Friday, 17 September 2021

Fitness Watch with Emma-Jane Taylor

GOOD physical and mental fitness is an annual event with goals throughout the year. Right now I have all of my clients focused on their spring fitness goals (short term) and summer bodies (long term).

With that in mind, do you know what your food groups are and how much you should be eating?

Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and starchy foods — Eat plenty of these and choose wholegrain where you can. Breads (minimal), rice, potatoes, pasta, chapatti, noodles, oats, couscous, maize, millet, sweet potatoes, yam and plantain. Main nutrients are carbohydrate (starch), fibre (NSP), some calcium and iron, B-vitamins, copper, and vitamin E. Eat around five to seven portions a day, choosing wholegrain varieties.

Fruit and vegetables — eat plenty of these and choose a wide variety. Fresh, frozen, canned fruit/vegetables and salad. Please note that potatoes aren’t included in this group. Main nutrients are vitamin C, carotenes, folates, fibre, potassium and some carbohydrate. Eat at least five portions a day, try to include some with every meal. Have fresh or dried fruits as snacks and with breakfast. Limit fruit juice to one portion a day and avoid adding fats/sugars/salt in cooking and serving.

Milk and dairy foods — choose lower fat options/alternatives where you can. Milk, cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais. Not eggs (see meat and fish group) or butter (see fats group). Main nutrients are calcium, protein, vitamin B12, A, D and zinc. Eat in moderation, around two to three portions a day. Choose lower fat versions where possible and if using higher fat versions reduce the portion.

Meat, fish, eggs and beans — choose lower fat options/alternatives where you can. Meat and meat products, fish and fish products, eggs, beans, and pulses (such as baked beans, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas), nuts, peanuts and other nut butters, soya, tofu and quorn. Main nutrients are iron, protein and B vitamins, especially B12, zinc, magnesium, n-3 fatty acids (essential). Eat in moderation, around two to three portions a day. Choose low fat or lean versions. Try to combine meat with vegetables and eat fish twice a week, including oily fish once a week. Avoid adding too much fat or salt in preparation and serving.

Food and drinks high in fat or sugar — avoid eating these too often and when you do eat small amounts. Butter, margarine, spreading fats, cooking fats, rich sauces, gravies, oil-based salad dressings, mayonnaise, cream, ice-cream, savoury snacks, cakes, pastries, biscuits, chocolate, confectionery, jellies, jams and preserves, and all non-diet soft drinks. Main nutrients are fat, carbohydrate, salt (alcohol). Eat sparingly. Small amounts and less often. Replace fatty/sugary treats with fruit and vegetables. Cut out or reduce sugar in tea and coffee.

Use this guide when planning meals, snacks and keep everything in proportion to maintain a healthy balanced diet. Enjoy your February, see you soon.

Emma-Jane Taylor

PS If you would like chat about your wellbeing, please feel free to email me on and I will do my very best to help.

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