There’s a lot of confusion and conflicting information out there with the modern day “nutrition gurus” promoting all sorts of diets and latest eating plans. When it comes to fat loss, it’s all about switching your body on to burn more energy, revving up your metabolism and eating the right kind of nutrient-dense foods for your activity level and healthy lifestyle. For weight loss to work effectively, it’s important that you look at it as a lifestyle, not a diet — a lifestyle that will ultimately help you to become leaner, fitter and healthier.
Most of us gain weight for three simple reasons:
1. We eat too much
2. We eat the wrong kinds of foods for our activity level and lifestyle.
3. We don't move enough.
Losing weight and being healthy takes dedication. Eating the right foods, getting regular exercise and making the right lifestyle choices are the key ingredients for staying lean, fit and at a healthy weight. In addition to lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure, keeping your weight in check and nourishing your body can also lower the risk of many different cancers.
I suppose that's what motivated me to write my bestselling book The 80/20 Diet. It is more of a lifestyle that was based on my training and eating regime when I completed in fitness figure competitions. What I love about this book is that it has become a favourite among many personal trainers and those wanting to make positive diet and lifestyle changes for life. The 80/20 Diet’ offers more than 130 recipes for simple, nutritious dishes that have been designed for people who love food, who love to eat and who have made a conscious decision to maximise their health and wellbeing.
The most important tip in any healthy diet or eating plan is to keep it simple, keep it fresh and prepare the food yourself. Your body will thank you for it with endless energy, glowing skin and vitality.
Below are three of my favourite recipes that help to keep me energised and nourished all day long.
BREAKFAST: My Simple Blueberry + Banana Smoothie
This smoothie is jam packed full of nutrients to feed your body on the inside so you glow on the outside. High in antioxidants and protein which is great for improving skin and digestive health, improved sports performance, recovery and sustained weight loss.
1 cup cold pressed almond milk
1 small frozen banana, chopped
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons Healthy Chef Protein
Ice to blend if needed
Combine ingredients into a high-speed blender.
Blend until smooth and creamy.
LUNCH: Nicoise Salad
This is the perfect Mediterranean Salad, a rich source of omega 3, protein and antioxidants. It takes only five minutes to make and it is perfect for lunch or dinner.
2 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 small Lebanese cucumber, finely sliced
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 capsicum, chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
fresh chopped parsley
2 handfuls leafy greens, cos lettuce is great!
180 g tuna in olive oil, drained
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
pinch salt and pepper
60 ml cold pressed olive oil
Combine salad ingredients in a bowl.
Combine dressing ingredients and pour over the salad.
Mix through and enjoy.
DINNER: Summer Minestrone
I absolutely love eating it, not only because it tastes so good, but because I can instantly feel the goodness and the benefits to my body. I love it straight from the pot and often top it with chopped avocado and a generous drizzle of salsa verde.
1 large leek, sliced
2 celery stalks, cut into small chunks
1 large green capsicum, cut into chunks
2 zucchini, cut into small chunks
100 g / 3 1/2 oz kale, cavalo nero or silverbeet, chopped
250 g / 8 3/4 oz green peas
1 litre vegetable stock
few spoonfuls of pesto
Sauté the leek and celery in a large saucepan over a low heat for 2 minutes until soft.
Add the stock, zucchini, capsicum and kale.
Simmer over a gentle heat for 10 minutes.
Add the peas. Simmer for another 3 minutes. Season with freshly ground white pepper if required.
Ladle the minestrone into serving bowls.
Enjoy as is or top with a generous spoonful of pesto.