As The Healthy Chef, I’m a huge advocate of keeping foods simple, delicious and balanced.
The way I eat focuses more on a Mediterranean style of diet. Fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, pasture raised meats and a generous amount of good heart healthy fats coming from nuts and olives. Each food group contributes small benefits that complement each other to produce a combined effect on my total health.
When I cook at home, I keep it simple and fresh. I eat when I’m hungry, not when the clock tells me to. Learn how to take care of yourself everyday and what makes you feel good.“The most important tip in any healthy diet or eating plan is to keep it simple, keep it fresh and prepare the food you eat yourself. Your body will thank you for it with endless energy, glowing skin and vitality.”
Check out my top 10 foods below:
My fridge is filled with antioxidant rich bundles of seasonal vegetables that are perfect for making into nourishing soups and salads, which I make on a daily basis. Studies show that enjoying a diet that focuses on a daily intake of fresh vegetables has many health benefits, such as weight loss, diabetes control, lowered insulin secretion, improved sports performance and reduced risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
- Nuts + seeds
Nuts and seeds are high in fibre, minerals, healthy fats and protein. Perfect for total body nourishment. Just one handful will satisfy your hunger and keep blood sugars stable for hours. Almonds for instance are packed with protein that help sustain lean muscle and repair the body. I love to include them with vegetables and generously scatter them into salads or over natural yoghurt for breakfast.
Bananas are high in tryptophan, which helps make serotonin – the feel good hormone responsible for making us feel great and helping with proper gut function. Bananas are also high in the mineral potassium. Potassium rich foods can help to lower blood pressure that can help support cardiovascular health. Bananas are also a great source of chromium, a trace element your body needs to help regulate blood sugar.
Rolled oats are boosted with health benefits and work with a lot of other ingredients you can find in your pantry or fridge. They’re a great source of complex carbohydrates that keep you fuller for longer, as well as B-vitamins to help promote healthy nervous system function. According to studies, the beta-glucan fibre found in oats can help regulate your appetite for up to four hours as well as help lower cholesterol, making this a great morning food for when you know you won’t have time to snack until lunchtime!
- Extra virgin olive oil
This oil is beautiful tasting, velvety and bursting with health benefits. It’s a rich source of antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids – one of the main reasons why a traditional Mediterranean diet is wonderful for heart health. I adore the versatility of olive oil. It’s a lovely heat-stable and all-purpose oil so it’s great for most cooking purposes or as a simple salad dressing.
- Greek style natural yoghurt
No other cultured food is better known for its health benefits. The acidophilus and lactobacilli cultures that yoghurt is renowned for can nourish your immune system and support gut health. Yoghurt is also rich in protein that has a stabilising effect on blood sugar. Increasing your protein intake can boost energy levels, reduce mood swings, improve sleep, and sharpen brain function.
I absolutely love eggs! They are one of the most nutrient-dense foods available and make a perfect high protein meal any time of day. An egg provides 13 essential nutrients and is a great source of B-group vitamins, which are needed for vital functions in the body. When it comes to sourcing your eggs, make sure to buy the best quality you can find. Organic or pasture-raised eggs are laid by chickens that aren’t fed antibiotics, growth hormones or additives.
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats that have compounds to protect against inflammation in the body. They’re loaded with the antioxidants lutein, vitamin E and beta-carotene and can promote blood sugar reduction and support cardiovascular, digestive and skin health. Avocados are perfect chopped into salads or smashed with citrus aromatics and garden herbs as a side for breakfast or a vegetable component to any meal.
- Leafy greens
The most nourishing alkalising foods are green foods such as leafy greens and green vegetables. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that eating at least 5 serves of greens a day is ideal and an effective strategy in the prevention and treatment of obesity and chronic disease.
- Fresh herbs
Herbs are little bundles of super food goodness. They help stimulate digestive function, relieve bloating and protect the immune system.
A recipe from The Healthy Chef
Power Breakfast Cookies
This is a great portable recipe if you’re a busy mover and shaker and need a quick breakfast on the go. They are the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee or cup of tea and full of protein, vitamins and fibre that will sustain your body as well as boost energy.
200 g organic rolled oats
50 g desiccated coconut
10 g ground golden flaxseed
70 g cultured butter (use a good quality such as lurpack)
60 g raw honey
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 organic egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
100 g raisins – preservative free and oil free
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat your oven to 150 C fan forced.
2. Combine oats, coconut, raisins, butter, honey, vanilla, egg and cinnamon into a mixing bowl
3. Divide the oat cookie mixture into portions using an ice cream scoop or spoon. You should get 6 large cookies.
4. Flatten slightly onto a baking tray and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
5. Bake in a low oven for 30 - 35 minutes or until golden.
6. Cool completely then enjoy.
7. Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.