1. Replace Muesli With Porridge
Do you love your morning bowl of cereal or muesli?
Try porridge made with 30g oats and water or plant-based milk instead for longer lasting energy release and more protein.
Made right, simple porridge oats can be super satisfying and delicious as well as satiating, warming and comforting.
Many cereals which seem healthy – such as some diet brands and muesli – contain added sugar. You could add around 10g of these on top of your porridge for crunch and flavour if you want to.
But the best topping would be berries and seeds.
2. Replace Sugar With Stevia
Try replacing sugar – white or brown – in your tea, coffee and cereal, for a natural sweetener such as stevia.
It’s calorie-free and gives a natural sweet kick to any dish or drink.
If you must have a proper, calorific sweetness in your diet, try agave syrup or fruit syrup such as one by Sweet Freedom, which you can buy online. You get way more sweetness per calorie compared to sugar.
3. Replace Bananas With Berries
Berries, watermelon, tangerines and green apples should be your new favourite sweets as they have a low glycemic load (GL).
This means they won’t raise your blood sugar levels too much.
Try and have these instead of fruits like grapes and bananas which have a comparatively high GL.
All fruits are much better than, say, jelly sweets or milk chocolate, though.
Generally, all fruit is fine to stay on the menu. Just please bear this in mind:
It’s a good idea to have five nuts with any portion of fruit for an extra-slow energy release and to help prevent the carbohydrates storing as fat on your body.
4. Replace Vegetable With Coconut Oil
When it comes to preparing noodles, curries or baked dishes, you may use vegetable or sunflower oil.
The latest research says we should avoid these altogether, and they release harmful chemicals when heated.
Instead, try frying in avocado, coconut or rapeseed oil.
Avocado oil has the highest smoke point and wonderful consistency, while rapeseed oil is more affordable and coconut oil is very healthy.
In small doses, coconut oil helps increase good cholesterol and promotes heart health.
Try using just half a teaspoon of coconut oil or a teaspoon of rapeseed or avocado oil when cooking a whole meal.
Extra virgin olive oil contains many healthy compounds but use it for dressings only.
5. Replace White Roll With Rye Bread
It might seem common sense these days but white baguettes, rolls and sliced bread should be banned from your cupboards.
Instead, give rye bread a go, or opt for the highest protein (and lowest calorie) variety you can find in the supermarket.
Look out for dark colours, wholemeal varieties, seeded types and thinner slices.
6. Replace Egg Noodles With Zucchini Noodles
Have you ever tried butternut squash or zucchini ‘noodles’? They’re pretty amazing. Filling, full of vitamins, and minimal calories.
If you can’t find ready-made packets in the supermarket you can make your own with a cheese grater or ideally a spiralizer.
If you’re feeling less adventurous or experimental, just ditch the udon, egg and instant noodles, which can be fattening.
Instead, choose rice, soba or sweet potato noodles which are a great, much lighter option.
7. Replace White Potato With Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are much better for you than white potatoes and provide a slower energy release.
They have a little more sugar but more fibre, fewer calories, and way more vitamins.
The beta-carotine is an anti-ageing antioxidant and they have loads of vitamin A for glowing skin.
For a lower calorie substitute for mashed potato try mashing cauliflower with a little oat or soy cream, and sliced turnips baked in a little rapeseed oil make a great version of French fries.
8. Replace Chicken With Tofu
Try using chopped extra-firm drained and pressed tofu in recipes instead of chicken.
It works fantastically in most recipes such as soups and curries.
Tofu is much leaner at 79 calories per 100g compared to chicken at 131 calories.
While it may contain around half the protein, you can have more of it, and it contains tons of calcium for strong bones whereas chicken contains next to none.
Tofu also has more zinc, folate, magnesium, iron and lower cholesterol.
9. Replace Beef With Lentils
Have you ever tried lentil Bolognese, pie, tacos, nachos or lasagne?
It might sound strange but the bitty texture of lentils means they make a fantastic substitute for ground beef in any recipe.
You can even have lentils instead of beef when making soup or pho.
Ground beef contains unhealthy saturated fats and studies have linked it to some cancers.
Lentils have more fiber and are gentler on your gut.
Use around 3/4 cup of raw lentils, cooked, in place of a pound of ground beef.
10. Protein Powder
Okay so now you’re replaced some essentials which may have been doing you a little more harm than good, is there anything you should add in as an extra?
Well – yes! Especially if you’re exercising.
Repair your cells and muscles with a scoop or two of protein powder added to your daily menu.
This can be mixed into your morning porridge, yogurt, or with water. You can even use it instead of flour when making pancakes or baking cookies or brownies.
Text: Deni Kirkova/HerWorldPlus