Tired of trying diets? Want to change your lifestyle? Let’s start by clearing out your fridge and start adding the right stuff.
Make one shelf of your fridge your protein shelf. This is one of the most important areas in your fridge since every meal should contain it. For example fish, meat, chicken.
Consider also non-meat proteins; tofu, tempeh, pulses, nuts & seeds.
Salads and vegetables
Each of my meals contain at least 75% vegetables. Use anything you fancy and vary the mix so you don’t get bored. I prefer organic and in-season veggies and try to eat as many colours as possible. The colours in vegetables are a great source of phytonutrients that helps reduce cancer, diabetes and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Try to avoid regular milk and choose healthier alternatives like coconutmilk, nut milk and coconut yoghurt. Other alternatives to consider, include feta,halloumi and goat cheese.
Ok, that’s the fridge basics, now let’s continue with your storecupboard (or pantry for my American readers).
Oils & Vinegar
Olive oil: I typically only use it for salads because it has a very low tolerance for heat and burned food is not good for you. For cooking and baking my preference is extra virgin coconut oil or butter ( NO margarine ) which have a higher tolerance for heat. Stay away from refined oils like peanut oil, sunflower oil or margerine.
Apple cider vinegar: A great product to use over salads or combined with hot water to start your day (it’s a great fat burner and aids digestion).
When shopping for foods, always try to choose glass jar products over canned foods. If you do buy canned food, read the labels carefully and watch out for the high doses of added sugar, salt and preservatives!
For baking I prefer using gluten free options like buckwheat, almond or rice flour. Instead of sugar, I choose honey, coconut sugar, agave or maple syrup. Tapioca or agar agar is a good alternative to thicken your sauces or to bind dry ingredients.
Pasta, rice or noodles
Brown rice, or brown rice pasta are great alternatives for the regular grains. I still recommend to use them occasionaly instead of daily. When I crave noodles I choose mung bean noodles which is a very light alternative for regular noodles, or noodles made of seaweed. They are not only easier to digest but also a great source of minerals. Pasta made from green peas or lentils are a favourite of mine too. They are gluten free, low fat and a great source of fiber! Quinoa or Buckwheat groats are a good alternative too!
Worried about those late night cravings and snack attacks? Try avoid the chips and popcorn aisles in the supermarket. Go for healthy alternatives like kale chips (my easy to make recipe will be online soon), seaweed crisps, raw nuts, dried fruit or rice crackers. Always check the labels, even on those healthy snacks, to make sure there are no hidden sugars or other nasties inside the bag.
Rome wasn’t built in one day, and neither will your changes to a healthier lifestyle be. Give it some time and do it step by step. Start by cleaning out the fridge and cupboards, and your first step has been made!
Healthy eating is not a phase, it is a lifestyle. Give it time and enjoy the ride!