pattern and why are so many people struggling with food the way it is presented and the typical diet as we have come to believe it should be.

I remember sharing the way I eat with some of my professional colleagues a couple of years ago, only to be shot down and nearly shouted down – so outrageous was my suggestion. For myself. I was only referring to myself in the conversation, yet there was such a fearful response as if they couldn’t run fast enough to get away from what I was saying.

I have been thinking about it ever since.

Many of you know that a few years ago, I had spent several years intermittent fasting and found a much more suitable approach to food for myself and my family. A lot of change came from that time for me, certainly the least of which had to do with food.

It also set me thinking, exactly what is a healthy eating pattern and why are so many people struggling with food the way it is presented and the 'typical diet', the way we are informed is a normal way to eat, doesn’t appear to fit with health?

I mean, the only ones who are to gain from all of us eating 3 meals and 3 snacks a day are the multi national food producers. And of course the illness industry because all of that food is making us sick. We are eating too much, too often, mostly of the same things. 

Enough already, you are thinking – what way do you eat?

So, I eat one meal a day and once a month I fast for 3 days on juice.

Typically, every day I prepare one meal, unless it’s my birthday or a special occasion or a holiday. Even this past holiday season, we generally ate one large celebratory meal a day, but had snacks or late desserts because it was a special time with special treats.

There was NO big transition back to normal eating. And there hasn’t been when I am eating this way, because I still have the one meal in the middle of the day (give or take). I can eat what I want, as much as I want and have dessert at the end, if I want.

The only difference after Christmas is the really rich desserts and late evening snacks are gone, but so are the late nights – so my routines are back to normal as well.

I have been eating this way for about 2 ½ years and here is what I have found;

I tend to eat less than I would if I was eating 3 meals a day.
I have more energy, as less time is spent digesting food.
I sleep better, because I eat earlier in the day.
I get far more done!
Cooking is simple – one 4 course meal a day, everyone pitches in.
Incorporating a 3 day juice fast is very easy.
Adding in exercise is easier, because my tummy isn’t full am or pm.
I eat a wider variety of foods.

For quite some time I have been talking to anyone who will listen, about the way we have been trained to eat, because it has seemed to be all wrong, at least for many of us. If 3 meals and 3 snacks a day suit you and you feel fantastic eating that way – wonderful!

However, if I ate breakfast, I would be snacking all evening. If I skipped breakfast, no snacking and not as hungry the rest of the day, that was my absolute first clue that the three meals a day thingy was no good for me.

It was only a few days ago that I realized I remember being vegan, eating extremely healthfully (no sugar, no gluten) and feeling tired after my main meal, back then I was eating 3 meals a day. Now, I can jump up from my dinner with the same energy as my children and run up to the gardens to get some work in before it gets dark.

Eating this way has made a huge difference to my health, my lifestyle and my time.

Todays’ meal was all prepared by me in ½ hour to 45 minutes except oven time (I had the sourdough started in the early morning)

Sourdough pizza topped with artichoke pate, mushrooms, red onion, goats cheese, Bonita tuna & olives
Brown rice cooked with cinnamon & turmeric with stir fry vegetables of beans, carrots, onions, fennel, broccoli, mushrooms and fish
Sourdough toast with peanut butter & jam
Kombucha to drink & sesame honey almond treats for dessert.

There was enough for everyone with loads left over for another meal tomorrow. This meal fed 5 people today - everyone had seconds.

If you find your digestion is over burdened with too much food, perhaps skipping a meal now and then might be the way to get started towards a healthier new you. 



  1. Is the four course meal the only food you eat all day? Do you have anything in the mornings and evenings? It sounds like this may work for us.

    1. Hi Niamh! Yes, the mid day meal is the only thing I eat all day, I drink about a litre of herbal tea a day and also lots of kombucha made from herbs. In the cooler months I have a dandelion coffee in the mornings. Once a week we have a 'Saturday night' where we have snacks in the evening and watch a film or something similar. I feel as if I've finally found the best approach to eating for me.