I am a strong believer in having a really balanced lifestyle. I exercise regularly, I eat healthy homemade meals, I never skip breakfast and I drink a lot of water. However, I also drink wine and if someone offers me a chocolate biscuit, I find it hard to say no!
Nutrition absolutely fascinates me. What you eat can have a huge effect on your mood, your energy levels, your sleep and your skin. Most importantly, it can have a positive effect on your health.
Evidence shows that eating a plant-based diet has huge health benefits. It can help reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, control your glucose levels and help maintain a healthy weight.
I haven’t swapped to a completely plant-based diet but I eat 5-7 vegan breakfasts and cook 1-3 vegan dinners each week. I still eat oily fish, chicken, lean meat and eggs because there are some massive health benefits in doing so.
The most frequently asked question with a plant-based diet is, “Will I get enough protein?”
YES! As long as you are eating a variety of different plant sources, then you will hit your recommended daily allowance for protein.
Three of the best plant-based protein sources are: nuts and seeds, dark green vegetables and beans and pulses.
Beans can contain over 35% protein with the added benefit of fibre and essential nutrients. Check out my favourite 3-bean chilli recipe below.
3 BEAN CHILLI (serves 4)
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 red chilli, chopped with seeds removed
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 250ml vegetable stock
- 3tbsp tomato puree
- 400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
- 400g tin pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 400g tin kidney beans in chilli sauce
- 1 tbsp chilli powder (mild or hot – your choice)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- Heat the oil in a frying pan; add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft.
- Add the red chilli (add another if you like it hot!), celery and pepper and sauté for a further 5 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes, stock and tomato puree.
- Add all of the beans and spices and simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until thicker.
- Serve with wholegrain rice or cauliflower rice
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