October 5th 2015
10 healthy food switch-ups for a slimmer summer
June 3rd 2016
Cut calories while still enjoying delicious summer dishes with these ten top switch-ups
When the summer months roll around the influx of sunny social gatherings can often make it a time of excess, indulgence and over eating.
However, by introducing a number of simple, small changes you can swap out some of the season's worst high-calorie offenders with nutritious and delicious alternatives.
We reached out to nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik who’s rounded up her top ten ways to cut calories, maximise nutrition and enjoy deliciously scrumptious dishes all summer long.
1. Cook with solid fats
Cook with fats that are solid at room temperature instead of cold pressed oils because they have a higher smoke point so can withstand high temperatures. The cold pressed versions don’t fair well under heat, which is important when we talk about generating damaging free radicals in the body (we want less of these). Think coconut oil, organic butter or ghee (a type of clarified butter used a lot in Asian cooking). I love Jax Coco in particular as it has a really creamy taste and works beautifully in such a wide variety of dishes.
2. Swap sauces for spices
Up your flavour content with spices instead of synthetic sauces. Go for things like chilli, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and turmeric. This reduces the amount of processed foods you consume and having spices in the diet is good for maintaining good bacteria in the digestive system. They also make food taste a whole lot better. In fact, most spices are generally all high in antioxidants, so flavouring your BBQ meat with them can help to outweigh the toxic by-products formed by this type of cooking.
3. Say no to soy
Use coconut amino's instead of soy sauce as it can often be laden with sugar. The great thing about coconut amines is that it is also gluten and wheat-free, which is helpful for those who have intolerances. I like Coconut Secret, which you can buy at Planet Organic.
4. Think pink
Buy Himalayan (pink) or good quality sea salt rather than the processed white version. Mineral rich salts are a very important part of our diet, but the table version does nothing for our health.
5. Design your own dressing
Swap your shop bought salad dressing for one you make yourself. Try mixing together olive oil, lemon juice, Himalayan salt and some kind of spice/herb combination involving cumin, mustard powder and fresh parsley, and you’ll have an incredibly tasty and much healthier version.
6. Streamline your sugar
Choose stevia or yacon syrup over other sugar alternatives on the market. Stevia comes from the leaves of a plant and doesn’t have the same effect on blood glucose levels as many other sugar substitutes, while yacon acts as a probiotic food and helps to feed good bacteria to the gut.
7. Hone your hydration
Drink water away from meals rather than with. This means that gastric juices will be more acidic and will be able to break down your food more efficiently. Try to avoid having water an hour before or after eating, this also counts for other liquids (except the odd glass of wine - yes really!). But make sure you drink your daily quota of water in between meals - herbal teas count too.
8. Always go organic
Shop organic over non organic whenever you can. This isn’t always possible of course, but check out the EWG website for information on the dirty dozen and clean fifteen, which includes the most pesticide ridden and cleanest veggies. Try at least to buy the dirty dozen organically as much as possible.
9. Create clean cold treats
Create delicious dairy free ice-creams and fruit lollies over the sugary calorie dense versions. See below my cashew nut ice-lolly recipe. They're super simple to make and don't require an ice-cream machine.
Goji Cashew Lollies (Makes 4)
You will need a 4 x lolly mould and a high-speed blender (Vitamix is best if you have)
1 cup cashews (soaked 2 hours)
1 cup filtered water
2 Medjool dates
1 vanilla pod or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
4 tablespoons goji berries
Rinse and drain the cashews and place in a high-speed blender with the water, dates and vanilla pod and blend until you have a very smooth cream consistency. Pour the mixture into a bowl, scraping the sides to make sure you get everything out. Then add the goji berries and stir so they are evenly distributed. Next, using a teaspoon carefully add the mixture to a lolly mould until full and tap on the bottom to make sure you fill the mould evenly. Add a lolly stick and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours. To remove from the moulds simply run under a warm tap for around 10 seconds and carefully slide out. Enjoy!
10. Adopt mindful rather than mindless eating
Sitting down and taking a dedicated 20 mins to eat rather than wolfing down on the go is one of the main ways we can avoid digestive discomfort. Chewing your food properly and appreciating the tastes not only helps with digestive functioning, but you’ll also feel much more satisfied and will hopefully find the experience of eating much more enjoyable.