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This Chef Tells Us Why We Should Use This Time To Cook

There’s a lot going on this year and what you’re eating can feel way down the list of priorities.  

Whether you’re trying to balance working from home with taking care of kids, or living on your own, it can feel hard to know where to start with finding time for some good food and self-love. 

We’ve been asking our Team Myprotein how they’ve been getting on with lockdown and tips they have to help you too. Next up is @stephelswood – Steph has been providing us with nutritious and delicious recipes to try at home. 

We spoke to Steph about the changes she’s made during lockdown and how people could get more into cooking while we find ourselves at home more… 

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Baking Brownies👩🏻‍🍳🍫 Using the epic @huaweimobileuk 👏🏻 AD I always get asked what camera I use for my IG shots.. and the answer is the Huawei P40 pro! Not only do I show you a delicious vegan recipe in this video, I also show off the impressive features of the phone including: ☎️32 megapixel Front Facing Camera (which can record in 4K!) ☎️Fast Focus High Quality Camera (50 megapixels!) ☎️Air Gestures (you can scroll and screen grab without touching the screen!!!) ☎️40 megapixel dedicated video camera ☎️5x optical zoom (it also has a zoom audio feature which focuses the audio on what you’re zooming in on!) ☎️Always on display (Shows the time even when the phones locked) ☎️AND Ultra slow-mo Honestly, I feel like I’m living in the future with this phone😂 #HuaweiP40Pro #LoveMyHuawei #VisionaryPhotography #vegan #foodie #chocolate #vegandessert #veganrecipes #plantbased

A post shared by STEPH🪐 (@stephelswood) on

 

Geeking out over cookbooks 

The first tip Steph offered to us when we spoke to her was the importance of doing your research when it comes to cooking; “My first tip would be ordering a cookbook or researching some yummy recipes. The possibilities and information out there are endless! There is so much choice and variety that will tickle your taste buds and be suitable for your cooking ability! 

Steph said she’s been using this time to explore new avenues in cooking, “I’ve really enjoyed using this time to explore vegan baking! It’s something I don’t usually have time for, but I’ve had so much fun developing recipes.”  

The extra time at home has allowed her to spend more time in culinary history books, tweaking recipes to fit her own preferences but also allowing her to craft a new baked vegan dessert cookbook which she’ll be sharing soon. 

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My Superwoman❤️💫 If you’ve followed me for a while, I think it’s easy to see just how much @mummasueelswood means to me. She is my best friend in the whole entire world and I don’t know what I would do without her. I am yet to find someone that loves more deeply, cares more passionately or has more time for every single person they meet – even strangers! I am so lucky to have been guided through life to see the best in everyone and to share kindness with anyone I cross paths with. Times get hard – for everyone and that darkness can be hard to budge. It can feel like there is no way out, but with her by my side, I am constantly reminded of the light that surrounds me. I am protected, I am safe, I am loved and that’s all I need🙏🏻 I have so many goals and aspirations in life, but my biggest one of all is to be at least half the Mummy she is one day!✨ Mum, thank you for being the anchor in this stormy sea of life. Love you 🤗💕 #family #love #mummy #myworld #bestfriend

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Family values 

In our interview with Steph, one of the themes which shone through was how “family time” had now become an important aspect of her culinary and eating experience. 

Cooking is more than just food for Steph and she told us; “I personally love to cook because it reminds me of happy memories with my family  baking cakes with my Grandma or making pancakes on a Sunday morning with my Dad.  

I think cooking should be seen as an activity to bring you and your loved ones together.” Steph is on to a winner here — did you know cooking in a social manner like this can improve a whole host of markers of mental healthFrom anxiety, to wellbeing, quality of life and even self-esteem.1 

Perfect for a time right now when some may be feeling a bit low with everything that’s going on out there.  

Steph mentioned that it may not always be possible to get into the kitchen with a loved one right now but suggested using Skype or Zoom to cook alongside family members — something she’s tried and found to be great fun. 

One of the more important habit changes she has made during lockdown is to actively spend more time with her family during meals; “My favourite change I’ve made is sitting down at the same time to eat with my family. We are never home at the same time so that has been a huge positive.”  

