Saturday, 17 January 2015

My 5 Ingredients for Healthy Living & An Easy (Vegan) Pasta Recipe

With every new year, one of the most popular resolutions is to live healthy.

But what is healthy living? Ask 10 people and you will likely get 10 different answers, ask in January and then again in February and the replies will be different each time.



I would like to think that ultimately, my own journey to healthy living began when I realised I was pregnant, because it was then that I quit smoking. And, one step at a time, I took (and am taking it) from there. Really I am afraid I am a person who has to implement things gradually. On a side note, I could never be someone to give advice on how to quit smoking. I mean, "Hey, just get pregnant and love your little crumb lots" probably isn't applicable for most people now, is it?

So anyway, rather than claiming to have the answer of all answers, which I don't, I will share with you my personal idea of it. For me healthy living is:





1. Exercise regularly

I cannot stress enough the benefits of regular exercise or movement. If you haven't found your sport or work out of choice yet, keep looking, It is so so worth it. Since I started Karate I have more energy and way less physical problems, starting with simple things such as cold legs in winter. Never mind the transformation of my physical appearance. So keep looking. Find that one thing that you enjoy enough to get past the road bumps. I had plenty of those by the way, it was a drag the first months when the rust from years of slacking went off. But so so worth it.



2. Eat well

By that I mean cut out or at least try to cut down the junk food, the processed food, the sugar. I still eat cookies (including my own), but I've eliminated most processed and pre-made food and I haven't been to a fast food restaurant in years. Before I started down this road, I ate A LOT of pre-made meals, packaged cakes, chocolate bars, crisps. Now, not so much. And I feel heaps better. I (or better we) cook / prepare my lunches and my dinners. For the most part it is simple recipes that do not require more than 15-20 minutes all in all. Below you will find an example.












3. Stress less

Relax. Breathe. Take some time out. Trust that everything will get done. And that some things won't make the world end if they aren't done right away. Or ever. I have found I am more productive if I take deliberate pauses and maybe even leave "that thing" for awhile instead of trying to force it done. That I work better and make less mistakes if I take my time and focus on what I am doing. This state of relaxed but mindful in the momentness also gives me the best ideas. It was also maybe the hardest one to learn.










4. Feed your Mind and Soul

Just like our bodies, our minds and souls need "food", need nourishment. Give your mind and soul fresh input regularly. Read a book, watch a great movie or series, go for a walk in nature, meditate, be grateful, visit an art exhibition, do something fun, do something creative, do something inspirational, take a trip to some place (even close by) that you haven't been before, take a bath.















5. Be Balanced

For me, healthy living also means being moderate in most things. Balanced. Leave room for little sins and break outs. Don't beat yourself up for that one piece of chocolate, Or that glass of wine. Although I am mostly abstinent, I will drink a glass of wine or beer occasionally. It happens a couple of times per year only, but still. I allow for that.




The Recipe





Pasta Colorata (Coloured Pasta) is a simple dish that takes 20mins from starting to cook to starting to eat. If you leave out the Parmesan cheese (as we do) it should be plenty vegan.

The recipe is for 1 person, adjust quantities as necessary.

Pasta Colorata

Ingredients:

85g Pasta (short one like Penne works better with this)
10g Parmesan *optional*
Olive Oil Extra Virgin
Black Pepper
Saffron
Parsley
Salt

Put on some water and let it boil. Meanwhile put the Parmesan, oil, saffron, salt and pepper into a casserole and mix it together with approximately one cup of hot water taken from the pasta pot. Stir well until it is all one homogene yellow sauce. Add the parsley.

Cook pasta "al dente". Take it out of the water and put into plate. Mix it with the sauce, then add the parsley.




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