Cherries, Beetroot, Red cabbage, Red onions, Aubergine
All of the above foods have been proven to contain either vitamins, anti-oxidants, phyto-nutrients or some other sort of chemical that may play a part in preventing diseases such as cancer and heart disease. There have been links also to preventing conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, flu, arthritis, and inflammatory conditions.
So next time you are shopping, take a good look in your trolley……Is there really a good selection of foods and colours, or do you tend to live off tinned foods, cereals, dairy products and oven-ready meals?
Your health is in your hands, choose wisely!
To help you on your way, here are some delicious, easy meals and snacks that will boost your immunity, aid weight loss, encourage optimal development in children and fuel a regular exercise plan.
Roast cherry tomatoes, red peppers, red onion and spring onion in olive oil to use as a pasta sauce, pizza topping or as a base for soups or stews. This can be made in bulk when tomatoes are in season (and therefore cheaper) then frozen for easy autumn/winter meals.
Make delicious orange-coloured winter soups using root vegetables such as carrot, sweet potato and squash. Add parsnips, leek, onion, garlic, ginger and a stock cube. Simply boil all the ingredients in a large heavy based pan with stock made up to about 2 pints (depending on the quantity you’re making) then puree in a blender or with a hand-held blender. Serve with fresh coriander or parsley and a chunk of fresh bread.
Take healthy fruit and nut snacks to work to eat mid-morning or mid-afternoon to boost your brain power, memory and alertness. A mixture of fruit and seeds is a perfect snack for children too. If you’re not allowed to give your child nuts or seeds in their school lunchboxes then offer them at breakfast or after school. Nuts and seeds contain essential fats and minerals for cell health and metabolism.
Make a warming winter stew using fresh, seasonal, local vegetables and good quality steak from your butcher. This is a great meal to cook in a slow-cooker, or on the low setting on your oven, so that it’s ready for when you come home from work or school. Ensure you use lots of the rainbow vegetables listed above.
Simple and Delicious: a breakfast of Greek yogurt, blueberries, banana and local honey.
Vegetarian delight: Using pre-marinated tofu (this one is basil-infused from Waitrose), simply slice and serve with a variety of salad leaves, fresh strawberries and cashew nuts. This would make a great after school snack for children (especially vegetarian children as they’ll be getting plenty of protein) or serve with extra vegetables and brown rice for packed lunch at the office.
Don’t always try to think outside the box and be super creative! A simple glass of fresh orange juice made by hand on a traditional juicer is a delicious treat – and one that’s easy for children to make themselves. You could also try pink grapefruit (yummy mixed with lemonade and fresh mint on hot sunny days and far healthier than a gin and tonic) or fresh lime with soda water.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and successes.
Until next week,
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