Research suggests that communal eating, be it with friends or family, is a great way to feel happier anmore satisfied with life.2 Those who do eat more socially are more trusting of others, are more engaged with their local communities, and are more likely to have more friends they can depend on for support. 

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Powered by Plants 🌱 AD Here’s a super easy way to pimp out your lunch! Sourdough bruschetta with balsamic fried tempeh and basil pesto! Tag a friend and give this delicious recipe a go!😍 INGREDIENTS: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🌱1 whole block of @plantpowerfoods tempeh 🌱2 tbsp olive oil ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🌱4 tbsp balsamic vinegar 🌱2 tbsp lemon juice 🌱Salt + Pepper 🌱Chilli Flakes 🌱1 onion (diced) 🌱1 garlic clove (crushed) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🌱5 large tomatoes (diced) 🌱fresh basil 🌱Sourdough bread 🌱Basil pesto You can get creative and add whatever you fancy! Lew and I first fell in love with Tempeh in Bali. We were determined to find it in the UK from the moment we arrived home. @plantpowerfoods were the first we found and we’ve used them ever since! They are a dedicated tempeh brand that follow the authentic Indonesian recipe. They have a simple mission to make tempeh mainstream, have such a great range of products, from curried tempeh pieces to delicious tempeh ‘ribs’!👅 You can find them nationwide in Sainsbury’s Stores! 🤗 #food #tempeh #vegan #plantbased #recipe #delicious

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Prep and keeping it fresh 

Steph is a huge advocate of cooking fresh products “I don’t think that it is just during this time that we should be eating fresh, homemade food. I think that it should be a priority always! When your body feels healthier, you feel happier—inside and out. 

While advocating fresh produce and homemade cooking, she also highlights the importance of cooking batch meals at this time “we’ve made it our mission to cook a big batch of food in the evenings and leave left over for lunch the next day.”  

As the renowned social media queen of sustainability and avoiding food waste she goes on to say this “is reducing our food waste as we aren’t throwing anything away. We are also using up all the food in the fridge before we go shopping. That way we are staying home as much as possible and again not forgetting about or wasting any food. 

Looking out for the environment, her family, her health and all whilst adhering to the guidelines — pretty impressive Steph! 

 

Take home message 

Getting into cooking may be the perfect pastime as we make our way through lockdown. Our interview with Steph was inciteful as she highlights the more fun aspects of cooking, finding those amazing recipes, exploring new themes and trying new ingredients. 

She also championed the experience of cooking and mealtimes. It’s not just about the prep and what you make, it’s who you cook it and enjoy it with that plays an important part in loving the food that makes up your diet. 

Her final message was to try and keep fresh when possible and cook in batch to avoid unnecessary waste and travel — a way to keep everyone healthy and happy, whilst diving headfirst into their new favourite hobby, cooking! 

Enjoy reading about how Steph’s cooking is getting her through?

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Jamie Wright

Jamie Wright

Writer and expert

Jamie Wright holds an MSc Degree in Human Nutrition and a BSc (Hons) in Sports and Exercise Science, and now works with multiple organisations as well as running his own private nutritionist coaching services company, OUTWRK, to help individuals with their nutritional goals. He is accredited with the Association for Nutrition and has helped hundreds of clients; from those with eating disorders to internationally competing athletes. Jamie supports his clients with evidence-based, holistic nutrition programming to reach their health and fitness goals. In addition to running his practice, Jamie regularly contributes to the field of nutrition presenting and writing on its many facets. He has had his research presented at the UK Obesity Congress as well as overseas conferences and has authored several e-books whilst contributing to others (including charitable sporting organisations). His research has centred around weight management as well as sports / exercise performance and supplementation. A massive sport nut, avid gym goer and lover of all things dog related, Jamie’s goal in sharing the experience and knowledge he has gained academically and professionally is to provide a source of clarity in the vast amount of “misinformation and noise” that exists within the health and fitness industry. You can check his work out further at OUTWRK or @jamiesdietguide on social media.


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