Delicious Martha reveals techniques to control emotional hunger

Eating rich and eating fit do not have to be at odds.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
25 May 2023 Thursday 22:23
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Delicious Martha reveals techniques to control emotional hunger

Eating rich and eating fit do not have to be at odds. And much less, not getting along with the desire to cook quickly and with hardly any stains. But that is essentially the philosophy of Marta Sanahuja, author of the Delicious Martha blog. And that is why she is the new guest at 'Opening the fridge', a space created by the Arla Foods dairy cooperative and presented by Lidia Torrent to talk about mindful eating with delicious, healthy recipes that are prepared in a flash.

Marta – or, rather, Martha – came to the exciting universe of cooking recipes nine years ago almost by chance. She studied Communication and began working in an advertising agency, where her stress and monotony whispered in her ear that this was not her thing. “I had a pretty difficult year. I ended up leaving the advertising agency, and, incidentally, I also left 19 kilos there ”, she recalls from that time.

Unmotivated by her profession, she decided to take time to find herself. Tinkering in the kitchen was something she had never done before, but she gave it a try. "I discovered that between the stoves the world stopped completely and it was me again," she confesses. After a year trying and inventing recipes, her mother suggested that she open a blog where she could share them. “I was 24 years old and all the recipe blogs at the time were 10-15 years old. I thought, 'but what am I going to say?

Since a mother doesn't take the opposite, she listened and created Time proved her mother right: today the blog is one of the most famous for healthy recipes, it has 1.2 million followers on Instagram and has published several recipe books.

'It doesn't give me life' has become a kind of mantra that the same is valid for us to excuse ourselves for skipping spinning class, than for eating hastily and with unhealthy foods. “Many people feed for survival. For me it is very important to enjoy food, ”she emphasizes. You don't need to have an innate gift for cooking, or work in a kitchen like those in TV contests, with all kinds of culinary knick-knacks and exotic products that you don't know very well how to prepare.

Good, simple and quality ingredients are needed. And, above all, “an essential thing that they don't sell in any supermarket: honey. If you use that ingredient in all your recipes, it is very likely that they will be successful. The problem is when you do it reluctantly, or you are not thinking about what you are doing because stress can take over and you are 28 things at a time. When you really focus and say 'I'm going to do this to enjoy it', almost certainly it will turn out well for you”, explains this teacher of simple and healthy recipes.

It is not the same that your guts growl because it is already time to sit down at the table, than suddenly feeling the need to open a bag of snacks. The latter is known as emotional hunger and is one of the causes that lead us to choose those unhealthy products, with a lot of salt, a lot of sugar and an endless list of ingredients and additives that add color, flavors or texture.

For Delicious Martha it is important to learn to differentiate them. While physical hunger appears progressively and gives us room to prepare something succulent, with quality products and eat in the right measure, “emotional hunger arises suddenly and asks you to eat without limits. Emotions rule."

One of the ways to control emotional hunger is to work on techniques such as mindful eating. “Even if you have a super busy day, give yourself 45 minutes to sit down for a meal. You are going to enjoy the dish and improve digestion, ”she emphasizes. Batch cooking – cooking one day for the whole week – is another strategy for getting home and finding something appetizing for dinner. Delicious Martha confesses that she is one of those who prepares a lasagna on the weekend and freezes it ready to heat up. “Then you put some cheese on it and gratin in the microwave. I'm already drooling just thinking about it!” she comments.

A grilled chicken breast can be a sad fillet, or become a super appetizing, juicy sandwich with that homemade touch that makes it a luxurious take away. This is the “Delicious Martha level 0” recipe that this expert cook prepares together with Lidia Torrent.

There are two keys to this recipe. The first is that it uses few ingredients, a golden rule that works like a charm among his audience, eager for rich dishes that don't require an endless shopping list. The second is that, in addition, those ingredients are very basic. In this case, a good round toasted bread, a homemade pesto with almonds, a grilled breast fillet, avocado, caramelized onion with our own recipe and a slice of Arla Havarti cheese.

This cheese is made according to the traditional Danish recipe with 100% natural ingredients based on top quality milk. So much so that only four ingredients are listed on the label of each cheese: milk, salt, lactic cultures and rennet. In addition, it has the Farmer Owned seal, which identifies the production model of Arla, a cooperative of European farmers, which guarantees control over the entire production process.

The pesto and caramelized onion "made at home with erythritol and bicarbonate so that it has the same texture as if it had sugar" provide an interesting clash of flavors between sweet and salty. The ultimate touch of juiciness is provided by a slowly melted slice of Havarti cheese on top of the chicken. “It brings a lot of creaminess to the recipe,” he says. To finish, a few slices of avocado and Provencal herbs to taste. In just a few minutes, the sandwich is ready to sink your teeth into at home, or to wrap up and take with you on a picnic now that the good weather is here. That rich and healthy foods can also accompany us outside the home.