My work at The Island Experience provides me with the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life. Almost daily I talk about nutrition and how best to manage our daily food intake with those guests who want to return home with fresh ideas on creating eating habits which are easy to incorporate into their lives, as well as being enjoyable and nourishing.
What we eat affects us in a number of ways physically and mentally, both in the short and long term. The combination of ingredients, when and how we choose to eat them can make a huge difference to whether we feel energised in the body and quick of mind, or lethargic and uninspired. To eat well and at the right times ensures that we can function effectively in our daily lives and ready ourselves to rise to any challenges that present themselves.
Taking time to consider which foods to eat each day is an important part of living healthily.
Eating unconsciously – at the desk, watching TV or even whist driving, really doing anything else at the same time – means that we are not focused on the essential task of refueling and encouraging growth in our system. When the mind drifts or we eat when we are stimulated by the stress of our jobs or the traffic, or excited by the movie or music we’re enjoying we run the risk of eating high sugar, high fat food that our body doesn’t really need.
And, this is not about the numbers. It doesn’t mean counting every calorie or gram of fat that you put into your body because it’s about paying attention to what we really need to function each day and being mindful that good quality food at the right time is the most important factor.
Take a little time to think about your day.
If you plan to exercise in your lunch break take some fruit and handful of nuts mid morning to give yourself sufficient energy to go the distance. Make sure to have a good balanced lunch and, if you have a challenging afternoon ahead add some pumpkin seeds or some oily fish to fuel the brain. And when you eat dinner, feel satisfied before settling down to that documentary you recorded, taking away the need for snacks you won’t even notice you’ve eaten.
With all this in mind, I decided it was a good time to give you a group of recipes to try as a three meal plan for a day, or to try one at a time. They require just little time and thought in the making, leaving you every opportunity to relax and digest the goodness in your bowl.
All recepies make 2 delicious serving
Boost your breakfast
Papaya releases a digestive enzyme making it the perfect for the first meal of the day.
1 banana in slices
5 table spoons of rolled oats
180g (1/2 cup) plain low fat yoghurt (liquid consistency)
1 table spoon of ground flax seeds
1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons of mixed nuts
1 tablespoon of raisins
Combine the yoghurt, mashed papaya, banana, raisins and oats, mixing well. The liquid yoghurt will hydrate the oats. Add flax and sunflower seeds and your favourite nuts – keeping to the suggested portion size.
Lunch can be lushious
Try finding a place outside to eat, this way you’ll enjoy two natural elements at the same time!
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup of finely grated purple cabbage
1/3 cup green onion
½ cup mint
½ cup parsley
Soak the bulgur wheat in water to hydrate it for about 10 minutes. Drain well, squeezing it with your hands or using a clean cloth. Set it to one side. Using a small pan, add water to the quinoa and boil it for about 10 minutes or until it gets soft. Strain well and use cold water to stop the cooking process. In a big bowl, mix all the ingredients adding the salt and the lime little by little. If you don’t like raw onions, add some hot water on the diced onions to soften the taste. You can add some yellow peppers if you like, to give it a colourful touch. Serve cold with green leaves.
Note – it can be prepared the night before. In that case, leave the lime juice for the moment you eat
The ‘inbetween’ bit
Think of your island in the sun as you sip this powerful ‘suco’.
Jestive Juice (yes, as in degestive!)
¼ small beet
¼ cup of anis
Juice the oranges. Add the beet, carrot and apple in cubes. Now add the anis. Blend it all together, adding some water if needed. The orange is rich in Vitamins C and complex B, potassium, and zinc. The beet offers a good boost of iron with is better absorved on the presence of the Vit. C. Apple is rich in pectin witch stimulates the peristaltic movements, helping on the good work of the digestive system.
A tasty little number for dinner
Prepare a batch of soup each weekend which will last a few days and can also be frozen to whip out in an emergency!
Cardamom and curry soup
2 small inhams or 1 sweet potato
3 garlic cloves crushed
½ onion (optional)
1 teaspoon of curry powder
½ teaspoon of cardamom powder or 4 seeds
Wash, peel and roughly cut the vegetables. Put them into a pot and cover with water. Boil until they are soft but not soggy and then use a blender to liquidify. Add some more water if needed. Season with salt, curry and the cardamom, adjust according to taste. Serve it warm with some sesame seeds to decorate, and some wholewheat bread.
Enjoy thinking about your food and making these wonderfully simple recipes! Beijos, Adriana.