For this edition of Inspiration Insider we’re in for a treat with famed Australian nutritionist and chef Zoe Bingley-Pullin joining us to share her expertise and knowledge.
Maybe like me, you’ve caught Zoe on her Channel 10 show Good Chef Bad Chef, tried her delicious recipes; most recently from within the Fitness First Magazine; or simply admired her long-standing, reasonable approach to food and a healthy lifestyle.
I’ve always felt that Zoe’s one lady who walks her talk and genuinely craves to inspire and assist others on their own health journey. She eats avocado everyday, believes balance is integral to health and knows that preparation is where it’s at. Right up my alley don’t you think….
Seriously the Williams Sonoma kitchen is out of this world! If you’re near Bondi (or even if you’re not) get there immediately. I am currently attempting how to airlift the entire space and move it into my apartment…
In her numerous years of private practice, consulting with clients and contributing to many publications, Zoe has amassed a wealth of knowledge on all things nutrition and best applying the science to everyday life. As well as cooking with and enjoying delicious food from the the lady herself, I took 5 with Zoe and asked her the questions that I think you’re burning to hear answers to. Those that will provide the most value to your life…
Do you choose to live by any particular food philosophy?
The trick with food is to think natural. I recommend eating foods that have been manipulated or processed as infrequently as possible. You should enjoy every bite you eat. I don’t eat for weight loss, but rather I eat for mental and physical nourishment.
Saying that, I also like to see what’s out there in terms of food trends. One of the biggest food trends at the moment is blending or combining unexpected foods together for double the nutrition hit. On shelf, we’re seeing products like Vitasoy’s new blended milks Oat & Almond and Soy & Almond and even rice combined with lentils, both of which are foods blended together for taste, texture and nutrition. For example, in Vitasoy’s Soy & Almond milk, the soybeans provide a protein hit, while the almond provides a great taste.
Super duper delicious I would have to agree!
We were lucky to leave with some samples and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the milk twist on my chia pudding.
What does a day on your plate look like?
With summer on the way, I’m definitely looking to make sure my diet is in top shape to feel and look good! I recently developed a new 7-Day Meal Plan to help me get started. Each day focuses on a different nutrition aspect, such as heart or bones. My favourite day is Day 7, for digestion. It’s all about chia seeds, beetroot and apple that are full of goodness and dietary fibre to help support good digestion.
My day starts with a glass of water with lemon and chia seeds. I then have a Vitasoy Oat & Almond Milk Berry Chia Smoothie as my breakfast – it’s delicious! For lunch, I’ll have a piece of salmon, with a roasted beetroot and apple salad and for dinner, I’ll make up a tasty vermicelli prawn salad, as something nice and light. For snacks throughout the day, I stick to peppermint tea and a couple of pieces of fruit. As dessert, I’ll enjoy a small amount of either almonds or dried plums.
Do you indulge from time-to-time and how does this affect your balance?
As I said before, I’m a big advocate for eating whole foods, but we all need a glass of wine and some chocolate from time to time! By taking a regimented approach to looking at food, you lose all the joy food has to offer, so I like to make sure I indulge from time to time. If anything, a little indulgence helps me to keep my balance.
If you could only share one tip about healthy eating with people, what would it be?
Learn how to read food labels! You should always know what you’re putting into your body. Check the ingredients label; if there are any ingredients or numbers that you don’t recognise, don’t buy it. My other tips on label reading include always check a product’s ingredients list to see how much of the characterising ingredients it contains. Ingredients appear on nutrition labels in order from the main, or biggest ingredient, to the smallest. For example, if you’re buying a fruit jam, you can look on the label to see how much real fruit you’re getting. Also, if you’re comparing the nutrition labels of similar products, always use the ‘per 100g’ information. This is the clearest way of comparing two products.
Your go-to summer meal?
One ingredient I can’t live without is avocado. My husband, Mike, and I eat at least one avocado a day. They’re just so versatile and go with everything – sweet or savoury. At the moment, I love my spicy summer prawn and avocado soup – it’s made using avocados, prawns and Vitasoy’s new Oat & Almond Milk. It’s delicious, and perfect for summer entertaining.
This dish is delicious and I was pleasantly surprised at how filling it was too!
Try my take on it for yourself below….
What’s your #1 cooking tip for people wanting to introduce more wholefoods into their lifestyle?
It’s not so much a cooking tip but…be organised! Go to the grocery store with a prepared shopping list, and you won’t be tempted by anything that’s not on your list.
I also find having fresh fruit and vegetables, milk and eggs delivered to my house really helpful as well. That way I always have beautiful whole foods in the house and I just have to pop to the shops for my proteins and in-between ingredients.
Thank you so much for sharing your love and wisdom with us Zoe
- 2 avocados, pips removed
- 400g cooked prawns, shell removed
- 2 cups good quality chicken or
- 2 cups Vitasoy Oat & Almond Milk
- 1 cup Greek yoghurt, unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon fresh chilli, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- ¼ bunch fresh coriander, washed (+ 1 teaspoon to serve)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients except prawns in a food processor or blender until smooth
- Serve the soup with with the cooked prawns and coriander
Simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes before serving.