As well as aspiring to travel and experience different cultures both of us are also trying to eat better, in our own culture, too. After witnessing the cruel reality of the mistreatment of animals in food production illustrated in ‘Food, Inc’ (available on Netflix) we were both tempted to switch to a pescetarian diet. ‘Food Matters’ (also available on Netflix) highlights the importance of eating raw natural foods in order to detoxify and get the most from your body and this documentary further encouraged us to eat better. As deeply rooted steak lovers, a switch to a veggie lifestyle is not an easy sacrifice but we are willing to give it a try… at least to see if we can notice a difference in our health. And if we do have a weak moment, from now on, the aim is to only buy organic and ethically sourced meat.
I purchased the Breville juicer and I’ve tried a number of different smoothies/juice recipes, using raw fruit/veg, and created my own concoctions, all dairy-free as I can’t consume large quantities of milk. A few of my favourites so far include avocado, pineapple and coconut milk and also banana, apple, mango and spinach. Anything with bananas and berries in is always a winner too. Many recipes suggest using frozen fruit to make the smoothie ice cold and optimise flavour. Unfortunately, the tasty fruit smoothies aren’t the ones with the most nutritional benefit… The ones that specialists suggest combine a number of raw vegetables. Earlier today we tried Cucumber Beet Detox (cucumber, carrots, beetroot, celery, parsley and lemon) it wasn’t as tasty as some of the fruit smoothies but it was certainly drinkable. If they are as beneficial for our bodies as evidence suggests, I think we are both going to try and stick with it.
There are numerous benefits to eating more vegetables but here are just a few I’ve picked up on from the documentaries and juicing websites I’ve been looking at:
- Soluble fibres found in vegetables such as pectin and psyllium dissolve in water and form a gel like solution that can absorb bile acids and cholesterol assisting in removing them from your body.
- Cooking destroys essential nutrients such as Vitamin C and kills enzymes that contribute to helping your body digest food; therefore eating raw vegetables is advantageous to our health.
- Raw vegetables contain high amounts of antioxidants. This include; vitamin C and E which help to protect cells and keep them healthy and lycopene (found in coloured vegetables), which boosts your immune system and lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Cucumber and celery are natural diuretics, beetroots help to clean the liver and greens nourish and clean our cells.
Fitting in with our new no-meat diet we have been eating a lot of tofu. Until a few weeks ago I had never tried tofu but now I’m completely converted. It has a very subtle flavour and we often season it with soy sauce or sweet chilli when cooking. BBC Good Food highlights it’s health benefits:
- Good source of protein
- Rich in iron, calcium, manganese, selenium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1
- It is thought to offer protection against cancer and heart disease
We have been juicing, and eating healthy for a few weeks now and two of our favourite meals include:
Asian noodle soup
- Fry off spring onions and garlic in a saucepan
- Then add chicken or vegetable stock
- Separately, chop carrots and green beans and add to the pan
- Leave to simmer for roughly 10 minutes
- Add chopped white cabbage and sesame seeds and any other seasoning (recommend ground ginger, fresh chilli, salt and pepper) and leave to simmer for a further 5 minutes
- In a separate pan cook off your choice of noodles (we use Shanghai noodles) and once cooked add to your soup before serving into bowls.
Prawn (or tofu) and vegetable rice
- Cook brown rice in a pan
- When the rice is nearly done, in a frying pan heat a cup of water with half a chicken stock cube
- Add chopped vegetables (such as carrots, green beans, asparagus) and leave to simmer for 5 minutes
- Add cabbage and/or spinach and stir until spinach has wilted
- Add in any seasoning (such as soy sauce, ginger, chilli)
- Add cooked prawns and stir through
- Once the rice is cooked, drain off and add to the frying pan
- Mix well before serving
Alternatively, use fried tofu or meat instead of prawns.
I never thought I’d see the day I turned to vegetarianism, and I’m sure I’ll still cave and enjoy a beautiful rare steak or Thai green chicken curry, but I have to admit eating well has been pretty easy…