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Healthy Eating Tips from Nic’s Nutrition

Healthy Eating Tips from Nic’s Nutrition

Quorn Blog Post - Nic’s Nutrition

 

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is essential not only for our health but for our energy levels too. Our bodies are made up of the foods that we eat which means that including a sufficient amount of protein (as found in products such as Quorn Mince*) as well as healthy fats and fibre is a must if we want to look and feel at our very best. Protein and fibre in particular also help us to feel full, which is great if you’re looking to lose or control your weight - nobody likes to feel hungry after all!

Protein is also essential in order to repair and rebuild muscles, which, in combination with resistance exercises, will help to increase muscle strength. Eating enough protein is essential to preserve lean muscle tissue when working out or if you’re trying to losing weight.

My personal philosophy for healthy living is to focus on eating more nutrient dense food (including foods high in protein such as Quorn, fibre, vitamins and minerals) and then you’ll naturally eat less of the foods less rich in goodness i.e. biscuits, sweets and cake - foods which other than providing taste and calories, don’t give much else!

There’s no need to cut these foods out of your diet completely though as no food is ‘bad’ in moderation. I practice (and preach!) the 80/20 rule... if your diet is 80% healthy then the other 20% really doesn’t matter!

 

Here are some of my top tips for enjoying a healthier diet:

- Start your day the right way with an energising and healthy breakfast; not only is this good for your energy levels but it also psychologically sets you up for a healthy and positive day! My favourite breakfasts for summer are acai bowls, which provides several of your portions of fibre-rich fruit first thing in the morning, and is packed with antioxidants, as well as over-night oats which is a great source of calcium and protein. I love both topped with desiccated coconut, banana & cinnamon!

- Eat foods high in protein with every meal. Meat substitutes, such as Quorn, are naturally high in protein but low in fat and calories, so are the perfect pick-me-up for after an evening work-out. After the gym, I like to prepare a Quorn super salad (chopped Quorn Sausages with marinated kale, chopped peppers, cucumber, tomatoes and sweet potato), which is tasty and helps to repair muscle damage.

- Mix up your mash. Try mashing cauliflower, swede, butternut squash, sweet potato or carrot (or a mix of the two) for extra fibre, instead of your usual potato. Carrot and swede tastes delicious together and counts towards your 5 a day too. Sweet potato releases its energy much more slowly than an old potato, meaning it will keep you fuller longer! I love my ‘veggie mash’ on top of a Shepherd’s Pie made with Quorn Mince for a low calorie, healthy evening meal.

- Throw in extra vegetables at every opportunity. By adding finely chopped vegetables to soup, stews and sauces you can double your daily vegetable intake, which means more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre! I love adding extra veggies to cauliflower pizza and a handful of spinach to my smoothies. Grated carrot also goes well in orange and peach-based smoothies (the tip is to match up the fruit and vegetable colours for the most aesthetically pleasing result!).

- Eat canned or fresh salmon instead of tuna. Salmon is richer in omega-3 fatty acids, plus the little edible bones help to increase your calcium intake. You should aim to eat 2 portions of fish a week, 1 of which is oily e.g. salmon, mackerel, pilchards, sardines. I love salmon made into fishcakes!

- Switch to Greek yoghurt. Greek yoghurt is higher in protein so keeps you feeling fuller for longer. If you’re watching your weight choose 2% or 0% fat for fewer calories and try mixing it into porridge for a protein boost at breakfast time or enjoy with berries & honey for a sweet evening treat.

- Get garnishing savvy without the salt. Swap salt, which can cause bloating, for fresh herbs such as parsley and chives, and spices such as paprika and black pepper. You don’t need to add calories to add flavour! I love adding chopped tomatoes, black pepper & sumac to Quorn Chicken Style Pieces.

- Swap couscous for quinoa. Quinoa is a source of complete protein (it contains all the essential amino acids) and because it has a lower glyceamic index than couscous it will keep you feeling fuller for longer (a low glyceamic index means food releases the energy slowly). Quinoa goes great in a salad and you can even buy it ready to eat for convenience.

From an improvement in the condition of your skin and hair to higher energy levels, better eyesight and an enhanced immune system, a healthy diet packed with nutrient dense, protein rich and fibre rich foods is going to boost your health in many ways. In addition, when you incorporate more whole-foods into your diet you may be able to lose weight more easily and keep it off too!

* Quorn Mince, Quorn Meat Free Chicken Pieces and Quorn Standard Sausages are a nutritionally healthy protein source. Protein contributes to the growth in and maintenance of muscle mass.

‘ichola wrote this as part of her paid role as a Quorn ambassador for 2015.