food basics

The basics of a simple and healthy diet plan

What does it mean getting rid of all the clutter of a diet plan and stay simple?

In the first post of March about food, you have seen a few suggestions that could help simplify your food routine and make the most out of your time and energy when it comes to the food organisation.
This week, I am happy to show you how I try to accomplish food simplicity with some more tips. This time I walk you through the basics of a simple and healthy diet plan.

I always like to stress the fact that I am not a nutritionist, therefore please, if you have particular requirements for your health, go and see a specialist who will help you set up the right diet for you.

Here in Zürich, I had the pleasure to work together with Tatiana Gaudimonte (who speaks Italian, German and English so feel free to contact her in the language you prefer).
Tatiana made a terrific job. I have immediately started to see improvements just with the simple advice I am going to give you here and she adjust my diet through the months in other to better achieve the final results.

Because I lived in Dublin (many memories there) and because of the good job she’s doing online, I would also like to point you out to the page of @amatterofnourishment
Chiara Gianelli is a nutrition consultant with a good attitude about food: certainly, her IG feed has the most inviting pictures of the meals she prepares.

When I started looking into food because I wanted to lose a few kilos, I tried all sorts of stratagems: fasting, soup-only diets, fancy snacks, complicated meals. I played all kitchen games with the only result of getting more stress on the table and, possibly, even more discomfort and weight. 

The mental stress this lifestyle gave me wasn’t surely helping me achieving any kind of health. This is why I started to stick to one very important rule: stay simple.

The basics of a simple and healthy diet plan:
the fundamental nutrients.

What does it mean getting rid of all the clutter of a diet plan and stay simple?

First of all, decide what is best for you when it comes to planning.
Outline a weekly diet plan may work or may not work with you. Be ready to plan your nutrients instead of following specific recipes. 

Eat a broad variety of foods. Your diet will be well balanced and your body will receive all the nutrients it needs.
I approximately calculate the same amount for whole grain carbs, protein and vegetables in all meals.
I always include fruits at breakfast, as the first thing to eat. Unsaturated fats are important too, therefore, be sure you include them in your diet.
As always, have a look at how much you eat. If you lead a sedentary life, you may need to adjust calories.
Check your doctor if you have particular needs.
Have a look here on the NHS website for a more detailed explanation.

You need a trick to stay healthy and unpretentious at the table?
Choose the simplest ingredients.
Are you having a hunger attack? Grab the simplest thing in your fridge: a banana or a carrot, a handful of nuts. 

lasagna milano
The best place in Milan for a quick and homemade lasagna.

At the supermarket, grab what has the shortest list of ingredients. As simple as that. Choose what is not processed and stick to simple recipes.
I do this with my breakfasts, you can see them here
As you can see, I kept a variety in mind without giving up taste, health and by keeping it quick.

You keep it simple on your table, for yourself and in your pockets.
Are you worried about time-consuming recipes?
Have you tried cooking rice and vegetables? It takes 20 minutes in total and you can cook double portions. This way, if it’s a recipe that works in your family, the day after will be a no brainer.

The basics of a simple and healthy diet plan: the recipes.

If you don’t believe what I say, check out these two profiles and recipes:

Stella prepared an oven tray of pumpkin, broccoli, onions, turnips, laurel and broccoli stalks, simply chopped and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

Easy veggies
Easy veggies By Stella

And here, try some gorgeous pears just cut in half and cooked in the oven with some chopped nuts.
Read the recipe directly on Stella’s feed on IG (in Italian and English).

pear in the over
Tasty pears in the over with nuts sparkles by Stella.

Cristina of @goodfoodlab offers us a beautiful pasta salad with turmeric and veggies: perfect for our next spring and summer trips! Have a look at how easy and quick it is. She has much more simple recipes on her website.

pasta salad
Delicious and simple pasta salad by Cristina.

There is no need for a ton of different recipes.
Keep it easy on yourself. I am mostly happy with lots of veggies, fish or other proteins, rice or grains, fruits and nuts. A small portion of cooked vegetables for dinner. Don’t overcomplicate it.

And don’t stress if it is not the right time of your life to cook and focus on a diet plan (moms to small children, hello).
Sometimes you need to relax and be easy about your daily tasks. Try to stay healthy every now and then and be sure you eat properly some times.

The basics of a simple and healthy diet plan: the change.

I hear you: you are worried that wholegrain pasta won’t taste the same as the refined type. Or that a packet of fries will not have the same taste as a stalk of celery with hummus. It simply won’t.

A plate of natural food will taste as what you will put into it and it will be healthy and good for your body. Your homemade pancakes will taste like the flour you decided to use, the good nuts and fruits you put on top.
Most importantly, I assure you, your taste will change pretty soon and you will be able to savour an apple once again.
You will be re-programmed to appreciate simple food and its real taste.
Moreover, because of this shift, you will probably less stressed about what to eat and how to cook it. You’ll know more what it makes you feel good and your body will thank you with more energy and strength.

Soon enough, you won’t need to slavishly follow a recipe. You’ll be more confident in the kitchen and able to figure out how to make it work in a simple and efficient way.

As you can see, you just went back to the first two points of this post.
No planning and no more long lists of sophisticated ingredients and never-ending meals preparation.

I really hope you have enjoyed reading this post.
I will try to post more of what I cook for my family so that you can have a closer look at what I mean.
March is almost finished but we have just started taking care of ourselves, right?!

Follow me on IG @theartofslowsipping and please share with me your pictures using the hashtag #theartofslowsipping

See you in April with a new topic about simplification.
xo, Chiara

About the author
Hi, I’m Chiara, an Italian landed in Zürich in 2011. I like to help people finding their way to the sustainable use of social media, without sacrificing results. I like to write about mindfulness and all things real.

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