You've made it... almost! 2017 is drawing swiftly to a close and if you're feeling sluggish after all those post-turkey, post-pudding sessions then our resident foodie Laura Ford has got a remedy/recipe for you.
"After the silly season, Nourish Bowls are a great way to load up on nutrient-dense foods in a super tasty way," says Laura. "You can fill them with whatever you like but typically Nourish Bowls are filled with plenty of veggies, complex carbohydrates, good quality lean protein and healthy fats; making them the perfect meal for health and vitality."
I like to use leafy green vegetables as a base for my bowls as it’s an easy way to boost your nutrient intake, but feel free to start building your bowl with wholegrains if you prefer.
How to construct your Nourish bowl:
1. Use leafy greens as your main base
Leafy greens are an excellent source of fibre, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Great leafy greens include fresh leaves such as baby spinach, rocket, watercress and mixed lettuce leaves. Vegetables from the cruciferous family (such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale) are great to add as they contain anti-cancer compounds.
Use ~½ - 1 cup of leafy greens.
2. Top with a cooked wholegrain or complex carbohydrate
Complex carbohydrates found in wholegrain foods, starchy vegetables and beans/legumes are a great source of fibre and are rich in B group vitamins and minerals. Choose bright coloured starchy vegetables like corn, sweet potato and peas; or fibre-rich wholegrains such as quinoa, barley, brown rice, freekah and buckwheat. Beans and legumes come with the added bonus of extra protein!
Use ~2/3 – 1 cup of wholegrains or starchy vegetables.
3. Add a rainbow of veggies
Try to add at least 2-3 different coloured vegetables to your Nourish Bowl. It will make your bowl more visually appealing and all the different colours in the vegetables have different antioxidants; so the more colours, the wider the range of antioxidants you'll be consuming! You can use a mixture of fresh, steamed or baked veggies to add variety such as roasted capsicum, spiralized carrot, grilled eggplant, sautéed mushrooms, red onion, radish, cucumber, and zucchini.
Aim for ~1-2 cups of vegetables (depending on how hungry you are).
4. Add a good quality protein
Protein is important to build and repair cells in the body, including those for muscles and other tissues. It is also essential for the production of hormones and enzymes (chemicals in the body that help with different reactions). Good quality sources of protein include lean meats/poultry, fish/seafood, tofu, tempeh, beans/legumes and eggs.
Use ~60g–100g of your chosen protein source.
5. Finish with a healthy fat
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can provide benefits to heart health and are essential for the growth of hair, skin and nails. Great sources of healthy fats include avocado, nuts, seeds and extra-virgin olive oil. Simply add a few slices of avocado, a handful of almonds or a drizzle of tahini or extra-virgin olive oil to finish your Nourish Bowl. Adding fat is also important as fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamin A, D, E and K) can only be absorbed when eaten with fat.
Use about 1-2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp of nuts or ¼ avocado