Nutritionist Lucy Hyland

Food for Living blog - The Eat Real Food this Summer Campaign

May 18, 2023
Posted by Lucy

Tuesday May 17th

I'm on a bit of a mission at the moment!

Its short and its simple and its going to my theme for the next few months.... Lets all commit to eating real food for the summer. This is the perfect way to start healthy living.

By real food I mean food that has not been processed to such an extent that loads of other ingredients have been added and it ends up in a jar, a container, a packet or ends up wrapped a newspaper!

So this it is:

Buy fresh, raw or dried ingredients with only one or a few ingredients. For example, fresh fruits and vegetables, bags of rice, pasta or quinoa, raw nuts and seeds and dried beans and lentils. Most of your meals and snacks should consist of these.

Ensure there are no added ingredients that you a)can't pronounce or b) have no idea what it means. If you do find some, make sure they are only a small percentage of a meal (5%)

Keep foods with added salt, added sugar or sweetners or added vegetable oils to twice a week. For anyone buying anything out of a pre prepared this will be really hard but see how you go.

To help, here are some suggestions for your healthy eating plan:

  • To flavour foods use freshly chopped herbs, mint, basil, parsley, coriander are perfect at this time of year and spices such as pepper, cumin and coriander seeds - grind your own or bought pre ground.
  • Make your own dressings rather shop bought with some extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon mustard and salt and pepper.
  • Make a nice big salad for lunch - that involves no cooking!! Chose your salad leave and then pimp our salad. Grate carrots and apple or roughly chop tomatoes and peppers, add a tin of mixed beans or a tin of tuna. Make a little extra rice the night before and then sprinkle on top for a full meal.
  • Stir fry or steam your food and serve with a sprinkle of grated root ginger or garlic and a dash of olive oil.
  • Make your own home made tomato sauce (check out my article on the Cork Independent on Thursday!!)
  • Check out my fish and chicken recipes - grilling under a hot grill for 5-10 mins each side is the easiest way in the world..
  • Make a big batch of rice, pasta, noodles or quinoa and then place into portion sizes for next 2 days and store in fridge. Portion up before you serve yourself so you are not tempted to back for second and thirds.
  • Make your own bread - my seeded soda bread is the simplest in the world and take 10 mins to make (under whole grain recipes)

Check out any of my healthy recipes to the left. Let me know how you are going with your challenge - it starts today!!

One thought on “Food for Living blog - The Eat Real Food this Summer Campaign

  • What a challenge! Only unprocessed foods for the summer, I just love the idea of it. I will admit that im not the most confident cook around so may be at a bit of a disadvantage! But i have set it as a goal for myself this year to learn the basics of healthy cooking, not only for me (and my waist line!) but for the health of my beautiful kids too. So many of their friends at school are overweight and I know that being overweight can lead to health problems, (i have a few of them myself), i just want to set my kids up with the best chances for a long and healthy life. I do think that it will be easier to do this over the summer, somehow i feel more energetic during these sunny months.

    But Lucy, can i ask you for some ideas around healthy cakes? I recently learned that my youngest son, has allergies to eggs and dairy, and im struggling to think of healthy sweet treats i could feed him. Do you have any ideas? Does that also mean he cant have butter?

    And please, to everyone else, any tips you have around how make the transition to a a more unprocessed diet smoother would be welcome, especially when it comes to feeding kids!

    Thanks again for the motivation Lucy!!

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