Eating healthy during the lockdown and beyond

I've got to be honest with everyone, hands-up, its confession time. I think I might have started eating a few more treats than I usually do. Mmmm! No, I know I have! Finishing off the last slice of cake, or chocolate leftover from Easter, and anything that puts a smile on my face and cheers me up in these unusual times we are in! With my gorgeous partners in crime, Luna and Diggy, my labradors, having had their fair share of extras too, so we have decided to look forward to the summer and begin some healthier eating habits. 

It's very easy to fall into a rut with cooking. When we hear "healthy eating" mentioned, we usually think it's going to be lots of ingredients we've never heard of before, costing us lots of money and taking ages to prepare. This is often a common misconception.

So, let's start by cutting out the temptations. Simply don't buy or drastically cut down the sugary, fatty foods that your body doesn't need. If they're not in your cupboard, then don't buy anymore!

Then I thought about the way I cooked my food. Can I grill it instead of frying it? A poached or boiled egg is just as delicious as a fried one. If I have to fry, what oil is better for me? Could I try coconut oil? Does it really need extra sugar? Fruit, for example, contains plenty of natural sugars, and do you need that extra spoonful in your cereal or hot drinks? If we can just make one change for the better, it will help us in the long run. These little changes to the way we prepare our food are what make the difference in improving our health and wellbeing.

I don't want to get bored with my food. I want to look forward to meals, so I'm trying new varieties of fruit and vegetables. Looking at supermarket web-sites (even if you don't buy from them) is a great place to see what's "trending" this week. Often I'm too busy to look around the shops and end up buying the same tried and tested items, but most of us have got more time now to search around for new ideas. Watch out for the compliments coming your way and get inspiration from others as to what they're eating while in lockdown.

I'm giving my food a "fresh" theme. It helps me to choose and create my nutrition. Think to add extra crispy salad leaves to a sandwich, or juicy tomatoes and basil leaves to your simple pasta sauces. Snack on citrusy oranges, packed with vitamin C we all need at the moment. Top jacket potatoes with tuna and golden 'pops' of sweet corn. Once we think "fresh", the list is endless and it doesn't have to be complicated. Try making homemade burgers using low-fat (5%) mince or go meat-free with a mince substitute, who doesn't love a burger! 

Why not have a couple of veggie nights if you are a meat-eater? Change things up, keep it interesting, and open up to new ideas and recipes. 

I'm off now to think about dinner! 

Please stay very safe and keep clapping for our wonderful NHS and key workers going above and beyond for us all 


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