“ The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”Thomas Edison
Food is such a significant part of our daily lives that whether we know it or not we have a pattern of shopping for and preparing food. When we decide to change something like what we eat and how we eat it, it causes a sort of brain-freeze. Suddenly it feels like there are no options. When I started eating clean, my biggest struggle was the question, “so what do I eat?” I would stand in a supermarket full of food or a fridge or pantry and feel like there were no options. With practice my eye and focus adjusted.
A close second in concerns was “but I don’t want to be hungry.” I grew up with the understanding that if a plate didn’t have a significant amount of pap/sadza/ugali or rice or potatoes on it, I wasn’t going to be full or I wasn’t going to be full for long. Eating clean is not about starving. It’s about choosing to eat wholesome food that has been subjected to minimal processing most of the time. For me, it also means choosing to cook it by baking, roasting or steaming most of the time. This is not about absolutes. It is more about a long-term relationship with food than a quick fix.
Here are 10 healthier food items that I find filling:
I am a sucker for a roasted sweet potato. Growing up, boiled sweet potato was something you could eat as a snack or with tea. Having it with meat or veg was quite a mindshift for me but I love it. I also mash sweet potatoes, regular potatoes and carrots to make a mash for my kids and they love it!
Brown Rice and Beans
These two can be had together or separately with other things. They are super versatile and very filling. Beans have always been my stomping grounds because I went to a Catholic Boarding School. Just htink all kinds of beans: green, brown, sugar, kidney, red… all the beans. Brown rice was a taste I had to acquire. Now that I have acquired it, I really “do the most” with it. If I am not having it with beans or meat and veg, I have it in salad or as a friend rice etc.
Butternut or Butter Squash (depending on which part of the globe you are from)
This is super versatile and very filling. Have it as mash, or roasted or baked or boiled or barbercued or whole or sliced or cold or hot or savoury or sweet. See what I mean?
Oats, Nuts and Fruit
Together or individually, these 3 items can keep you fueled for hours. Try as many fruits and nuts as you can manage to find the ones that work best for you. I love a banana and tea for a quick pitstop and the humble peanut is my favourite type of nut. If my champagne tastes and beer money align, i loved a roasted cashew too.
Roasted or Baked Meat
There are no losers here. It is totally worth getting to know your oven and hanging out with Google to learn a few quick go-to marinades and flavour profiles.
Brown bread, Avocado and eggs
Eggs are a superfood and I love bread. A lot of people love white bread. Something to be mindful of is that one of the reasons white bread tastes so “appealing” is that it has sugar in it. The amount of sugar we unwittingly consume is cause for pause. Avocado are delicious with everything, including as a side dish to rice, beans or chicken or even in a salad. The only problem is that if avocado was a friend, it would be that friend who balls on an unlimited budget while my budget has limits 🙂
Here are a few cooking tips from Gordon Ramsey. What I love about him is that his videos are full of tips that are easily transferrable to home cooking so it’s not really about replicating the recipes.