Health and well being

Eating a plant based diet

December 2015-my diet contained: meat, dairy, processed food, no legumes, no healthy fats, starchy carbs and little to no fruit and veg. I still considered myself healthy. I considered myself healthy even with no energy, mood-swings, a lack of motivation.

January 2017, my diet has substantially improved. Every day quantities of fruit and vegetables are consumed, nuts, lentils, black beans, sweet potatoes. Dairy has mostly been eliminated (why do I always crave cheese!) and meat is practically non-existent. I feel much better and it shows physically. I am more confident in myself which as a result, I am now embracing what I love. This blog has been something I have wanted to do for years but could never quite get round to typing.

Today, this is about another one of my passions: healthy eating. Sharing some tips, websites and meal suggestions which keep me devoted to this plant-based lifestyle.

Soup

For years, I have always been drawn to making soup. It’s packed full of vitamins and yet I only ever ate it from a can. Whenever I would open up a recipe book, I would come across dozens of different vegetables I knew I would only eat to make one soup, so I could never justify it. And then came my NutriBullet set. The recipe books have been my go-to. You do not even a NutriBullet to make many of the recipes. A few key ingredients and I can now enjoy soup often. The left photo is the NutriBullet recipe for tomato sweet potato soup, and the right photo is for the pumpkin and black bean soup.

Plant based meals

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Home from work and not sure what to make? This was a complete experiment that I now love. Sliced potatoes with spices, cooked and then covered in tomato sauce (chopped tomatoes, garlic, onion, spices-turmeric, paprika, mixed herbs), served with a selection of vegetables, pumpkin seeds and black beans.

The website “Minimalist Baker” is one I am sure most people are aware of. Her recipes always encourage me to cook and never seem to disappoint. When I made my vegan friend dinner, I was inspired by her “crispy-peanut-tofu-cauliflower-rice-stir-fry”.  The NutriBullet recipe book again is amazing and the photo in the middle was made without the NutriBullet. Sweet potato oven cakes served with a cucumber salad and homous.  Vegetarian sausage is also a nice alternative if you are trying to cut back on meat. I personally believe it goes great with mushrooms and sautéed spinach.

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Olive oil fried carrots and beetroot. An alternative to crisps.

Smoothies

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I covered smoothies briefly on another one of my blog posts. I am not 100% sure on the research behind it, but after drinking, I feel much better. The best smoothies include veg. Spinach is superb with cucumber or kale.

Who said they are not filling? For a breakfast solution, use oats, cocoa, high fiber fruit such as bananas, chia seeds, pumpkin puree and protein powder.

The colour possibilities are endless. For a perfect green smoothie: lime and passion fruit are delicious to add sweetness. Mango and pineapple can make any veg taste good and carrots are also nice when blended.

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My smoothie bowl. Try to avoid adding lots of sugar on top. Frozen fruit is key when making these. What I like to do, after blending up the smoothie, I pour a tiny bit into a glass to drink separate, and then  I add some frozen berries or banana and blend again.

Sweet treats

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Date balls or protein balls can make the perfect little dessert when you want to indulge. Oats, dates, protein powder, coconut oil, cocoa, almond butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg-ingredient options you can mix and blend together into balls. Roll them in desiccated coconut after to jazz them up and then let them set in the fridge for a few hours.

For more ideas, I recommend the websites:

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