Hi, I am Nonye Agbaza. I am a healthy food enthusiast / blogger with a professional background in public health within the remit of health improvement.
I have a background in nutrition science which enables me to provide food literacy and skills and inspire healthy eating through my social platform.
1. What inspired my passion for healthy eating and wellbeing?
My passion for health and wellbeing started after I successfully managed a diet related condition (Diabetes type 2) by changing the dynamics of what’s on my plate and incorporating physical activity. I didn’t need any medical intervention, and I also lost 2.5 stones.
That was a clear sign that I can enjoy optimal health if I give more attention to what’s on my plate. I also have a family history of Type 2 diabetes, which is a constant reminder of the importance of keeping well.
2. What inspired my recipe?
The weather and the season. We are gradually transitioning from autumn to winter. During this time I crave comfort warm foods with immunity boosting ingredients. I also enjoy eating fresh seasonal produce, affordable and rich in nutrients !3. What are the nutritional benefits of the ingredients?
Ingredient 1:Butternut squash is in season and is full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. It has a low calorie content of 82 cal per cup (22g carbs, 7g fibre and 2 g protein). It is a substantial source of omega-3 and beta- carotene, vitamin A, C and B1, B3,B6 and B9 with minerals like manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron, copper, potassium and folate. Also, a superb source of non- starchy carbohydrate.
Ingredient 2:Lentils are an essential cupboard staple. It is versatile and cooks quickly too! It is packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium. Lentils are a rich source of plant-based protein (25% of RDI). Protein plays an important role in building and maintaining muscle mass. Perfect for adding extra thickness to soups.
Lentils are also high in fibre, which supports proper bowel movements and the healthy gut bacteria.
Ingredient 3:Ginger contains an anti-inflammatory compound gingerol which helps to prevent or reduce inflammation. It boosts digestive health and is traditionally used to ease flu symptoms.
Ingredient 4:Pink Himalayan salt is thought to be much more natural than table salt and estimated to contain up to 84 different minerals and trace elements. This salt helps in fluid balance in the body.
Ingredient 5:Peppercorns, according to studies, are high in antioxidants. They contain the active ingredient piperine which may protect against cell damage, improve nutrient absorption, and help digestion. It adds a spicy kick to the most boring of meals!
4. My advice for planning and creating future inexpensive healthy recipes
- Planning your meals ahead means you know what you want to eat and the cost, then you can adjust your meal plan to fit your budget.
- Have a good understanding of what makes up a balanced diet. If you understand the basics, which is having a mix of carbohydrate source, protein, vegetables and reduced fat on your plate. This will make it easy to figure out what to cook.
- Stock up on cupboard ingredients and fridge essentials.
- Buy frozen alternatives, they are cheaper and equally healthy.
- Use the bargains section while food shopping.
5. My advice on maintaining healthy eating habits.
- Plan it
- Prep it
- Batch it (batch cook)
- Store it (fridge, freeze)
- Eat it
Planning and preparing your food ahead ensures consistency and allows you more time to factor nutrition into your diet .
Investing in affordable kitchen gadgets like a rice cooker, soup maker, slow cooker and a food processor has helped me to cut preparation time..
6. My advice on genetics/weight and diet goals
This is tricky. However, there is some evidence that genetics plays a role in body weight.
The study of nutrigenetics has shown how gene variation affects response to nutrients. This means is that there will be considerable inter-individual variation in response to dietary goals, and some diets may benefit certain individuals or population groups more than others. There is no one size fits all approach for weight and dietary goals.
Finally, based on evidence, the rapid rise in obesity is likely not because of genetic defects, rather lifestyle choices and changes.
7. My advice for anyone looking to adopt a healthy eating habit
First, understand your food environment, you need to own your food environment to make consistent healthy food choices.
The basics of healthy eating is keeping it simple and colourful.
Convenience: use frozen or canned vegetables to whip up healthy meals.
Ask yourself the following questions:
Why? Why do you want to eat healthy? Do you eat out of convenience, pleasure, visual appeal, social pressure?
When do you eat? When others are eating? When you are emotional? The time of the day can affect your eating habits, so you must stay in control. If needed, have a dedicated period of eating breakfast, snacks, lunch and dinner.
How much do you eat? Your serving size is also a determinant of how healthy your habit is. Too much or too little can affect your health negatively. Follow the national recommended daily dietary intake for the different food types and eat in moderation, as with everything else. You can read more on this on the British Nutrition Foundation website.
The rewards of adopting a healthy eating habit are huge and provides long-term benefits. It requires all that is for you to prioritise it and commit to it. Find an excellent support system, a social platform that promotes the lifestyle that aligns with your healthy lifestyle.
For Families: Healthy habits start young. The earlier you introduce healthy diets, the more likely your kids will make healthier food choices as they grow.
Remember, healthy eating can be inexpensive and can be achieved with minimal ingredients!
Eat well and stay well.
Connect with Nonye:
Youtube: Healthful Nonye