By Maggie Catlow, Brisbane Clinic
Starting the year fresh doesn’t have to mean starting a journey down Struggle Street. Eliminating your favourite foods in strive of good health is never the best idea as sacrificing tasty treats usually leads to internal dissatisfaction. You can have your cake and eat it too, all you have to do is make simple modifications in your cooking and food preparation.
It’s official, choose red over white
I start with this one because I’m not going to lie, this swap pains me the most. I never say no to a sweet white vino, but the truth must be told. Fellow lovers of white wine, the sad reality is that the benefits just don’t measure up to those of a robust red. A glass of red has many more minerals and a lot less sugar. I’m not one to promote drinking, unless it’s a special occasion like a birthday, Christmas, New Year’s or Champagne Thursday, but just as an FYI Pinot noirs have high levels of resveratrol and merlots are great for antioxidant procyanidin.
Snack attack? Go nuts
Crisps and chips are convenient and easy to overeat. Instead, curb those mid-morning munchies with a handful of raw, unsalted nuts. Nuts have a great combination of fibre and protein to help you feel satiated. They are also easy to carry with you throughout the day, so when hunger strikes between meals, you have a healthy go-to option. Bonus: regular but moderated consumption of nuts may actually promote weight loss, if that’s what you’re into.
Want a sweet temptation? Say yes to chocolate
A life without chocolate is a scary thought but have no fear, you can still get a chocolate fix minus the guilt. Instead of white or milk chocolate, substitute it for a delicious dark chocolate treat. The nutritional benefits of dark chocolate are many. It has less sugar and calories, plus it has antioxidants, polyphenols and flavanols. Next time you’re baking a chocolate cake, try using raw cacao powder as opposed to cocoa powder. It has the same yummy taste, but is more rewarding for your wellbeing.
Almond flour bake-off anyone?
You can superfood size your chocolate cake by finding a recipe that uses almond flour instead of self raising. Almond flour is an excellent grain-free baking option. The protein, fat and fibre in almond flour will make you feel fuller than white flour, so you’ll be less likely to overindulge. Quick and easily whip up a batch of muffins, cookies or slices that will not disappoint in the flavour department. Usually almond flour can replace wheat flour in a one-to-one ratio, but it’s best to find a recipe that indicates the correct measurements. Store remaining almond flour in the fridge to keep it fresh between uses.
We love rice and oats, but quinoa’s our new favourite
As a seed and not a grain, quinoa stands alone as a complete source of protein. Enjoy it as a creamy stand-in for oats in your morning porridge or instead of rice to complement your evening coconut curry. Quinoa is hassle free to prepare and a little bit goes a long way.
It can be daunting to start making healthier decisions when it comes to your diet, but hopefully these easy swap options can take some of the pressure off.This article provides general information and is not intended to constitute advice. All care is taken to ensure information is accurate and relevant. Please see your Practitioner for health treatments and advice.