Eating Healthily is a Foodie Adventure and not Food Hell

By Nigel Pritchard. Published 2020-07-20
Despite the confusing messages and sensationalist reporting eating healthily can be fun and an adventure. Nigel Pritchard provides some simple tips to help you along the way.

Trying to eat healthily can be downright confusing and a real ‘turn-off’. Navigating the maze of words and phrases such as nutrients, fatty acids, macros and sugars is even more difficult with what seems like ever-changing advice and the sensationalist reporting we see from time to time. However, the good news is food can be bold, exciting, tasty and good for us.

As the saying goes ‘variety is the spice of life’ and food is no different, a varied balanced approach supports us in maintaining an active lifestyle, take on those goals we set for ourselves and have some fun along the way. Isn’t that what life is all about, having that sense of fun and adventure?

Picture that Mediterranean holiday, sea breezes, sun and mountains as you relax over wonderfully colourful dishes of mixed olives, crisp salads flavoured by herbs oils and spices, flavoursome tomatoes, simple vegetables, delicious seafood and meats. Accompanied by great bread, pasta, pulses and a lovely chilled glass of wine.  Yet this feast for the eyes and soul is one of the healthiest on the planet.

The use of spices and herbs are an adventure in themselves, marrying both exciting flavours and intensities – trying something new and bold. Just look how many varieties of chillies there are and don’t get me started on olive oils, herbs and the like.

A final thought whenever you can, invite people round. Entertaining is one of life’s joys and the love and fun of food, an adventure, I always think, is best shared with family and friends. I’ll raise a glass to that.

Ten things to help you enjoy healthy eating.

Make as much as you can from scratch, not only is it pleasurable and more often better for you, but it can save you money Processed food is rarely the best option.

Make ahead, many things can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the fridge to be warmed up later.

Where you can cook in bulk and freeze for later.  It can save you time to do other things

Make things which, with some simple changes can change the whole taste of the meal – For instance, cooking a great tomato-based stew then freezing it in small batches, can once de-frosted be changed by adding say chillies, or olives and anchovies, or herbs, vegetables, and/or meat

Eat plenty of fruit and veg – the rule of 5 a day I still believe holds out

Reduce wherever you can the amount of saturated fat you eat (butter, lard, ghee, palm and coconut oil and the fat around red meat and underneath poultry skin), in cooking I tend wherever possible to use unsaturated fats such as olive, rapeseed, sunflower and sesame oils.

Store staple foodstuffs such as nuts (especially almonds), wholegrains, wholemeal pasta, brown/wild rice, beans and pulses; These are all found in my kitchen cupboard and mean I have the basics for a meal if friends pop round.

Make sure the food is colourful, so many of us eat with our eyes

Something I fervently believe, buy quality, sometimes it can be a false economy to buy cheap.

And, finally enjoy treats, we all deserve them occasionally