HEALTHY EATING DOESN’T NEED TO BE DIFFICULT!
A few small tweaks here and there can add up to big changes in the long run! Slight adjustments to your current recipes and ways of cooking are an easy and affordable way to get more nutrients and health benefits into your diet. Remember, quick fixes are just that – generally quick and not sustainable. Below I will take you through a few of my favourite little ‘healthy hacks’ you can incorporate easily into yours and your family’s life starting today!
SWAP WHITE RICE FOR BROWN
As brown rice is a whole grain, it contains all parts of the grain and therefore more fibre, vitamins, minerals than its refined white rice friend. Brown rice will also keep you feeling fuller and more satiated for longer and keep your energy levels even. Brown rice is a great addition to stir fry dinners, lunch time goodness bowls loaded with veg and protein, or incorporated into an afternoon snack with a tin of tuna!
SWAP MUESLI BARS FOR WHOLE SEED OR NUT BARS
Muesli bars tend to be packed with sugar, which will give you an instant energy hit but leave you feeling flat not so long after! Much like the brown rice mentioned above, whole seed or nut bars contain many more nutrients and will keep you feeling fuller and with more energy for longer. When looking at bars, look for a minimally processed option which is high in protein and fibre, while being low in refined sugars.
SWAP DRESSINGS AND SAUCES FOR GREEK YOGHURT
Store brought dressings and sauces are generally highly processed with a high amount of added salt and sugar! The ‘light’ option is often a big culprit in the sugar department – fat removed and flavour added with sugar, salt and chemicals! Making your own condiments using a base of greek yogurt is not only delicious, but a great way of avoiding the nasties and getting some great gut friendly benefits too. Greek yoghurt contains many tummy loving bacteria, not to mention calcium, protein and many other essential vitamins and minerals. Play around with your seasonings and flavours, but a great dressing base is simply greek yoghurt, lemon juice and a little salt and pepper! Tahini or any nut butter is also a great addition to this.
SWAP WHITE PASTA FOR THE WHOLEMEAL VERSION
This ones super easy and I bet the family won’t even notice the difference! Pasta based meals are great family meals and often something quick to whizz up for lunch, so maximising the nutrient benefits by using wholemeal pasta sounds like a great idea to me! White pasta has been stripped of a lot of its nutrients during its processing, whereas wholemeal contains high levels of complex carbohydrates, iron, protein and fiber. Add a delicious lean mince dish and some veges to this, and your looking at a pretty powerful meal there!
SWAP (OR REDUCE) WHITE SUGAR FOR HONEY OR MAPLE SYRUP
Most conventional baking recipes call for a LOT more sugar than what is actually required – you can reduce the quantity substantially without any issues with the finished product. Another option is to swap white sugar (or other required sweetener such as golden syrup) for a natural option. Honey and Pure Maple Syrup are great for this and also add a little extra in the flavour department! However if you do go for this swap whilst baking, there are a few tips to make the change a success:
- 1 C of sugar = 1/3 – 1/2 C Honey/Maple Syrup
- For every 1 C of Honey/Maple Syrup, reduce the amount of other liquids by 1/4
- Add 1/4 tsp of Baking Soda for every 1 C of Honey/Maple Syrup – if the recipe doesn’t already require Baking Soda
- Reduce the oven temperature slightly
Have fun incorporating these little tricks into your lifestyle!