Healthy Eating Guidelines from Total Balance Aberdeen

 Below you will find some useful tips on healthy eating and lots of products and books
to help you make the changes you need to. Have some fun with your food!

Planning your meals

  • Try to eat as wide a variety of foods as possible in order to maximise your intake of their valuable nutrients.
  • Eating foods as close to their natural state as possible is always best. Processed foods are stripped of many nutrients during their journey to your plate.
  • Alkaline forming foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables take less toll on your body than acid-forming foods such as meat, dairy products, coffee and refined foods. Try to include plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet the fresher, the better.
  • Try to eat some foods raw to prevent the destruction of their natural enzymes which assist in the digestive process. Eat fewer in winter than summer as the body will have to warm up these cold foods first. Simple ideas would be adding some sprouted seeds to a bowl of home made soup and of course, those lovely smoothies! See further down the page for some details of a Nutribullet and some smoothie recipe books.
  • Always ensure you have a good breakfast and try to avoid sugary cereals. Instead why not try some porridge with cinnamon and fresh fruit? Even better would be to add linseeds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
  • Can't face breakfast? Try a few fresh grapefruit segments to get your digestive juices flowing – then have a proper breakfast!
  • No time for breakfast? In too much of a rush? Then get up earlier – simple!
  • If you are reducing your meat intake for whatever reason, try combining pulses and grains to give complete protein eg brown rice and lentils or hoummus and toast. Other good sources of protein can be eggs, quinoa, amaranth, nuts, seeds, avocados, tofu. If you haven't tried some of these foods then find a recipe and try them!! Take a look at the book suggestions below.


  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water every day. In order for the body's processes to function efficiently we need water – not tea, coffee, juice or beer! The body has to work hard to extract water from these drinks before it can use the water to take care of us.
  • Water lubricates our joints, helps to keep our spinal discs plump and is vital for efficient lung function.
  • Without adequate water intake, proper absorption of the nutrients we take in cannot happen effectively and the body is unable to efficiently eliminate waste products from the kidneys. A small amount of water, drunk regularly throughout each day will soon add up to the quantity our bodies require.
  • It is not advisable to drink too much of anything an hour either side of meals as this could dilute the digestive juices.
  • Water filters can help filter out any unrequired chemicals from your tap water – shop around to see what type suits you best.

Buying Food

  • Always read the labels – When buying any packaged or processed foods be on the look out for a long list of ingredients! Ironically, most processed foods are stripped of their nutritional value and taste and are then combined with sugar, sweeteners, flavourings, colourings and preservatives to enhance their flavour and shelf-life. Check out E numbers to find out what they are and what they are made from. Avoid foods which contain hydrogenated fats or partially hydrogenated oils as these contain harmful trans-fats. They are found in many foods, especially margarines and spreads, cakes and biscuits.
  • Avoid foods containing sugar or added sugar between meals: these can contribute to tooth decay and sugar can suppress your immune system, having a detrimental effect on your blood sugar levels
  • Choose any fats and oils carefully. Butter or coconut oils are the best for use in cooking due to their stability at high temperatures; cold pressed olive oil is fine to use in baking. It is not advisable to use corn, sunflower or vegetable oil in cooking as they are unstable when heated and can form free radicals which are harmful to our bodies. It is always best to keep your oils in the fridge to keep them at their best.
  • Avoid margarine and low-fat spread as these may contain trans fats which have been linked to heart disease. Instead, choose butter, preferably organic. Some dairy intolerant people can tolerate goats' butter, otherwise bread and toast could be spread with nut butters, hoummus and spreads such as Granose (unheated polyunsaturated margarines).
  • Choose fruits and vegetables which are in season; as fresh as possible and locally grown to maintain their maximum nutritional value. Farmers' markets are usually a great source of locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Choose organic food where possible to minimise your intake of pesticides, antibiotic residues and other harmful chemicals which could compromise your immune system.
  • Choose wholegrain foods such as wholemeal flour, wholemeal pasta and brown rice over any processed foods. Avoid all refined foods such as white flour in bread and pasta and refined sugar.
  • Watch out for the sugar content of foods, some can be especially high. In addition, some foods can contain sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin and sorbitol which should be avoided. If you must have sweet-tasting food then xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener with a low GI value which you could substitute for sugar.
  • Key things to consider are the quality, freshness and variety of your food, along with its journey to you and what has been done to it before it reaches you!

Preparing your food

  • Always wash your fresh and dried fruit and vegetables before eating in order to remove as much of the chemical sprays they are treated with and sulphur dioxide. For non-organic vegetables, add 1tsp cider apple vinegar to the washing water.
  • Buy unwaxed citrus fruits such as lemons as the wax can hold any pesticides sprayed onto the fruit and is hard to remove.
  • Only cut, peel or tear the vegetables you will be using immediately before cooking as the nutrient content starts to reduce quickly on contact with the air.
  • Avoid leaving prepared fruit and vegetables in water – this leaches out even more nutrients
  • Cook your organic potatoes in their skins and eat the skins. Most of the nutrients are found just below the skin.
  • Steam your vegetables rather than boiling them, to reduce the amount of vitamins lost during cooking. If you have to boil them, use as little water as possible.
  • Only add fresh herbs at the end of cooking, to preserve their nutrient levels.
  • Avoid using a microwave to cook or heat food as this can change the chemical structure of food into forms our bodies cannot efficiently process.


  • Our digestive system slows down in the evening, ready for rest and detoxification during the night. Try not to eat late in the evening as the food will not be as efficiently absorbed. Use the maxim “Breakfast like a king; lunch like a prince; dine like a pauper” to get the most from your food.
  • Don't eat on the run; when you are stressed; tired; angry or in a rush – give yourself time to chew your food properly! Doing otherwise will compromise the efficiency of your digestion.

These guidelines are merely offered as general suggestions and are not intended to replace any medical advice you may have received.

Alison Duncan, Health Coach has recently published a handbag guide to lifestyle and healthy eating choices. I have just a few for sale in the clinic but you can get your own copy now by clicking the links below.


Alison offers Health Coaching in Aberdeen. If you would like to find out more then you can find her on Facebook or contact Total Balance for details.


So, how do you increase your veg and fruit intake without losing some of the valuable nutrients?
Try a NutriBullet!

These fab little machines make an easy to carry portion in the special cups which attach to the machine.
They're not as messy or as difficult to clean as a juicer or traditional blender either!

Here's how to get hold of a NutriBullet to make your lovely smoothies and soups:

The basic NutriBullet

Here is a NutriBullet with some extras including a recipe book
and a Superboost blend of Hemp, Goji, Cacao and Maca to add to your smoothies.

This is the more powerful NutriBullet which also has larger cups so you can make more at once!
This is the one I have gone for.

A couple of recipe books may help you get started:


 If you want to go the whole hog and have a blender pwerful to zap nuts too, you may like to try a Vitamix

Which will you choose?

 This is one of my favourite recipe books.
Everything I have made from here tastes absolutely delicious. You may want to try this!


The Low GL Diet by Nutritionist Patrick Holford is great for helping you begin and maintain a healthy eating programme. There are 2 books here including a recipe book

These guidelines may help you get the best out of your complementary therapy treatments
at Total Balance Aberdeen, which could help you reduce the effects of stress on your body.

Together, we are working towards Total Balance
07971 20783307971 207833

 For further guidance from a qualified nutritional therapist you may wish to search the following organisations' websites:
BANT – British Association of Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy
NTC – Nutritional Therapy Council
CMA – Complementary Medical Association
ION – Institute of Optimum Nutrition


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