Reflecting back on our time in NZ, I realize that one thing that has changed immensely over our time here is my diet. While I have been into healthy eating for a long time, I started becoming aware that some food choices were not necessarily helping me achieve some of my health and fitness goals.
A combination of digestive and skin problems over the past years led me into some experimentation and research in regards to diet. It was in early June that I came across the concept of Paleo. It was only a short time later that I discovered the theory of Metabolic Effect and my eyes were opened to new philosophies regarding food and exercise, which made a lot of sense to me.
The change in eating started off slowly. I started by choosing foods that were more in line with eating “whole foods,” and gradually progressed to become almost completely paleo as I learned to like this new way of eating.
Looking back to just 8 months ago, I realize that we hardly eat any of the meals that we used to eat. One of the major impacts of this has been cutting out all grains and legumes, and most dairy. Refined sugar is avoided if at all possible. Honey, agave, and maple syrup are used as sweeteners when needed. Meals that used to be my favorites (including sweet potato quesadillas, barley risotto and fennel pesto ravioli) are no longer on my list of options, though I may indulge on a rare occasion just for a special treat.
I’ve been feeling really good- great, actually. I’ve been able to pinpoint some foods that cause digestive distress, and others that cause skin irritations.
When people ask, “Are you still on that diet?” I realize they don’t really understand. I am not on some short term kick to lose weight; the changes I have made are meant to be sustainable so that they can be maintained for the long run.
From time to time, especially when sharing at a meal at someone else’s house, I may “cheat” and eat something outside of my normal eating regime. Sometimes those effects are noticed later, sometimes not. I am still working out how I will balance sticking to my preferred way of eating, while not wanting to create an awkward situation, be an inconvenience, or offend anyone while sharing a meal together in their home. For any of you who have gone through making similar adjustments in your diet, I welcome your suggestions here.
With all this being said, a change in diet has led us to discover some fantastic heathy and delicious recipes over the past little while, which I would like to share with you. Here’s a few of our recent favorites…
Mini Feta & Vege Frittatas
Perfect for lunch, breakfast, or dinner. An excellent option to take along to a picnic. Quick to whip up. Versatile. Can easily substitute any of the veggies with what you’ve got on hand. A delicious recipe I would highly recommend.
5 free range eggs
1 bunch asparagus (cut into 1 inch pieces), or 1 med zucchini, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper
1 med tomato, chopped
3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup feta cheese, cubed
1 Tbsp coconut milk
Salt, pepper, smoked paprika to season
1. Saute chopped vege in a pan with a small amount of butter or olive oil, untle tender-crisp. Season lightly with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika or your favorite seasoning.
2. Distribute vegetables evenly between 12 greased muffin cups.
3. Top roast vege with chopped tomato and cubed feta.
4. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and coconut milk. Add salt, pepper, and smoked paprika to season.
5. Pour egg mixture over top of vege into muffin tins. Divide evenly.
6. Bake at 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C for 10-15 min, until egg has solidified and tops are lightly browned. .
7. Serve atop a bed of spinach. Makes 12 mini frittatas.
I came across this recipe by The Healthy Foodie and modified it slightly. I have made it twice now, and have really enjoyed these tasty morsels of goodness.
These little fritters are also great the next day, and make a fantastic item to bring along to a picnic.
Half a large head of cauliflour, chopped into fine pieces or processed in a food processor
1 carrot, grated
1 zucchini/courgette, grated
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/2 cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup ground almonds or hazelnuts
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
pinch cayenne pepper
5 large eggs
1. Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. Heat a splash of olive oil on a non-stick frying pan on medium heat.
2. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop dallops of mixture onto hot frying pan. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until sides are golden and crispy.
3. Serve warm or cold. Awesome accompanied by a side of fresh vegetables or on a bed of greens.
If you would like a dressing or dipping sauce to go along, a mixture of 1/4 cup greek yoghurt, 1 tsp lime juice, and 1/2 tsp Moroccan seasoning (or a combo of smoked paprika, salt & pepper) makes a divine accompaniment to this dish.