Thursday, 27 March 2014

Healthy Living

I’ve always been conscious of the importance of eating a healthy and balanced diet, but it’s only in the past few months that I’ve really gone for it and taken it seriously. 

First things first, this is NOT a diet. It’s a lifestyle change. I believe you can truly change your taste buds, so essentially change what you like to eat. I used to binge on rubbish foods such as ice cream, chocolate and pizza. Now when I have those foods I can’t believe how strong the sugar or salt tastes so instead I crave healthier options.

Also for the record, this is NOT about losing weight. This is about well-being – how it makes you feel inside.

Now, I’m not saying my diet is 100% perfect. There are people out there that know exactly what the food they’re eating is doing for their bodies and eating the right foods at the right times of the day. I have done my research but I am no professional! 

I wanted to share with you my healthy lifestyle because I know when I first started out this is what I would’ve liked to have read… from a real person!

To kick start the day I love to eat porridge. It’s high in fibre meaning it keeps you fuller for longer (you won’t overeat!) and it’s a huge source of energy. There are mixed views from nutritionists out there about porridge/oatmeal. Some say it’s one of the best ways to start the day whereas others say oats are generally bad for the digestive system. 

For me personally, porridge keeps me going and I love it! I usually have organic oats with unsweetened almond milk and add a tablespoon of flaxseed and chia seed with cinnamon to sweeten. The toppings are where it can all go wrong. Avoid honey and sugar and try to stick to berries or almonds.

Green Tea
I have at least 1 mug of green tea a day. It boosts your immune system and some studies have shown it can prevent certain diseases.

Nut Butters
For a snack I love almond butter spread over natural rice crackers or Ryvita. Peanut butter is also good if you get the organic, natural and no added sugar or salt versions.

Healthy Treats
I recently discovered inSpiral. You may remember I stumbled across their cafe in Camden not too long ago and I wrote about it in a post here. They kindly sent me a few goodies after they saw my post, and I was delighted with what turned up! Raw cakes, tarts and kale crisps. The raw vanilla berry tart was my favourite as it reminded me of a cheesecake. Everything is absolutely delicious, all made of totally healthy ingredients with nothing bad. I was happy to see them being sold in my local health store in Brighton, Infinity Foods, the other day.

Greek Yogurt
Another snack that I love is Greek yogurt, my favourite is Total 0%, with fruit or granola. I usually buy the healthiest sounding granola from health stores but I’m going to attempt to make my own soon. I’ll keep you posted! Greek yogurt is a high source of protein, which is a must for me because I like to work out a lot.

As well as eating healthily, a big part of a healthy lifestyle is keeping well exercised and fit. Luckily for me, I’m a bit of a gym bunny. I love going to the gym! I go about 4 times a week and I’ve started taking protein shakes when I get home to help tone up. I’m currently using Protein World‘s ‘The Slender Blend’ in the Vanilla flavour. As I’ve never taken them before I have nothing to compare it too, but it tastes great!

I try to keep lunches simple and usually raw. Lots of veggies. The brighter the better! First we have grated carrots using my Julienne peeler that I used in my ‘Courgetti Not Spaghetti‘ post, chopped celery, beetroot, raw spinach and grilled halloumi.

Next theres avocado, smoked salmon with capers and lemon juice, 2 boiled eggs and a Ryvita with cream cheese. Then there’s rye bread with smoked salmon and capers, 2 poached eggs and long stemmed broccoli. I tend not to eat bread other than rye. It’s much healthier!

My favourite dinner to have is steamed salmon with steamed veg. Below there’s steamed salon and broccoli with a stir fry I made with carrots, baby courgettes, onion, bean sprouts and chilli all cooked in coconut oil.

(Not So) Naughty Treats
We’ve got to allow ourselves some treats once in a while otherwise we just set ourselves up for failure. I occasionally order pizza from a local place in Brighton called Pizza Face where I order a spelt base pizza. If any of you live in the area, give the ‘Daisy’ a try! It’s a pesto base instead of tomato and I customise mine to have spinach, peppers, pine nuts, mushrooms and tomatoes. Delicious! And as a treat, it’s not even that bad for you!

Being a chocoholic, the hardest thing I’ve found to cut out is chocolate. I haven’t cut it out completely, but have adjusted my taste buds to like dark chocolate. My favourite is from Montezumas, where they make delicious dark chocolate truffles and slabs with all pretty good ingredients!

I really hope this helps you out with kick starting a healthy lifestyle. Remember, it’s all about how you feel on the inside, which in turn will make you feel great on the outside! Let me know how it goes!
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