TRICKS OF THE TRADE
YOU WON’T FEEL LIKE YOU’RE MISSING OUT WITH THESE SMART SWAPS, BUT THEY ADD UP TO A BIG DIFFERENCE IN YOUR DIET
Quite often when we’re struck by the “get fit” or “eat healthier” bug it brings with it a lot of gusto, motivation and an all-ornothing attitude. While this helps launch positive action, it can have an equally negative impact as goals that are too big in scale, vague or not broken down into manageable steps tend to stop in their tracks faster than they began. As a nutrition and health coach, part of my work is to suggest healthy swaps in a client’s current eating plan. These small changes won’t make you feel overwhelmed but they will allow small wins, which help drive motivation.
SWAP COFFEE FOR HERBAL TEA
Too much coffee wreaks havoc on our already stressed nervous systems. If you enjoy coffee and don’t rely on it for its caffeinated properties, try to limit the jolt to one a day and choose herbal teas such as dandelion (which is great for fluid retention), camomile (calming), peppermint, (invigorating) or rooibos tea (caffeine free) instead.
SWAP BURGERS FOR BUNLESS BURGERS
By limiting the number of simple carbohydrates in your diet you are opening the door to more nutrient-dense food. Try a deconstructed burger with a lettuce base and the usual fillings.
SWAP PASTA FOR ZUCCHINI NOODLES
Zucchini noodles (zoodles) are a fantastic substitute for pasta meals and give you more bang for your buck in the nutrition stakes. Made with a spiraliser, the world is your oyster when it comes to recreating Thai, Asian or Italian meals.
SWAP RED MEAT FOR GRILLED FISH
By limiting red meat to only once or twice a week, you’re reducing the saturated fat in your diet. Salmon is full of healthy omega 3 fats or whip up a meat-free meal packed with plant-based proteins.
SWAP JUICE FOR WHOLE FRUIT
Why drink juice when you can eat the fruit in its whole form? Juice is fast absorbing and drives insulin levels to sky high as the fibre content is stripped. Enjoy low GI fruits such as berries in smoothies, fresh mango and coconut flesh as “nice cream” or watermelon by the pool.
SWAP BUTTER FOR AVOCADO
When you substitute avocado for another fat, you’re getting about 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, and “good fats” as opposed to saturated. If you want to talk calories, butter has around four times the amount.
SWAP SALAD DRESSING FOR BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
Make your own dressing by mixing balsamic vinegar and a dash of olive oil. Traditional salad dressings are high in sugar so save the sweetness and transform your salads with DIY dressings.
SWAP ALCOHOL FOR SODA WATER
As the festive season dawns, so does the frequency of enjoying an alcoholic beverage. If you must drink, try swapping every second drink for soda water. Add apple cider vinegar and a dash of lemon juice to soda water for a refreshing bubbly treat.
SWAP CRISPS FOR AIR-POPPED POPCORN
Sometimes we just crave something salty. Did you know air-popped popcorn is actually one of the world’s best fibrous wholegrain foods? Cool, huh! Try making your own or buy plain air-popped (steer clear of the sweet and salty, caramel, oilpopped versions) and enjoy a healthy snack.