This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure for more info.
About the author – Emily started experimenting with Food after discovering she had multiple food intolerances. After trying all sorts of diets, as well as consulting with medical professionals, Emily has now developed recipes, using healthy ingredients, that make eating a pleasure. And she now wants to pass these onto others, so they too can lead a life full of vitality.
I asked Emily for her tips for making healthy summer meals, while still following my plant-based diet.
What Healthy Changes Can I Make to My Diet?
Consuming a diet that is rich in plant-based foods, can not only help our body but also reduce down any unwanted symptoms related to inflammation.
A healthier approach to getting in shape this summer might be to look more closely at what plant-based foods you have in your diet. Then increase the amount of raw [plant based] food you consume such as nuts, seeds, vegetables and some fruits such as lemons, grapefruits, and avocado.
Try to Include a Variety of Vegetables
Whether you juice it, slice it into salads, roast, or whizz it into soups, fennel is really versatile. Even fennel seeds used to make tea, or toasted onto salads taste great too. Nutritional benefits of fennel are that soothes the digestive tract, as well as helping to eliminate toxins. This is so important when you are embarking on a detox, or taking a reducing down approach, for any change that happens, will incur a little natural detoxing as the body makes it changes.
Avocado is a very versatile food that can be used in sweet dishes, such as a raw chocolate mousse, or straight into a green smoothie paired with mint and coconut water. This delicious smoothie will turn even the most resistant healthy eaters, into smoothie fans. Get some green smoothie recipes here.
Avocados are a healthy fat and are very hard to overeat. This is incredibly helpful when trying to crowd out unhealthy eating habits and switch off food cravings.
This Fennel & Avocado juice recipe tastes so good too!
Give Salads some Substance
Try giving your salads more substance, it’s very easy to just throw some leaves together. Rather than just lettuce leaves, think protein, fat, and carbohydrates to make a salad more filling. Protein could come from hemp seeds or quinoa; healthy fat from nuts and seeds walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or as mentioned avocado. Carbohydrates from lentils, beans, peas or vegetables such as cooked sweet potato and peppers. You can simply alter the taste by changing the salad dressing.
Try my simple salad dressing as a base; to change it up, you could add more garlic, or try lots of different fresh and dried herbs too. Coriander and lime juice is epic, or swap coriander for mint for a cool crisp dressing.
Why not try a Waldorf salad, and make my vegan mayo for a plant-based swap.
Can Puddings be Healthy?
Try if you can to crowd out sugar, as sugar promotes inflammation in the body and this inflammation, in turn, can cause bloating, sluggish digestion and water retention. If you have a holiday coming up, or really have an urge to get into your Summer clothes, then aim to reduce your sugar intake. Start with focussing on removing refined sugar, (if it’s not in your diet great.)
Look further as to where sugar could be hidden, oranges, bananas, dates are high in sugar and although they do have vitamins and minerals, sometimes it can be a catch 22 situation between being nutritious and high sugar. For example, tropical fruit can be high in sugar, yet have some healthy minerals in them too.
My advice is to try having very small amounts and give your body time to adjust. On the whole berries like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries are low on the glycemic index, and are also low in sugar and don’t tend to be a problem, just monitor it to see what is right for you. Sometimes it can take up to two weeks to notice a difference, every day you choose a healthy choice it all adds up. Also eating with coconut yoghurt provides a good fat, and slows down the effects of sugar too. Keep your blood sugar stable, and this, in turn, will keep you fuller for longer.
Why not give this Fruity Fool Recipe a try!
Any inspiration tips?
Get creative; any changes you make, make them fun. Try a new recipe, you could even try a new nut milk. Be willing to try something new each day, whether it be something to purchase on-the-go. Pret A Manger has some super plant-based salad choices. Or maybe have a try at making your own salad, by adding in at least 5 vegetables, nuts/ seeds, and some fresh herbs too.
Whether it is focusing on removing processed foods and working with more sources of plant-based foods like nuts, seeds, vegetables, seasonal produce or you want to add more so you crowd out reliance on sugar, do it in a way that is enjoyable for you, as this is more likely to stick and form a healthy habit. Try this Plant-based protein recipe.
How can I be more organised?
Plan ahead and think about what you want to eat, then write a shopping list to buy the ingredients. If you need some inspiration, you could check out Food Matters and Oh She Glows websites for a plethora of plant-based recipes. Give yourself the time to get creative in the kitchen.
Whether you follow a recipe word for word or go off on a tangent doing your own thing, you’ll end up with some new healthy recipes into your cooking repertoire. The more you work with wholesome plant-based food, the easier it will be to get trim for summer.
Thank you so much, Emily, for inspiring me this summer, I will definitely try some of these out. I hope you all will too.
If you would like to try one of Emily’s cookery classes, you can see her full list of classes here. Or if you would like Emily’s weekly newsletter, and see more of her recipes; you can become a free member here.
Stay healthy this Summer!