Photo: FlexiLean Fitness

So you’ve taken the jump… whether it’s to eat healthier, lose weight or gain muscle, you’re going to need to get the basics in place.

This way, the start will be less daunting, you’ll be more likely to stay on track, and you’ll reduce the risk of getting bored and reverting to old ways.

Don’t worry – we’re not going to give you a long list of expensive foods you can’t pronounce. Many of them you may already have. Check out the list below, and add anything you don’t have to your shopping list.

1. Protein source: meat / eggs

Protein should form a key part of your diet, it feeds your muscles and keeps you feeling full. Eggs are great poached, fried, scrambled, in an omelette or boiled.

Chicken, beef, pork, lamb, turkey, duck, game and fish can be cooked in so many ways to keep you from getting bored. Think satay chicken skewers, slow cooked beef, turkey burgers, fish cakes and pork steaks. Check out our recipes for inspiration!

2. Sweet potato

Varieties: Peel & mash, boil, bake wedge, baked whole.

Sweet potato is a key carb source to add to meals. They are slowly digesting keeping you fuller for longer, and have less effect on your blood sugar than white potatoes.

3. Wholegrain rice

Another great carb source, wholegrain means it is slower digested and less of a blood sugar spike. It is perfect with curries, stir fries and grilled meat dishes, and it doesn’t need to be plain either… read on for flavour ideas.

4. Coconut oil

Coconut oil has so many health benefits from increasing calories burned, killing bacteria, reducing hunger, improving blood cholesterol levels and protecting skin and hair.

How to use it?

Fry with it, add it to smoothies, use a replacement for butter, and add to your coffee (blend for a Starbucks like finish! Make sure you’re stocked up on the right type though – cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil.

5. Oats

Another great carb choice! Create delicious porridge, muesli, crumbles, pancakes and fried foods using this great (and cheap) food staple.

6. Fresh vegetables

Don’t underestimate the power of vegetables! Loaded with antioxidants and health benefits, try to add at least two portions of veg to your meals (pack in the leafy greens)… aside from the health benefits, they add flavour, colour and variety to your meals, and bulk out your food to fill you up. Don’t like veg? Be open-minded.. there are so many varieties to experiment with.

Maybe you’re bored of boiled broccoli? Try roasting it with peppers, onions, tomatoes and a sprinkle of Himalayan pink salt and cracked black pepper.

7. Spices

Keep your meals full of flavour using a variety of herbs and spices. Just by swapping herbs & garlic for paprika and cayenne pepper you can create a whole new dish!

Our favourite herb & spices are: Paprika, fresh Basil, fresh Rosemary, dried mixed herbs, garlic powder & turmeric.

Tip: try adding turmeric, salt and pepper to rice for a fragrant twist.

Check out our recipes for healthy, delicious meal ideas.


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