Let’s face it – healthy eating can be a minefield. There are so many diets out there that are considered to be healthy – keto, intermittent fasting, vegan, gluten-free… the list goes on. But healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated! Below are some of the basic ingredients to a balanced diet:
1) Eat whole foods in their natural form and cook from scratch where possible. Whole foods maintain all of their nutrients such as amino acids, fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals and will feed your bodies.
2) Follow the 80/20 and indulge in a little of what you fancy. I’m a big believer in this. I find that feeding and nourishing your body 80% of the time allows you the other 20% to indulge and treat yourself every now and then. I’m a massive chocolate fan and have a little bit almost every day. I’ve recently discovered these amazing new vegan snack – Classic Chocolate by Magnum. They are a vegan ice cream made with pea protein and are covered in vegan chocolate which contains some coconut oil. They are absolutely delicious. I can’t believe how good they are and they are vegan. One serving contains 234 calories.
3) Eat around the clock to keep your blood sugar levels regulated and your energy up. People who skip meals are more likely to make bad food choices when they get hungry. Eating protein at every meal and snack is a good way of doing this. Quality protein sources include chicken, fish, eggs, quinoa, lentils, spirulina, nuts and good quality protein powders.
4) Eat vegetables daily. I like to get 6-8 portions in per day. The more colourful the vegetable (and fruit for that matter) the higher the antioxidant level. Dark green leafy vegetables are packed with magnesium and 50% of the population are deficient in this mineral.
5) Eat adequate fibre. It’s recommended that adults should consume approximately 25–30 g daily. Fibre can be found in fruits, vegetable and wholegrain such as brown rice, lentils and chickpeas. It’s excellent for improving digestive health and lowering cholesterol levels and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Here is an outline of a balanced food plan for one day:
Fruity Quinoa with home-roasted almonds
A handful of nuts and a chopped apple
Roast chicken with sautéed carrots, onion in coconut oil. Served with steamed broccoli
1 Vegan Magnum Classic Chocolate ice-cream
Lentil dhal with roasted garlic