Know your beans!!


I am trying to follow a health eating plan in an attempt to lower my cholesterol. I have swapped any meat with visible fat for a leaner meat such as chicken or turkey, which hasn’t been at all difficulty really. I have also included more oily fish in my diet, but have avoided mackerel as I find it too strong. I have coupled this with also being careful about how many carbs I eat as bread could be my downfall, especially as it cries out for butter! So my eating plan goes something like this:

Breakfast – either porridge oats with skimmed milk, topped with berries, or granola mixed with low fat yoghurt instead of milk, coffee with skimmed milk and no sugar

Mid morning – handful of almonds and walnuts which are good at lowering cholesterol                                     

Lunch – salad sandwich with no butter or tuna salad, using tuna canned in brine, followed by a low fat yoghurt and a large glass of water

Mid afternoon – apple and a handful of my own dried fruit and nut mixture                    

Dinner – salmon and steamed vegetables, or chicken with a huge salad (no dressing just black pepper and a sqeeze of lemon juice) low fat yoghurt and occasionally a glass of wine.

I am also trying to drink more water than I did previously and I also take a good multivitamin tablet at lunchtime to make sure I am not missing anything. I have also been making a few stews using beans and lentils which are a healthy source of fibre and a rich source of protein.  I was amazed when I started finding out about eating more healthily, just how many beans there are.

There are black beans a favourite in Caribbean food; creamy coloured borlotti beans, used in many Italian stews and soups; cannellini beans lovely in a tuna salad; butter beans flat whitish beans with a great buttery flavour; pinto beans a bit like borlotti beans but darker, they are used a lot in Mexican cooking; flageolet beans pale green beans used a lot in French regional cooking; haricot beans used mainly in slow cooking, one-pot type dishes and are great added to soups –  and I’m sure there are many more that I haven’t come across yet.

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