Lucy Hyland from Food for Living is over on the blog over the next few weeks giving advice on how to eat better and become healthier. She has plenty of tips and great recipes on her website – so make sure to head over and check it out!
The foundation of living a healthy life is to eat a wide variety of whole foods, natural and unprocessed ingredients. This is …the simplest concept of good health, but often the one that is most difficult in this fast paced convenience driven world. Where possible cook your own meals, and plan your time out of the house so you always have a quick and easy snack in your bag or car.
Start with your plate! Harvard Nutrition School came up with this fabulous visual aid a few years ago and I use it with all my clients. Check out Lucy’s website for more information – print the below plate off for a great visual. For excellent overall health, quarter of your plate should be wholegrain or starchy carbohydrates, quarter lean protein and half the plate filled fresh fruit or vegetables, accompanied by a little heart healthy fat.
Eat a little protein at every meal. Best sources of protein are fibre rich beans and lentils, as well as essential fat rich nuts and seeds, lean protein sources such as chicken, turkey, fish and low fat dairy options. Standard portion of protein is about the… size of the palm of your hand (no fingers included), for example a small fillet of chicken or a cup of beans. Breakfast is the one meal that most of my clients do not eat protein with – my granola recipe is a simple solution:
Lucy’s homemade granola
- 2 cups of oat flakes (120 grams)
- 1 dessert spoon oil
- 1 teaspoon of runny honey or maple syrup
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp linseeds
- 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp chopped nuts (cashews are lovely)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Heat oven to 150oc
- Mix the oat flakes, oil and honey/maple well in a bowl and spread evenly on a baking tray. Place in oven for 10 mins, shaking occasionally.
- Add the other ingredients and toast for another 5-10 mins.
- Serve with chopped fruit and a good dollop of yogurt.
Find more simple and delicious recipes oh Lucy’s website here.
Choose your carbohydrates wisely. Carbohydrates are great for maintaining energy levels throughout the day but your choice of carbs will have an impact on your eating habits and health. Go for non- starchy vegetables and un-refined carbohydrates (whole grains such as brown rice, brown bread and wholegrain crackers) that are packed full of fibre and the nutrients you keep you well.
Fibre helps you keep fuller for longer and helps… with satiation. Processed grains such as white bread, muffins, scones and croissants had many of the nutrients removed and can be called ‘empty calories’.
A portion of carbs is about the palm of your hand, for example, 1 medium potato or 1-2 slices of bread.
Here is a super easy yeast free bread that you can make up yourself at home:
Lucy’s Yogurt Brown Bread
- 2oog wholegrain flour (I used Spelt)
- 50g white flour (I used Spelt)
- 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp linseeds
- 2 tbsp pinhead oatmeal(optional)
- 200ml of live yogurt
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- A little water, if necessary
- Preheat oven to 200 oc (FAN)
- Sieve the flours and bicarb of soda into a mixing bowl and add the salt.
- Sprinkle in the sesame and linseeds (you can toast them first in a dry pan for 5 mins if you want) and add the oatmeal.
- Mix well with a hand whisk. Form a hole in the centre.
- Pour in the yogurt and with one hand, stir in a full circle, starting in the centre and working out, until all flour is incorporated. The dough should be soft but not too wet and sticky. If it is too dry, ad a little of the water at a time till all of the mixture sticks.
- Turn out on to well flour surface.
- Roll gently in flour for a moment and then flip over and place on floured baking tray. Flatten lightly, to 2 inches.
- Make a deep cross in centre and bake in 200 oc oven for 15 mins and then turn down to 180 oc for another 15 mins.
- It will sound hallow when tapped. Cool on wire rack.