If you’ve followed my online journey for a while now, you may know that my relationship with food is not a healthy one. I skip breakfast, drink too much coffee, I’m lazy with putting together meals so I prioritise carbs to quickly fill me up, I snack, and man do I eat way too much pizza – I mean, it’s a real problem.
But the older I get, the less my body can cope with it. Not only am I not keeping the weight off like I used to, but the impact that junk food has on my mood is increasingly noticeable. I lack energy, I feel frantic half the time, I’m distracted and stressed and I can get really down on myself.
I know what the solution is, eat healthier! But when it’s 8:30pm and the fridge is empty and my brain is a bit broken from a long day (of crap food), macaroni and cheese wins out every time. Or first thing in the morning when there’s nothing to do for breakfast except go to the coffee shop and buy something – that’s a big chunk of my weekly budget gone right there, and the coffee isn’t even that great!
Teaching myself to be a healthier eater isn’t easy, it’s been a long road but the more I’ve travelled along it, the more inspired I’ve become. My repertoire of healthy recipes is still shockingly limited, considering I’m in no way a picky eater (just a lazy one), but I have a few firm favourites that are easy to make and keep me feeling good about myself because for me, the best part about healthy eating is making the choice to do something good for myself.
And this Christmas Adam and I were lucky enough to receive a vitamix from Adam’s parents! Since we visited Hawaii last October I have been banging on about the vitamix and now that we finally have one, being healthy has never been so – effortless! This thing does everything! Soups, dressings, healthy ice-cream, dough, you name it, it’ll blend it.
But what I’ve learned is that you don’t really need fancy kitchen gadgets to make a healthy start. All you need is to find a few main staples that you enjoy, that are easy to make and that you can mix up for variety so that you don’t get bored. For me, these staples are: the acai bowl and the bliss bowl. Both the acai bowl and the bliss bowl are a mix of the healthy things you find most delicious, they're easy and quick to make, and they're good for you.
The acai bowl is mostly blended fruit with toppings like coconut, bee pollen, seeds, berries, more fruit, granola – really anything goes! You can even add in spinach and macha powder to make it a green bowl – but adding acai powder, or really any super food, makes it an extremely healthy and filling start to the day. Here's a recipe to get you started, and chocolate acai!
The bliss bowl is a combination of vegetables cooked in a variety of different ways with different seasonings and sauces. At the weekend I roast a tonne of veggies, steam some kale, spinach, red cabbage – and each morning I assemble a selection of veggies on top of potatoes or brown rice to bring into work for lunch. It’s colourful and experimenting with different dressings is so much fun! Here's a recipe I found if you want to give it a try. If you’re lazy like me, then tahini and lemon juice is a firm favourite. But I’m also working on a miso dressing, or even something with nutritional yeast which tastes better than it sounds.
Taking time this winter to instill some good eating habits, even if they’re the most basic, has been one of my favourite parts of The Quiet Winter. I’m getting more experimental, I made my own granola last night, and more importantly I have a sense of pride that only comes in investing in myself and taking care of my overall wellbeing. It’s been good for my body, my heart and my head.