If there was only one piece of health/weight loss advice I could offer for the rest of my career than I couldn’t go past: EAT MORE VEGETABLES. Sounds simple enough but eating a plant rich diet is the one commonality that most of the longest living, healthy populations from around the world have. As nutritional professionals we want to give you the most up to date, true advice and this is what we pride ourselves on at Body Fusion. So today we wanted to share with you one of the latest new diet plans floating around – it is called the Greengrocers Diet and its’ based on making vegetables the stars of your day.
Unlike other fad diets this one differs because it was written, tested and created for a group of true blue Aussie fruit shop owners who author Judy Davie saw regularly at the fresh fruit and veg markets in Sydney. Yes it has the elements of a structured eating plan but this approach is focused on buying what is in season, building relationships with your local food suppliers as well as trimming down.
The Greengrocer’s Diet is made up of 4 menus, one for each season with most of the ingredients available from your local greengrocer and butcher/seafood supplier. Generally each day consists of a vegetable based smoothie, breakfast, lunch, dinner and some occasional snacks/treats.
Example winter Saturday:
- Smoothie: Spinach, mint and kiwi smoothie
- Breakfast: 1/3 cup porridge + stewed rhubarb and pepita seeds
- Lunch: Quinoa, red salmon & kale salad
- Dinner: 160g Grilled fillet steak + baked pumpkin & nutty salsa verde
- Treat (yes, 1 x per week): 1 glass of red wine
Doesn’t sound half bad right? That is because there is no funny diet business, restricting certain foods or going without the occasional treat. Davie says there are 10 principles explaining why the diet works:
- More fruit & vegetables – they are both high in fibre, antioxidants and vitamins. We have seen the huge impacts this has on client’s energy, satiety levels and moods. They also have a smaller energy density meaning they are low in kilojoules so you can eat more without ‘blowing the budget’. Not to mention they are linked with decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic disease.
- Eat seasonally – foods are tastier & cheaper when in season, this is Mother Nature’s way of giving the body what it needs and when like hearty root vegetables in winter and refreshing fruits in the summer. Buying seasonal foods also means they haven’t spent months in cold storage or sprayed with preservatives to make them last.
- Shop locally – this is one of our favourite parts, we are lucky here in Lane Cove that we have a wealth of local businesses providing fresh produce. Give them your support and buy your produce from them and Grasslands Butcher is committed to all organic meat. This also means less tempting trips to the supermarkets where you waste money and kilojoules on the chocolates, biscuits, drinks and extras!
- Start each day with a green smoothie – this is probably the biggest change for most people who choose to follow this meal plan. It was originally designed for the fruit samplers who were at the markets at 4am and didn’t have the chance to sit down for breakfast until later in the day. The big vitamin boost in the morning not only fills you up but also gets your guts moving – you wouldn’t believe how many people struggle to go to the bathroom regularly. ADVICE TO MODIFY: use the smoothie as your two snacks if you can’t stomach it in the morning.
- Balance of flavours: the meal plan hits all six tastes and when you balance all flavours in a meal you are less likely to experience cravings for that little something else after you have finished.
- Reduce carb-rich foods in the evening: ANY weightloss plan will reduce energy from somewhere in the day. Carbohydrates are limited in the evenings because people are generally less active and don’t need them as much.
- Potassium: sodium ratio – There is a balance of potassium and sodium in your blood, basically you can have a little more sodium (salt) if your potassium is high enough to balance it out. Salt is allowed in small amounts in this plan because of the extra potassium from all the vegetables – lets face it, veg do taste better with a bit of seasoning!
- Portion size – the meals in the book give you specific portion sizes to retrain your eating patterns. Vegetables are generally free for all but you do need to watch the amount of meat, grains, fruit and extras eaten daily.
- Exercise self control- anyone who has tried a new fitness plan knows that when you first start exercising it is hard, but it gradually gets easier. Same goes with dietary change. You can train yourself to change – provided you really want to. The more self control you practice the stronger and easier it becomes.
- Fasting days – we are all human and big social events, birthdays, weddings etc. mean that we blow out occasionally. Ask any person who manages their weight well what they do after such an occasion– you make the next day a ‘small food’ day. So the meal plan suggests no more than 2 fasting days after a ‘big food day’ and gives a guide as to what to eat.
Now, there are some pretty basic weight loss principles at play here hence why strict followers have noticed great results. The three biggest highlights we took away from this diet are:
- The return to fresh local seasonal produce
- Balanced meals/ flavours eaten in the right proportions
- Long term, sustainable plan that gives you advice for the whole year, very different to just a six week shred!
But at the end of the day it’s still a generalized plan, not specific to individual lifestyle factors, personal likes and dislikes and medical conditions. If you’d like to integrate some of the best parts of this style of eating in a way designed for you then come and see a qualified dietitian
Katrina Mills, Body Fusion
Provisional Accredited Practising Dietitian
221 Longueville Rd Lane Cove, New South Wales, Australia
0410 533 213