Yes, I eat fat

Following the principle that “a calorie is not a calorie”, I include healthy fats in my eating habits. Contrary to what the media, the food industry and even several doctors advocate, fat is good for you on so many levels. Just not the saturated/chemically processed kind. When I say “fat” I mean the real, the natural, kind: avocados, nuts, olive oil…

Since I started this process I have aimed for optimum nutrition. Unfortunately, aiming at something, doesn’t mean achieving it, but I strive for it and constantly look for new information with that in mind.

Of the several articles I have read this is probably my favourite one because it includes a lot of information (yes, it’s quite long, but worth reading):

Choosing Healthy Fats – Good Fats, Bad Fats, and the Power of Omega-3s

If you prefer something shorter, here’s this quick overview:

Five Reasons a Healthy Fat Diet is Good for You

And ever shorter, these 6 bullet points:

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I still strongly believe that information is key in changing anyone’s mindset. Information is power, use it.

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Recipe x3 (part 3)

So, I’ve come across another couple of recipes which really come in handy. They are super quick to make, not too complicated on the ingredients and taste amazingly. I’ve done them over, and over, and over

035b8dc2a8b084d9e97359fdf236cc43Baked Eggs on a Bed of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
This feels fresh, but it’s still super comforting. I cook 2 eggs per person, and have tried adding spinach with great results! For me, toasted bread is a must with this recipe, that liquid at the bottom of the tray just begs for it.

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One Pan Mexican Quinoa
It’s a one pan dish so you know it’s super practical. Since I don’t like spicy food, instead of the jalapeño, I use red bell pepper. It still adds that “something”, but without burning in your mouth.

2Oats, banana and cocoa cake (flourless, sugarless)
Ok, this one is from a Portuguese website, so here’s the recipe:
Ingredients for 1 small cake: 1 banana; 1 egg;  2 soup spoons of old school oats; 1 tea spoon 100% cocoa powder; 1 pinch of cinnamon; 1 pinch of baking powder. Instructions: break the banana into medium pieces into a bowl and heat it in the microwave for 1 minute. Remove. Add the remaining ingredients and with a food processor (any processor will do) mix everything. Into the microwave it goes again for 1 1/2 minute. Tah dah! It will be spongy and moist and awesome.

Enjoy!

Recipes Part 1 here
Recipes Part 2 here

Why I opted out of rice

First of all: allow me to restate that I’m on a journey towards health, not towards any weight loss goal. In this process, via baby-steps, I have introduced many – MANY – changes in my eating habits.

At about the same time I started withdrawing pasta from my eating habits (you can read about that in my Refined Flour Isn’t Cool post), I also began removing rice consumption. Why?
The more information I collect, the more sure I am that I want to eat food that has been as little tampered with as possible. And now you say “heelloooo? Rice is a cereal! It’s natural food.” And you are not entirely wrong. However, the rice that we get at the supermarket has been refined and, often, bleached.

Why-Brown-Rice-Is-Better-Than-White-Rice-process

“It’s refined, so what?” Well, the bran is usually where most nutrients and fibre are located, and we are removing it. Also white rice has a higher glycemic index (if you haven’t yet, I suggest you do some research on glycemic index, blood glucose levels and how our bodies respond to it). Also, in 2010, Harvard researchers associated white rice with a higher risk of diabetes. Here’s that article:

White Rice, Brown Rice, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in US Men and Women

I found a lot of contradicting stances about rice. A lot of people stand by white rice as perfectly healthy, others look at it as a health hazard. The exact same bipolarism applies to brown rice, as many people defend that the bran layer contains more phytic acid – which prevents nutrient absorption – , can contain arsenic, and can be harder to digest. To be fair, here’s also a post in favour of white rice:

Why I started to eat white rice

Personally, I am more prone to stand for brown rice. BUT it takes a lot longer to cook than white rice, so I have ended up pretty much removing rice from my eating habits. Obviously if I’m at a restaurant or at someone’s home, I’ll gladly eat rice, but on my daily routine I’m perfectly happy with my beans, collard, sweet potatoes, broccoli, chickpeas, carrots, pumpkin, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc etc etc. as side dish.

Lastly, I want to say that I’m a firm believer that everyone should come to their own decisions about which nutritional habits are best for them.

Recipe x 3 (part 2)

Following up on my Refined Flour isn’t cool post, I would like to share some alternatives to pasta for mail meals. Here are some of my favourites:

6a868beca87f58f2cc782915bec97802Spinach, mushroom & feta crustless quiche – The key is really in the crustless part, and it works well for me because I never really enjoyed the crust anyway. I don’t actually use all those cheeses, and – like a good Portuguese – I always use extra virgin olive oil, not non-stick spray. Based on this idea, I create whichever quiche combinations come to mind.
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Stuffed Ranchero Sweet Potato – I go heavy on the cilantro and besides this full combination, I often use the ranchero stuffing as side dish to my grilled chicken breast. As a chilled salad it’s awesome for summer!

chicken-chickpeas-tastefoodSmoky Roasted Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Chickpeas – The key to this strong flavoured meal is in the cumin. The tomatoes provide most of the moisture, but I advise people to keep the chicken’s skin on while cooking, or it will tend to dry up. Also, I never felt the need to add the yoghurt sauce. It’s pretty tasty without it.

And these are just 3 examples, I urge you to look online for recipes! There are endless possibilities which do not use refined flour, but do not compromise flavour, are not dull salads, and still give you that comfortable feeling of a full stomach.

You can check my 1st Recipe x 3 post: here

Recipe x 3

I am not, I repeat, I am NOT going to turn this blog into a healthy recipes blog. God knows there are plenty of those already. However, I want to share 3 recipes which are among my favourite go-to options.

I think the hardest thing to anyone who is trying to eat healthily is figuring out what to eat in between main meals. What do you eat instead of cookies? I sure as hell didn’t know. Since I decided to walk away from processed food, I never accepted “replacement bars” and alike as an option. I also take pleasure in eating, so things like “puffed rice cakes” are a huge no-no. I like flavour, thank you very much.

So here are my favourite snacks to take with me to the office (besides fruit and plain Greek yoghurt) :

1) HomemadDSC06175-copye snack bars – Ridiculously easy to make, highly addictive. I have shared thesLemon-Raspberry-Chia-Pudding-1e with a lot of people by now, and everyone has asked for the recipe!

2) Lemon Raspberry Chia Pudding – again: child’s play to make, yet delicious.

3) Cocoa crepioca – I didn’t get this recipe from a website, but IMG_20150723_174539it’s equally easy. All you need is: 1 egg, 1 egg white, 1 soup spoon of manioc powder, 1 soup spoon of quark cheese and another one of cocoa powder (you can also add stevia, if you like it). Whisk everything together in a bowl while heating a non-stick skillet (you don’t need to add anything to the skillet). When the skillet is quite hot add the mixture and let it cook in medium heat like it’s a regular crepe. If you’re talented, you can try to flip it. Since I am not, and I like slightly under-cooked batter I just let it cook for a little longer on that same side. Transfer it to a plate (or straight to a tupperware…), and add one sliced banana, or strawberries, or peaches, or whichever fruit your heart desires.

You’re welcome. (>‿◠)✌

PS: Like I said on my And at 1st… it was blergh post, keep in mind that if your taste buds are used to being over stimulated by processed food, natural food will very likely taste quite bland at first.