We spoke to Food Editor of Hipandhealthy.co.uk, Saskia Gregson-Williams to find out the best feel good foods and what’s going to be hot in 2014.
What are your new year's resolutions?
A lot of people use New Years to give something up, but I prefer to look at it as an opportunity to take something up! This year I'm using the New Year to take up meditation. I think most of us (I'm a prime culprit) can associate meditating with hippies, and be seen as a rather alternative practice. What I've come to realize, is taking a little time out of the day for yourself to relax and re-energise, a mere 15 minutes of calm, is incredibly healthy and refreshing.
What are your feel good promises?
I'd love to think that I could find time in the day to set aside to read a really great novel. I read a lot of non-fiction, whether it be The Top 100 Super foods or a dance anatomy book - so I'd love to find the time to read something more exciting and thought provoking.
As Food Editor of Hip & Healthy I try to be on top of all the gastronomic goings-on – what are the new healthy food trends we can expect in 2014 for example? I think plant based food is going to become much more popular, campaigns like Meatless Monday and Vegan before 4, started the trend last year and I believe it will further develop in 2014.
What healthy food do you cook in January?
I love to cook seasonal produce when I can, which means lots of root vegetables and leafy greens are on the menu. I love making my sweet potato, cashew & coconut korma, Butternut squash and black bean burgers with a Beetroot slaw. If I'm after something simple, a kale salad with avocado, maple roasted walnuts, pomegranates and a delicious orange- tahini dressing. I also love indulging in comforting, yet super healthy desserts, like my mini raw carrot cakes, banana bread and raw chocolate mousse! My recipes are Vegan, Dairy, Sugar, Wheat and Gluten free - yet super scrummy and indulgent! (These recipes are in my new Ebook, in the Hip & Healthy kitchen (Available to buy at www.hipandhealthy.co.uk from January 2014).
When did you go vegan and why is that important to you?
I stopped eating meat and animal products a year ago. Although it is a fairly recent change, I always tried to avoid eating it when I could, and being lactose intolerant, I didn't eat any dairy produce. Being vegan is so important to me, primarily for moral reasons. Meat farming, whether it is organic or not, is an extremely cruel process - just think of the gastronomic amount of meat you see in your supermarket, then times that by the amount of supermarkets in your town, country..etc. Now the figure is so extreme, you can understand why killing such a large amount of animals would be anything but ethical. It is not advertised on the plastic, so we seem to forget just what has happened to our food before it comes out hot on our plate. From a health perspective, meat is an extremely acidic food, which causes inflammation in the body, and increases the risk of illness and diseases such as cancer. Meat, and in particular red meat, is incredibly hard for the body to digest. Meaning all the goodness you think you are getting, the body cannot properly absorb. The word 'Vegan' doesn't have the best reputation, but the healthy plant based possibilities are endless! Brazil nut Parmesan, raw chocolate, cashew cream, coconut ice-cream with chocolate chips and a caramel sauce - all so delicious & so easy to make!
What's your favourite way to stay fit over the winter months?
I'm a ballet dancer, and train up to 7 hours a day. If I'm not dancing I love doing pilates and yoga.