I've been doing loads of research recently on nutrition for an eBook I've written at work. I trained in nutrition as it played a big part in my previous job as a personal trainer but work aside, I've always taken care to eat well and ensure my diet is as good as it can be, even more so now I have children who eat the same meals as me.
I try to include as many nutrient-rich foods (often referred to as superfoods) as I can. This means a high nutrient to calorie ratio and re-thinking my approach to meals so I eat for health, not calories. This way, I optimise my diet so I know my body is getting all the micro-nutrients it needs as well as a healthy carb, protien and fat ratio to maintain a healthy weight.
Since making the shift and including more of these superfoods in my diet I've noticed my energy levels increase, I'm sleeping better and my anxiety levels have plummeted (I was experiencing frequent palpitations and dizzy spells which have stopped completely). I'm also spending less on my weekly shop, roughly £50 a week for a family of four.
So what do I eat? My basic rule is to try and eat food in it's natural state as much as possible. Lots of salads, brown rice, quinoa, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and tons of fresh fruit and veg. It's unintentionally a largely vegan diet with beans, nuts, lentils and quinoa as my main protien sources. If I do have something processed like cake then I'll make it myself as that way I know there are no preservatives or other nasties in there. Same with bread. I've got a huge repertiore of recipes so as I've had a few requests recently for I'll start sharing them with you on here.
Tonight I made a smoky butter bean stew, adapted from a BBC Good Food recipe.
You will need:
250g kale, spring greens or swiss chard
Can butter beans
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Half tsp cumin seeds
Tsp smoked paprika
tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1. In a large pan, heat the oil and sweat the kale until wilted
2. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes
3. Tip in the butter beans
4. Add the paprika and cumin seeds and stir well
5. Tip in the tomatoes and simmer gently for 5 mins until warmed through
Serve with brown rice or quinoa. I had some sourdough to use up tonight so used it to top a couple of toasted slices. Quick, healthy, cheap and delish.
For loads more information on the nutrient-dense diet, including why it's important, the impact on our health, which foods to choose and more recipes, you can buy the eBook here (plug, plug)