FAST FOOD GETS FIT – THE QUICKEST WAY TO YOUR 7 A DAY
Five a day doesn’t cut it anymore according to the nation’s nutritional experts and the key to health lies in adding more fruit and vegetables to our daily menu.Sally Bee, 47, nutritionist, food writer, campaigner, heart health ambassador and TV presenter tells us how.
BOXOUT: SALLY BEE
As creator of the healthy eating plans on ITV’s Lorraine Sally has written healthy cook books including Michelle Obama’s favourite The Secret Ingredient. Sally suffered three heart attacks in one week when she was 36 and SCAD (Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection – when your main artery dissects top to bottom). Against all odds she survived and has kept herself in good health by self healing with superfoods. She is currently healthy, married to husband Dogan and has three children who are 16, 13 and 11.
SEVEN A DAY THE HEALTHY WAY
“Balance is so important – there is no such thing as a demon food – you must look at your diet as a whole. There are some tricks to making sure you are eating what your body needs and it’s down to portion size. Plates in restaurants can be huge and we’re all confused about how much we should eat. A 5 foot 4 inch ballet dancer doesn’t need the same calories as a 6 foot 5 inch rugby player – right? Trick to downsize not supersize: Here’s how not to fill up on too much protein or carbs. Hover your hand over your plate with your fingers together. Your hand size is the portion size for both protein and carbs – the rest of your plate should be full of vegetables/salad in a variety of colours.
Go Deep: the veges and fruits with the deepest colours reflects the nutrients inside it so inhale kale, go big on broccoli, beets, tomatoes and rich coloured berries.
Fruits not sweets: I always have a jam packed fruit bowl at home and tell the kids if they are hungry go there. Fruits are full of vitamins, they are our friend.
Herbs & Spices: I call these the flavour saviour – they make healthy food delicious, and replace fat, sugar and salt as the perfect taste enhancing addition.
Smoothies are super: I love smoothies but I only drink a small glass and use half veg, half fruit and the rest is water – as opposed to fruit juice. I tend to make half kale and courgette, half pineapple and mango and the rest is sparkling water. Sometimes these replace my breakfast and I’ll also eat a handful of almonds to fill me up.
Coconuts are beautiful but: personally I am not super into the coconut oil cooking trend, I love coconut oil in topical beauty products but it is extremely high in saturated fat and I trust my own body, it’s too heavy for me to use in the kitchen.
Alcohol: I didn’t drink for many years but now my health is stable I really enjoy one glass of Prosecco – it’s a “clean” drink and I savour it. Two glasses is too much so I stick to one.
Meat Free Mondays: I think red meat is essential for some who need the mix of iron and protein. I think twice a week is fine but do cut off excess fat and also enjoy chicken and fish. I’m a fan of Meat Free Mondays which focus on upping your vege intake. The vegetarian diet is healthy as long as it contains plenty of legumes and beans and leafy greens.
Be gluten aware: Carbs are fine but balance them depending on your output – if you are exercising a lot you will need them for energy and they also aid sleep as they have a sedentary effect. I love potatoes and rice but tend to be gluten aware as bread makes me feel bloated. The wheat we use now is a different variety to 50 years ago and can ferment in your gut. As with all eating habits, listen to your own body – if it doesn’t feel good it isn’t good for you.
Processed food and Fizzy Drinks are empty calories: It’s fine to have the odd treat but keep it as a treat and don’t eat it every day. Eating “clean” is the purest way to great health and a healthy body is a gift.
BE HEALTHY: THE QUESTIONAIRE
BH: WHAT IS YOUR DIET LIKE?
SB: “I am the healthiest I have ever been – I look at food and think ‘what can it do for me and why am I eating it?’ For me food is fuel to stay well but we all need to feed our souls too, so if it’s not a need it’s simply greed but treats are fine in moderation.
BH: DO YOU EXERCISE?
SB:I walk fast every day and 20 minutes is my magic number but if I can’t fit that in to a busy day I’ll do 5 minutes in increments.
BH: DO YOU STRESS? SB: I really don’t stress and am a calm person. I don’t panic and I think it’s because I am a survivor – I know how it feels to look death in the face and say no, not yet. I was 36 when I had my heart attacks and I remember talking to myself and saying, ‘just breathe” and my doctor said to me, ” Sal if you see 40 you’ll live forever!” so, now I am 47, every day I am grateful. My husband says I don’t just have rose tinted specs but sparkly ones and he is right.
BH: IS THERE ANYTHING THAT BOTHERS YOU?
SB: Well I have been taking strong beta blockers for years now and it has resulted in substantial hair loss – I used to think it would grow back but now I don’t think that is true and have taken to wearing wigs. It does bother me as a woman but I try and have fun with it. I did a photo shoot recently and wore a bright red wig and it was really great.
BH: HOW DO YOU SLEEP?
SB: My hormones really affect my sleep – at that time of the month I feel hot and bothered and because of the drugs I get restless leg syndrome and heart palpitations and I can feel like I’m ‘fizzing’.
BH: WHAT MAKES YOU SMILE? SB: Simple things – watching a Saturday afternoon DVD with my family, cooking Sunday lunch for 15. Sharing mainly.
BH: COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE…NO ONE KNOWS I…..
SB: “Am an angel with wings – I have magical powers!”
SALLY BEE’S DAILY DIET DIARY
7am Hydrate with plenty of filtered sparkling water – I don’t drink tea or coffee
8am Have a small smoothie – it’s like pouring goodness into my body( +4 servings of fruit/veg)
9.30 Breakfast: granola or muesli with berries or fruit (+5 servings)
1pm Lunch: is light – watercress or butternut squash soup (+6 Servings)
3pm Snack: Nuts, raisins or fruit, maybe a full fat natural yoghurt (+7 Servings)
6pm Dinner : The only time all 5 of us sit down and eat together. I am a big fan or slow cooking so a one pot dinner with lots of flavour – like stews or casseroles with rice or potatoes or fajitas in Cajun spices. The kids love to bake fruit crumbles for dessert or I will roast pitted fruits like plums, peaches and cherries and add honey and cinnamon and serve with yoghurt. (+9 servings)