Every day is a challenge in one way or another isn’t it? Particularly as we in England are back in lockdown. My challenge at the moment is to come up with engaging content every week for this blog. Am I getting through to those who read it, the absolute passion I have for this diet lifestyle? It is truly amazing how easy, simple and effortless it is or can be. It can be more complicated of course. There are recipes with lots of ingredients and more complicated techniques and if you have the time, why not? Why not indulge and prepare a wonderful intricate meal? Not for me most of the time though! The simpler the better- keep it simple. I hesitate to say kiss (keep it simple stupid) because stupid it is not. Whole-foods – no additives, plant-based – no animal, dairy or processed foods – that’s the ideal. That’s what I strive for, but I’m certainly not perfect, not 100%. Simply put I’m doing the very best I can and don’t put pressure on myself if I fall below the ideal. The results in terms of weight loss and how well I feel is enough to keep me motivated to continue.
We are at C in the alphabet where I choose 2 or 3 whole-foods and dig a little deeper into the nutrition and health benefits of each one. It is clear to me these foods are truly beneficial when eaten as far as possible, as nature intended. C is for:
Courgette (sometimes called zucchini)- https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/zucchini-benefits.
Courgette is a member of the squash family. You can enjoy these in stews or soups, roasted, grilled or pickled. Key nutritional values are as follows for one cup of cooked courgette:
- Calories: 17
- Protein: 1g
- Fat: less than 1g
- Carbohydrates: 3g
- Sugar: 1g
- Fibre: 1g
Courgettes have a high water content so are a great way to eat your way to better hydration.
Courgettes are high in antioxidants. They contain plenty of carotenoids such as lutein and beta-carotene, which can benefit your eye, skin and heart health.
Vitamin C – with lots of immune system supporting vitamin C, particularly in the skin, eating courgettes may help to protect cells and keep them healthy. It is also essential for maintaining healthy skin and bones.
Potassium – mostly found in the darker green skin of the vegetable so use the whole plant in your cooking. Potassium is good for controlling blood pressure, can help maintain, water levels, digestion and heart health.
Carrots: information taken from healthline.com. Nutrition facts for 100g:
- Calories: 41
- Water: 88%
- Protein: 0.9g
- Carbs: 9.6g
- Sugar: 4.7g
- Fibre: 2.8g
- Fat: 0.2g
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K1
- Vitamin B6
The carrot is a root vegetable. It is crunchy, tasty, and highly nutritious. They are a particularly good source of beta carotene, fibre, vitamin K1, potassium and antioxidants. They also have a number of health benefits:
- They are a weight-loss-friendly food
- Are said to lower cholesterol levels
- Linked to improved eye health
- Carotene oxidants have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer.
Keeping with the theme of keeping it simple and as I haven’t been doing much batch cooking recently, I thought I’d wing it and throw a simple stir fry together. Apologies if any of the following photos are a bit blurry – it’s due to the steam!
Step 1: Sauté 1 cup diced onion and 1 tbsp minced garlic in a little water until the onion has softened
Step 2: Chop up orange, yellow and green bell peppers and a head of broccoli – add to the pan on a medium heat. Cover and cook for 7 – 10 minutes or until veg has softened. Add extra water if the veg begins to stick. I could have added some vegetable broth at this point, but to be honest I don’t like the flavour (odd I know!)
Step 3: mix 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 tsp crushed chilli and 1/4 cup water and add to the pan, stir well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes
Step 4: Add a large handful of fresh spinach and stir in until it’s wilted
Step 5: Add 8 ounces cooked spaghetti and stir through the vegetables and sauce.
My grandson had walked into the kitchen as I started to cook this dish and he had his own thoughts on what should go into it. It was his idea to add the spaghetti (I would have used wholewheat spaghetti) but he wasn’t having that. Originally I was going to stir in some wild rice – but I was happy to go along with what he wanted knowing there was more chance of him eating it – he did, and thoroughly enjoyed it!
A very simple dish, easy to prepare and took very little time to cook. KEEP IT SIMPLE
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