Like you, we love the finer things in life, and aren’t willing to compromise on taste, experience and indulgence for a few measly kilojoules.
We live by Oscar Wilde’s attitude of “everything in moderation, including moderation,” because, frankly, life without wine, cheese and good friends wouldn’t be worth living anyway!
But being happy is all about being healthy, and we understand that when it comes to what you and your family need and want, it’s all about balance.
Fortunately, we’re in good company, with a number of our favourite cooks and chefs now embracing a “balanced lifestyle” as part of their food philosophy.
At the end of the day there’s no quick fix to getting healthy, it’s all about equilibrium – burning off what you put in and being smart and selective about life’s little indulgences.
Nigella Lawson has got it right, she lives by Wilde’s philosophy when comes to food and life – making her cakes and eating them too – then tagging on a little extra Iyengar yoga at the end of the day to stay in shape. And what a shape that is!
For Nigella, life’s all about feeling good, which just so happens to lead to looking good, and according to the Huffington Post, Nigella credits yoga and eating lighter for her glow
“As you get on in life, you value feeling well as opposed to looking well. Yoga certainly makes you feel great, and you want to carry on feeling great,” she said.
“I wouldn’t want a life where I lived on chia seed pudding, just as I wouldn’t want a life where I lived on eggs Benedict or steak and chips. I love kale and I’m an avocado obsessive. But life is about balance, it’s not about being smug.”
Having recently released a new cook book called Simply Nigella, featuring a number of lighter, but still decadently-delicious recipes, Nigella’s not the only foodie who has taken a different approach to comfort food in recent years.
Jamie Oliver who has been a champion for quick, easy, home grown, home cooked, calorie-unconscious food over his 20 years as a TV chef/food crusader, recently released the Everyday Super Food cookbook, devoted to lighter eating.
Touting the importance of balance, rather than dieting, or cutting out particular food groups, Oliver, like Nigella, says it’s all about moderation.
“My grandad’s philosophy on life was simple – everything in moderation and a little bit of what you like, and that still stands very true today,” Oliver writes. “Even nutritionists eat cake!”
Speaking of cake, Australia’s own queen of the kitchen, Donna Hay – known for her decadent desserts and beautifully presented, easy to follow recipes – recently released a number of cook books inspired by her own renewed approach to food.
And while Nigella may not be a fan of Donna’s use of chia seeds, her latest cookbook Life in Balance features pages upon pages of delicious, balanced meals that show you can indulge in the finer things, while still living a healthy life.
“Balance is my secret ingredient for feeling happy and energised, especially when it comes to the kitchen,” she writes. “This book is my everyday approach to eating – it’s about embracing the flavour and richness of whole foods, but leaving plenty of room for life’s little indulgences.
So for a truly healthy and happy relationship with food, avoid eliminating the things you love and get inspired instead, by cooking and sharing tasty, healthy, locally sourced and home made food that everyone will enjoy!
Here are our top tips for balancing the best things in life, from some of our favourite chefs…
Not only do they taste delicious, nuts are good for your heart, a great source of protein, and keep you fuller for longer. Donna Hay has some amazing nutty recipes on her website, from afternoon snacks, to easy entertaining, and fancy desserts. Her passionfruit coconut slice is a winning dinner party creation, while her carrot cake bliss balls are not only easy to make, they are the perfect accompaniment to a 3pm cup of tea at your desk.
Nuts are also great for livening up salads, and are even tastier when they're toasted. Just add roasted almonds and pumpkin to blanched kale, drizzled with a honey, white vinegar and olive oil dressing, for the perfect winter salad accompaniment to any mid-week meal.
When preparing your next cheese plate, take a leaf out of Jamie Oliver’s book by thinking about the food pyramid when planning the proportions of the platter. Focus on whole foods first by dedicating one third of the platter to fruit and vegetables, such as strawberries, pears, figs or carrot sticks, and one third of the platter to complex carbohydrates, particularly those that are high in fibre such as our Wholegrain Bites or Multifibre Snacks.
You can then devote around one sixth of your platter to protein, like white anchovies, good quality prosciutto, or almonds, and splurge with the other one sixth of your platter by adding some delicious low and full fat dairy options. We like to serve a small portion of our favourite soft cheese with a slightly larger portion of a lower fat cheese, like a parmesan, goat cheese or mozzarella.
Eggs got legs
Whether it’s a lazy Sunday, or a post-workout weekday feast, nothing gets you through to lunch better than having an egg or two in the morning. Being a mother, and a lover of comfort food, Nigella Lawson is a huge fan of eggs. They’re cheap, quick to cook, high in protein and everyone in the family loves them.
Her Eggs in Purgatory recipe is a deliciously Italian take on the traditional North African dish Shakshouka, incorporating simple, delicious and nutritious ingredients that almost everyone will have in their cupboard and fridge, including chopped tomatoes, chilli flakes, garlic, salt, olive oil and eggs, all you’ll need to grab from the shops is some fresh crusty bread to soak it all up.