You will have seen us post the Fit Food Collective before – we love her ethos on mindfulness (we feel calmer every time we see to her), and delicious recipes; easy to make (we need this), gluten free, sugar free, diary free, and subsequently guilt free! (Editor’s Pick: Banana Pancakes)
We took the time to ask Founder Lucy the inspiration behind the Fit Food Collective, living a healthy lifestyle in Dubai and what recipes we can expect coming soon! Grab a (herbal) tea, and enjoy the read!
What is the Fit Food Collective, and what does it stand for?
Fit Food Collective is a Holistic approach to health and wellbeing. In the beginning, my website idea was focused primarily on combining my love of healthy food and fitness. Although as time went on, this realisation really nailed it for me; until lately we all thought we knew the score; eat well, keep fit and you’re winning health wise. Only recently has awareness grown about the importance of looking after our minds. I see all aspects of health as interconnected. If we’re not in the best head space, we’re more likely to make food choices which aren’t great for us, often leading to comfort eating. This can be a vicious cycle of unhealthy thoughts and feelings about ourselves. For me, health is about self-love, self-care and self-appreciation. A great way to care for your body is through the nourishment you put inside. This in turn, can have a huge affect on confidence and how we see ourselves.
buy cheap cialis no prescription Why did you start the website?
I started the website because my personal food, fitness and mindfulness journey has genuinely changed my life for the better, so sharing what I’ve learned here might just help others too! At a time, when I believe, the food industry has brain-washed us into thinking we’re too busy to prepare our own meals, remember you can always make time for things you want to do and care about. It just takes a little preparation and organisation – a small price to pay to feel strong and energised, and a fantastic investment in your future health.
Have you always been health conscious, and enjoyed a healthy diet?
Not at all. I’ve always been a massive foodie but not particularly health conscious in the past. I’m one of those people that plans what to have for lunch while they’re eating their breakfast. I’ve always leaned towards the adventurous when it comes to food… try everything, LOVE everything. This love affair was plane sailing until I was 16 and I began to suffer with bouts of IBS. Instead of trying to tackle it, stubborn old me thought: “Why should I stop eating pasta and all of the things that I love?” I suffered for years, determined not to give in to my body – which I now know was crying out to be listened to. It was a long time before I started to let my body make my food decisions, rather than my stubborn mind. This transformation began when I embarked on a health kick before my wedding (over two and a half years ago) and discovered all of the delicious dishes you can make from plant-based ingredients. I hadn’t realised the damage that processed food and refined sugar does to your body. I began to experiment with different ways of eating and my digestive problems reduced significantly. I was fascinated – and I learned to love food in a whole new way.
What are your top tips for enjoying a healthy lifestyle?
Personally, to stay healthy, I eat nutritious food which I mostly make myself from scratch. About 80% of what I eat is plant based. Although I truly believe it’s all about moderation and balance is the key. I do indulge in a sourdough pizza at times and prior to being pregnant, a glass or three of wine now and again.
I exercise 5 times a week doing a variety of classes of high and low impact classes; barre, pilates, yoga, spinning and (pre-pregnancy) HIIT interval training.
I also meditate for a minimum of 20 minutes each day, something which I started last year. I can not explain how much this has impacted my life in a positive way.
Talk us through mindful eating:
To me, mindful eating, means knowing where your food comes from. Did it grow on a farm or was it made in a factory? This was the question I began to ask myself when I started to eat more healthily, every time something passed my lips. It definitely helped me in making the best choices for myself and my body. Mindful eating means paying attention to what you body needs and what is good for it. Eating well makes a massive difference to self-esteem and body image. If you eat pizza, pasta and junk food every day, you’re more than likely going to be sluggish and lethargic. If you’re nourishing your body with nutritious food, which your body loves, you’re going to feel healthy and energetic – both physically and mentally. Once you shift your self-image focus from outwards appearance to inner (what does my body need) a change in contentment can grow from within, helping to improve confidence. This will show on the outside — you will be glowing from the inside out.
What is your favourite recipe?
This is a tough one…there are so many! At the moment, I am eating lots of my Sweet Potato, Squash and Lentil Curry with either quinoa or brown rice. I just discovered a great way to turn leftovers of this dish into soup. Simply heat one portion together with one cup of vegetable stock and then blend it all up. I know people don’t have masses of time in the kitchen so I love to think of ways to get more out of our meals. Cook once, eat three times…that’s way I say! Dessert wise, I love my Pistachio and Almond mousse. It’s reminiscent of the much-loved Bakewell flavour – a taste I’d been missing out on since my healthy days. My new favourite for snacking or breakfast on-the-go is my Banana and Almond Breakfast Bars. And, I have to mention my new Sweet Potato and Pecan Brownies….they are unreal. I’ve made quite a few different recipes for sweet potato brownies and they’ve all, well, just tasted a bit too much like sweet potato. I want my brownie to taste like a brownie. The maple-cinnamon glazed pecan nuts take this recipe to another level. Seriously, you would never guess these brownies contain an actual vegetable!
Dubai is so fast paced, any tips for healthy snacks?
Energy Balls are my go-to snack when I’m out and about. I take them everywhere with me – you just never know when the snack cravings are going to hit! They are so quick and easy to make – no baking involved, just throw all of the ingredients in a food processor and roll it into balls. My ultimate favourites are my “Salted Caramel Cookie Dough” Energy Balls. I also love the “Almond Bakewell” Energy Balls recipe on my website for a healthy twist on this traditional flavour.
What is next? Can you give us a sneak peek into some upcoming recipes?
I have some delicious new smoothie recipes coming up soon. I’ve just discovered a recipe for the most addictive Almond and Cinnamon Cookies and I’m also working on a “White Chocolate” and Vanilla “Cheese”cake recipe using cacao butter and cashews. I’m pretty excited about this one!
Imagery credits: https://www.instagram.com/fitfoodcollective/