When I was in 20s, wanting to lose weight and look like a model, my focus was all about protein in my diet. I tried a high protein – low carb diet, having eggs or chicken breast x2-3 times a day and avoiding rice or any kinds of carbohydrates. I developed a fear of eating carbs as if they do any harm to my body and didn’t understand a proper nutrition. I had mood swings, frustration, obsession, indigestion and constipation. Bad bad bad…As I’ve been overcoming my bad eating habits and eating healthy again, my diet is now more based on vegetables, whole grains and a minimal amount of animal protein. And somehow it is easier for me to control my cravings and feel good. Why? We need carbs to survive, generate energy and have optimal body and brain function. It is so so important! We need both simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbs found in fruits, coconut water, maple syrup and honey release energy more readily in our body, great for sports. Complex carbohydrates found in whole grains contain vital vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre and release slow energy. The ones we want to avoid is refined sugar and hidden sugar in processed food.
So what whole grains? brown rice, wild rice, oats, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, lentils.. I’m excited just listing all these beautiful names. They all have different texture and flavour, great for making salads, sides, desserts or even mains. They are high in protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre. How to incorporate in your meals? Here is an example.
Breakfast: baked oats, overnight oats or oat porridge, pancakes, whole grain granola, breakfast muffins,
Lunch: quinoa salad, millet salad, buckwheat soup, wild rice salad, carrot salad, healthy wrap
Dinner: pea soup, cauliflower rice, tabbouleh, lentil burger, burrito bowl, baked sweet potato
Dessert: wild rice pudding, power balls, raw brownie, raw banana cheese cake
Move onto the recipe. A classic combination of fennel and orange in warm toasted millet. What not to love? Crunchy and licorice taste of raw fennel is so refreshing. This amazing fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and dietary fibre. It is also one of the best antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods on the planet. Another good news is great for the digestive system, calming flatulence, bloating, indigestion and IBS. If you don’t like chewing on raw fennel, use roasted or braised fennel in this salad for a caramelised mellow flavour. Enjoy x
100g millet, soaked
100g water to cook millet
1 large orange
1 cup of thinly sliced fennel
1 block of feta cheese
1 tbsp e.v.o.o
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Drain soaked millet. Heat coconut oil in a pot over medium heat and toast millet until lightly brown and fragrant. Add an equal amount of water and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until water is all absorbed. Remove from the heat, let it sit with a lid on for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Put the millet, thinly sliced or shaved fennel and chopped the orange in a bowl. Gently toss together with a dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with crumbled feta cheese. Serve either warm or cold. It is great just as it is or serve with grilled chicken or fish.