Being healthy and having a good life-style can be hard and require some effort and commitment to the cause. It is, in good part, a matter of exercise, of adopting a more active lifestyle. That can be acquired by practicing every week, gradually making it a habit and integrating it in the routine. The experts say that even a good 30 minutes exercise every day would be enough to shake up the metabolism and help you improve your health. Nonetheless, being healthy is also linked to everyday lifestyle choices, such as reducing harmful practices (excessive alcohol drinking, smoking…) and adopting an adequate and balanced diet (with the support of doctors and nutritionists). The diet is supposed to push you to consume food rich in nutritious elements, while reducing the intake of certain types of greasy and heavy dishes, full of unhealthy elements like sodium or sugar.
The role played by food is fundamental, when working on health. It has been seen, in fact, that a good part of weight-loss and mental health are connected to a varied and rich diet. Food influences our energy levels, our mood and our approach to everyday challenges, and if we invest on the quality of our meals, we will see quicker and better results in our struggle for well-being.
An option could be shopping more for seasonal and local products: in that way, we would consume food when it’s more ripe and fresh, and more rich in nutritious elements. The ideal for that are local markets and bio shops, where the quality, freshness and origins of the products are guaranteed. During the week, take a walk in the market in Flagey or in Chatelain and try to get a colorful and varied list of fruits and vegetables; each color and type, in fact, has different properties and elements, that support the body’s different needs. There are also some bio shops at the markets that you could check out, in case you are looking for something specific! A secondary perk of consuming local or regional product is that it impacts less on the environment, and on the production and transportation of goods. It is tasty and more eco-friendly!
Cooking your own meals is also another way to keep an eye on the calories intake and on the quality of food. Unfortunately though, it is not always possible to prepare your lunch-box at home: for this reason, why not experimenting a bit more in the city, trying out new bars and restaurants with healthy food options? If you are looking for a snack or a light lunch, check out Knees to Chin, in Chatelain: their rice-paper wraps are fresh, tasty and perfect for your diet. Each of them (and choice is pretty vast) combines fresh veggies and proteins (chicken, salmon or meat) and the result is delicious! If it’s cheat day, combine the wraps with the many sauces available and find your favorite combination! Looking for something more?
Head to Prélude, in Saint-Gilles, and check out their bento options for lunch. They are three -vegetarian, with meat and with fish- and they change every day. Each bento comes with rice and roasted veggies: it is insanely tasty, healthy and filling: you won’t regret your choice!
Lastly, when working on a healthy lifestyle, why not considering growing your own products? If you have enough space -or just a balcony!- seize the occasion and try it out! There are several community gardens in Brussels that you can join, who will help you with ideas and hints. Check out Le Début des Haricots and Les Potagers Urbaines for some inspiration: you may find a community or an agricultural project close to you!
Brussels is the perfect spot to go back on track and take more care of your health: yes, there are some strong temptations that may distract you, such as the many great beers and the tasty fries all over the place, but there are also a lot of options, ideas and projects that can help you pursue your goal! Being healthy doesn’t mean renouncing to tasty dishes: it means taking care of yourself, paying a little bit more attention to the food you consume and to what your body needs to function at its best. Get creative with food, find out new combinations and tastes and… enjoy it!