This morning, my fitness trainer told us in class that she’d lost 4 pounds in five days from replacing wine gums and energy drinks with kale smoothies and regular small meals. “The problem is, I just don’t like healthy food and I hate vegetables,” was the response from one of the girls.
So, can you fall in love with fruit and veg? I asked around for suggestions from those who also struggle to see the appeal and this is what they said.
- “Liquidise spinach in milk and use it to mash into potatoes. I did it for my eldest when she was younger – she loved ‘green mash'”. Polly
- “When I first went veggie I would hide a taste I didn’t like with a healthy texture or taste I did, so raw carrots and brocolli sticks were liberally dipped in spicy hoummous, Mediterranean veg were roasted with lots of garlic, pepper and olive oil etc. As I went on I reduced the amount of the bonus flavour/texture so I could make a greater variety of meals”. KC
- “Veggies into smoothies, juices, pasta sauces, pizza sauce and toppings. Courgette and carrot grated into cakes, scones and cookies!!” Joey
- “You can smuggle loads of veg into a lasagne if you cut it up small.” Kelly
- “Smoothie for breakfast in the NutriBullet. Frozen fruit, avacado, almonds, frozen spinach, banana, flaxseed, seasame seeds and almond milk.” Sian
Eating five portions of fruit and veg daily reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke. Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals as well as fibre, which is more important than we realise. Try these tips to ignite your passion for plant based foods.
Write a list of what you can tolerate
Make a list of any veggies or fruit you are okay with and plan to include them in a meal twice a week. There are thousands of free recipes online these days. From pasta sauce with hidden veggies, to apple pie or carrot cake. Put a date in your diary to make the recipe and see it as an experiment. Cooking from scratch is very empowering.
Sign up for a free cookery course
Local governments across the UK are funding practical courses, including cooking classes which are free and available to all local residents. I’m pretty convinced that most people lack enthusiasm for eating healthy food because it seems like hard work. However, I went along to a beginners cookery course this week and we made meatballs with a rich tomato sauce which was really straightforward. One of the girls on the course was a busy Mum who had never cooked before; it was either her husband or takeaways which supplied the family meals. After taking part in the course, she was cooking omelettes, paella and apple crumble for the whole family and she’d done away with the takeaways. If not for the dietary health benefits of attending, go along to meet new people, learn a skill and to have a laugh. Contact your local council’s health promotion team to find out more.
Treat yourself to a stir fry meal deal
Marks and Spencer Food do a deconstructed stir fry deal which is phenomenal. You get a packet of stir fry veg, sauce, choice of meat or fish and noodles or rice and a recipe of how to cook it all. It tastes amazing and is a great introduction to cooking with more veggies.
Take a daily supplement
It is recommended to consume a certain amount of vitamins and minerals a day to keep us healthy. Vitamin C and E, for example, are antioxidants which are essential for our immune system to function. If you are extremely averse to eating anything other than meat, bread and chips, give your body a little bit of extra nutrition with a multivitamin tablet. Evidence which proves that multivitamins work is sketchy however, in my opinion, it is better than nothing and may help to increase your health awareness. You can find affordable supplements in supermarkets and discount stores like Poundland.