Active Farmers Nutrition
Welcome Anna Ross to the Active Farmer Network!
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ANNA’S TOP 5 FOOD HABITS FOR GOOD HEALTH
We keep our vehicles serviced and topped up with fuel, however with our busy work schedules it’s easy to forget about our bodies and how to best fuel them - our bodies need nutrients from a variety of foods to function properly so we can get the most out of our day. Eating real, minimally processed foods and the odd treat in moderation is they key to good health.
1. Real food first
In Michael Pollan’s words: don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food. Go back to basics and eat whole foods close to the way nature intended. Choose minimally processed foods such as rolled oats over instant oats, wholegrain bread over white, muesli over cereal with added sugars, and whole fruit over products made with ‘real fruit’. The latest trendy diets, fads and detoxes are short term fixes and are not likely to be sustainable enough to lead to changes you need for long term results, so don’t get caught up in these.
2. Have a game plan
Whether its writing a shopping list, packing healthy snacks for your day, planning meals for the week, or better still preparing meals for the week ahead of time. A little bit of forward planning can help you stay on track to reach your goals by filling your shopping trolley with healthy, wholesome food, and avoiding the vending machine or fast food on the run.
3. Don your apron
Home cooked is best! Prepare more of your own food using real, seasonal ingredients rather than opting for fast food or pre-prepared packaged meals. This way you will know what is going into your food and you can control how much you’re plating up. There is also the added bonus of having leftover food for lunch the next day or perhaps it can be frozen for a later meal.
4. Be realistic with your goals
Start with small and sustainable healthy changes over time. For example, individual changes may include:
- Adding an extra serve of veggies to your meals - fill your plate with seasonal and colourful veggies. Legumes such as beans, chickpeas and lentils are highly nutritious and versatile veggies that we often forget about, and have the added bonus of extra protein to help keep you full!
- Adding an extra piece of fruit into your day.
- Eating a healthy breakfast rich in protein, such as muesli or wholegrain cereal topped with greek yoghurt, fruit and milk, or wholegrain toast with poached eggs, wilted spinach, tomato or avocado.
- Drinking more water. Carry a drink bottle with you to work, in your handbag, in your car – everywhere you go!
- Choosing healthy snacks. Snacking between meals if you’re hungry can help to avoid overeating at meals times and therefore can help with weight control. Good snack options may include fresh fruit, a slice of raisin toast, yoghurt, ¼ cup of nuts or a nut-based snack bar, and cheese or hummus with wholegrain crackers or veggie sticks to name a few. It’s okay to treat yourself occasionally – remember moderation is key.
- Being mindful of alcohol. Aim for only a couple of drinks when you do drink and at least a couple of alcohol free days each week.
- Aiming to prepare meals from home more often than you currently do.
Other positive health goals you may like to consider to improve overall wellbeing include exercising, stopping smoking, reducing the time you spend sitting, aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep each night, or managing stress levels.
Remember that it can take some time for changes to become new habits, so don’t be disheartened if you slip up. It’s important to be prepared for these times, acknowledge them and get back on track.
5. Rally the troops
It’s often beneficial to have support and motivation from family and friends to make achieving your goals easier and more enjoyable. This way, you are more accountable and therefore more likely to stick to the changes you need for permanent results. Take time to enjoy meals and snacks with family and friends rather than multi-tasking or eating on the run.
Joining Active Farmers is the perfect way to get some exercise in a socially supportive environment to help you feel great and ultimately improve physical and mental health!
Find out about personal or group eduction sessions here
A little bit about Anna
Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) | Nutritionist
Master of Nutrition and Dietetics
Bachelor of Science (Nutrition and Metabolism; Physiology)
Anna is a nutritional advisor for Active Farmers. She contributes food and nutrition information to the Active Farmers social media pages and runs group nutrition education sessions for the Active Farmers network. Outside of Active Farmers Anna works as a dietitian in the Hospital setting.
Anna grew up on a farm which gave exposure to primary production, and instilled an interest in food and health, leading her down the career pathway of dietetics. There is an abundance of nutrition information out there - online, in books, magazines, and from many different voices. As an Accredited Practising Dietitian, Anna is trained to apply the science of nutrition to provide food and dietary advice, and educate groups of people and individuals in health and disease.
Anna has professional practice experience in hospitals and community settings providing individualised nutrition advice to both adults and children. She understands the role of food and nutrition in the prevention and management of acute and chronic diseases. Anna has experience in nutrition care of various conditions such as weight loss, heart health, diabetes, and gastrointestinal issues. She has also facilitated nutrition education programs providing practical, evidence based information on general healthy eating, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, heart health, and healthy eating for the elderly.
Anna is proactive about keeping up to date with nutrition information in the media and the continually evolving science of nutrition. She is particularly interested in the psychology around eating behaviours and food choices, and the relationships between food, gut bacteria and overall health and wellbeing, including mental health.
Anna believes in a moderate approach to healthy eating and is motivated to help people become the best versions of themselves through encouraging balanced and sustainable dietary behaviours. She understands the lifestyle and food access of rural and regional areas. Anna’s goal is to provide individuals and groups with evidence based nutrition information and tools to help make informed food choices for good health.