I did some fasted cardio (aka my death wish) this morning, running a distance of 3.34 miles. I worked out my arms today with the free weights, along with a nice stretching sesh.

I went out and bought some legitimate running shoes by Brooks so that I’m not killing my body anymore with Nike or Adidas.

I also made a really pretty, super healthy and extra delicious smoothie bowl today.

pepsimaxed  asked:

Hey lovely! do you have any advice for including a wider variety of veg and food in general? I tend to eat the same things a lot and struggle to reach my five a day and I just want to have more balance & variety in my diet! I hope you have a lovely day❤️

Hi sweetheart 😊 Aiming to get plenty of variety in your diet is a brilliant idea, and it’s great that you’re trying to incorporate more fruit and veggies into your meals as well. Changing our eating habits is not always easy because we get stuck in the rut of doing what is familiar and convenient, but with a tiny bit of effort up front, we soon get used to the changes we’ve made, and begin to enjoy them.

I’m afraid this is going to be a long answer as I have lots of ideas and am completely passionate about the deliciousness of fruit and veg! So get a coffee and perhaps read this in instalments haha!

Firstly, diet variety is just about having the options available in your cupboards and remembering to eat them! Sounds simple but I know it isn’t always 😘 Anyway, I’d recommend you think which of the following you could try for your protein and carb options instead of and as well as whatever you currently have:

Meat: grilled or baked chicken, stir fried turkey strips, good quality ham, Bolognese, chilli con carne, homemade burgers, stews and casseroles eg Spanish chicken, sweet and sour pork, beef stew. Search this blog for ideas!
Fish: baked or grilled white fish, poached or baked salmon or trout, tinned tuna, smoked salmon or peppered mackerel, prawns.
Vegetarian: Glamorgan sausages, omelette, cheeses, boiled eggs, baked eggs, quorn products, spinach and ricotta tortellini.
Vegan: falafel, chickpeas, mixed beans, baked beans, lentils of all kinds, kidney beans, veggie burgers, vegan sausages, tofu, TVP, vegan mince, seitan, avocado, nuts and seeds.
Carbs: quinoa, brown rice, basmati rice, spaghetti, pearled barley, wheat pasta (in all sorts of exciting shapes, white or wholemeal) spelt pasta, corn pasta, noodles, rice noodles, edamame or black bean pasta (available in Holland and Barrett) amaranth, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, winter squash (acorn, kabocha, queen, prince, butternut etc) and new potatoes.

The best advice I can offer as regards fruit and vegetables is to think of them in groups according to their colour, and to try and literally eat a rainbow of veggies across any given week. It’s rather clever that nature has colour coded produce in this way, because each colour represents a different profile of vitamins and nutrients. You can therefore ensure you’re getting everything your body needs, by making sure you eat from each colour group each week. So when you go shopping, look around and pick a couple from each colour group. And try new things, you might discover some real favourites.

I don’t know if the problem you have is that you don’t very much LIKE fruit and veg, or if you find them annoying to prepare, or expensive, or what- but let me reassure you that if you buy them in season/from markets/when on offer/ reduced, they do not have to be costly, they can be very quick and simple to prepare and if you don’t think you like them-well, give them a chance! It can often be ALL about how you cook and prepare things that dictates whether you enjoy them or not.

Stuff I do that gets lots of fruit and vegetables into our diet:

-Roasted vegetables are delectable and easy and I’ve not yet met anyone who doesn’t like them! I make a massive batch (on two trays because over crowded trays mean they steam instead of roasting) and serve them hot that night with simple meals like grilled chicken and new potatoes. I have posted before how to make roasted veggies, so have a search for that. Cold leftovers are amazing in sandwiches with hummus, in salads with avocado and pine nuts/seeds, tossed through pasta or rice or soba noodles with cold chicken or cooked prawns for example. So you cook once and have enough roasted veggies to last the rest of the week. You can also use veggies of every colour to improve your intake!

-Only steam or lightly boil veggies that you know you like the flavour and texture of just on their own. If you don’t like them ‘as they are’, you will need to get a bit more clever about getting them into you! A useful trick is to stir-fry your veggies in coconut/olive/sesame oil with a little soy sauce and seasonings (sweet chilli sauce or fresh chilli, ginger root and lime for example) just briefly until cooked to your liking. I would recommend you always start with chopped onion and garlic, then add whatever other veggies you like, starting with those that take longer to cook like carrot and green beans -or you can buy a ready-made mix of you prefer. You will need to add in your protein choice depending on how long it takes to cook; add chicken strips for example at the same time as the onion and let it cook about halfway before beginning to add your other veggies, although if you are adding chickpeas, they can be tossed in at the last minute as they just need to warm through. Serve your stir fry over noodles or rice.

-Use your veggies as a dipping tool! Chop up raw carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and even raw sweet potatoes (yes, they are lovely!) and dip them in hummus, salsa or whatever other dips your heart desires. I also love sugarsnap peas, wedges of crispy iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes and strips of crunchy, colourful bell peppers. Fruit can also be dipped into yoghurts of various flavours, or melted dark chocolate perhaps! 😋

-Don’t forget pickles and bottled produce! Beetroot, onions, cabbage, gherkins, olives, chargrilled peppers, artichokes, sundried tomatoes and much more are available, last longer than fresh produce in your fridge and will add a bit of tasty variety to your salad and sandwich plates.

