Okay, you have now imagined that your diet is completely healthy and delicious, and that you are the best version of yourself. But how do you translate that into real life? Nutritionist and health coach Eveline Keus, plans her life around her meals, loves to cook delicious food and travels the world for inspiration. In this monthly column, she will share her knowledge on how to eat healthy, without having to give up on great taste. And as a bonus, you will find easy recipes that even the most inexperienced cook can master!
“You can actually eat yourself into a depression. The good news is that you can also eat yourself out of it.”
We are in lockdown, we have a curfew, we are doomed and can only survive on chocolate, crisps and pizza. Right? Or not? Is there a way to not gain 10 kilos? Last year around this time, we were still partying like our lives would never change. At least I hope so, because shortly after that everything changed. We thought it would take only a few weeks to get past this virus, so it was okay to feel bad and locked up and eat everything that you could find. Then we found out it took much longer than that and we’ve all been in this mess for almost year now.
I will admit that even I find it difficult to stay happy and healthy all the time. The key to not gain 10 kilo’s during this pandemic, is to stay in balance. Let those moments of fear, anger and ‘eat till you drop’ be there. Then: get your act together and you will be just fine (right spice girls ;-)) So ‘I will tell you what I want, what I really really want’, which is that you find a way to stay in balance.
Did you know that what you eat can influence your mood? You could almost say you can eat yourself into a depression. The good news is that you can also eat yourself out of it. Sounds weird right? But your gut is in deep connection with your brain. You might have already read something about this in my previous column; about how strong your mind can influence the way you act.
So, in order to stay ahead of the so called ‘Corona-kilo’s’ I have some tips I’d like to share with you.
Tip 1: Keep on moving. This seems obvious, but how often do you really get enough exercise these days? Especially with the cold weather right now, it is much more attractive to stay inside under a blanket with some hot chocolate and a box of cookies, I understand. Walking outside every day for about half an hour can already do wonders. It not only helps you burn fat in the long run, it also helps your digestive system to stay active.
Which brings me directly to Tip 2: A good digestive system helps to keep you happy. ‘Say what now?’ Feeling depressed often has something to do with how well your intestines do their job. The so called ‘happy-hormone’ or neurotransmitter Serotonin is made in the intestines. So you can imagine, if you don’t feed them well, they can easily make you feel sad or depressed. Eating a hamburger or a pizza once in while is no problem at all of course. But eating this type of food everyday though…well that’s a different story. Just keep this in mind whenever you’re craving fast food, and don’t get in the vicious cycle of feeling bad, eating bad, and feeling even worse.
Tip 3 correlates directly with the previous tip: Eat your veggies. Also this seems obvious, but how much vegetables do you actually eat per day? Do you really reach your 250-300 grams per day? Does that seem like a lot to you? Just a few years ago, I thought it was a lot too. Now, I easily eat 500 grams of veggies per day. Did you know that vegetables, next to essential vitamins and minerals of course, also contain carbs? Don’t freak out immediately, because these are the good kind of carbs. You need carbs in your diet in order to stay healthy. The carbs that are in vegetables are so called ‘slow-carbs’. These are rich in fibre and take more time to digest, so they don’t lead to the same quick rise in blood sugar that refined carbs can cause. But how do you eat so many veggies without chewing forever? See my delicious recipe underneath or scroll back to my previous column to find a delicious soup-recipe.
Pasta with spinach sauce and roasted cauliflower (2 persons):
First cut half a cauliflower in pieces, sprinkle with spices you like (I love vadouvan or curry powder), salt and olive oil. Put it in a preheated oven of 180C for about 25 minutes. Every oven works different, so check up on your cauliflower while it’s in there. Cook your favourite kind of pasta. Take two hands full of spinach and put this in a blender with a clove of garlic, a pinch of salt, cumin powder, cayenne pepper and some lemon juice. Blend with a little water to make it loose. Taste and season if needed. Then mix the spinach-sauce with the pasta and add the roasted cauliflowers on top.
Want even more colour on your plate? Add some delicious cherry tomatoes (raw or roasted with the cauliflower in the oven). The more colour on your plate, the more different kind of vitamins you are eating: Win-win. Enjoy!!