How to reset healthy habits with nutritionist Steph Geddes
As the months roll on, often our best laid plans for making this year our healthiest and happiest yet become a distant memory. Recently, we sat down with registered nutritionist and recipe developer, Steph Geddes from Body Good Food, to get her expert tips on how to create better habits and eat seasonally throughout the year.
As we head into the cooler months, how can people get their healthy eating back on track?
Steph Geddes (SG): Well, first things first – no matter what you have done this year so far, it’s important to remember that we don’t always have to eat for nutritional value only. It can still be healthy to eat just for joy, pleasure or to connect with others, and there’s no need to feel guilty about your food choices.
Creating healthy habits though is a good idea and I recommend starting simple: in each meal aim for half a plate of vegetables, ¼ plate of complex carbohydrates, ¼ plate quality protein, plus a tablespoon or two of healthy fats. Complement this with 2L of water throughout the day and you’ll be ticking all the boxes for a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet that you can maintain long term.
How important is it to restore good gut health after periods of indulgence?
SG: Our microbiome can be easily influenced, so if we have indulged a lot lately, it’s definitely a good idea to try and restore the balance of our gut bacteria, which we also know can be related to so many other aspects of our health.
This is best done by including a large variety of wholefoods, mainly plant foods. Aiming for 30 different plant foods a week has been shown to have positive effects on our microbiome.
What are some realistic healthy eating goals if you’re trying to hit the ‘reset’ button?
SG: My best advice is to start by incorporating just one or two new habits at a time. Maybe that’s getting your five servings of veggies per day, plus 2L of water. Just focus on these for 3-4 weeks until you feel they have become habits that will be easy to sustain, and then you can move on to focusing on other healthy habits you want to incorporate.
What’s your best tip for eating seasonally?
SG: Eating with the seasons is such a nutritious, sustainable and affordable way to eat, yet many of us have lost touch with the seasonal food cycle because at commercial supermarkets all foods are available year round.
Regardless of where you shop, the aim is to source the most nutrient dense produce, that has travelled the least miles and is most affordable. Going a step further and buying this produce directly from your local farmers not only ensures the above but gives back to other local families and businesses too.
What are some simple ways that people can get creative in their kitchens this season?
SG: Eating seasonally gives us a great opportunity to try some produce that you may not have regularly, and cooking it in a few different ways. When the produce is good you only need simple cooking methods to get amazing flavour.
What’s your latest favourite seasonal produce at the moment for cooking and snacks?
During autumn, it’s passionfruit and pomegranates for me, or even something like Haloumi & Corn Fritters as we head into the cooler months in the southern hemisphere. I also love haloumi in a salad with the combination of roast pumpkin, salty haloumi and pops of sweet pomegranate – you just can’t go wrong.
I’ve also been loving a salad of rocket, strawberries, basil, pine nuts and then putting some haloumi under the grill in my Miele oven to place on top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar – yum!
What’s your favourite Miele appliance or setting to use at the moment?
SG: I love the ‘grill’ feature on my oven – such a simple and quick way to get a boost in flavour and texture and perfect to combine with fresh salad ingredients.
As a nutritionist, how do your Miele appliances help you get the most value from your ingredients?
SG: I love how my Miele steam oven allows me to cook veggies with minimal nutritional loss, compared to other cooking methods like boiling. Steaming allows the nutrients to remain, meaning you are getting a more nutrient dense final product to tuck into!
If you are entertaining at home – what are some key ingredients or healthy recipes you make to impress and nourish your guests?
SG: I love doing really big salads that are bursting with flavour but also texture. Combining fresh salad ingredients with cooked in-season vegetables and topping it off with toasted nuts and seeds, fresh herbs and tangy dressings!
What’s the next recipe you’re looking to test with your new Miele appliances?
SG: I want to try a whole roast cauliflower – I love that the temperature settings on my Miele oven allow for even cooking so you can get the perfect tender result!
A big thank you to nutritionist and recipe developer Steph Geddes from Body Good Food for taking the time to inspire us and share her expert tips for implementing healthier habits this year.