Healthy, and indeed health, is one of those subjective terms that I don’t always find useful. Where I sit on a scale of physical and mental health may be quite different to the person next to me, so I’ve found that an experience of ‘healthy’ is something quite individual and relative. And from my experience, I think that one person’s idea of eating ‘well’ is quite different from that of another. For me, I first looked in to nutrition and the science involving calorie consumption a few years ago, after having some surgery which meant that I wasn’t able to exercise for an extended period. It was quite an eye opener to learn what my body might need to consume, especially when contrasted with the calorie content of various unsubstantial food items. I didn’t diet – I started changing the way I lived my life. Sugar in my coffee? Nope. Rice with my curry? Nah. Butter in my cooking? No! Cream in my soup? You must be joking! Then… Well, the same old story – I fell in love. We moved in together, began cooking together, and in the happy culinary explosion that ensued, started living a gastronomically unsustainable lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun while it lasted, but I know that I consumed more cream in that time than I had previously over my entire lifetime!
So we took control, and can happily say that we view our diet as healthy (for us) for a number of reasons. Firstly, we stay aware of our calorie intake, and therefore don’t end up consuming more than our bodies need. Eating within your body’s calorie requirements may mean eating slightly smaller portions than the eye wants, but as long as we eat enough protein, then our bellys get full (just not painfully so!) We have a weekly veg box delivered, which is not just hugely convenient, but also a source of meal inspiration and, of course, all sorts of vitamins (today we got leeks, savoy cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, beetroot, onions and salad leaves.) It’s also pretty exciting not knowing what’s coming every week (but maybe that’s just me.) But despite the calorie awareness and varied veg consumption, I still have a sweet tooth. I was pretty much denied sweets as a child, so grew into an adult who obsesses over them. Over the past few years, I’ve mostly reined that in, but don’t force myself to do without. We believe in having a little bit of what we fancy, not denying ourselves anything. So whilst I eat rice (we’ve been eating risotto about once a week over the past few months), I make sure that I eat a portion, and not the whole pot full. And yes, sweet treats might feature almost daily, just not to excess! All this has led to such a positive relationship with food for the both of us. It’s not the only way, but it works for us – being in control of what we eat and eating to feel, and do our bodies and minds good, is a beautiful thing!
Anyway, here’s a delicious dip recipe – I was going to make this https://cheesybiscuit.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/chickpea-beetroot-dip/, but lost the chickpeas!
100g (about one, small) beetroot, roasted and cooled
1 can broad beans, drained
1 large clove garlic
1 tbsp. olive oil
Handful chopped coriander, stems and leaves
A squeeze of lemon
A few grinds of pepper
1 tbsp. capers, plus extra to garnish (optional)
Easy – just blitz everything together till you get your desired consistency (I made mine pretty smooth.) Sprinkle with the extra capers. Marvel at the colour, then scoff!