Shifting to a healthier diet and lifestyle can be tricky because we all know that trying to introduce any kind of change in our everyday life can bring about a bit of discomfort or resistance in one way or another.
If you've been trying but still haven't succeeded, don't be too hard on yourself. Managing your diet and a practice schedule can be equally daunting for beginner and long-time yoga practitioners. But this doesn't mean it's not doable.
As I was challenged in the same way, I wanted to share this one-day meal plan or menu for all of you out there willing to try a diet that is not just healthy and tasty, but that can give us the needed energy to go through our day and practice.
You can start your day energetically with a powerful smoothie or a fruit salad, but let’s start with a smoothie first. This is a breakfast smoothie recipe, and you will need:
- 1 green apple, it should be smaller size
- ½ lemon for juice
- a handful of kale leaves or spinach (about ten leaves), fresh
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 1 banana, can be frozen if you prefer
- 1 tbsp flax-seed, or oatmeal
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)
- ¼ cup almond milk (it’s better if you use homemade as the bought ones contain a lot of sugar)
- 1/3 cup orange juice
Preparation: Slice the banana and place it in the blender first, then kale/spinach, flax-seed/oatmeal and then coconut oil, pour in the almond milk, orange and lemon juice, cover and blend until smooth. If you like it smoother, blend for three minutes, and if you like it thicker add more oatmeal.
I have to admit that I rarely follow the recipe completely, but add in a few berries as well (whatever I have at the given moment), Greek yogurt (Mmmmmm...) and a pinch of ginger spice. What I also do is leave chia seeds to lie in yogurt overnight (refrigerated) and add them to the smoothie in the morning.
As an alternative to the smoothie, you can always make a mouthwatering fruit salad and here is how awesome that can be:
Breakfast fruit salad
- ½ cup quinoa (whichever you like will do)
- 1 lemon (i.e. squeeze one lemon and make juice)
- 2 - 3 tablespoons of honey
- 4 teaspoons of chopped fresh mint
- 1 cup of chopped pineapple
- 2 cups of kiwi
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 1 cup of blueberries/raspberries
Firstly, rinse and boil your quinoa. I usually boil it for 15-20 minutes or until quinoa absorbs the water, but after the fifth minute, I turn the heat down and let it simmer. For the dressing: mix honey lemon and mint and pour over the fruit you have previously mixed into a bowl. If you are a fan of garnishing, you can always use more mint or sprinkle almonds.
This is one of my favourite lunches, I prepare it both in a slow cooker and in a regular pot, depends on the time and mood. There is some difference in taste but both are delicious.
This time, I’ll give you the recipe for regular cooking, it should take you about one hour.
- 1 tbsp virgin olive oil (those who prefer can use coconut - works just fine)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 cauliflower cut into florets
- 4 tomatoes, diced
- 2 cups tomato soup or tomato sauce
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- 5 zucchini
Heat the oil in a deeper pot, add onion, and sauté it until crystal. Add garlic, carrot, cauliflower and tomatoes, and sauté for 5 more minutes. Add all the rest of the ingredients, cover and let it simmer for 50 minutes.
Remove from heat and you can you use a stick blender or the regular one to blend the sauce until it reaches the consistency you like. Serve with zucchini noodles you have made by using a spiralizer. As I don’t have one, I make my zucchini noodles with a vegetable peeler, they are not as pretty as the ones with the spiralizer but they do the trick and are delicious!
And, why not use the cauliflower again?! I make this delicious pizza for guest nights, movie nights and healthy junk food nights (yes, there is such a thing) and everybody likes it. Here’s what you need:
- 2 cups of cauliflower florets (I use food processor to chop it)
- 1 cup of cheddar cheese
- 1 egg
- cottage cheese
- broccoli florets/baby spinach
Preparation: Take the chopped cauliflower florets and place them in a pan over low heat for 10 minutes, without adding any oil, just to remove the moisture from the cauliflower. Mix cheese and the egg, add a pinch of salt, and then mix with the cauliflower.
Bring it all together in one ball, mix well and spread on a baking paper to a half an inch thickness and a shape you like (square or circle). Bake your pizza base for 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take it out of the oven, put ketchup on it (I used homemade, but you can any of your liking), and if you feel like it, you can mix the ketchup with garlic and season with oregano. Place olives, cheese, baby spinach and/or broccoli on the top (or any topping of your own liking), put back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes more. And then, munch on your healthy dinner.
You will feel full but not heavy, energized, fresh and satisfied. Bon Appétit and lots of love!
P.S. If you need post exercise snacks, you can find great ideas here.
Image credit: Tie/@hippie_heathen