Food News

The Simple Life: Healthy Eating Tips from Biju Thomas

Thomas used the plants-plus style of cooking at his Little Curry Shop.
Thomas used the plants-plus style of cooking at his Little Curry Shop. Mark Antonation
In his new role as resident chef for all things Outside, Biju Thomas, the former owner of Biju's Little Curry Shop, has many insights that he's excited to share...gleaned from his experience both in the kitchen and on a bike.

Here are four of his tips about eating for a healthy lifestyle:

1. Keeping recipes simple is a valuable approach in a restaurant — and at home. Focus on getting the most flavor from humble ingredients like onions, garlic, chiles and carrots. These simple, inexpensive and commonly available ingredients are a great plant-based start to so many recipes across cultures.

2. Use the same plants-plus style of cooking that Thomas used at the Little Curry Shop and in the Feed Zone cookbooks. Start with dishes that are 100 percent vegan, and focus on including a variety of flavors and textures. Then add in proteins and anything else your family will enjoy. At the Little Curry Shop, the kitchen did not cook with any dairy, wheat, nuts, shellfish or stocks as part of any base recipe. "This allowed us to feed a significantly deeper share of the population with the same basic dishes," Thomas points us.

3. The vast majority of us are not going to the Olympics or the Tour de France, and Thomas says that’s okay. What we can learn from sports superstars, though, is that we need community and family for support. We need our own team to come home to, and time to sit and reflect while sharing a meal. “Make simple and delicious food the whole family can share and enjoy together,” Thomas notes. “How exotic or expensive the ingredients are, or how complex the method is, is really not important.”

4. There are no “bad foods” when it comes to how we eat every day versus eating for competition, whether we are looking to get in shape or trying to improve our overall health. "It’s more important to understand the impact we each feel in our own bodies and lives as we make different food and cooking choices," Thomas says. "We all know when we feel good. Lean into that and run with it!"

For more information, follow Biju Thomas on Instagram @bijuthechef.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Molly Martin is the Westword Food & Drink editor. She’s been writing about the dining scene in Denver since 2013, and was eating her way around the city long before that. She enjoys long walks to the nearest burrito joint and nights spent sipping cocktails on Colfax.
Contact: Molly Martin