Wholesome Nutrition for You
THE NUTRITIONAL INSTITUTE
Few people would dispute the fact that there is a bewildering array of books available on the business of eating, fitness and nutrition, many of them, unfortunately, with (hidden) vested interests in the food industry and singular theories.
But every now and again, a refreshing and ethical book based on sound, proven scientific principles comes onto the market, which is more than just another trendy diet book. 'Wholesome Nutrition' is one such a book!
The authors neatly unwrap all the jargon and pseudo-mystique, offering sensible, practical, economical everyday dietary approaches in a book that’s not only enjoyable and informative to read, but at the same time accessible to all South Africans who care about optimum health and the business of living life to the full.
Most importantly, 'Wholesome Nutrition' stresses the fact that we are all different, and therefore a one-size-fits-all approach is counterproductive to good health
Benefits | Features
- Provides a common sense, objective look at healthy eating options, written in accessible, laymen’s terminology
- Emphasises the importance of tailoring nutrition to the individual’s requirements, because everyone is different
- Will appeal to anybody interested in weight management and sensible eating, without having to resort to any questionable diet fashion fads
- Includes explanatory charts
- 30 easy-to-follow recipes
- Full-colour food photography
Nutritional therapist and exercise physiologist Ian Craig and his co-author, health food specialist and sports scientist Rachel Jesson, cover in detail the emotive topics of nutrition and health from a scientific perspective.
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Ian Craig BSc MSc, CSCS, INLPTA is a nutritional therapist, exercise physiologist, NLP practitioner and a lifestyle coach. He was a competitive middle-distance runner for 20 years and is now a more leisurely runner and cyclist. He runs a private nutrition practice in Morningside Chiropractic Sports Injury Clinic (Johannesburg, South Africa) where he personalises nutrition and exercise strategies according to his client's genetic attributes and lifestyles.
Ian writes and is the editor for 'Functional Sports Nutrition' magazine and he recently published his first book, 'Wholesome Nutrition', along with his online course: '12 Steps to Wholesome Nutrition'.
What inspired you to write this book?
Wholesome Nutrition was inspired by the recognition that many South Africans were bouncing from one diet to another, trying to seek the elusive long-term health and better weight management. However, the interaction of nutrition with the human body is much more complicated than what can be represented by a simplistic dietary approach.
Wholesome Nutrition, therefore, has a focal point of education, trying to empower South Africans towards a better understanding of their own body, their genetic individuality, ultimately culminating in much more informed eating behaviours that improve their health and long-term well-being.
We also want to encourage people to become more aware or conscious of the foods they are purchasing. Farmed or fresh produce does not require labelling so we want to inform individuals that when they pick up an apple from their local fruit and veg shop we want them to know that it has been heavily sprayed with herbicides and pesticides and these are negatively affecting their health in the long term – so an accumulative effect.
We want people to realise the hormones, additives, and growth promoters in their meat, chicken, eggs and dairy. We want them to know that eating chemically tainted foods does not lead to health and vitality so we offer options for purchasing naturally grown foods or concentrate on thoroughly washing fresh produce.
We also encourage taking a small lead in growing your own foods which could be anything from sprouting in your kitchen to having hanging baskets of strawberries or fresh herbs on your balcony or actually creating dedicated beds for growing foods.
Growing your own increases the nutrient density because of the transport time or the time the vegetables are in the shop has been eliminated. The minute you remove a vegetable from its original source it begins to lose nutrients. Taking charge of your foods equates to taking charge of your health!
We also encourage knowing the source of your foods. So dedicate some time to knowing the farmers and butchers that are selling you produce. We also go back to traditional cooking methods, so fermenting vegetables, reintroducing stocks and cooking from scratch.
How is your book different to what other books and diets are offering?
It is not a diet. Unfortunately, most nutrition books, whether they mean to or not, seem to extend their key messages (whether that is low-carb, low-fat, low GI etc.), to every person who takes time to read the book.
