This weekend was the conclusion to the Nourish, move, love programme and wow, I was floored and so moved by the positive impact we 3 ladies collectively encouraged in the wonderful ladies that participated.
That feeling when you have really helped someone can not be replaced. If you could find a way to make someone else’s life better each day what would you do? I call it shining your light, I say to my children go out today and shine your light. Every person can do this by just showing kindness, it is much more valuable than being amazingly academic or good at a specific something. I will let you into a secret, those with the strongest sense of self-respect are the kindest people. When you have self-love, an understanding of how important you really are, you will put you first, look after and nourish your body. This in turn, provides you with the energy and power to understand how important every being is and enables a giving nature.
This very concept is something many of us struggle with having been conditioned to put ourselves last, because ‘really, it is far too selfish to think of our own needs!’
those with the strongest sense of self-respect are the kindest people…
Meeting your health goals is a breeze when you realise how important you are!
You are important and so of course, your health is too. Here is a list of foods that you want to include in your day for a long healthy life. It is a good idea to base your weekly shopping list and meals around these foods.
Print these out for your fridge as a reminder to nourish you x
Fibre is the most important part of your diet for a long healthy life and these beauties are packed with this and so much more…
Try to have at least two of these each day, for example:
*Beans – black, kidney, butter, cannellini, edamame
*peas, chickpeas, lentils, black-eyed peas, split peas etc.
Greens are life-giving, packed with vitamin K, C and many other wonderful nutrients to promote longevity and youthfulness, you will want to include plenty every day. Aim for at least 2 handfuls of greens each day, in salads, smoothies, soups or stir fries etc.
*Spinach, spring greens, kale, watercress, cabbage, broccoli etc.
All vegetables are nutrition powerhouses, organic does not as a rule, mean more nutrients and the benefits of eating non-organic far outweigh not eating any veggies at all. Eat organic when you can, but never let it stop you from living longer and healthier. Aim for at least 3 handfuls of vegetables each day.
* carrots, sweetcorn, onions, beetroot, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, courgettes, peppers, peas, butternut squash/pumpkin, turnip, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, radish, sprouts and sweet potatoes etc.
Low in natural sugar and high in antioxidants. These support healthy ageing, glowing skin, immunity and so much more. Nutritionally dense and easy to buy frozen or dried to use in smoothies, added to any dessert, porridge or with fruit salad. Aim for at least one handful each day.
* blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, acai, goji, strawberries, cherries etc.
5. Nuts and seeds
Back to the fibre benefits with nuts and seeds. Including nuts and seeds every day will fill you up between meals, feed your good bacteria, provide you with fats to support brain and heart health as well as protein to power you through the day. Aim for a handful of unsalted nuts and mixed seeds per day or a tbsp of (0 sugar) nut or seed butter.
* flaxseeds, chia, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, almonds, walnuts, cashews etc.
And it’s the fibre again! As a nation, we do not get enough fibre and the result is more obesity and cancer. There are more benefits to including these foods as they are packed with B vitamins to support a healthy nervous system and mood. Aim for two to three handfuls of these foods a day.
* brown rice, quinoa, oats, buckwheat, amaranth, rice pasta, buckwheat/rice noodles, millet, wild rice, black rice etc.
Include all of these into your day and you will reap the benefits and see noticeable changes. It is also extremely important to nourish your body with activity, and so make it a part of every day to walk, run, stretch or do something to get moving, this will promote good mental health and keep you toned. Essential to health including mood and energy levels is drinking water, aim for at least 8 small glasses each day or 2 litres. A tip is to drink whilst you are preparing a meal and wake up to 2 glasses of water every day.
Extra tip: add spices and herbs to your foods not only to add flavour to your food but also to add extra health benefits including healing and feeding the gut bacteria. Every day I aim to include turmeric, ginger, lemon, cayenne pepper, coriander, mint and many more spices.
Spicy rice and lentils
This is a lovely plant-based dish which is so tasty and can be served as a main dish with dips, salsa, guacamole, hummus, fresh tomato sauces or any other yummy side dishes. It is fibre and energy-rich with a perfect balance of flavour and nutrients.
- a little olive oil or avocado oil (1 tbsp)
- 150g brown rice
- 150g lentils
- 1 large red onion
- a quarter of a red chilli optional
- 3 sundried tomatoes chopped
- 1 tsp cumin seeds/ground cumin
- pinch of Himalayan/sea salt
- black pepper to season
- juice from half a lemon
optional: chilli/cayenne pepper
- homemade vegetable stock or natural stock of your choice I like Kallo or Mari gold
1. Boil the rice as per pack instructions – adding the vegetable stock to the water and simmer until all of the water has been absorbed – will take approximately 30 minutes – at the end mix through the cumin and chilli
2. Meanwhile, boil the lentils in water – simmer until cooked through – approximately 20 minutes.
If you wanted to make this a quicker dish, you could boil up a batch of lentils for the week. Pre cook the rice the day before and store in the fridge – just add to the dish to heat (careful to make sure the rice is piping hot and do not store and reheat again as rice is high risk in terms of food safety when reheating).
3. Whilst the rice and lentils are cooking, chop the onion and add to the oil in a frying pan, add seasoning and cook on a low heat until the onions are caramelised and going slightly crisp.
4. Once everything is ready, mix the lentils with the rice, mix through the sundried tomatoes and top with the onions, squeeze over the lemon juice and serve!