This week The Explore More Mum has teamed up with nutritionist and Stellar Health owner, Mary Cotter. Mary is an incredibly inspiring woman, who found the path of nutritional health through her own devastating experience with a rare bladder disease called trigonitis. Now she's creating easy, and exciting new recipes, adding in practical tips on how to incorporate mouth watering meals to your life! Let's hear what motivation she can get us through now that autumn is here!
As autumn draws in, it’s tempting to seek out comfort foods and naturally slow down. But autumn is the perfect season to try out new soup and slow cooked recipes – healthy comfort food the whole family can enjoy, without compromising on flavour!
Embracing all that this wonderful season has to offer is the best way to stay motivated and on-track with healthy eating. We’ll soon start to see all the lovely root vegetables lining the aisles of the supermarkets. Earthy vegetables like pumpkin, butternut squash, celeriac, carrots and turnip - perfect for hearty healthy meals. A good tactic is to explore a rainbow of colourful veggies. Not only will this keep your meals interesting and varied, each colour will provide different phytonutrients – the plant chemicals that protect us from disease!
Here are my top tips and a delicious hearty soup recipe to get you started.
1. Pick a vegetable you wouldn’t normally cook with to help with variety and keep meals interesting. Inject it with lots of warming spices and herbs, like garlic, ginger and turmeric. These are anti-microbial so perfect for supporting your immune system when the temperature changes. My no chop lentil dahl is infused with lots of warming spices and can be made in the slow cooker so it basically cooks itself overnight, ready to pack into lunch boxes the next morning.
2. Meal plan for your week ahead. I can’t emphasise enough how important this step is to having a good week. Make a list and have a rough idea of what meals you will cook for the days ahead. Then hit the shops or have your groceries delivered. Focusing on meals that supply multiple servings, such as soups or stews will mean there are always leftovers for your lunch. This will also help you cut down on food waste. If you’re struggling for meal ideas check out my 30-day package which includes weekly personalised meal plans.
3. To stay focused throughout autumn you’ll want to drip feed your energy over the course of the day. The best way to achieve this is to combine protein with fibre at each meal. Start by adding protein to your breakfast. This could be nuts or nut butter, shelled hemp seeds, eggs, or plain natural yoghurt.
4. If you plan to work-out after a long day at the office, double check the quality of your afternoon snack. Does it contain a little protein with fibre? This will sustain your energy for longer by-passing that 3pm slump. For example, swap the sugary low cal cereal bar for a protein snack such as a handful of cashews plus an apple so you can be prepared for your post work gym class.
5. Support your immune system during the change of season by incorporating fermented foods into your diet. Fermented foods contain probiotics, friendly bacteria that support your immunity, important if you want to keep up with your training routine into the colder, darker nights. Try adding raw kimchi or sauerkraut to a little cheese on oatcakes. Yum!
For meal ideas and nutritional tips with a special emphasis on gut health check out my website: www.stellarhealth.co.uk or follow me on Instagram: @stellar_health_mary. You’ll also find me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stellarhealth.uk/