Eating well using an easy rule

Beef and Quinoa Burrito bowl

The pleasure of our warmer months is undoubtedly marred by numerous “diets” and quick food hacks.

Sunshine Coast nutritionist of forty years Cyndi O’Meara has developed a simple rule to follow for eating well – no matter what your size. The 2-2-4-4 habit.

Cyndi said, “Few people have the time or interest to weigh food, count calories and calculate fat. If you consume quality foods that are free of chemicals in a fresh wholefood state, nutrients will be in abundance and your health will reflect it. But to be sure, follow the 2-2-4-4 rule. It will become a habit, but this habit will change the way you eat.“

“You’ll learn to really look at food, the ingredients and how much you’re eating. Time will ensure you nourish your body well and become aware of the food that fuels your body and mind.“

Cyndi said, “How the 2-2-4-4 habit works, is that every day you eat two proteins, two starches, four fruits and four vegetables. This rule applies no matter your weight. The quantity of each of course will vary dependant on your size and situation. The fact is, there is an easier way to measure and control your intake rather than counting calories or weighing foods.”

“The idea is to have a variety within all these food groups. Proteins include meats, nuts, legumes, eggs, yoghurts. If you can, have a protein from each an animal and plant source. Starches are in all the grains, but also within foods of breads, pasta, biscuits. Fruit and vegetables are interchangeable, so long as they are fresh you can have with lunch, dinner or breakfast plus they make a great snack.

“This habit is a guideline. Try the formula, perhaps start by consuming four fruit portions a day then move onto four portions of vegetables. Take into consideration existing dietary requirements – a type 2 diabetic will require a change in starch portions for example. But do listen to your body and the health it needs. The 2-2-4-4 habit can become the positive change to eating for life.“

BUTTER CHICKEN

Serves 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

4 tbsp butter

500 g chicken thighs, chopped

1 brown onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp Changing Habits Garam Masala

1 tbsp Changing Habits Ginger Powder

1 tsp Changing Habits Chilli Powder

1 tsp Changing Habits Curry Powder

1 tsp Changing Habits Turmeric

Changing Habits Seaweed Salt to taste

Changing Habits Pepper to taste

0.5 cup tomato paste

400ml coconut milk

To serve

Lime wedges

Cooked rice

Small handful coriander

Directions

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large fry-pan over a medium-high heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until soft and fragrant.

2. Add the chicken and cook until the meat starts to brown slightly.

3. Add the garam masala, ginger powder, chilli powder, turmeric, curry powder, salt and pepper. Stir for a minute until the spices are distributed evenly with the chicken.

4. Add the tomato paste and coconut milk. When the mixture begins to bubble, turn down to a medium-low heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens.

5. Remove from the heat and stir through the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

6. Serve hot with rice, lime and coriander.

BLUEBERRY COMPOTE

Serves 4

Prep Time: 2 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup blueberries

1.5 tbsp Changing Habits Rapadura Sugar

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

0.5 cup filtered water

Directions

1. Combine the blueberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over a medium-high heat for 5 minutes and then turn down to low and simmer for a further 15 minutes until the mixture has thickened.

2. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy with pancakes, yoghurt, scones and more!

APPLE CRUMBLE CHIA PUDDING

Serves 2

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

Chia Layer

1 cup coconut or almond milk

4 tbsp chia seeds

Apple Layer

3 apples, peeled and diced (save a few slices for the garnish)

1 cup water

1 tsp Changing Habits Cinnamon

1 tbsp Changing Habits Rapadura Sugar (optional)

Topping

1 cup gluten-free muesli of your choice

Directions

Chia Layer

1. Pour a cup of coconut or almond milk evenly into two glasses. Divide the chia seeds between both and stir well.

2. Place in the refrigerator overnight or for 4+ hours to set.

Apple Layer

3. Place the peeled and diced apples into a frypan on a high heat. Cover with water and sprinkle with cinnamon and rapadura sugar.

4. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Let boil for 5 minutes or until the water evaporates and the apple is cooked and soft. Remove from the heat and cool.

5. Once the chia layer has set add a layer of the apple on top.

Assembly

6. Top with your choice of muesli and sliced apple.

BEEF & QUINOA BURRITO BOWL

Serves 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

1 small sweet potato, diced

1 tbsp olive oil

Changing Habits Seaweed Salt to taste

Changing Habits Pepper to taste

Spice Mix

1 tsp Changing Habits Chilli Powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

0.5 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp Changing Habits Curry Powder

Beef

1 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

0.5 brown onion, diced

500 g minced organic beef

Changing Habits Seaweed Salt to taste

Changing Habits Pepper to taste

Salsa

0.25 Spanish onion, diced

2 tomatoes, diced

0.5 cucumber, diced

Capsicum

1 tbsp olive oil

1 red capsicum, cut into strips

1 green capsicum, cut into strips

Guacamole

2 avocados

0.25 Spanish onion, diced

Juice of 1 lime

Changing Habits Seaweed Salt to taste

Changing Habits Pepper to taste

To Serve

1 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled

1 jalapeno, sliced and fried quickly

Small handful of coriander

Lime wedges

Directions

Sweet Potato

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

2. Place diced sweet potato on a lined baking tray and coat in olive oil, salt and pepper.

3. Roast for 30-40 minutes.

Mexican Spice Mix

4. Combine all spice ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Beef

5. Place onion and garlic in a pan over a medium heat and cook until soft and fragrant.

6 . Add the minced beef and cook for a further 2-3 minutes before adding the spice mix and water. Bring to the boil and turn down to a low heat and simmer until the water has absorbed, stirring occasionally.

Salsa

7. Dice all salsa ingredients and place in a small bowl. Set aside.

Capsicum

8. Cut the red and green capsicum into strips and place in a pan with the olive oil over a medium-high heat and cook until soft.

Guacamole

9. Combine all guacamole ingredients in a bowl and mash until smooth. Set aside.

Assembly

10. Place the cooked quinoa in 4 bowls before arranging the other ingredients on the top. Garnish with lime wedges, coriander and fried jalapenos (optional).

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