“Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

“Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet

Do you think you eat a balanced diet or are you confused about what a balanced diet looks like?

I’m seeing more and more clients who seem lost and confused about what to eat and what not to eat

thai-tofu-curryEating a nutritious, balanced diet will help you improve your overall health. In particular, a balanced diet can help:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Reduce your chances of getting cancer
  • Give you more energy
  • Keep you well
  • improve weight loss
  • Improve your bowel health
  • Your skin, nails and hair look healthier

 

The two key elements to a healthy balanced diet are:

  • Eat the right amount of food for how active you are, and
  • Eat a variety of foods – this is where the ‘balance’ comes in

healthy eating advice

The “Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet should include:

  • fruit-and-veg-225x300Plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least 5 portions a day. Think ‘A rainbow of colour’.  And if its convenient use fresh, frozen or tinned
  • Fruit like grapefruit or melon eaten before a meal can help fill you up so you are less likely to overeat on higher calorie foods
  • Small amounts of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods (choosing wholegrain varieties when possible)
  • Some milk, dairy or plant-based alternative likes (soya, oat, nut etc).  Aim for 3 servings a day.
  • Sufficient protein such as tofu, Quorn, quinoa, nuts, beans, meat, fish, eggs.  Aim to eat low fat protein at every main meal.
  • Just a small amount of foods high in fat, sugar and salt
  • Keep within the safe alcohol limits (14 units a week for men and women).  Its also advised to have alcohol free days
  • activity exercise walkingDrink plenty of water, about 6-8 glasses (or other fluids) every day: more if you exercise or if the weather is hot
  • Green tea contains two compounds; caffeine and catechins, that may boost your metabolism for a couple of hours.
  • Stay active – aim for 150 minutes of activity a week.  this can include classes at a gym, running, weight training.  But equally housework, gardening, walking and dancing can all count too

 

Some people make the mistake of thinking that because they are eating healthy food they can eat more of it.  This can lead to weight gain in the same way that eating unhealthy foods can, because all foods have calories!

Follow this portion guide and you won’t go far wrong

  • A healthy 75g serving of protein (tofu, Quorn, quinoa, nuts, beans, meat, fish, eggs) is the same size as the palm of your hand
  • A medium potato is the same size as your computer mouse
  •   A serving of dairy is:
    • 200ml of milk or plant based alternative – regardless of full-fat, semi-skimmed or skimmed.
    • 30g hard cheese (including non dairy): around the same size as a matchbox
    • 150g of plain or fruit yoghurt.
  • A medium piece of fruit is the same size as your fist
  • pasta-portionA serving of rice is half a teacup or 75g (uncooked), which weighs 125g when cooked
  • A serving of pasta is 75g uncooked which weighs 170g when cooked al dente
  • A serving of vegetables is about 80g or about 2 tablespoons
  • A teaspoon of butter or margarine is the size of the tip of your thumb.
  • A unit of alcohol is half a pint of standard strength (3 to 5% ABV) beer, lager or cider, or a single pub measure of spirit. A 175 ml glass of wine is about 2 units and alcopops are about 1.5 units. A bottle of white wine has up to 9 units and 650 calories

If your diet is in a bit of a tailspin, then why not contact me for some nutritional advice

what i do 4

November is world vegan month

November is World vegan month

Does Nottingham cater for vegans?

A number of high profile celebrities like Beyonce, Lewis Hamilton, Ellie Golding and Liam Hemsworth to name but a few have all decided to follow a vegan diet.  And they are not the only ones, it is estimated that over ½ million UK adults are now vegan; that’s a 360% increase over the last decade.

Concern for animals, taking better care of the earth’s resources and the environment or the health advantages of a plant-based diet are just some of the reasons for becoming vegan.

website banner

For some people it’s none of the above but they have allergies to dairy products or are lactose intolerant, hence the increased popularity and availability of non-dairy alternatives

But generally being a vegan is more of a lifestyle choice and a philosophy than a diet.

You can now buy ethical clothing, shoes, toiletries and makeup. But for ‘World vegan month’ I’d like to focus on the food aspect of being vegan.

Baresca

In Nottingham over the last couple of years I have seen more vegan options in shops, supermarkets and eateries, an increase in wheat/gluten/dairy free cakes and goodies and special vegan events to raise awareness.

vegan food Nottingham

Did you know there is a vegan market in Sneinton on the first Saturday of every month?

vegan market

 

I regularly write veggie food reviews for the Nottingham Post and the West Bridgford Wire, sometimes it’s a 100% vegan/vegetarian eatery like cafe Roya in Beeston or the Peacock Pub on Mansfield Road, Nottingham which has a 100% vegan kitchen.

front-menu-peacock

Or a regular restaurant that has a good selection of vegan options like Zizzi, Chocks Away (at Nottingham City Airport),  Baresca, The Angel microbrewery, Annies burger shack, Oscar and Rosies, Suda (Wollaton), Horse and Plough (Bingham), wagamama, Alchelmilla; the list just keeps on growing

fav vegan restaurant?