We educate our readers about base nutrition principles, and provide them with plenty of good dietary and lifestyle recommendations, without trying to squeeze them into another one-size-fits-all box. It is not restrictive in any way. You don’t have to count calories or glycemic indices. So if you still want to eat your chocolate, we suggest you go for the cleanest (least amount of sugar). So we encourage paying a bit more, which results in eating a bit less. Good quality chocolate is fairly bitter with a strong cacao presence, it’s hard to eat an entire slab.
You don’t have to count calories or glycemic indices. You are not coerced into eating copious amounts of fats, proteins or carbohydrates. We have a strong focus on quality over quantity. We’re asking people to go back to what their granny was cooking.
Where is the best place to start?
Considering that there is a lot of information in the book, where is the best place to start, to make the necessary changes to one’s lifestyle and weight management? It is a book that is intended to be read cover to cover or for the reader to be able to dip into separate chapters, according to their interests.
To fully contextualise the information shared, it is obviously better to read the whole book, but each chapter is separated out into bite-size chunks. For example, if the reader is confused about the current high-fat recommendations, they can easily dip into chapter 4 on fats, which will help provide them with a much more rounded education on the subject of good, bad and ugly fats.
How easy is it to acquire organic and sustainable foods locally?
If you live in the middle of the veld, in a small dorp, ironically I believe that it may be quite difficult to obtain locally sourced organic food. However, as shown in the resources section at the end of the book, there are more and smaller, but passionate retailers sourcing top quality local, sustainable and organic food for city folk.
How do I shop these foods on a budget?
In today’s economic climate, how does the average person make the right choices that also suit the needs of the family and the ever-tightening budget?
It is a question of priorities. Nowhere else in the world have I ever seen quite so many modern 4x4 vehicles in one location as when I drive along William Nicol Drive or through Sandton. Many South Africans actually spend considerably more on their car than they do on their food, and it is the same for medical aid, money going to a large corporation, which at best is only partially refunded.
One of our favourite quotes from the book is “have you seen the cost of cancer lately?” Without your health, your material wealth means absolutely nothing. We need to spend a little bit more money on food to support the hard-working ethical farmers in our country, as opposed to supporting large authoritative World organisations such as Monsanto, as one example. Ultimately we need to help the health of our own bodies and of the environment around us.
Individualising Nutritional Intake
In your book, you have ‘12 weeks to a vibrant life’, ‘Aims of a healthy life’ and ‘Individualising Nutritional Intake’ with the advice of self-education and self-empowerment, while these are fantastic in retrospect, without daily self-discipline, they may seem unmanageable to the average person, as while one's intentions are good, the reality of everyday life does have a tendency to get in the way.
Can you offer advice to overcome these hurdles?
We are careful to not over strategise the information that we give to our readers. It is so common to find individuals who have successfully gone through a three-month dietary programme, only to then lapse back into their old ways. A great phrase is “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, and we find that people who are successfully moving towards long-term health, are doing so through slow and progressive changes in their lifestyle and dietary patterns.
So we suggest that people make one change in their nutrition habits at a time. For example; they can trade-in their packaged breakfast cereals for one of Rachel’s scrummy breakfast options - remember, it is important to eat breakfast like a king. If every week a person makes only one change in the way that they are eating and living their life, within 3 to 6 months they should see massive changes in their health and day-to-day practice. So, although we run a programme called ‘12 weeks to vibrant health’, we only introduce one new element every week, plus focus very much on education. Successfully implemented, the person is much more empowered towards their future health decisions.
Do you offer advice for individuals?
Yes, I (Ian) have been a Nutritional Therapist for more than a decade and run a very busy practice in the Morningside Chiropractic and Sports Injury Clinic.
Anything specific to share?
Don’t be in a hurry to discover the perfect diet because there is none…Instead, focus firstly on the quality of the food that you are sourcing for you and your family and secondly on the balances within your diet for your own individual health - for example, your balance between carbs and fats, the animal sources and plant sources of foods, and ‘healthy’ food and treat food.
Slowly move yourself towards the 80:20 principle where 80% of the time your choices are ultimately health ‘for you’ and even when you eat treat food, the quality will improve more and more, slowly putting the junk food industries out of business.