PassionAtely planning lunch

This may seem slightly crazy as we are approaching winter, although, fitting with the norm is not usually the best approach in my book anyway. I love salads and so many of us in my generation think of salads as the boring lettuce and the usual tomatoes and cucumber, of course, nothing wrong with these fab ingredients. But if this was the way I viewed salads, gosh I don’t know what I would do!

Soups, smoothies and salads are a wonderful way to incorporate all the micronutrients and antioxidants we require to feel optimally healthy and just simply amazing. Therefore, this post will focus on making your own mason jar salad and the options you can include to enable you to feel excited about salads again or even for the first time!

Are you having the minimum ‘5 a day’?

Firstly, I wanted to share the latest results from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS). In the UK we are still not eating enough fruit, vegetables and fibre (Adults 4 portions and children 11-18 2.8 portions a day), 27% of adults are meeting the ‘5 day’ (an absolute minimum level!)and only 8% of 11-18-year-olds. This makes me feel sad as we know that increasing fibre and fruits and vegetables significantly decreases our risk of cancers and so many other illness and diseases. Sugar makes up 13% of children’s daily calorie intake and teenagers consume three times the official recommendation for sugar (15%) and adults over twice as much (12%).

We really need to learn to love our veggies, here is a tip to making your perfect mason jar salad.

Make a few jars at a time as they will also up to 3 days in the fridge.

The great thing about this lunch is it easy to prepare, you have lots of choice of foods to add in and you can experiment with different veggies and dressings. The list of foods below is certainly not exclusive and is just to get you started and so feel free to add your own nutritious extras!

All of these foods are packed full of antioxidants and micronutrients to prevent illness and disease in your body and make your hair and skin shine. The other great thing is that all of these foods feed the good bacteria in your gut, meaning you are much more likely to be a healthy weight and have lots of energy.
Ingredients

a handful of greens
choose 1 or 2 of the following
spinach
kale
pea shoots
rocket
lettuce

veggies
choose as many of these as you like and that will fit into your jar
beetroot
carrot – grated or chopped
spring onions
cabbage – red/ white – grated
sauerkraut
raw broccoli and or cauliflower florets
sweetcorn
courgette
sprouted beans and or seeds

protein

chickpeas or hummus
quinoa (just boil it up, rinse, drain and add to the jar)
black beans
a soya or yoghurt dip
edamame beans
any other type of beans, peas or lentils
walnuts

optional dressings

mash a quarter of an avocado with lemon juice
cold pressed oil of your choice with lemon zest
a tablespoon of cider vinegar with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper
add chilli and or garlic to the above
optional fruits

chopped apple
chopped pear
chopped grapes
goji berries

optional herbs

mint leaves
coriander leaves
thyme
rosemary
Method
prepare the green and the rest of the veggies, wash, peel and chop, then layer as you like, adding in any optional ingredients of your choice

mason-jar-lunch-side

mix your chosen dressing through and place into the fridge until lunch – will last up to 3 days

reference

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-diet-and-nutrition-survey-results-from-years-1-to-4-combined-of-the-rolling-programme-for-2008-and-2009-to-2011-and-2012

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