Pic by Manon Klaver
A while back I had a park date with health coach/dietitian Stefanie Klaver and her little puppy Kes. We decided to sit down to talk about different diets and how to get a better understanding in this field since this subject can be quite confusing. What should you generally take into consideration if you want to maintain a well balanced diet that gives you the nutrition that your body deserves?
Stefanie, how does your own diet look like?
At this point of my life my diet is mainly plant based. I used to eat meat, fish and eggs but I simply don’t feel comfortable eating it anymore. I don’t want animals to be hurt because I need to eat them, my body started to naturally resist it. For me it’s not the time to go fully vegan, (I still eat cheese and butter) and I am not forcing myself to become one. When things go naturally it’s much easier to maintain the lifestyle.
Going vegan has become very popular, what is your opinion on eating a fully vegan diet?
Its great! But, I think it’s important to always adapt your diet to your own body type and don’t force yourself into something which doesn’t feels right. Some people might be okay with eating fully vegan, while others might feel a bit out of balance not eating any meat whatsoever. The fact that people are choosing to eat more vegan or vegetarian food today will have a great impact on our planet which to me is very important. Listen to your own body and see what feels right, go step by step. If you choose to eat animal products make sure that you know where it comes from and how it’s produced (and don’t have a lot, you don’t need a lot). If you do want to eat vegan or vegetarian it’s important that you’re aware of the foods that you’re eliminating from your diet. It requires that you obtain some knowledge when it comes to nutrition in order to eat a well balanced diet. For vegans I would strongly recommend to keep an eye on your amino acid (protein), B12 and Iron intake.
What supplements would you generally recommend?
- Multivitamin: A multivitamin is always a good idea. Multivitamins also helps you to absorb other supplements as well.
- Vitamin D: This is particularly important for us living in countries where we have less sun. You can get Vitamin D from fish, fish oils, eggs, dairy and grain products. Vitamin D is also important to help the body consume calcium. Deficiency of this vitamin can therefore lead to soft bones and skeleton deformity
- Fish oil: Fish oil is a form of fatty acid that is derived from the tissues of oily fish. It contains the omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Fish oil will help you to regulate your cholesterol levels and it supports the levels of serotonin in your body which will improve your mood. Lastly, higher levels of fatty acids may help support healthy bones. If you’re vegan you can substitute fish oil for oil from algaes.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is a co-factor in over 350 enzymatic reactions in the body. It is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses, muscular activity, heart function, temperature regulation, detoxification reactions, formation of healthy bones and improving insulin sensitivity.Deficiency symptoms include muscle cramps, weakness, insomnia, loss of appetite, kidney stones, osteoporosis, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, sugar cravings, fatigue and high blood pressure.
What are your 3 best advises to people wanting to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet?
- Eat a great variety of colours on your plate
- Eat mainly vegetables
- Don’t be too strict – allow yourself to have bad days. A negative mind will also strongly affect your level of wellbeing
What are your 3 best advises to people wanting to loose weight?
- Cut down refined sugars
- Check your portions sizes
- Try to exercise and stay active, but also make time to unwind and relax
All bodies are different and I fully agree with Stefanie when saying that there’s no right way for everyone. There are a lot of different advocates for how you should eat now a days. I do believe that we all have different dominant qualities/elements that determines how and what we should eat. I also believe that mindful eating is important, meaning that you’re conscious of what you’re putting in your body, knowing where your food comes from, as well as observing how the food you put in your body affects you energetically, physically and emotionally. I find that the Ayurvedic practice is a healthy guideline to understand what type of foods suit best for your body type. Although, this is a topic I’ll write about later 🙂
If you want to have a deeper understanding in what to eat for your body type and if you’re looking for a good health coach, visit Stefanie at KLÆVER HEALTH that just opened at Rozengracht 217!