The Clean Eating phenomenon has swept the UK over the last few years and I’ve watched with interest as it’s spread around social media. My introduction to these diets came when I was given Deliciously Ella’s first book back in 2015. Since then, clean eating has continued to increase in popularity but there has also been some backlash against a few of the more high profile figures in this movement, questioning the facts behind these lifestyle ‘crazes’ and branding some as unaffordable and even dangerous…
Since I’ve stepped up my training for my charity cycle ride in September I’ve been especially conscious of my diet.I like to think I’m a fairly healthy eater anyway but increasing your calorie intake in a healthy way is a different challenge.
Here are a couple of my staples on a training day….
Breakfast: Porridge or fruit museli. My tip: soaking porridge oats overnight speeds up breakfast a little the following morning!
Lunch: Quinoa salad with tuna, cherry tomatoes, avocado and feta.
Simply mix with some olive oil, a splash of white wine vinegar and lemon juice and you’re good to go. I sometimes add a shake of flaxseeds and/or sunflower seeds for a little extra protein crunch. I do lots of variations on this, sometimes adding peppers or olives to the mix.
Yes, I know quinoa is quite expensive and a bit of a faff to cook (if you don’t use packets… yesterday I split half of mine in the sink and had to spend ages rescuing and washing it!) But I really like it as an alternative to rice and pasta – it’s filling without being stodgy and goes so well with so many different things. The extra protein content is an added bonus!
Snacks! Energy bars, nuts, dried fruit…and if you need it, a second lunch…
I’m always hungry, even when I’m not doing loads of exercise. They don’t call me Hangry Harri for nothing! At work I have a desk drawer full of snacks. On cycling days I even have an Outlook calendar reminder at 3pm for my ‘Second lunch’ (usually a quick chicken or tuna sandwhich). Otherwise I will be super grumpy on the ride home.
I’m not a huge fan of eating fruit, so blending things together is a great option for me. It’s also useful for masking the taste of food I’m not keen on: I hate bananas, but I’ll sometimes pop a few pieces into a smoothie for an extra nutritional hit.
Frozen fruit mixes are a great – you always have something on hand. A berry mix is my go-to – I might add some yoghurt to thicken it up and if I’ve been exercising, a small scoop of protein powder as well. At the moment I’m using Maxinutrition strawberry flavoured powder. I’m not an expert in this area but for me useful addition to my recovery routine.
These are just a couple of highlights from my diet right now – if I can eat sensibly, then anyone can!