Broadening healthy eating horizons with stir fry POWER!

We all SHOULD eat healthy the majority of the time, that’s a no brainer.

For some this comes naturally and with ease but for others, it’s a little more…….well……challenging.

Fortunately, I fall into the “naturally with ease” category. It wasn’t always the case though, I should add. Although I guess the hypochondriac in me was always laying dormant, waiting to be ignited! 

Since the latter part of 2012 that spark has flourished into an ever swelling furnace! 

I’m always seeking to expand my horizons on the health and lifestyle scheme of things, in fact I’m always striving for expansion and exploration of fresh concepts, habits, ideas etc. I’m a profound believer that if you aren’t learning and progressing………..you’re practically DEAD! 

Let’s get back to the ‘tummy tingling’ topic of FOOD!

Those foundation principles should not be forgotten when it comes to food, if anything….they should be applied FIRMER! We all have foods we just love eating and could practically eat over and over and…….well……..over again! Some are healthy, some I’m pretty sure are not so much (and in some cases, that’s probably putting it lightly!) I actually DON’T have any real weakness when it comes to devouring “bad” foods (no, honestly I’m not a closet junk food eater in denial!) My idea of indulgence tends to fall on the “clean” spectrum of the food scale. (Boring, I know. Sorry!)

I guess I should thank my lucky stars for the discipline I’m blessed with!

The slight drawback with consistent healthy eating is you tend to eat the same foods and food types perpetually. The reason for this, and I’m only starting to overcome this myself! Is…..most people only know of select foods and select cooking methods and think that’s all there is to healthy eating!

How wrong they are!

Ok, hands up here, I’m guilty of a narrow vision when it comes to eating. Well, I was up until recently! I was eating vegetables with every meal (full marks for that!) but, it was just boiled Broccoli, Cauliflower, Green Peas and Carrots. That was it! I just boiled those staple veggies practically all the time. Those vegetables are phenomenal vegetables that you should ALWAYS eat, but my oh my……..you’re missing out on so much if that’s all you’re eating!

It’s not just the vegetables that get stale, how about how you’re cooking them?!

Since eating like that (let me also point out, that if you’re not eating ANY vegetables AT ALL, even my old habit would be a marked improvement for you!) I have brought in an enormity of nutrient dense and rich veggies. Powerhouses like Spinach, Brussels Sprouts, Okra, Broad beans, Cabbage, Mushrooms, Peppers and that’s just the tip of the iceburg!

For more on some great foods you should be eating, check out this popular post of mine from a few weeks back:http://wordpress.com/read/post/id/68220244/549/

(I really do practice what I preach)

To illustrate that I’m far from a “one trick pony” I’ve also modified and experimented with various cooking methods of these superfoods!

Now we get to the STIR FRY part! 

Boiling > steaming > stir frying! 

That’s how my vegetable preparation has changed over the last few months. I heard (as you may have) many claims that steaming preserves vegetable nutrients. Which made complete sense to me! Also my sister was a big supporter of steamed vegetables, so I gave them a try………..and I didn’t look back! 

The taste was just far superior! There was actually a crunch too! I mean come on, who likes mushy, soft veggies??!!

The crunch = nutrients!

So as I was growing satisfyingly accustomed to the authentic crunch, I was recently exposed to an awesome Egg fritatta recipe which contained stir fried Broccoli and multi-coloured Peppers (what a meal that was!) and I was instructed to taste those veggies as they stir fried. 

I did just that and WOW! The crunch? Oh the crunch indeed!

But you didn’t just get a bland crunch, you got a ever so slightly charred taste combined with a light lingering paste effect from the oil (I was using Grapeseed at that particular time) and the party in my mouth had begun!

So ever since I’ve been trying all kinds of delicious stir fry combos! 

I’m actually a big fan of mixing foods, particularly vegetables. I find it’s a great way of growing to like vegetables that you might be “on the fence” on at present. For example, I wasn’t huge on Peppers or Brussels Sprouts up until VERY recently. But now I really enjoy them! I learned to like them by simply throwing them into a big veggie mix of all kinds of veggies that I did like, or even into a Brown rice mix (another example)

There’s NO excuse for not expanding your boundaries!

I’m living proof that you can learn to or grow to like ANYTHING. You just have to be patient and hold a fully open mind and soul. This is why it really strikes a chord within when people tell me they could “never eat” such and such.

Learn to be adaptive

Mix foods, use different cooking methods as much as possible! You can stir fry with Grapeseed oil, Extra virgin Olive oil (emphasis on it being extra virgin, otherwise it’s quality will be inadequate) and the mother of all cooking oils……..COCONUT OIL!

Again, important that it’s a “virgin” Coconut oil and therefore not “hydrogenated” in any way. Coconut oil boasts some amazing health benefits and it’s brilliant to stir fry with as it has a very high smoke point (around 350 Fahrenheit) 

Also, from experience it coats itself around the foods you cook with like a succulent blanket! Olive oil is ok, but the downside to stir frying with it is, it has a relatively low smoke point. Something you will have to keep an eye on if this is your choice. Grapeseed oil also has a high smoke point (similar to Coconut oil) which makes it aptly suitable to stir fry all your desired veggies.

What about spices?

Another amazingly overlooked element of stir frying and making healthy food taste even better is the employment of spices. It’s astounding how many people have never tried spices such as:

Turmeric, Ginger, Fenugreek, Garlic, Paprika, types of Pepper, Chilli powder and I could go on and on!

I recently was provided with a couple of truly amazing “spice rub” recipes in which you mix a variety of spices together in a strategic fashion to create a particular theme of taste……..I.E. Mexican or Cajun.

Another key point about spices is (from experience), those of you who may be on a fat loss mission will benefit massively from using spices as they really do tend to give you a very “full up” sensation without having eaten much at all! That’s a bonus for you guys.

Once you start implementing spicy stir fries, you WILL NOT see healthy eating as boring, bland, one dimensional or hard ever again!

So I invite you to try a stir fry tonight for dinner and I’d love to know what you think. Nothing is off limits when it comes to stir frying, the only limit is your imagination! 

Drop me a comment down below! Can you become a healthy eating addict?

P.S. Whilst I was typing this up I was casually chewing my way through a Coconut oil ground Turkey stir fry with Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Peppers, Green Beans and a TON of spices! Layered in Pumpkin seeds too! It goes without saying, I’m one satisfied guy right now! 🙂

Till next time, happy eating!

Wolfsta.

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