Business Chicks run fantastic events throughout the year and I was lucky enough to attend their “What Should I Eat” event earlier this year in Brisbane. It can be super confusing knowing what to eat when we're told so many conflicting messages about food! What’s just hype and what’s science? The aim of the event was to set us straight on the facts.
There was a fantastic panel with ranging viewpoints on what’s a fad, what’s just marketing, thoughts on superfoods and should we all eat organic? But there was a pretty common theme across the guys – it was “keep it simple!”.
Here’s a few key takeout’s from each of the panellists:
Leading Australian nutritionist and author of five best-selling books including the 20/20 Diet Lola Berry tells us not to stress about food:
“I’m empowered by food - I deserve to look after myself. I want to honour my heath and I feel better when I look after my health. Put yourself first!”
“But sure, do I eat a Cadbury Koala when I want one? Yep”
“Stop with the guilt”
When asked about whether we should be going Paleo, or sugar free, or vegan:
“I once did the blood type diet but with a O blood type it said I wasn’t supposed to eat Avocados. I love avocados. So I just ignored that bit”.
“Get inspiration from everywhere – try it on. Build the perfect thing that works for you”
Lola loves going organic when she can but also reminded us to head to the farmers markets for fresh produce. At least you’re eating fruit and veg that’s in season when it should be eaten and often it’s tricky or expensive for local famers to get certified as organic. Have a chat and ask them.
Luke Hines is one of Australia's most loved health and wellness experts, the co-author of 6 best-selling 'Clean Living' books, and author of Eat Clean, he regularly appears on Sunrise, Today and Studio 10.
Luke told us that “Food is fuel and has a direct correlation to how we feel.. and how do we want to feel? Happy!”.
“Get in the kitchen and fall in love with food again. Prepare your own food”. Often we think we don’t have time. But who made time to watch the finale of the bachelor the other night.” Guilty.
“Connect with your food - know what you're eating, enjoy it, find the love and pleasure in it”. Often we eat meals on the run and struggle to recall what we’ve even eaten". I can totally vouch for this. I can’t tell you how many times I’m wolfing down food at my desk at work to look down and think ‘what! How did I eat all of that!’ haha.
“When you label something a diet or restrict yourself from having it, you can end up having a stressful relationship with food. Stress is a big reason we hold on to weight.”
Luke’s tip for the festive season: “Eat before you go to an event so you're not hungry when you get there”.
Damon Gameau’s the guy behind That Sugar Film, which became the highest-grossing Australian documentary of all time across Australia and New Zealand.
Damon reminded us that “we are part of nature - processed is not natural”
When asked whether to always go organic Damon was all about the “Bigger picture. What impact is it having on the planet? Try to be responsible”. He does his best to choose organic when he can but doesn’t beat himself up about it when he can’t.
On whether carbs are they the devil: "No, but the amount we’ve been told for most of our lives that we should be eating is wrong.” The old food pyramid is an example of that.
Like Lola, Damon reiterated “What might work for someone might not for someone else- we’ve all got different triggers”. “People can get pretty passionate about the whole vegan vs paleo debate. They choose what works for them. But the reality is “there’s no one size fits all”.
Joe Wicks aka @Thebodycoach. If you’re not already following him on insta or snap chat – do yourself a favour! There’s a reason for his 1.2 million followers on Instagram. And not just for the perve. He is ca-ute! He’s also super entertaining and knows his stuff. Joe is behind the ‘Lean in 15’ online diet and fitness plans which have transformed the lives of over 50,000 people. He flew in all the way from the UK for ‘What Should I Eat”.
Joe debunked the myth of eating 3 meals and snacks at certain times “Listen to your body, that may not be right for you. I’m a person that needs fats for breakfast and regular meals”.
He wasn’t a fan of the macro counting or the calorie intake. He was all for getting to know what your body needs and “fueling” your body at the right times being dependant on what you’re doing.
He is also a firm believer that “diets don't educate people”.
David Gillespie was actually my favourite of the panel. He’s is a former corporate lawyer and the best-selling author of the Sweet Poison books, Big Fat Lies, Free Schools and Toxic Oil.
I now want to read them all!
He has a dry sense of humour and cuts through the crap, and deals only with facts. He let us know that everything we are told about what to eat and what not to in mass media is all branding and marketing. Coming from an advertising world it’s hard to deny this. We know the buzz words. We know what makes things sell and we use that to promote the products.
“Eat like your great grandparents did” is the simplest way to encapsulate his message.
A great tip from David is: "When grocery shopping is to do a loop around the grocery store, everything you need is there. You don’t need to go in the aisles. Don't buy stuff in boxes."
He believes that organic is a marketing term.. “If you want them to pay three times as much, then sure go for it". He believes that an organic label doesn't mean it is, what you think it is.
He had some interesting insights about avoiding cooking with and eating food that has vegetable oil (any oils from seeds) and to stick to animal fats or fats from fruits such as olive oil and coconut oil. Will read his Toxic Oil book and report back.
David had no idea what an acai bowl is and let us know that “superfoods” are so super because they are high in antioxidants. Apparently we create more antioxidants when we sleep and there’s tenfold the amount of antioxidants in tea or coffee than most “superfoods”. Good to know. Will still eat acai bowls though.
It was a fantastic and insightful evening! We can overcomplicate eating habits which can really change our relationship towards food and make eating stressful, rather than a means to nourish your body. It’s a certainty in life that we need to eat. Let’s not stress over it. And keep it simple.
You can find out more about business chicks events here