Food for Mind, Body & Soul – All the nutrition you need, in one vibrant bowl.
Two-time World Gourmand Award Winner, integrative holistic health coach, private chef, and wellness retreat facilitator Melissa Delport has produced my kind of cookbook.
Originally published in South Africa, Wholesome Bowls is a bestseller – selling over 10,000 copies and I can completely understand why with the deliciously simple concept: one dish recipes that use only fresh, whole foods to build a bowl of flavour, comfort and nourishment for Food for Mind, Body & Soul. All the recipes are designed to fit busy lifestyles and allow you to fall in love with cooking.
Having done my homework, wholesome bowls typically refer to meals that consist of a variety of nutritious ingredients, such as grains, vegetables, proteins, and complex carbohydrates, all served in a bowl. Melissa discovered this way of eating from Michael Pollan, the American author and journalist. It revolutionised her relationship with food and helped ease the overwhelming anxiety she used to feel around food and food choices.
Because of bad eating habits and a general lack of ‘fad diet ‘understanding at the time, Melissa was put on her first diet at age 11. This set the tone for the next 15 years: pushing herself from one extreme to another with failed results amidst feelings of guilt and anger.
It was time to heal her relationship with food by becoming more mindful of the food she ate, where it came from and how it was prepared and taking the time to get to know her body.
Fresh foods are to be enjoyed and in return will fuel your body and leave you feeling energised.
All the dishes Melissa has created in the book are wholesome, healthy, and delicious. They are centred around bowl eating that came about from Buddha Bowls. Eating from a bowl is comforting and this style of eating has gained popularity due to its numerous benefits. Here are some of the advantages of incorporating wholesome bowl food into your diet:
Balanced nutrition: Wholesome bowl meals are typically composed of a variety of nutrient-dense ingredients, including whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats. This combination provides a balanced and diverse range of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fibre, and essential fatty acids.
High in fibre: Many wholesome bowl recipes incorporate ingredients like quinoa, brown rice, or other whole grains, which are excellent sources of dietary fibre. Fibre aids digestion, promotes satiety, helps regulate blood sugar levels, and supports a healthy gut microbiome.
Customisable and versatile: Bowl meals offer a high degree of flexibility, allowing you to customise them based on your preferences and dietary needs. You can experiment with different grains, proteins, vegetables, and toppings to create a variety of flavours and textures.
Portion control: The size of a bowl naturally limits the portion size, helping you control your food intake. By including a balanced mix of ingredients in your bowl, you can achieve a satisfying meal without overeating.
Increased vegetable consumption: Wholesome bowls typically contain a generous number of vegetables, making it an excellent way to increase your daily intake of these nutrient-packed foods. Vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that support overall health and well-being.
Convenience and meal prep: Bowl meals can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator, making them a convenient option for meal prepping. You can batch-cook ingredients and assemble your bowls throughout the week, saving time and ensuring you have nutritious meals readily available.
Supports weight management: Wholesome bowl food, when properly portioned and balanced, can be an effective component of a weight management plan. The combination of fibre, protein, and healthy fats helps promote satiety and reduce the likelihood of overeating.
Culinary creativity: Here you can explore and experiment with various flavours, textures, and ingredient combinations. You can incorporate different cuisines, herbs, spices, and sauces to create unique and satisfying meals.
Suitable for various dietary preferences: Ideal to easily accommodate various dietary preferences, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free diets. With a wide range of ingredients to choose from, you can tailor your bowls to suit your specific needs.
Overall health benefits: Regularly consuming wholesome bowl meals as part of a balanced diet can have positive impacts on overall health. It can help support weight management, heart health, digestive health, and blood sugar regulation, and provide a wide array of nutrients necessary for optimal well-being.
Remember, while wholesome bowl food offers many benefits, it’s essential to ensure a varied diet and consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised dietary advice.
Women Talking has taken a lot of positive inspiration from this book to the extent of buying some special bowls, as appearance is very important, to try as many recipes as possible!