We all had good intentions back in January – to exercise more, eat better and make 2017 the healthiest year yet. But the question is, have you actually stuck to your intentions?
I recently shared my healthy chocolate porridge recipe, and today I’ve got a guest post with 5 healthy cooking tips to get you back on track, and make clean eating easier with a few simply hacks.
Bond with Your Kitchen
You can’t master any cooking hacks unless you cook, so although the kitchen is far less comfortable than the couch, get up, get your slippers on and get in the kitchen. Forcing yourself to learn to cook is the easiest way to get healthy because it gives you total control over what you eat, how much you have and what you put in into it so you can say goodbye to all those hidden sugars, E numbers and preservatives. No excuses. If the kitchen is new territory, start simple. If you’re already a dab-hand with certain dishes, challenge yourself to try new cuisines or ingredients and if you need help to do that, enrol in a class.
Do Not Diet
Diets don’t work. If they did, you wouldn’t have to try and do one every January; healthy cooking hacks are for life, not just the days when your trousers feel snug. When you’re online or in the bookstore looking for healthy recipes, avoid anything with ‘diet’ in the title or those guides which promise you a six-pack in seven days. Instead, think of a particular vegetable you like and look for new ways to prepare it. Anytime you need a sugar-fix, nibble on some fruit until the craving passes and simply avoid all eye contact with the confectionary aisle.
With the right hack, you can cook once or twice but enjoy healthy meals every day of the week. Check out this quick tutorial from Goodful that shows you how to make four different hearty and healthy meals in under an hour. There are all sorts of soups, batch cook and one-pot recipes like this that you can portion up into separate meals to chill or freeze for later use. Get Googling for ideas and then hit the sales for bargain Tupperware.
Write a Shopping List
Or more importantly, write a shopping list and STICK TO IT. The supermarkets are filled with 3 for 2 offers and discounts, which are very tempting especially when your favourite sweet treats are on offer.
Yes. Three packs of mini eggs for a pound does seem like a good deal but your health will thank you for leaving them on the shelf. Plan your meals for the week, write a list of the ingredients you need to make them and just get those items.
Go ‘Off Recipe’
Unless you’re baking a cake, you really can afford to go ‘off-recipe’ so don’t be afraid to mix things up and experiment in the kitchen. Any time you’re asked to ‘coat’, ‘drizzle’ or ‘rub’ something in oil, ignore it and use a low-calorie spray oil instead. If you’re asked to include double cream, use low-fat Greek yogurt. If you’re supposed to serve something with spaghetti or rice, opt for a vegetable alternative.
Have you got any tips for eating cleaner?
*This is a guest post.*