It’s that time of the year again – National Nutrition Week is running all week from 16-22 October 2016. People who have been following my blog over the years know that I always get involved with this event! This year’s theme is ‘Try for 5’…. 5 serves of vegetables, that is.
- The average Australian only eats around half of the recommended 5 daily serves of vegetables.
- Less than 4% of Aussies actually eat enough vegetable serves each day.
So this year’s National Nutrition Week will focus on improving that statistic!
I was recently asked to write an article for work showing a typical mid-week work day and what I tend to eat. See the article I wrote below and notice some easy ways I snuck in serves of vegetables while still keeping my meals interesting, tasty and filling!
My day on a plate
I like to change up my breakfast options to keep things interesting as it is my favourite meal of the day! Today I am enjoying rolled oats porridge cooked with low fat milk and topped with sliced banana and crushed nuts. This meal contains a good portion of fibre and warms me up while Melbourne mornings are still a bit too chilly for my liking.
On the way to work, 0745hrs
Most mornings I walk the 40 odd minutes from Flinders Street Station to work. Today is one of those mornings I need a coffee to wake me up (and warm my hands on the walk). I choose a skinny latte – the low fat milk provides me with a serve of protein and calcium, and it helps to fill my stomach so that I can concentrate throughout my morning.
I like to spend a few dollars every day on a coffee. And it’s public knowledge that I love to indulge on
overpriced sweet brunch options most weekends. So during the week I try to save my money at lunchtime and instead bring food from home. Leftovers are my favourite because I feel like I am filling up on a hot meal but don’t go to any additional effort to get this.
Today is leftovers from last night’s vegetarian pesto pasta. I made high fibre fettuccine pasta with pesto paste and also mixed in some zucchini noodles, green peas, garlic, pine nuts and crumbled feta cheese.
While I am not vegetarian I think it’s important to get protein from non-animal sources every now and then (e.g beans, legumes, nuts, tofu, eggs or dairy products) as they can provide you with a range of nutrients that you may not necessarily get from animal proteins.
I also find this dish to be an easy one to sneak in a couple serves of vegetables. I am a big fan of enjoying my carbohydrates (i.e. pasta) but not at the expensive of missing out on my veggies. Here I can still eat the same sized meal as always, but now I am having half the amount of pasta I would usually eat as the other half is replaced with zucchini and green peas.
Afternoon tea, 1630hrs
It is 4:30 and I need something to stop me from getting home at 6:30 and invading the pantry. So while I sit at my desk and do my daily admin, I enjoy a tub of low fat yoghurt. Other days I may have a piece of seasonal fresh fruit.
By the time I get home I am starving! So I listen to some music to distract me as I prepare dinner for two (well, three if you include the serve of leftovers I will prepare for lunch tomorrow).
Dinner tonight is Moroccan fish fillets with an orange and greens salad. The salad contains cooked wholemeal couscous, a range of greens (rocket, steam asparagus and green beans), sliced fresh oranges, slivered almonds, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a dash of olive oil and a squeeze of remaining fresh juice from the orange. The white fish fillets are coated in Moroccan seasoning and a small amount of olive oil before grilled on a non-stick frying pan.
This recipe was adapted from the 2012 Healthy Food Guide recipe Moroccan fish fillets with orange and date salad.
Eating a combination of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables at main meals provides the perfect proportion of macronutrients and micronutrients. Try to aim for half of your dinner plate to contain vegetables or salad, a quarter to contain lean protein, and the last quarter to be a carbohydrate option such as my wholemeal couscous.
On the couch, 2100hrs
As I unwind on the couch while watching the latest episode of Australian Survivor, I enjoy a teddy bear biscuit with a cup of herbal tea. The herbal tea is caramel flavoured – so while I feel like I am having something sweet, the low-calorie drink curbs the craving without all of the added sugar a sweetened beverage or dessert would give me.
I am already looking forward to my leftover Moroccan fish and salad in my lunch break tomorrow…