When you spend 24 years numbering pizza and sitting down in your list of Top 10 Favourite Things In The Whole World Ever, switching to a healthy lifestyle seems a bit scary. I mean… There’s no way you’ll learn to love healthy foods. They’re all…green.
My housemate and I have always joked that I love food a little too much. I’m not going to lie – I think there’s something just ridiculously gorgeous about a well-prepared plate. And since I’ve discovered eating properly, my plates have been looking ever more gorgeous. Like this:
Now, I don’t want to blow my own trumpet – but that’s a sexy lunch, right? Especially given that it’s healthy and gluten free. Here’s a run through – it’s a gluten free pitta, with extra light Philadelphia, spinach and cracked pepper salmon flakes. And in the cup (extra points for presentation), there’s raw carrots, red pepper and tomatoes that I marinaded overnight in a little olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, and oodles of fresh basil.
It was delicious.
And what I loved about this lunch is that there are so many pretty colours in it – it’s amazing how much more appealing lunch can be when you’re looking at a bit of a rainbow on the plate. Plus, it was really easy to make at work – and I was eating the marinaded vegetables for a few days afterwards, with a variety of different meals. They’re a very, very handy snack – especially when the weather’s nice!
Making that extra bit of effort to have a plate of food that appeals to all of your senses (sight, taste, smell…and let’s include sound and touch just for the crunchy veg!) will really help you in the battle with the urge to just go and get a plate of food that appeals to your rumbling tum. Which, let’s face it, is more likely to look like this:
Here’s another one – a Sweet Potato, Red Pepper and Feta Salad that I posted earlier, but as promised, the recipe is below:
This was my lunch on the first day after the heatwave – when it’d cooled down considerably and I needed to warm up! The sweet potatoes and courgettes are key in this one, because I cooked them the night before in olive oil, honey, chilli powder, coriander (cilantro for those of you across the pond), garlic, nutmeg, coriander and lime for a tasty Caribbean flavour. Which helped to warm me up, given the drop in temperatures!
There’s also feta in a red pepper and tomato sauce, with a lamb’s lettuce, cucumber and beetroot salad, a smidge of coleslaw and a big ol’ red pepper. Yum.
Again, it’s easy enough to throw together at work – and super-satisfying, because it’s as nice to look at as it is to eat.
If you’re trying to eat healthily – and this goes double if you’re also gluten-free – preparation is absolutely key to maintaining this sort of lifestyle. If you don’t plan in advance, you’ll end up grabbing the first thing available because it’s convenient – and that’s where the cycle of ‘oh my God I cheated therefore I should continue to cheat’ begins.
(For a start, that’s totally bad logic and you SHOULD NOT DO THAT. One slip-up won’t kill you, but that’s not what I’m getting at here.)
It’s much better to be able to look forward to your tasty, gorgeous, yummy and a little bit sexy lunch (or dinner, or breakfast, or whatever meal it is) because you know you’ve made that little bit of extra effort to make it seem like a real treat. Make your meals a well-thought-out process, and you’ll soon find that you’re more conscious of your eating all round – you’re paying more attention to the experience, including knowing when you’re full and when to put the fork down. And because you’re eating so well, it’ll show on the outside – your skin, hair, nails, and waistline will all show the benefit. I promise.
So… What are your favourite healthy recipes? And how do you make them sexy?