 

 

courtesy of TeenVGN (Twitter)

courtesy of TeenVGN (Twitter)

Not to be outdone the main supermarkets have also increased their range of vegan options.  You can now buy vegan ready meals, Christmas selection boxes, non-dairy milk, yoghurt, ice-cream and cheese, pesto etc.  And the cheaper supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl also have some great choices too

In Nottingham we are also lucky to have a number of Asian and world food supermarkets and shops that have a plethora of vegan goodies like tofu, spices, noodles, lentils, nuts, Asian greens, sauerkraut, fresh herbs and pulses

 

 

For some the transition to being vegan is a staged process; they cut down on red meat and processed meat, then only eat fish, consider following the ‘Meat Free Monday’ campaign,  progress to becoming vegetarian then decide to take the plunge and go for a 100% plant-based diet.

vegan classes

If you are considering eating a more plant based diet but are concerned about nutrition then why not come to my vegan cookery classes.  More information can be obtained by following this link http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/blog/vegan-cookery-class-7nov/

cookery feedbackYou can make sweet potato falafels, tofu rice rolls, beetroot risotto, lasagne, tacos and much much more. Contact me for more details 07946 301338

For more advice about adopting a vegan diet visit the vegan society website

Beetroot risotto

Beetroot risotto with pearl barley and quinoa

Serves 2, 320 calories per serving

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_4244This risotto has been inspired by Jack Monroe’s risotto recipe in the Royal Marsden cancer cookbook

 

 

vegan cookery poster jpeg

 

And is the perfect recipe for my Vegan cookery class to make this week!

The use of beetroot not only adds colour and a wonderful earthy taste but bags of fibre, antioxidants, potassium and iron. The pearl barley makes a healthy nutritional change to arborio rice: Its high in fibre, calcium and protein, but low in fat and calories. By adding quinoa the protein content really increases, making this a very filling and nutritious vegetarian and vegan dish

 

IMG_4276250g fresh beetroot, peeled and diced (or use the pre-cooked vacuum packs)

500 ml vegetable stock – either leftover stock from cooking some veggies or hot water and 1 teaspoon veg bouillon powder

2 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

1 fat garlic clove – crushed

1 small leek (80g) finely sliced

large pinch dried chilli flakes

IMG_4282

Pearl barley

100g pearl barley or buckwheat (which you need to pre soak overnight) and 25g of quinoa

50ml red or white wine (or water)

100g frozen peas (or broad beans)

2 tbls chopped mint and parsley

salt and ground black pepper

 

IMG_4296flavoured drizzle oil (optional)

zest and juice of half a lemon (equivalent to 2 tsp)

1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

½ tsp horseradish

If you are not using the oil you can substitute the horseradish for the chilli flakes in the main risotto

 
horseradish

To make the drizzle vegan please use either fresh horseradish or a jar without cream

If you are using fresh beetroot put it in a pan and cover with some of the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until tender.

If you are using the vacuum packed variety, miss out this stage and simply open the packet*

 

IMG_4294

 

*A word of warning! which ever type of beetroot you use, be aware that it stains everything! So your chopping boards, spoons and hands will all be a lovely pink colour by the end of this. You can minimize the pink by wearing rubber gloves to handle the beetroot, cook with a metal spoon (never wooden for beetroot), or use a plastic chopping board

 

Meantime on a medium flame heat the oil in a large IMG_4281shallow pan and add the leeks and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until the leeks are soft.   Add the pearl barley and coat with in the oil. Then tip in the wine and allow it to bubble away for a few minutes.

 

Blitz the beetroot in a blender (a nutribullet does a great IMG_4287job), add the stock and chilli (or horseradish) and add a ladleful at a time to the grains. Keep adding a ladleful as soon as it is absorbed. This should take about 30-40 minutes

 

After 15 minutes add the quinoa (this takes less time to cook) and mix in. once the pearl barley and quinoa are soft and fluffy stir in the peas and 1 tablespoon of the chopped herbs. Taste and season with salt and lots of pepper

 

Serve into 2 warmed bowls

 

Lemon horseradish oil

Mix all the ingredients together and drizzle over the risotto

IMG_4308

 

 

 

Finally scatter over the remaining tablespoon of chopped herbs

 

 

 

risotto

 

And here’s how the finish dish looks when its made by my vegan cookery guests

 

 

 

 

 

 

BCAMThis is a great recipe to support breast cancer awareness month.  So why not make a larger amount (its easy to double or triple the ingredients) and invite your friends over.  They can make a donation to your favourite cancer charity like Maggie’s (the cancer support centre inside the grounds of the Nottingham City hospital)