If you’ve read my last post reviewing the incredible vegetarian and vegan junk food menu at Down the Hatch, you’ll know that I’m making a conscious effort to clean up my diet. I’ve been swapping most dairy products for soy and oat alternatives, chucking loads of green stuff into my smoothies and trying to make non-meat-based dishes a more common theme throughout my eating patterns.
As somebody who survived on M&S white chocolate mousse and Wotsits for the first two or three years of my life, healthy options don’t always come easy. However as I get further over the wrong side of 25, my jeans get tighter and my skin starts to lose that youthful glow, I thought it high time to make some simple switches in my diet. Nothing drastic – you’ll know from my Instagram that I’ll still be eating 4 millions calories a day – just tiny tweaks when and where I can to stay fit, healthy and defy the laws of the inevitable pull of gravity.
Here’s where I started…
The ultimate workout snack
Most energy bars or processed protein bars are packed to the rafters with refined sugar and unnecessary calories. There are of course some good guys out there which base their recipes around more natural ingredients but most of the time, they’re hella expensive or pretty uninspiring in terms of taste. So lately, I’ve been swapping my regular pre-gym snack for the good old humble banana. Rich in potassium which is incredibly important and energising carbs, this wholesome snack pre-packed by Mother Nature herself is the perfect boost.
It’s also a great breakfast food if you’re taking a more active route to work such as walking or cycling. (If you do happen to be cycling to work, don’t forget your cycle insurance from Velosure – you don’t want any dangerous banana skin moments on the roads, kids!)
Vegetarian protein sources
Because it never did Popeye any harm, right?
As I mentioned previously, I’m trying to make sure meat isn’t the basis of every single meal I’m eating – particularly red meat. I love chicken and burgers far too much to ever commit to full time vegetarianism but I have been expanding my non-meat horizons of late. This goes for protein sources too. Instead of bacon or chicken sausages for breakfast for example, I’ll have scrambled eggs, a smoothie with plenty of spinach and chia seeds in or natural peanut butter on gluten free toast.
Containing all 9 essential amino acids, eggs are considered a complete protein and should be a part of your diet every damn day. Boil ’em, fry ’em, scramble ’em, made ’em into an omelette or a part of a frittata… eggs are a versatile kitchen essential.
Carrots over crisps (sometimes)
Just hear me out… Nobody loves a big bag of Slabs or a family size packet of Walkers Sensations to herself more than I do but all things considered, potatoes fried to within an inch of their lives aren’t exactly one of your five a day.
The snacks we typically eat after 8 pm all try to mimic what your body has actually craving throughout the day. For example, crisps are trying to mimic the crunchiness of foods such as carrots and apples which is a sure sign that the food you’re eating is fresh so from time to time, swap them for some carrot sticks and humous. All the crunch without any of the crap. Carrots actually contact quite a lot of natural sugars too so if it’s something sweet or a burst of energy that your body is after, this is great healthy alternative.