Corinne Austin | Personal Training

Keeping it Simple

2015-04-20-11-28-59In a world where we are consistently bombarded with an overload of over-sensationalised health facts and fiction, it becomes increasingly difficult to know what is wrong, what is right, and indeed, what is actually best for any of us.


The latest coconut oil debacle is just one of the many topics at present which leaves our heads spinning, and our minds as confused as ever.  How are we meant to cope in a world that constantly presents us with conflicting information – especially around the aspects of food and nutrition?  What is truth and what is fiction?  Ultimately, what are the most important things to know?


No matter what age we are, no matter what year it is, research is always being done.  Scientists are busy in laboratories around the world testing the chemical properties of food, and how they react with the human body.  Studies are forever being done with the properties of different food on animals and people to try to prove (or disprove) some previous theory we had all been lead to believe was true.  And herein is where the trouble lies and where the confusion begins – it is the results of such studies which often present us with a new theory, one which possibly overrides the truth as we had previously known it.  We are fortunate that food scientists and biochemists are so passionate about what they do; the unfortunate thing is that this new information often conflicts with what we already know, and therefore none of us – health professional nor lay person – are sure what we should do with the new information.  Do we take it or leave it?


If you were in a room with 10 different people and you asked them to list three foods they think are bad for their health, as well as the three foods that they consider essential to their wellbeing, I can guarantee you’d get 10 different answers.  And the variety of answers here will stem from 1) the generation in which they were raised; 2) what new information they have been exposed to in the last five years; 3) what things they consider to personally work for them and their bodies; and 4) the health professionals they have had contact with in the last five years, and the information that these health professionals have provided them with.


Now, I am no food expert, nutritionalist, or medical doctor, but I do have a couple of qualifications behind me, and I do read into a lot of reputable research and scientific studies where and when I find it necessary to.  In my time in this industry, these are the things that I have discovered, and that I think are the basics for applying any kind of nutritional regime to you and your family:


  • Eat lots of naturally bright-coloured foods i.e. fruit and vegetables
  • Eat small portions of lean meat, with 1-2 fish meals each week, and have a couple of days meat-free
  • If it’s not something you can sustain for the rest of your life then there’s no point in starting it
  • The liver and kidney are natural cleansers and detoxifiers – don’t be fooled into buying ‘detox kits’ from your local chemist or supermarket
  • Stay away from foods that overload and stress your liver – alcohol, coffee and sugar being the main candidates here. Have these as occasional treats, not everyday items
  • Include at least one serving of a fruit or vegetable at every meal
  • Consume at least two green vegetable serves every day – cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, spinach, silverbeet, kale etc.
  • Eat as raw and as natural as possible, and as little from packaged food as possible
  • Avoid drinking your calories – drink water or herbal tea where possible. Warm water with a squeeze of lemon is an ideal thing to drink the moment you get out of bed.  It readies your body for efficient and effective digestion
  • Always check the ingredients section on any packet. If there’s more than 5 or 6 ingredients then it’s probably bad news
  • If there’s ingredients listed on a packet that you are not familiar with, then it’s likely your body won’t be able to identify it either. Don’t voluntarily feed your body chemicals that it was not naturally created to deal with – it’s likely these kinds of things will become toxic within the body, and then who knows what sort of disease or havoc they may create within…
  • Eat to nourish, not to satisfy. It’s so easy to grab what’s easy when you’re hungry or in a rush, but is that easy, convenient snack really going to give your body what it really needs?  Every time you eat consider if your food of choice is nutrient-rich and therefore will it nourish your body, or if, in fact, it’s empty calories
  • For any meal regime to be sustainable I would highly suggest you don’t entirely eradicate something that’s considered less desirable (unless you have an allergy or intolerance to some food property). Complete eradication will simply make you desire the food more, and you will begin to resent the process of healthy eating.  Leave any treat foods as just that – something you can have as a treat on a rare occasion.  Life is meant to be lived after all.
  • Plan your meals. This is one of the biggest factors of eating well.  Plan what meals and snacks you will have during the week, and therefore what food you will buy at the supermarket.  And then set yourself up for success with some meal preparation – prepare some snacks and meals in advance, so that they are ready to go when you are.  This will lead to nourishment and fulfilment.


Eat well, nourish yourself, and live the life you’ve always wanted.