6 Healthy Food Fixes for the Lazy Man
So today has been marked as the hottest day of the year and with the hotter weather, creeping in, the prospect of summer seems realer than ever. At the beginning of the year Man Wants posted the article ‘6 Instant Fixes for an Improved You’ which was the collaborative efforts of the Man Wants team, tied together in a nifty little self-improvement post from our editor, Malcolm.
The article discussed some attainable goals, with long-term fixes to improve finances, wellbeing, health and fitness. We’re now in April and after overcoming the chocolate shock of Easter, many of my clients start to question their original goals and motivation is compromised.
Not all is lost though – reflecting on your goals is a proactive way of considering where you are succeeding and what needs improvement. My clients tell me that, once we’re out of Winter, the prospect of cooking nutritious meals becomes an undesirable task. So I’m offering you the Man Wants Healthy Food Guide for the Lazy Man – some staple meals that you can throw together in a jiffy and pack a nutritious punch to help you achieve your body goals.
Buddah Bowls, heard of them? The latest food trend is a great way to get a healthy fix and a full belly. Buddah bowls are a big hit with the Vegan community as they use lots of plant-based superfoods. For a filling Buddah Bowl, that’s rich with protein – we suggest halving two Sweet Potatoes, dicing half an onion, tossing in a handful of broccoli stems, some kale and spinach and a few hundred grams of drained chickpeas. Maple syrup and little lemon or lime juice makes a great drizzle for a fresh Buddah Bowl.
There’s plenty of recipes online, so add the ingredients you know you like and stock up on those fresh greens and proteins!
Fresh, Mexican food is a great way to treat yourself to some fibre and potassium-rich, pulses. Kidney beans and black beans make a great filling for toasted tacos and have been proven to lower-cholesterol. Make your tacos fresh with canned, drained beans, shredded lettuce and a little DIY salsa. Chop 4 large tomatoes with half a cup of white onion and a small clove of garlic. Mix the ingredients together and season with a little salt, pepper and fresh cilantro. Making your own Salsa, means your avoiding all unnecessary additives, which feature in the store-bought alternatives and allows you to add your own twist on the old favourite – I always add a Jalapeno for a little fire!
The biggest myth is that if you’re trying to reach your body goals, be this weight loss, toning or strengthening, you should avoid carbs. Carbs help fuel us, give us energy and if anything – help us on our way to achieving our goals – in moderation of course! This quick, Greek inspired meal will encourage that carb-hit whilst you get your fill of other nutritious factors. Cook around 3 cups of whole grain penne pasta, add a cup of cauliflower, half a cup of red onion and half a cup of black, pitted olives. Then sprinkle a few table spoons of feta cheese for a treat. Although feta is not necessarily considered to be a ‘diet food’ it is rich in calcium, vitamin b12 and even has a few other beneficial vitamins and minerals including iron, folate and vitamin D. A little extra virgin oil, with some garlic powder and dried herbs makes for a quick and easy dressing.
If you’re still on the hunt for a hearty meal to indulge in. Take-a-look at making a healthy goulash. This rich dish is slow-cooker appropriate, so it takes the hard-prep right out it and will be ready for when you get in from a sesh at the gym. This Hungarian Goulash uses 350g of extra-lean beef, stewing steak for a real protein fix. Add 150 ml of beef stock, the cubed steak, a table spoon of olive oil, 150 ml of red wine an onion, a can of chopped tomatoes, a handful of chopped parsley and a little paprika. Leave to cook for 90 minutes and season with black pepper before serving. You can add as much vegetables as you wish to this dish or replace the meat with a vegetarian alternative – so you don’t miss out.
Sometimes you need a little something to help cure that sweet craving. You can knock together a healthy, alternative to a calorific dessert just by using a Greek or natural yoghurt as a base. We like to use crushed berries, like blueberries which are packed with anti-oxidants, honey and ginger – blitz them to make a compote and mix with the yoghurt for a sweet treat. This sweet alternative can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or as a snack. If you want it to go further, add a handful of walnuts or macadamia nuts. Sweet craving be gone!
Zuchini Noodles with Pesto
Struggle to get your 5-a-day in? Zucchini/Courgette is a versatile vegetable that can be substituted for noodles, spaghetti and pasta in just about any meal. For this one you may need a ‘spiralizer’ although they’re super cheap and a worthy investment if you’re committed to changing your eating habits. One courgette/zucchini will work for one meal and will not feel you leaving hungry. Just add your zucchini to the spiralizer and get to work. The spiralizer will have attachments which allow you to choose the thickness and style of your noodles. Just add to the pan, fry with a little olive oil and stir in some pesto and creamy avocado. You can add lean meat like turkey or chicken for a heartier meal. A super fast, foodie fix!