Stewed apples and blueberries with almond butter is an absolute favourite of mine. Whether for breakfast, pudding or just as a healthy snack, I love this combo. Often I use tinned apples when they are not in season, they are so convenient and you can buy them without anything added. When you try them with nothing on you might think they aren’t sweet enough but your taste buds will adapt and once you add the almond butter you will be in a taste sensation! The blueberries, I usually buy from the market and I keep them in the freezer and then you can just add a handful whenever you want them. This is great as it avoids them going off. So I heat up the apples and the blueberries, add the almond butter and find a quiet moment to sit any enjoy the taste…delicious!
What we eat has a real impact on our frame of mind. If we eat something that we know has lots of health benefits for us then we feel good about ourselves. We know we are being kind to our body and giving what it needs to function at it’s best.
We all know that awful feeling of guilt when you have eaten something that you wish you hadn’t. That jumbo bag of crisps you polished off mindlessly whilst watching TV. That chocolate bar from the petrol station on your way home that you rammed in without really tasting it or fully enjoying it.
Becoming mindful can keep us right on track with eating well and if weight loss is the aim it can be just the right approach. Like wise if health issues are posing you with diet dilemmas it can give you the commitment to sticking with good food choices when times get tough. Feel good, eat well and no starving yourself, perfect.
I enjoy being creative with my food and finding new combinations of simple ingredients. It is something I find really rewarding. I am not one for following long complicated recipes that have a million ingredients. For me there is real pleasure in tasting the food in its natural state.
I don’t eat dairy and so almonds are great for me because they are really calcium-rich. My two year old Noah loves almond butter too and this is great for him with all it’s bone building strength. Almonds are also high in vitamin E, a nutrient which helps to improve the condition and appearance of your skin. Since I have been on my diet I have certainly noticed a real improvement in my skin, although Liz Earl can also take some credit for this! The whole nut is the best because with the skin intact the nut is full of heart-protecting compounds called flavonoids. Who would have thought that such a simple ingredient could give such a health boost and taste so delicious!?
Another great thing about the almond – apple combo is that you can take it anywhere. For me getting caught without a snack in my handbag is a bit of a nightmare. Most of the snacks that you can easily buy when you are out and about contain things that I don’t eat. I am committed to my diet to the point where even if i’m really hungry I’d never eat something that I know isn’t good for me. The health risk for me coupled with the sort of thoughts that eating an unhealthy snack would set off just is not worth it. So an apple and a little pot of almonds in my handbag is brilliant. A small stroke of genius, even if I do say so myself! When I am hungry and I spot it there I feel good that I have been organised enough to take it with me, and in reality it was such an easy thing to do.
Blueberries are also amazing for our health and if you are caught without a snack when you are out and about they are an easy thing to buy. They are low in calories and high in nutrients, including phenolic compounds with an antioxidant capacity significantly higher than vitamins C or E. Antioxidants are thought to prevent or delay some types of cell damage so I make sure to eat them regularly.
Once you start looking at the health benefits of certain foods it is actually really exciting. Rather than focusing my mind on the things I cannot eat I can get such pleasure from the wide range of natural produce that we are lucky enough to be able to get our hands on. The main trouble I have with my healthy choices is that I am constantly brought back to the moment by Noah who will be in there first to get his hands on my snacks! At least it makes me fully appreciate any that get left for me!
If you need more inspiration to start enjoying natural favours, to eat well where ever you are, and to stick to the foods that you know are good for you, then come on a Revitalise Day. With a specialist chef to cook amazing yet simple food for your lunch you will leave committed to continue with good food choices and with the skills to get your head around it.