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Zoe Bingley-Pullin, Shares Her Healthy, Easy Summer Recipes

What a treat to join in on a cooking workshop with the scrumptious Zoe Bingley-Pullin, thanks to Vitasoy!

Zoe is a nutritionist and the co-host of Good Chef, Bad Chef (obviously she’s the good chef part!), having been in the health industry a fair whack of time, she had some great insights to share about health and wellness. I’m also super pleased to announce Zoe is on our side, that is one of balance and moderation. Having suffered with allergies herself, she fully understands the benefits of a more whole food diet but still making room for indulgences! She is all about packing in the nutrients to each meal and fully believes in the joy that cooking and serving  meal with loved ones brings. Hallelujah!

Check out the kitchen we got to work our magic in! Tidiness and kitchens are something that DON’T go hand in hand for me but I did try my best to watch out how much mess I made.

I spied some super fresh produce, avocados, tomatoes, basil, prawns and also two blended non diary milk varieties: Oat & almond and also a soy and almond milk.  I think most of us have generally have used a non-dairy milk before in say sweet recipe, like a smoothie or slice but today was all about the versatility of the Vitasoy milks in savoury dishes. On the menu today was an Oat & Almond milk spicy summer soup and also Soy & Almond milk cashew nut fritters with a tomato salsa. For both recipes in full click here 

Time for Zoe to take over and answer some of my burning questions about nutrition and health. Let’s find out her advice for party season, glowing skin and what’s in her fridge!

1.     When women make an attempt to “get healthy” and “go on a diet” where do you think they go wrong or focus too much attention on? Is there a healthier, more sane way to diet? 

I’m a big advocate for whole food eating rather than dieting, so eating foods that are aren’t highly processed. I eat for mental and physical nourishment, rather than weight loss, and I really think it’s all about the joy in food. We can get so caught up in eating nutritious food, that we can forget the joy in food. This helps me to stay sane because I know I can balance a nutritious meal with a glass of red wine occasionally!

2.     Should we avoid alcohol and those yummy trays of canapés this party season or is there something you recommend as a healthier alternative?

The most basic trick also is to not go to a party or function hungry. This way, you can enjoy a couple of canapés, but it means you won’t go overboard trying to fill up.

I’d also recommend keeping check of how much you drink. It’s ok to have a drink from time to time, but it’s about appreciating it, not overdoing it and sticking to recommended alcohol intake guidelines – for women, it’s no more than 4 standard drinks and for men it’s no more than 6 standard drinks on any one day. Just out of interest, 1 standard drink is 100ml of wine, a middy of beer or a 30ml nip of spirits.

For me, it’s all about balance. We can all enjoy a glass of red wine from time to time, but it’s about not overdoing it and complimenting it with things like exercise. If anything, these little indulgences help us to maintain balance in our diets.

3.     What are your top tips for glowing, fresh skin coming into summer?

One key starting point is food! It’s so important to remember that we are what we eat and what we eat can affect how we feel and look. Foods such as avocado and salmon are great for our skin. Avocados are high in beneficial fats, and salmon is high in essential fatty acids like omega-3s, both of which are fantastic for skin health. One avocado recipe I love at the moment is my Spicy Summer Soup, made with avocado, prawns and Vitasoy’s new Oat & Almond Milk.

Exercise also helps keep a healthy glow on our skin as we sweat out impurities. I also make sure to keep a good beauty routine, and I cleanse and moisturise twice a day.

4.     Lastly, what lives in Zoe Bingley-Pullin’s fridge? Let’s have your top 5 staples.

Some of my staples are:

1.     Avocados: my husband, Michael, my daughter, Emily, and I go through at least 1 a day!

2.     Lemons: there’s nothing better than lemon in water to help stabilise your body’s pH levels and help control inflammation. Try starting your day with this.

3.     Vitasoy Oat & Almond Milk: this is definitely one of my staples at the moment and I’ve been enjoying it in so many dishes, both sweet and savoury. I love its taste and the fact that it combines this with the nutritional benefits of Vitasoy Oat Milk – research shows as part of a healthy diet low in saturated fat, 3g of beta-glucan each day can help lower cholesterol absorption.

4.     Yoghurt: I like sheep’s milk, goat’s milk and full-fat cow’s milk yoghurt, and I’ve always got one of these in my fridge. I love yoghurt with quinoa, with muesli in the morning or at night for dessert with a couple of dried dates. I also mix it in with Emily’s food.

5.     Hummus: not only is this great to pull out as a dip with some fresh veggies when guests pop over, I’ve also been using it to make baby food for my little girl, Emily. I made her a wild rice risotto with hummus and avocado a couple of weeks ago, and it went down a treat

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