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Eat Healthier in 2010 

6 ways to eat healthier in 2010

Forget all that ‘You are what you eat’ stuff. One thing we all need to get straight in 2010 is food is there to keep us alive and bring us pleasure, not send us on a lifelong guilt trip.

The media gets on its high horse and tells everybody to give up all the things they like and radically change their eating habits. But there is another way.

Crash diets don’t work, and nor does setting yourselves unobtainable and painful goals such as giving up chocolate forever, so perhaps it’s time to think about little changes instead of revolutions. For instance, it may not be practical to convert entirely to the organic food cause overnight, but you might like to go organic with at least part of your diet.

This section is intended to open your eyes to a few options that are available in Swindon, not to shame you into doing something about your weight or your body shape. Be positive and think in terms of how good it will feel to eat healthily, rather than dwelling on what’s bad about your current diet.

Or, to put it another way: bon appetit!

Helen Browning Organics

Swindon folk are lucky to have, in Helen Browning, who farms at Bishopstone, one of the foremost authorities on organic food, right on their doorsteps. She was even given an OBE in1998 for her services to the organic food industry. Apart from the ethical and environmental issues, the first thing to understand about organic food (and the best reason to try it) is most people agree it tastes better. You don’t have to convert to organic food completely. Start with the food you are most unhappy with – maybe sausages – and treat yourself to the organic equivalent. You don’t necessarily have to cook it yourself, either, as the Royal Oak at Bishopstone is owned by Helen, and uses food from her farm. So perhaps, before you do anything, you should get yourself out there and taste it.
Helen Browning Organics Swindon
Helen Browning Organics
Home of organic farming. Fresh meat delivered direct to your door...

Coleshill Organics

When a food-growing business starts out with two acres of land in 1995 and ends up with 15 times that amount, 15 years later, it is fair to assume they must be doing something right. The business in question is Coleshill Organics, which supplies boxes of organic vegetables to local people. Part of the reason for choosing organic food is it is supplied locally, and they have grown three quarters of the vegetables they will supply you with themselves. By buying in this way, you help to support the local economy and can be sure that what you are getting is fresh. But time and time again the argument for organic food comes back to taste, which is why Coleshill Organics have carefully chosen varieties that are tastier, rather than ones that conform to what the supermarkets have programmed us to expect to see on their shelves.
Coleshill Organics Swindon
Coleshill Organics
Freshly grown organic vegetables from the field to your door...

Farmer Gow’s Farmers Market

You can’t beat buying food direct from the farmer – for freshness and taste - so get out your calendar and put a ring around the third Sunday of every month. That’s when there is a farmer’s market at Farmer Gow’s, the working farm and children’s activity centre at Fernham. Products on sale include meat and eggs, vegetables, cakes, jams and chutneys (as well as firewood, plants and hanging basket), and there is also a monthly charity stall. Admission is free if you are visiting the market only.
Farmer Gow's Swindon
Farmer Gow's Farmers Market
An activity farm for all the family, meet the animals, play areas, monthly markets, camp site and more!...

Markets and health food shops

Markets are not only good for economy, but can offer excellent quality food too, often with good, fresh fruit and vegetables. So check out our up-to-date mini guide to markets scheduled in Swindon and beyond. And if you are looking for more health food or food supplements, you should also see our mini guide to health shops in our area.
> Health Shops in Swindon

Grow your own food

There are few things more satisfying – or tasty – than growing your own food. Even if you only grow a small part of what you need, you can be sure you’re growing healthy, tasty food – and it’s easier than you think. Whether you take on a full allotment, part of an allotment or have room in your garden, don’t do anything until you’ve read our feature about growing your own food in Swindon. If nothing else, you’ll realise there are plenty of other people doing it, plenty of people who will help you by giving you the benefit of their experience – and probably more reasons to give it a go than you’d thought of.
> Growing your own food in Swindon

Take some tips from the NHS

There is no shortage of advice about healthy eating on the web – most of it sounding pretty preachy. Not so the NHS Choices website which comes not only with the reassurance of official endorsement but also a refreshing dose of realism. Of course they want you to eat more healthily, but they realise that no amount of brow beating is going to get you to turn your back on curry forever and live off carrots for the rest of your life. So they have practical suggestions to help you come to terms with what you already know – that your diet could do with improving. A good starting point is their interactive healthy eating questionnaire. However, if you already know how badly you’ll score on that, you might want to skip it and go straight to the practical advice on:

> Healthy breakfasts
> Healthy food swaps
> Balanced diets
> How to order a healthy takeaway
Make the most of 2010
Make the most of 2010 We've tons of ideas on how you can make this your best year yet - in Swindon!...
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