So often I hear people say they find healthy eating and exercising “boring”. This saddens me, as I personally find it exciting to know I am taking care of my body to the best of my ability. Do I enjoy lifting weights? Not really. In fact, at the end of nearly every session I finish by saying something along the lines of “Thank goodness that’s over”! But the feeling of being fit and strong is the very opposite of boring to me.
When it comes to healthy eating, I am fortunate in that I actually enjoy nutritious food. Don’t get me wrong, I love a slab of chocolate as much as the next person, but an avocado or protein shake feels just as indulgent to me. I love getting creative when it comes to food. I am always looking for new healthy recipes and figuring out ways to make my favourite foods fitness-friendly. Often, a few simple substitutions can transform a meal from unhealthy to wholesome.
A few ways of making healthy eating fun:
- Have your cake AND eat it! Eating “clean” doesn’t have to mean missing out on your favourite baked goodies. Use whole grain flours and protein powders in the place of white flour, homemade applesauce or pureed pumpkin instead of oil or butter, stevia or xylitol instead of sugar, and 2 egg whites in the place of 1 whole egg. Add healthy nuts and seeds to your baked goods, along with vegetables such as grated carrot, sweet potato, courgette (baby marrow) or butternut. Experiment with quantities as not everything will work as a spoon-for-spoon substitution. For some great recipes visit http://www.foodsofapril.com
- Make a marinade – marinating meat will keep it moist and flavourful during cooking, without the addition of oil. Try marinating a “butterflied” skinless chicken breast in some lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, peri-peri sauce and herbs and spices to your taste. Season with some salt and pepper and then cook for a few minutes on each side when you’re ready to eat! Simple and delicious.
- Frozen you have chosen – Buy seasonal fruit, prepare it and then freeze it. When you fancy some ice-cream, whack a portion of frozen fruit in a blender with a scoop of protein powder, a pinch of xantham gum and just enough water or milk to blend. Add ice if desired. Pour into a tall glass and devour with a spoon!
- Try something new – Fed up with oats? Try buckwheat flakes instead. Tired of tuna? Tinned pilchards make a great alternative and are packed with essential fatty acids (EFAs). Variety prevents boredom, so don’t be afraid to mix things up.
- The spice of life – Herbs and spices add flavour without calories, whilst giving food a nutritional boost. Chilli speeds up the metabolism and gives food an exciting kick. Herbs are loaded with antioxidants and enhance the flavour of both meat and vegetable dishes.
I will regularly be posting healthy recipes, so keep your eyes peeled for fresh and interesting ways to eat good food.