I am hugely passionate about helping you to feel happier and healthier through not only meditation, but a holistic approach to life that includes a balanced diet, wellbeing, good work, creativity and also beauty – whether for you that means MAC or Macbeth.
Deciding what to eat is so personal isn't it? And what works for one, may not work for another. People often ask me what I eat on an average day, and whether or not I follow a special diet and so I want to share my food diary with you, not with the intention of converting you to my way of eating, but in the hope that it may enliven your own enthusiasm for eating well!
I love food and love to eat well. Making the extra effort to eat well means I can be as healthy and happy as is possible for me, and so, where feasible I choose things that have a good effect on my body, mind and wider world.
I combine mindful eating, expert nutritional guidance, (for example, the guidance I've received from qualified nutritionists and doctors), with my own experiential findings as to what suits my body, and of course - what I enjoy!
Fun (or celebration, as I sometimes call it) is a big motivator for me. Cooking healthy meals, exercising, working... Fun makes me want to be involved and I wholly embrace that in my cooking style RELISH.
I like to be mindful and pay attention to my body and its preferences. I love to cook, and find meal times to be a celebration of my body, love, life and family.
I don't have any rules as to what I am, (veggie, paleo, vegan, GF etc) I just like to follow my own inner compass. Where possible I like to learn about what is local, organic and in season and I try to use that knowledge to inform my food choices. I try to avoid processed food, keeping them for odd occasions and last minute meals, and wherever possible eat mainly whole foods and vegetables.
"Processed foods aren't just microwave meals and other ready meals.
A processed food is any food that has been altered in some way during preparation. Food processing can be as basic as:
Not all processed foods are unhealthy but some processed foods may contain high levels of salt, sugar and fat.
Examples of common processed foods include:
- breakfast cereals
- tinned vegetables
- savoury snacks, such as crisps, sausage rolls, pies and pasties
- meat products, such as bacon, sausage, ham, salami and paté
- "convenience foods", such as microwave meals or ready meals
- cakes and biscuits
- drinks, such as milk or soft drinks
Not all processed food is a bad choice. Some foods need processing to make them safe, such as milk, which needs to be pasteurised to remove harmful bacteria.Other foods need processing to make them suitable for use, such as pressing seeds to make oil. Ingredients such as salt, sugar and fat are sometimes added to processed foods to make their flavour more appealing and to extend their shelf life, or in some cases to contribute to the food's structure, such as salt in bread or sugar in cakes.Buying processed foods can lead to people eating more than the recommended amounts of sugar, salt and fat as they may not be aware of how much has been added to the food they are buying and eating. These foods can also be higher in calories due to the high amounts of added sugar or fat in them." (Processed Food Guidance shared Via the NHS website)
An Average Monday
I have a pint of warm water with lemon, sometimes I add a slice of fresh ginger to it too! I try to wait at least half a hour to let the water go in. I usually meditate, do a little stretching or yoga, read poems or write in my journal all depending on how much free time I have that morning.
Next I have a coffee with nut milk + mixed chopped fruit for breakfast. I make a green smoothie while I'm chopping my fruit and I take it to work with me. This is what I put in the smoothie (Recipe here).
I usually make a great big bowl of salad on Sunday evening. I put it in the fridge and it lasts our household a few days when it is used to fill lunch boxes. Here are some of the things I like to put in the salad:
spiralised courgette or cucumber
mixed seeds and nuts
chopped bell peppers
chopped raw garlic (!)
chopped kale, spinach, rocket
mixed beans (borlotti, kidney, cannellini, butter, haricot, lentil and chick peas are some examples. I sometimes use tinned beans as it saves time, however I find that when you soak dried beans over night and boil them according to the instructions on the pack, you end up with a much tastier bean)
Rather than trying to include all of these ingredients, I tend to create my own fresh combination using the ingredients I have to hand. Adding a sweet potato, or spiralised courgette is good if you want the salad to feel more substantial.
I tend to go large when it comes to salad bowls. If I don't eat it all, I will save it in the fridge for the next day. I'm a busy lady, and I need to keep those home fires burning!
I follow lunch with a herbal tea and maybe a piece of fruit.
If I find myself hungry and it's not officially breakfast, lunch of dinner, I might have a green smoothie, dried fruit and nuts, olives, rye bread with almond butter and banana, fruit and water, herbals tea or coffee.
A friend of mine read this blog post and said, 'wow. It's all so healthy and boring. Don't you ever just want to eat cake?' The truth is, I actually really like the taste of all the foods I have mentioned. I love it. I really, really love to eat vegetables and try to eat as many fresh veggies as I can. If I ever want to eat something else, like meat and fish, or a big sandwich, a bag of crisps, chips or cake, then I do just that. No rules really.
I do notice that when I eat something very sugary in the afternoon, like a traditional sugary slice of cake, I feel very tired afterwards and it takes away from my overall joy. For this reason I sometimes feel reluctant to go for sugary treats midway through the day.
A typical evening meal for me is a mixed curry made with coconut milk, mixed seasonal veg flavoured with herbs and spices. I usually cook with ginger, turmeric and garlic as I feel they do me a lot of good. Followed by organic mint tea with dinner or liquorice tea for after dinner, dates for desert.
So what do you eat in an average day? If you would like to celebrate with me, why not join me for my ultimate mindful eating course RELISH.