Teresa Cutter is a quanlified chef, nutritionist and personal trainer, so no-one better understands nutritious cooking and healthy eating on a busy schedule.
Teresa founded Sydney’s The Healthy Chef store, located in Surry Hills, which sells high end nutritional supplements and her range of simple and delicious healthy cookbooks.
Bondi Beauty spoke to Teresa about her top tips for eating healthy, nutritious meals regardless of how busy your schedule is or how strict your budget.
“Keep it simple, keep it fresh, and do it yourself” is Teresa’s motto when it comes to cooking nutritious meals that will support weight management and optimum wellbeing.
These are 5 of Teresa’s simple tips for making better choices for your body:
Substituting processed, store bought foods for home-made, healthy options is the first step towards a healthier diet.
“Many store-bought foods are heavily processed and full of refined white flours, gums, stabilisers and sugars, so I love to make my own healthy creations with pure, natural ingredients.” Teresa said.
“Simple things like replacing white flour with wholemeal spelt flour or almond meal when baking a cake or making my own salad dressing for a salad with avocado oil,” Teresa said.
Teresa is a big advocate of the 80/20 approach to healthy eating where 80% of the time you eat well, and 20% of the time you can treat yourself to a little indulgence.’
“I am not a fan of dogmatic diets or people who push strict dietary ideologies,” Teresa said.
“I find that a lot of people stress over finicky nutrition details rather than focusing on the broader picture – that is, to eat natural wholefoods – focusing on fresh fruit and veg and keeping it simple.”
“I’m not fanatical when it comes to eating, I enjoy everything, and I think it’s important to enjoy everything. Just keep the 80/20 approach where you stay balanced and you don’t go on stupid binges.”
Teresa’s first cookbook, The 80/20 Diet looks into this simple technique for eating well without sacrificing the foods that you love.
While Teresa doesn’t classify any foods as being off limits, she does say that you have to listen to your body when you eat certain foods, and consider cutting a food out if your body has a negative reaction to it.
“There are a few things that for me personally, my body doesn’t feel good when I eat it, so I simply stay clear of it,” Teresa said.
“For me beans and legumes just don’t agree with my stomach, so I stay clear of them. But that’s just me personally, somebody else will have a different set of foods that don’t work for them”
“Simply customise your diet – you have your fruits, your veggies, your proteins and your healthy fats as your base food groups. And then you customise the ingredients you use for your unique needs.”
“Eat what makes you feel good and your body will pretty much tell you straight away.”
“Always focus your shopping around the outside of the supermarket, because that’s where you’ve got all your fresh essentials – fruits and veggies and healthy proteins such as fish,” Teresa said.
“The middle is where you find all your processed foods, so I only go there for some staples like tinned tomatoes, frozen veggies, and the occasional block of 70% Lindt chocolate.”
However, if you do purchase groceries from those middle aisles, Teresa advises being cautious of foods advertised as being ‘fat-free,’ ‘low calorie’ and even ‘gluten free.’
“Often store-bought “health foods” with these labels are riddled with ingredients such as sugars, additives and preservatives that can be detrimental to our health,” Teresa said.
“I would suggest always reading the ingredients list to see what exactly is in that product. If you don’t recognise the ingredients on the list, then probably best to leave it on the shelf!”
Healthy fats make up one of the four main food groups that Teresa advocates, alongside fruits, vegetables and proteins.
Avocado and it’s oil, salmon and olive oil are Teresa’s favourite sources of healthy fats, that will enable the body to absorb nutrients, keep the hair and skin soft and supple, and fuel the body with energy.
“Healthy fats – I’m a big fan. I’m a big fan of olive oil, and I’m a big fan of avocado and avocado oil as well (avo oil it’s lovely and creamy and buttery – I cook with it and use it in salads). I also love beautiful fish with healthy fats and omega threes like salmon. Avoiding hydrogenated fats – processed fats,” Teresa said.
Avoiding hydrogenated fats (which are the processed fats found in vegetable oils, margarine, and many store-bought baked and fried goods), is another one of Teresa’s tips when it comes to consuming the right fats to nourish the body.
Teresa has now written 7 books on cooking and healthy living, with another cook book in the making.
Her brand, The Healthy Chef, has a wide range of health-boosting products including wild-caught collagen, organic proteins and superfoods, and healthy drinks including rooibos chai, organic matcha and sugar-free hot chocolate.
Click here to find out more about Teresa and the Healthy Chef’s incredible and naturally healthy product range.
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