Wednesday, 23 September 2015

the mindful eating challenge.

The Mindful Eating Challenge

Rainbow food, colourful creations and vibrant greens. Eating healthy doesn't have to be boring. Flick through Instagram and you'll see reams and reams of inviting seasonal salads, avocado worship and that deliciously gooey cake that you can't quite believe is sugar free. 


Vegetarain Recipes

Whether you're getting creative with kale or perfecting your matcha green tea latte, there's no doubt healthy recipes are the new black (or green). With this in mind, Joe's Bloggers put us food bloggers to the test with The Mindfulness Eating Challenge. Think; healthier food choices, thinking about where your dinner came from, less processed food and making recipes from scratch. 


Luckily, you won't be surprised to know I love cooking from scratch anyway. I'm no nutritional expert, but I gave it a good go. Armed with a box of organic, fresh vegetables, my favourite utensils and a healthy attitude, here are my top five takeways from the challenge. (No, not that kind of takeaway...) 


Vegetables

FIVE A DAY.
An apple a day is so last season. Where possible, I aim to eat a mix of five fruit and vegetables a day. This is usually in the form of a veggie with lunch, an apple, blueberries or some strawberries for something sweet, a banana for a 3pm pick me up and then a couple of vegetables with my tea. I also add what I like to call secret veg into dishes - perfect for fussy eaters. Think tomatoes blended into sauces, courgette ribbons stirred within spaghetti and pulses into chillis. Be creative with colour and flavours. Enjoy experimenting.



EAT YOUR GRAINS. 
Wholemeal grains are perfect for a long lasting power boost in meals. I personally prefer not to cut carbs out - not because it would be impossible for me (cake, duh) but instead because I'd rather replace them for healthy grains. Recent favourites include quinoa, bulgar wheat and pearl barley. This veggie moussakka uses lentils instead of lamb, whilst this gluten free lasagne uses courgette sheets instead of pasta and has hearty quinoa, spinach and walnuts throughout too. 



SWITCH THE MEAT. 
Which leads me on to switching out meat a few times a week. Firstly I'm not vegetarian, but I would say 75% of my meals are. I just love veggie food! To me, a meal doesn't have to include meat to be tasty or well put together, instead I appreciate the flavours as a whole. I sometimes come to the end of a day and think "actually I was accidentally vegan for the whole day today" - just because I'd fancied a falafel wrap for lunch and a Thai red vegetable curry that evening. Think of your favourite meals and perhaps replace with Quorn or extra veg - which lead to creating these roast vegetable, black bean and avocado burritos and a Thai sweet potato and corn curry.



For veggie recipe ideas the #meatfreemonday hashtag is a brilliant place to start - and I also have some vegetarian recipes in my archives. 

PLAN AHEAD. 
Avoiding processed food isn't the easiest when you're on the go. If I can, I try to make big veggie bakes and vats of chilli ready for weeknight meals and lunches. My best tip is too make too much tea and then have it ready for the next day. I'm sure they taste better after a day too. When I buy bananas, I buy a few yellow and a couple green so that they become progressively ripe through the week and I don't end up wasting them. Other times, I buy a huge side of salmon to portion up and freeze. I then defrost and marinate whilst I'm at work ready for the evening. Everyone's different - but it helps make life a little easier whilst avoiding processed convenience. 




SHOP LOCAL.
To me, farmer's markets and foodie shops are just as exciting as a fashion blogger getting seats in the FROW at LFW. I could fill up my basket with local cheese, homemade jams and artisan sausages dangerously quickly. It can also be a way of shopping cheaper for great produce, which supports local farmers and gives you a sense of appreciation for your food. 

Leicester market has some ridiculous bargains. Bowl of tomatoes for a £1? You've got a fortnight's worth of homemade soup there. I recently bought 6 avocados for a £1 from Loughborough market too. Crazy stuff. I always look out for free range eggs along a country lanes near me and love to potter around Cattow's Farm. 

Most importantly; eat well, savour your food and be happy.

What are your top tips on mindful eating? What are your favourite go-to healthy dishes? I'd love to hear your thoughts! You can also find out more thoughts about mindful eating in this little guide from L&G here.

Post in collaboration with Joe's Bloggers. All words and photography are my own.

5 comments:

  1. Great tips here Emily. I'm eating really healthily right now as I'm buying reduced fruit and vegetables and letting them dictate the meals we're having!

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    1. Good plan. Your reduced section swag is alway amazing!x

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  2. I m with you on the eat your grains. Quinoa and pearl barley - oh yeah.

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  3. I love the idea that you're sometimes accidentally vegetarian lol! Just goes to show that veggie food can be just as good as meat :)

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