Plant based diets are best. This is regardless of whether you chose supplement dairy, meat/and or fish on top. The main emphasis should be to eat copious amounts of unprocessed, fresh vegetables in their natural form. The recommended 5 a day is in reality, woefully inadequate. We need to aim for something closer to 10 vegetables and fruit a day (always the emphasis on vegetables over fruit because of the sugar content).
There are practical problems with trying to pack so many vegetables into your diet and as a nutritionist I am faced with trying to support people whose lifestyle makes eating like this incredibly hard. Whether it’s working long or unsociable hours, looking after children, or a history of eating junk/processed ready meals, there are always very real reasons why people can’t find time, or the inclination to eat in the optimum, healthful way.
Three simple ways of preparing food
This is how I ensure that both myself and my clients regularly eat nutrient dense, vegetable packed meals.
1. Breakfast smoothie – I know, old news, everyone has their nutribullet these days but the fact remains that this is an excellent way to increase your veg and fruit intake. I have often had my first five portions of veg and fruit before I have left for work for the day.
2. Raw salad for lunch – try to include lots of colourful raw veg on top of the average lettuce, cucumber and tomato – remember to use cauliflower, red cabbage, carrot and raw beetroot, and supplement this with olives, avocado, nuts, seeds, fish or organic meat and a dressing using olive oil and apple cider vinegar and you are on to a definite winner.
3. Veg and lentil soup for dinner – use all the veg left in the fridge and add a few lentils, stock and spices. (I whizz it all up with a stick blender because the kids prefer it that way) – et voila! Another tasty, warming, vegetable packed meal to nurture and nourish yourself, and your loved ones with.