Emma Hanton – Eating Nutritionally Balanced Meals

As part of our Health Unwrapped podcast series this week, host, Natalie Silverman, gets chatting with Associate Registered Nutritionist and Nutrition Consultant, Emma Hanton. Join them as they discuss the most important building blocks for a nutritionally balanced meal, quash some of the most common dieting myths and trends and reveal  Emma’s top tips for incorporating heathy eating into everyday life!

You can listen to the full podcast here.

Meantime, here’s a sneak preview…

“Healthy eating can be simple. Nutrition doesn’t need to be complicated and difficult nor expensive!”

Eat lots of fibre

A good place to start when creating your meals is to include wholegrains. Brown bread, brown rice, brown pasta – these foods are all rich in fibres, which are good for everyone.

Don’t skip breakfast

Emma suggests having breakfast at 11am to keep ‘hangry slumps’ at bay. Wholegrain toast with peanut or almond butter and sliced banana and blueberries and a sprinkle of cinnamon is one healthy way to kickstart your day and keep energy levels up.

Plan ahead

Busy bees, when you’re cooking your evening meal, make an extra portion for your lunch the next day! This way you know you are eating nutritional, healthy food and it can help you save money too. Choose your favourite staple dishes and rotate them throughout the weeks to get variety in your diet. Include wholegrain carbs, a source of protein and healthy fruit and veggies on every plate whenever you can.

Eat the rainbow…

The more colourful your plate the better. Colour indicates variety, for example kale, beetroot and turmeric all are the colour they are because of the different nutrients inside them. The more colour you incorporate into a meal, the more nutrients going into your body.  

Steam, don’t boil

Avoid boiling your vegetables if possible, as this cooking technique can leach out the nutrients. Instead, try to eat a mixture of gently cooked, steam vegetables and raw veg. One of the best ways to retain nutrients is by eating your vegetables raw. Although it can make it harder for the body to digest because of high levels of fibre, raw is extremely good for the gut!

Approach diets with caution!

You should never take what somebody else is eating as gospel rules. Everyone’s bodies require different nutrients, so one thing might work for your friend, but might not work as well for you.  Detox cleanses, alkaline diets and PH diets are some of the fad diets that can lack nutritional value. Be careful to read the labelling of products too, as many can be misleading.

Reduce your sugar intake

It’s not just your bag of sweets and chocolate you should cut down on. Consider salad dressings and sauces and look at your breakfast cereals and granola, as they may contain high sugar levels.

Be careful when using sweeteners as a replacement for sugar too. Research is still ongoing, so the jury is out on the nutritional benefits of this. Emma recommends Inulin, naturally sourced from the chicory root as a good replacement for sugar in cooking, due to its high fibre content.

And finally, have a little of what you like…

…yes, even chocolate! Check out Emma’s blog and Instagram @essentially.emma and you’ll see that chocolate is definitely one ingredient featured there. Everything in moderation!

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