As I told you I was planning to write a bit about food and fitness and all this kind of health related stuff since I got more and more interested in it throughout the last year. Which has probably something to do with the fact that I had to start cooking for myself and that requires a lot of planning and work if you don’t fancy take-away food that much.
It started in Barcelona and New York, where I had to do everything food related for myself for the first time (except those delicious meals Cosi made for us when we where in NY together, I am truly admiring her cooking skills!!) but now that I am living by my own and planning to stay here for a while it is even more work than before. I love working out as well and thanks to my gym being 200 meters away from my house and a ridicuously cheap gym fee going there became a habit over the past weeks. It’s the best way to meet my friends who I don’t see throughout the day due to different course schedules and catch up while being on the cross trainer, doing plank challenges or stretching. I also love to run and I am starting to do it more regularly again especially because I just can’t be bothered to be inside a gym when the weather is so nice outside (not talking for the typical Dutch weather but still…).
But with putting so much time and effort in all this fitness stuff a healthy diet is kind of mandatory. It’s not that I don’t eat anything unhealthy anymore, (don’t even start with this amazing Chocolate cake for a friends’ birthday yesterday…) but I just enjoy eating healthy food so so much that I don’t even feel like putting anything crappy inside my body anymore. (Yes sure, there are exceptions but I’m talking about the everyday uni-life here.)
I thought about making a small series about everything food- (and maybe also fitness-, if someone's interested) related on my blog, giving you some healthy recipe ideas and tips on what and where to buy, how to prepare, what to avoid etc., inspiration and whatever I find important to mention. It might become a two-post thing but if I see there are people interested in it I could extend it a bit.
Starting off I should mention that I am actually mostly vegetarian, and when I'm not home in Germany also mostly plant based (vegan) besides some exceptions. I don't find it difficult at all to prepare food that is mostly plants, actually I think it is a lot easier than preparing meat etc., I don't even know how to prepare that so I stick to the vegetarian options. And don't tell me vegetarians and vegans only live of carrots and spinach that is SO wrong, I am sure I eat a lot more varied than many many of those non-vegetarians. Sure, it requires some planning especially when it comes to getting all your proteins and iron but I can assure you the effect is you cook and eat a lot more conscious than if you wouldn't need to care about it. I don't want to convince anyone to become vegetarian or vegan but I can truly recommend giving it a try, even if it's only for a week or a month or so. You'll find yourself browsing recipe books and blogs a lot more and experimenting a lot more with allt hose ingredients.
When I'm getting my groceries I normally get all my usual stuff and then every now and then add something "special" to try out new recipes. So food you'd always find in my fridge is spinach (for all those green smoothies, yey! It actually tastes SO good, especially when you mix it with banana and orange juice!!), other veggies like beetroot, avocado, tomatos, champignons, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers... Then I always have hummus, I'd much rather make it myself but due to my non-existing mixer it's not possible (yet). I also eat a lot of ketchup, a lot, my guilty pleasure and another one, I LOVE curd cheese. I have it after every meal, mixed with raisins, chocolate sprinkles (the perks of living in the Netherlands) and some fruit.
I always get a looot of fruit, I just love it so much, I try to buy as much seasonal as possible (and yey, October means apple season!!!) and I also try to buy most of it at the Turkish supermarkets where you can just take as much as you need and put it in a basket rather than having every plum wrapped in 100 layers of plastic foil. I also get some frozen berries every now and then to have some emergency fruit in case I wake up one morning and all my fruit is gone. And because they make every smoothie a loooot more delicious.
Additional to the fresh stuff I always have a massive stock of oats, nuts, dried fruit, coconut flakes, roasted chickpeas (my newest discovery!! GOOO get them!!), quinoa, couscous, peanut butter, rice crackers, soy sauce, canned corn and beans, lentils, fruit bars etc. at home. And then every now and then I treat myself with a trip to the organic supermarket and get some of my favourite tea (Clipper!) and some chia seed or raw chocolate.
So yeah, that might sound veeery boring to some of you but I love all this kind of food so much and right now I'm starting to be a bit more experimental and give more "fancy" food a try. This week I got some butternut pumpkin and brokkoli and made a delicious casserole out of it. And then there is the thing of living in the dorms, and every week there is at least one dinner party somewhere and I just can't resist those amazing oreo cakes and "borrelhapjes", the Dutch snacks. And then there are the weekends when I'm going home and my mom is probably the best cook (especially when it comes to preparing meals out of left overs) so I occasionally eat meat and fish and other stuff. But those are exceptions and then it's mainly about the meal itself, eating with my family, having a good time. I guess after all that's what's most important to me when it comes to food: finding the right balance with eating healthy, nourishing your body, being conscious about what you eat and how you prepare it and treating yourself every now and then.