Tuesday, 14 April 2015

My week on a plate

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For a while now I have been recognised for my healthy eating habits. A year ago I was eating fried food, piles of cheese and sugary drinks without a care in a world, but I had dull, acne prone skin and a lack of energy to show for it. I thought that's just what everyone looked and felt like, I thought I felt good. But when countless skincare products and vitamin supplements failed to make a difference to my skin and my energy levels, I knew something had to change.
Since then I've packed my diet with as many nutrients I can, started drinking 2-3 litres of water a day, I eat more than 5-a-day and avoid too much meat, and greasy, fatty foods or overloading myself with cheese, milk or sugary snacks. I've become a keen reader of Women's Health magazine, a fitness enthusiast (who would have guessed the P.E. skiver would turn into a fitness lover??) and a lover of all things deliciously healthy (healthy food really does have much more taste and all-round yumminess than junk foods like burgers!)
And that change is the best decision I've ever made. You really don't know what good feels like until you've actually felt good. My acne prone skin, lack of energy and low moods were my body's way of crying out to be nourished. Now I wake up ready with energy to face the world (well, most of the time), my skin is nearly spotless and is glowing and smooth, and I generally feel happy all the time. Trust me, changing your diet really will make a HUGE difference!
So here's a week in my diet, what and when I eat it. I would't say I'm the healthiest person in the world, I allow myself some indulgences ("food for the body, food for the soul" and all that), but it's enough to make a huge difference.

 Monday

Breakfast - Matcha powder shot. White tea, a nectarine. Then orange juice + soya yogurt and nutty granola.
Morning snack - 2 shortbread biscuits
Lunch - Chicken and avocado salad
Afternoon snack - Carrot and home-made hummus
Dinner - Clam and fresh tomato linguini
Evening - Chocolate brownie, soya ice cream, blueberries

Tuesday

Breakfast - Matcha powder shot. 1/2 multigrain bagel, smoked salmon, poached egg + orange juice.
Lunch - Prosciutto, avocado and chicken salad (at Prezzo)
Dinner - Home-made chicken and carrot pie (with soya cream) with garden vegetables
Evening - Coconut milk, banana and blueberry smoothie. 1 small florentine.

Wednesday

Breakfast - Matcha powder shot. Porridge made with coconut milk, topped with passion fruit and blueberries
Lunch - Oven baked sweet potato chips with hummus and a poached egg. Then a nectarine.
Snack - White tea, vanilla pumpkin seeds.
Dinner - Salmon and vegetable stir fry with brown rice and quinoa.
Evening - Home-made fruit cake

Thursday

Breakfast - Match powder shot. Almond milk, banana and berry smoothie with a croissant.
Snack - White tea and a kiwi.
Lunch - Wholemeal pitta topped with avocado, tomatoes, olive tapenade and rocket.
Snack - Caramel latte made with almond milk.
Dinner - Moroccan bean and vegetable tagine with couscous.
Evening - Home-made fruit cake.

Friday

Breakfast - Matcha powder shot. Greek Yogurt and granola with berries. Kiwi, mango, passionfruit and coconut milk smoothie.
Lunch - Vegetable soup with spelt bread
Snack - Carrot and home-made hummus
Dinner - Quorn and bean chilli con carne with guacamole and fresh tomatoes
Evening - A small piece of dark chocolate

Saturday

Breakfast - Matcha powder shot. Poached eggs and ham on an english muffin with orange juice.
Snack - Home-made stem ginger biscuit
Lunch - Home-made courgette, mushroom and sun-dried tomato quiche, with salad.
Dinner - Mackerel with sweet potato and fresh vegetables.
Evening - Avocado and tomato on bruschetta.

Sunday

Breakfast - Matcha powder shot. Orange juice and a kiwi. Then apple and blueberry porridge made with hazelnut milk.
Snack - Coconut milk, carrot, cucumber, banana and ginger smoothie.
Lunch - Salad with poached egg, sweet potato, quinoa, green beans, walnuts and sun dried tomatoes (see main picture)
Snack - White tea and a stem ginger biscuit.
Dinner - Crab, lemon and olive oil pasta.
Evening - A chocolate truffle.

So there you go! Think what you like of it, but this is what I eat to stay both satisfied with what I'm eating as well as happy and healthy. You may have noticed some things that pop up a lot, like avocados, nut milks ect. I'm going to briefly list these things that I eat very regularly below along with their health benefits, so you can see how eating these a lot can benefit you, like they do for me.

Avocado - packed with healthy fats to help with heart and brain function, fight against cancer, have anti-inflammatory compounds and make you feel fuller for longer.

Nut milks - nut milks include the now readily available almond, hazelnut, and coconut. I'm also classing my soya products in this category. These are all far lower calorie than cows milk but when incorporated into things like smoothies and porridge like I do you can't tell the difference. Almonds keep your energy levels up and reduce the risk of heart disease. Coconut milk can help protect the body from infections and viruses.

Matcha Powder - Matcha is a form of concentrated green tea, powdered. Because you drink all of the leaf, rather than tiny bits that seep through a tea bag, you ingest all of the anti-oxidising nutrients (Up to 15x more than a regular cup of green tea). It also provides the body with energy for up to 6 hours, which keeps you alert and focused, and boosts the metabolism (giving weight loss benefits).

Orange Juice - The vitamin C in orange juice promotes a healthy production of collagen, which is a structural component for bones, ligaments and tendons. Orange juice also gives skin radiance, helps clean out pores, and reduces inflammation. 

White tea - It is less processed than green tea, so delivers the same health benefits but in greater quantity. It's packed with antioxidants and it boosts cardiovascular health, encourages a healthy immune system, has skin benefits and anti-viral properties.

Eggs -  The yolks contain a very high concentration of omega-3 which is vital to maintain good cholesterol, and fights against diseases of the brain such as ADHD, dementia and depression. They are also high in lean protein, perfect if you're wanting to tone up and not put on weight.

and finally..
Sweet potato - One of the best forms of beta-carotene, an important antioxidant for eye and digestive health. And while white potatoes are known for their negative impact on blood sugar regulation, sweet potatoes actually improve it, even in people with diabetes. I always use these instead of normal potatoes.









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