January is a month filled with so many R's: Resolutions that we set for ourselves, promises to start the year Right, to Rethink our lives and our choices, which only leads to Regret and disappointment. Finally comes the end of the month when we Realize our expectations were too high and we've fallen short.
Take a step back Reassess your goals, simplify them and make them work. Here's an easy start; use at least one or two healthy alternatives, even if that means just one meal a day or when baking. Once you get into the groove, gradually increase the number of alternatives used and eat your way to a healthier you!
You'll be surprised at the results and even more surprised at the taste!
Here's a list of smart alternatives that you can use this week cooking:
Substitute brown rice for white rice.
White rice is brown rice stripped of its bran fibre and most of its nutritional value. If pressed for time, try parboiled brown rice. It cuts down cooking time to about 15 minutes.
Quinoa is also a good substitute for white rice or even couscous.
Quinoa is a whole-grain superfood loaded with protein and packed with nutrients and very easy to prepare with a wonderful flavour of its own. Another benefit is that it’s easy to manipulate using a variety of herbs and spices.
Switch olive oil for butter.
Sauté vegetables and cook eggs with a little olive oil instead of butter. which is filled with saturated fats.
Sweet potato mash for mashed potatoes.
Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutritious foods in the world. This root vegetable contains plenty of antioxidants, vitamins A and C, contains anti-inflammatory properties, helps to stabilize blood sugars, helps with arthritic pain and the dietary fibers aid in a healthy digestive track. When mashed, sweet potatoes take on a smooth texture and no milk or butter is needed. Add some freshly grated ginger for a little kick and a wonderful flavour.
Replace dry beans for the canned kind.
Canned beans are high sources of sodium and preservatives, which outweigh the benefit of this food source.
Try whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta.
Just as with brown rice and whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta is higher in fibre and protein. Whole wheat bread is a much better option than white bread for the reasons listed above.
Game meats for the ordinary kind.
Game meats tend to be leaner and unaltered, a much healthier choice to salt water filled meats.
Ground turkey or chicken for ground beef.
Ground turkey and chicken are much lower in saturated fats and calories.
Stuff peppers with quinoa and ground turkey or quinoa and vegetarian ground round
Give coconut milk a try instead of cream.
Coconut milk does wonders in soup instead using heavy cream. Opt for the unsweetened kind, not the type used in cocktails like Pina coladas.
Darker greens for lighter ones.
Darker greens tend to have more nutrients (iron, vitamin C, and antioxidants) than lighter greens, like iceberg lettuce for example.
Lettuce or kale leaves for wraps.Crisp romaine lettuce leaves or dark, rich kale make excellent replacements for the average flatbread or tortilla wrap and adds some flavour dimension to your wrap.
Greek yogurt for mayo and sour cream.
A little bit of lemon juice and seasoning helps to make the yogurt taste like mayonnaise and can be used where mayo is called for.
When using plain Greek yogurt for sour cream, half the calories and fat will be cut and extra protein is added to the meal.
Plain yogurt with fresh fruit for flavoured stirred or fruit on the bottom yogurt.Flavoured yogurts tend to be loaded with sugars or artificial sweeteners. Switch pre-flavoured yogurts for plain or greek yogurt, add fresh fruit and honey or agave nectar for individual desired sweetness.