If you are anything like me, the choices your parents made for you at dinner time, have become the choices you now make in your adult life. We have been conditioned to eat in a certain way which is now somewhat of a mindless routine from day to day. This can make updating your “meat and two veg” more difficult. You either; want to change your eating habits to a more healthy option, or try other diets that may benefit your body type better.
Vegetables: You know you should eat them but sometimes it isn’t always easy! Yet with a few simple hacks, you can include more fruit and veg into your daily diet. This will support your digestive system and make you feel great.
I mean take a banana for example, I can’t eat a banana on its own, I don’t like the texture at all. Yet, if I add banana to a smoothie, I would eat it and enjoy the subtle flavour the banana brings. Much like, when my mum used to mix peas and sweetcorn into my baked beans – (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it). I hide the banana texture in my smoothie and still gain its benefits.
Until I started cooking for myself, I never realised how good a piece of broccoli could taste. Those smushy, soggy trees that used to end up on my Walt Disney dinner plate from time to time, were begrudgingly eaten because otherwise, I couldn’t get down from the table to enjoy some top quality 90s TV. Now that I have the ability to cook for myself, without burning the house down (just about), I am more adventurous when it comes to cooking veg and have found that even the stalk of broccoli when finely diced and tossed into a stir fry really adds flavour and a crunch rather than creating a wet, tasteless puddle on my plate.
Unless you are lifelong vegetarian or an avid studier of the plant paradox (future blog pending), it can be difficult to know how to add healthier options into your diet, as well as make them taste good, and ultimately be beneficial to your digestion and overall wellbeing. If you are not someone that wants to hover over a hot stove every evening, I cannot recommend meal prepping enough. Every Sunday evening, I sit down with Martin and we work out what we are going to eat for the next week. We create a sort of menu that helps us not only stay on track with maintaining a level of wholesome fruit and vegetables in our diet, but is also cost saving at the check outs. In doing this we spend a lot less time cooking and preparing food in the week and a lot more time doing the things we enjoy as a couple. Being able to open the fridge and easily pull out Saturdays snack, Mondays meal or Fridays feast saves on the preparation time and the monotony of daily meals.
Roasting broccoli, brussel sprouts, leeks, beetroot and squash in some avocado oil or organic cold pressed olive oil with a little salt, is a great way to incorporate healthier options into your favourite evening meal. If you have already prepped them the day before, all you have to do is re wash them, throw them into a tray and bang it in the oven or reheat and enjoy immediately.
Use a spiralizer to make veggie noodles out of carrots or sweet potatoes as a replacement for pasta that you can add to any stir-fry, or char aubergines and courgettes and layer them up in an oven proof bowl, that can be drizzled in oil and again popped into the oven as a delicious side dish is a simple way of tricking yourself into eating more than one of your five a day.
Trying different vegetables and cooking methods may be daunting but until you give it a go you really won’t know what you like or what you are capable of. One of my favourite veggie additions is asparagus spears, peas and onions tossed into a pan and cooked in a little water and grass-fed butter emulsion. Easy to do, tastes great and keeps well in the fridge either cooked or raw.
Taking the time to dice and portion raw peppers, carrots and celery will give you a healthier option next time the fridge light shines upon your face, leading you towards the less healthy but more accessible snack.
In essence the time you spend prepping in a mindful way, will help by making the healthier choices easier, when you are being less mindful about what you want to eat and in turn will cultivate a more beneficial mind and body routine.