Food Matters is a meme run by May More, of If Sex Matters. This week, the topic for discussion is open.
In my last post, I wrote about the importance of fibre in my diet and how I try to ensure that I get enough. I pride myself on eating a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet. I avoid processed foods pretty much all the time and cook most of my meals from scratch. I enjoy cooking, and I think I am a pretty good cook. I tend to just do my own thing in terms of recipes and make things up as I go along.
One thing I am very rigid about is weighing out certain foods. I don’t weigh vegetables or fruit, but I do weigh pasta, oats and yogurt to name a few.
In my last post, I gave a rough guide to how much fibre is contained in some of the foods I eat, but I wanted to talk more about the sort of foods that I prepare and eat regularly.
Yogurt, nuts, seeds and berries is my usual breakfast. I weigh 150 g authentic Greek yoghurt – I combine 50 g of the full-fat version and 100 g of the 0% fat version, and I find this gives a nice flavour. I add a handful of strawberries, raspberries or blueberries, or a mix of all three. I also add a sprinkling of walnuts or pecans. And in addition, I add around 10g of chia seeds. Chia seeds are very high in fibre, which is a great way to introduce extra fibre into your diet without having too many carbs.
Alternatively, I make porridge with 40 g of oats, water and a small amount of milk. I also add a dollop of Greek yoghurt along with a few nuts, chia seeds and some berries.
Occasionally, I have wholemeal toast with salted butter and marmalade. I am a firm believer in having the occasional treat, so this is generally once a week or maybe even less.
I used to eat bran flakes each day following the colonoscopy I had, but I have cut these out due to the high carb content, although they are a good source of fibre.
I vary what I have for lunch each day. If it’s a sandwich, I always use wholemeal bread with as high a fibre content as possible. I particularly like ‘Scandalous Seeds’ by Allinsons. I also often use Burgen bread. Burgen is particularly high in fibre and has 4.8 g of fibre per slice. It also contains soya flour and linseed oil, and I have read that these contain plant oestrogens, which may alleviate some smptoms of the menopause.
If I have a sandwich, I only use healthy ingredients. I don’t put any spread or butter on the bread but instead use mayonnaise, mustard or whatever other condiment takes my fancy. I only ever use healthy fillings too. My favourites include:
Mozzarella, tomato and basil.
Chicken with salad
Ham with salad
Smoked salmon with low-fat cream cheese
Peanut butter and banana (occasional)
I also make a lot of soup and make up my own recipes as I go along. Today, I have made sweet potato, parsnip, carrot and coconut milk soup, and I can say it is absolutely beautiful. I always use a lot of fresh herbs and ground spices in all my cooking, and soup is no exception.
Beans on toast is another staple for lunch. This is actually quite a high carb meal, but the fibre content with wholemeal or Burgen bread is more or less half of your daily requirement, so I feel it’s a particularly beneficial meal for me. I usually add a poached egg or a few sautéed mushrooms to make sure it fills me up a little bit more.
I always have a jar of peanut butter in the fridge, as I find this is a good standby if I’m feeling particularly hungry one day. For example, I might have home-made soup for lunch, with oatcakes and peanut butter. Peanut butter is particularly high in fibre, and I always buy the whole nut version.
I try to limit carbs at dinner if possible. I tend to have a few baby potatoes in their skins if I do have carbs.
I often do a stir fry. I now rarely add noodles to stir fries and eat extra vegetables to compensate. I don’t buy pre-prepared packs of stir fry vegetables as I like to use whatever I can find in the fridge. Any vegetables that are looking a bit tired usually get put into soup or into a stir fry – nothing gets wasted! I usually add a few frozen vegetables such as peas, sweetcorn and baby broad beans to stir fries as these are vegetables that are particularly high in fibre, although they do have a fairly high carb content.
I always have a bag of spinach in the fridge. Spinach is so versatile, and I add it to soups, stir fries, casseroles and use it in salads. I often use kale in the same way. Spinach, broccoli and kale are important for eye health as they contain high levels of antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which may benefit people with certain eye conditions.
I eat a lot of fish and particularly like mackerel, tuna steaks and salmon. These are all oily fish and have added health benefits. I often roast a chicken and utilise this over the following few days in various ways. I do eat red meat but this is occasional.
One of my favourite meals is Greek salad along with a chicken breast stir fried in soy sauce, honey, ginger and olive oil, with a few seeds thrown in.
I rarely eat pasta and limit this to probably once or twice a month. And I always eat the wholemeal variety. I have now practically cut rice out of my diet altogether. And again, if I do eat it, I try to eat the brown variety. I’m guessing that I eat rice probably once every few months if that.
I do have the occasional piece of cake. And if I go out for a meal, I still have the habit of looking at the pudding menu first if it’s available. However, I think my sweet tooth has certainly declined over the years, and I don’t buy biscuits and cakes as a rule. If I want to snack, I either have a piece of fruit, a handful of pistachio nuts or a few oatcakes. I particularly like the seeded and fruit variety made by Nairns. These come in a pack of three oatcakes so are the perfect portion size.
I have found that over the last couple of years, I have come to prefer dark chocolate. I particular like dark chocolate with sea salt, and this is my go-to sweet treat.
Overall, I am happy with my diet, but I do lack inspiration from time to time and am open to suggestions for high-fibre meals!
Click the badge below to read more about foods that heal.