Foodie Feature: Min Benstead

Steph chats to some of her favourite inspirational foodies and friends about all things nutrition - from how they stay balanced to their favourite indulgence and their best health hack to keep things quick and easy.

This month Steph chats with....  

Min Benstead

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Min is a Health & Wellbeing Coach & Kitchen Whiz.
Find her on insta @minbenstead & @thekitchenwhizz

How would you describe your diet?

I’d describe my diet as rich in real food – an abundance of vegies, good fats with quality protein. I am conscious about not labelling foods as good or bad and over time have learnt to understand what works for me and what doesn’t. Sugar and processed foods do not work for me, real food does! I now naturally look for the real food option.  

 

What is your idea of balance?

Food has become complicated over the last decade and is overwhelming. I am a huge advocate of what works for me may not work for you and think the idea of balance varies greatly for everyone.

Over the past six months I have allowed more moderation into my diet and enjoyed ice cream with the kids over the summer holidays and a glass or two of red wine but on the whole my plate is filled with real food, cooked with love and enjoyed with those that I love – without guilt.

 

Why is it important to you to eat healthy?

In my own health + wellbeing journey I’ve learnt just how important food is on not only our physical wellbeing but also on our mental and emotional health. I notice the difference when sugar and other foods which don’t serve me creep into my diet, think low energy + moods and bloating to name a couple of symptoms. When eating healthy I have much more energy, feel calmer and happier within myself, not to mention have clarity of mind and am more productive. Why would I not choose to feel like this every day?

 

What’s a typical day on your plate?

Every day is different and I don’t have set times which I eat at, I like to listen to my body and eat when I am hungry!

Ideally, I start my day with a warm drink of water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, a pinch of cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon local raw honey and a pinch of salt. Thanks for the recipe Steph!!! I like to have this in peace and quiet but with two boys in the house, anything is possible.

My first meal of the day will generally include vegies cooked in coconut oil and paired with leftover slow cooked lamb or a couple of eggs.

Lunch is generally a smoothie bowl. My go-to smoothie includes water, blueberries, seasonal greens such as zucchini or spinach, a handful of macadamias or a ¼ avocado, collagen powder, camu camu, protein powder, superfoods powder, psyllium husk and a drop of peppermint essential oil.

I’m a huge fan of early dinners and we try to eat by 6pm if all is going well. Dinners are much the same as breakfast – keeping it simple with a plate of vegies, protein, fat and carbs such as quinoa or sweet potato.

I don’t often feel the need to snack between meals but when I do it’s something easy such as a handful of nuts, an apple with nut butter after school with the kids, homemade nut balls or a few squares of Pana mint chocolate! I will have 1-2 espressos each day.

 

What are three ingredients you won’t leave the grocery store without?

I try and do as much of my shopping at local farmers markets and butchers. Without fail each week on our list is a lamb shoulder, broccoli and blueberries.

 

Every foodie has a favourite indulgence that keeps them balanced, what’s yours?

Nut butter! Either almond or macadamia! I can easily become addicted!!!

 

What is your best health hack or tip when it comes to making healthy eating easy?

Keep it simple! Real food need not be complicated or overwhelming. Shop at your local farmers market which will help you to eat seasonally. Use this seasonal fruit and vegetable haul to plan out your meals for the week and prep what you can – pre-cook quinoa; roast vegetables for a salad; make a vegie packed bolognese sauce; rice cauliflower and broccoli; prepare bliss balls for easy to grab snacks. There is so much that you can prep and an hour or two on the weekend will save you time during the week.

Which do you prefer?

Breakfast or dinner? Breakfast – best meal of the day.

Sweet or savoury? Sweet with a touch of citrus!

Eating at the dining table or couch? At the table with the family!

Asian or Mexican? Mexican

Wine or kombucha? A cheeky glass of red wine

Cook or clean? Cook – hands down!!! It’s my meditation!