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Making healthy eating simple with Sarah Di Lorenzo

Author, presenter and clinical nutritionist Sarah Di Lorenzo has made a career out of helping people eat more healthily — her latest book aims to make those healthy choices simpler than ever, writes MYKE BARTLETT.

Eating well can seem like a luxury. While we might all have good intentions about improving our diet, who has the time — or the money — needed to prepare the healthy fare we know we should be eating? Well, all of us, according to The 10:10 Simple Recipe Book. This latest work from author and clinical nutritionist Sarah Di Lorenzo — best known for her regular slot on Seven’s Sunrise — aims to make good food choices easier and cheaper for everyone.

“We all know that cost of living pressures and interest rates are going up,” Sarah says. “Being a single mum raising three girls 100% on my own for 10 years, I really know how to eat healthily on a budget. People often think healthy eating is too expensive but it doesn’t have to be.”

One simple change to shopping habits that can benefit both physical and financial health is to become a seasonal shopper, instead of cooking the same things all year round.

“If you buy fresh produce when it’s in season, it’s cheap. I say to people, the best way to find out what is in season is to just walk into the supermarket and see what is staring at you on sale in abundance. If you just shop at the front of the supermarket, you will save so much money.”

The book also dispels myths about canned and frozen veg, which can be cheaper, last longer and be no less nutritious than their fresh counterparts.

“If you’re saving money, buy frozen vegetables that say snap frozen because they retain nutrients. People forget that legumes are like $1 a can. Yes, they’ve got carbohydrates, which can be great source of energy and they’re a wonderful source of fibre, but they’re also an excellent source of protein.”

Sarah’s focus as a nutritionist is on helping people rethink their approach to food, particularly when it comes to the high quantities of processed foods and refined sugars we tend to eat. Her new book offers snack ideas, lunchbox fillers and suggestions for making sauces and salad dressings from scratch, instead of buying off-the-shelf bottles which tend to be high in added sugars. The idea is to help replace processed meals with simple whole food alternatives, where the limited number of ingredients means you have a much better idea of what you’re actually eating.

“I tried to keep ingredients to a minimum and I tried not to use hardto- find ingredients. I’m not going to send you to some weird delicatessen in some distant suburb that’s the only place that stocks a certain spice.”

The book is based around Sarah’s 10:10 Plan, an eating style that is primarily a low-carb approach to weight loss, but one that is designed to be more sustainable than other, crash-course diets.

“I hate diet culture, which pretty much means that if you’re going on a diet you’re hating life. The whole mindset is just really negative. Life’s too short to be negative about anything.”

What people think is normal eating is actually abnormal because it will increase the risk of disease.

Instead of being a miserable, short-term feat of denial and endurance, the plan aims to shift people’s ideas of what “normal” eating looks like in the long-term.

“I see this all the time in my practice — what people think is normal eating is actually abnormal because it will increase the risk of disease.”

It’s an approach to eating that might work well for people living with — or at risk of — type 2 diabetes.

“In my practice, when I’m working with someone with diabetes, the first port of call for me is always weight loss and building a healthy relationship with food. It’s great when you’re working with someone who is willing to make those changes. People who are like, I really want to get off medication. I really want my life back.”

Not that Sarah is in the business of telling anyone what to do. Her experience as a single mother of three daughters has taught her that helping people understand the benefits of a healthy relationship with food is far more effective than scolding.

“I’ve never been a mum who says, Eat your broccoli. I’d say look, the reason I have put broccoli on your plate is not because I want to force you to eat something that’s green but because it’s got secret magic in it — vitamin C, fibre and folate. I’m a very big believer in education. Because when people know and understand what healthy eating is like then they can make a decision themselves.”

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