Good food is important to me and I've touched on the subject of healthy eating several times in recent posts. Nourishment is one of the foundation stones of a healthy lifestyle and eating well should be a part of your self-care routine. You deserve the best - that doesn't have to mean fancy or expensive, it means ditching the junk and enjoying quality food. Treats don't have to be bad for you, think crisp, seasonal vegetables or fresh, juicy fruit and you can indulge in a "little of what you fancy" such as some really great chocolate, as long as it is only a little.
One of the best ways to make sure you eat well without it becoming a chore is to plan your meals. Deciding what to have in advance instead of just opening the fridge or cupboard and hoping for the best will help you (and your family) improve your diet. Writing down your meals for seven days and avoiding too much repetition will help you increase the variety of foods you eat which means a wider range of vitamins and minerals. You can use the plan to help you stick to a calorie controlled or pointed diet. A meal plan also makes your life simpler too - you'll know what to buy at the supermarket, you can match your meals to your schedule by planning quick and easy meals for your busier days or prepping the night before and if someone else is cooking they'll know what to make.
A meal planner doesn't have to be complicated or fancy - you can just write one out in a notebook or you can use one of these simple grids that I've made for myself. They print onto A4 paper and can be put into a binder or stuck on a kitchen noticeboard. There's two to choose from - a Monday start plan or a blank version for those of you whose week starts on a different day.
If you're enjoying your healthy eating plan and spending a little more time in the kitchen have a look at the new gift guide and my Pinterest boards.
Not one - not two - but three new gift guides this week. Lots of lovely handmade gifts and treats - most of them under £10. I must admit, I thought I'd struggle to find treats featuring cow parsley but I was wrong - seems that lots of creative people love it as much as I do.
Often when we think of a foodie treat our mind conjures up images of cream cakes or fish and chips. Of course you can have these if you want but we all know that there can be too much of a good thing and they shouldn't really be on the menu everyday.
That doesn't mean you need to deprive yourself, all that's required is a little change of your mindset. Instead of focusing on the foods that you'll have a bit of a guilt trip over, look forward to indulging and enjoying some delicious healthy food. This is a great time of year to do this - shops and market stalls are full of beautiful and guilt-free treats - juicy strawberries, crisp green salads, vibrant ripe tomatoes and, my favourite, asparagus.
It's in season now so it's a little more affordable. My weekend treat was two fat bunches of it for £3 from my local market. (Sorry - no photo - too keen to eat it!) It's very quick and simple to cook, simply steam until tender and then serve with lemon juice and a few shavings of parmesan or dip the spears into a soft-boiled egg like soldiers. It's also very good for you. It's 93% water and the other 7% is packed solid with vitamins and minerals. If you still need convincing just read this.
If you want some recipe inspiration, check out my asparagus recipe board on Pinterest.
It's one of my favourite weeks - it's Chelsea Flower Show. Lots and lots of horticultural inspiration and an excuse (as if I need one) to binge watch gardening programmes.
I've already written about the many benefits of getting out into the garden and finding self-care parallels in this post from a few weeks ago. It's all true - green is good for you.
There's also a new gift guide featuring lot of handmade treats for you or your gardening friends.
I think that being in a garden or green space makes us feel so much better because it feeds all five of our senses.
and if you're in any doubt about the benefits and pleasure you can get from a garden, I'll just leave you with this ...