-Embrace the Meal Salad! It can be fun to build a salad if you put in stuff you actually like, instead of just sticking to what you think you’re supposed to (lettuce, cucumber, tomato…blah).
1. Pick your favourite bowl or dish.
2. Choose a leaf and make your bed! Try out lambs lettuce, radicchio, shredded red or white or Chinese cabbage, round/ iceberg/cos/romaine/little gem lettuce, watercress, rocket or baby leaf spinach for example. If you really don’t like any of these, do without. Your salad, your rules 😉
3. Then sprinkle over other green and white stuff, like cucumber, spring onion, diced white or red onion, celery, radishes and cress. You can also add fresh herbs like chives, parsley, coriander or basil if you like and they add another flavour dimension.
4. Next, add more colourful veggies that you like, such as diced or stripped bell peppers, cherry tomatoes or sliced vine tomatoes, olives, gherkins, sundried tomatoes, grated carrot, sweetcorn…even edible flowers like nasturtiums!
5. Add your protein and decide what you want for your carbs. Without both of these, a salad is not going to satisfy you for very long, however healthy it is! Almost any protein works here, perhaps cold cooked chicken or ham, hard boiled egg, mixed beans, tuna, mackerel, smoked or poached salmon or trout, chickpeas, tofu, cheese, vegetarian sausages, falafel or butterbeans. You can add cold boiled new potatoes, chopped baked sweet potato, quinoa, rice or pasta to your salad, or have some nice fresh bread or toast on the side if your prefer.
6. Add your dressings and toppings. You need some fats to complete the balanced meal and these can be added in a dressing made with oil (plus balsamic or wine vinegar/lemon juice, herbs and seasonings) and/or seeds, nuts or avocado.
7. Enjoy!

-Make your own coleslaw with grated carrot, onion and cabbage, in a dressing of your choice; mayo, mustard mayo, natural yoghurt and dill or vinaigrette are the usual suspects, but use whatever you like best.

-Make it a rule never to make a sandwich without adding salad too! In fact, one of the best sandwiches ever IMO is JUST fresh crispy salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber and spring onions perhaps) on lovely granary bread, perhaps with some mayo or salad cream or butter inside and some black pepper and sea salt. But it’s great added into cheese, egg, chicken, ham, tuna, smoked salmon or hummus sandwiches too. If you don’t like the salad inside the sandwich, put some crunchy veggies you do like on the side and they’ll balance your plate very nicely.

-If you grow your own fruit and veggies it makes you want to eat them even more! Easy things to start with are tomatoes, lettuce, radishes, carrots and strawberries.

-I add fresh fruit to almost every meal or snack, TBH! Half an apple or a clementine with a sandwich, berries or melon on the side with breakfast, a banana with nut butter or some raisins with almonds for a snack, frozen berries blended up as part of a smoothie with almond milk, spinach and chia seeds for example. I don’t recommend eating fruit completely alone, as it tends to cause a bit of a blood sugar spike, and is best eaten as part of a meal or alongside some fats or proteins if enjoyed as a snack.

-Try fruits you’ve not tried before (or haven’t tried for a long while) if you are bored of apples, oranges and bananas. My favourites (on occasion as they are costly) are persimmons, physalis and figs, and I also love mangoes, papayas and passion fruits. Nectarines, peaches, blueberries, watermelon, galia/cantaloupe/honeydew melon, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are all really good right now so buy some whilst they’re in season and sold at a better price. If you live near a fruit farm, go and pick your own because it’s really fun!

-Remember that a glass of fruit juice counts as one of your five a day as well (but only one; two glasses doesn’t count as two portions) so that’s an easy one to add to your breakfast.

-Beans and pulses also count as one of the five a day, but again only asone portion even if you eat lots, haha!

-Tinned fruit (in fruit juice not syrup ideally) is an easy and quick dessert. You can get cute little portion pots these days too which are fab for adding to snacks and meals.

-Perfect for this time of year, you can very easily grill fruit on a BBQ- try pineapple, peaches and nectarines, they are so delicious!

-More for the autumn and winter than in the summer whilst it’s really hot, I like to cook with fruit as well. Fruit crumble is a quick and easy own but also dried fruit added to scones, breads or cakes, stewed fruit or baked apple. Apple and blackberries stewed together, or plums and pears are so lovely. Left to go cold, stewed fruit is basically just a lovely compote to enjoy with yoghurt and granola for breakfast or with oatmeal, perhaps.

-Dried peaches, prunes, apricots, raisins, sultanas, bananas, apples, figs, dates, mulberries, cranberries, cherries, strawberries and blueberries (whichever you like) are worth adding to your cupboard as a quick fruity hit that satisfies your sweet tooth as well.

-A baked apple is a lovely dessert served alone or with custard/ natural yoghurt (or vanilla icecream!) Just core a small brambly apple and stuff the hole with a mixture of chopped dates, raisins, cinnamon and brown sugar, then bake. You could use any dried fruit you like and use maple syrup stead of the sugar if you like. Oh! And baked banana is incredible. Just prick the banana skin with a fork and bake for half an hour or so until the skin is black and the inside is soft and delicious! Then open up and sprinkle with cinnamon before digging in.

Ok I have to draw a line now but could go on forever as regards meal ideas! If you need more I suggest you search this blog (and my answered asks tag) for meal ideas, meal plans and ‘vegetables’ as I have answered questions before on how to get more veggies into your diet.

Hope this helps! Much love and good luck in getting more variety in your meals xxx