You know the drill: new year, new healthy eating plan. But forget the restrictive fads of skinny tea, zero carb, and zero fat diets (that seem great at first, but come February we’re back at square one).
For a more sustainable change to healthy eating this year, it’s all about making smaller, more realistic changes that can easily be incorporated into our busy lives. These tweaks don’t require an overhaul of your pantry, counting calories, or pouring oil in your coffee (thanks, keto diet).
We found a way to put a healthier spin on your regular comfort foods, so every day still feels like a cheat day — only smarter and healthier.
Eggs, eggs, eggs
If there’s one healthy resolution you should make this new year, it’s to eat more eggs. Did you know that one large egg is only 70 calories and has five grams of healthy fat and six grams of high-quality protein, which helps build antibodies and repair muscles? They also give you 50% of your daily vitamin B12, helping to protect you against heart disease, as well as a bunch of other health benefits.
Not only are they delicious on their own, but you can use them in so many different recipes to add a healthy yet savoury twist. Want to amp up your ramen bowl? Add an egg. A protein-rich breakfast? Eggs, eggs, eggs. You can even remix your favourite sweet meals with a dish like two-ingredient egg pancakes with just a banana and two eggs (lose the flour and sugar, gain the nutrition!).
Oodles of zoodles
Okay, so “zoodles” may not be a new idea, but we’re here to tell you the best trends, not the newest. And zoodles are here to stay for a good reason — they allow you to take one of the most decadent meals (pasta) and turn it into something with no carbs whatsoever. That’s pretty mind-blowing.
Sure, they won’t feel as indulgent as your regular bowl of carbonara, but zoodles still feel the same when you eat them, at least visually and texturally. This way, you’ll be filling up on veggies instead of carbs.
Power up with protein
Let’s be real — we’ve all heard a million times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet how many of us are still at a loss at what actually makes up a healthy breakfast? One day oatmeal was all the rage, the next carbs are out. And muesli has tons of fibre but also a lot of sugar.
If there’s one universal healthy breakfast, that’s stuck around for a good reason, it’s a breakfast loaded with protein. Not only will eating protein for breakfast make you feel fuller for longer (thanks to satiety hormones that protein releases), but you’ll also find that a lot of high-protein foods are also packed full of other health benefits, too. Take protein-rich salmon, that’s packed with omega 3s and fatty acids, or greek yogurt that’s full of healthy bacteria for your gut.
And eggs. Eggs are packed with amino acids, omega-3s and other vitamins, and the most egg-citing thing is they’re so versatile — scrambled, poached, omelette, frittata? You name it!
Switch it up
Looking for some more healthy alternatives that you can keep on your radar whilst perusing the shelves at your local supermarket?
Instead of starchy pizza dough, try stuffing a mushroom with your favourite toppings, or making a pizza crust out of cauliflower (okay, it’s not the easiest recipe to perfect, but once you nail it you’ll never go back).
Replace baking recipes that call for butter or oil with applesauce. It adds fibre and will keep your baking just as moist. Looking for less carbs with your curry? Try cauliflower rice instead of regular rice. With recipes that call for cream cheese, try Greek yogurt instead; it will give you the same consistency, with less fat. And instead of using high-fat cream, use low-fat and protein-rich cottage cheese.
Did someone say dessert?
And last but not least — dessert no longer has to be something you skip because you’re trying to be healthy. Bulk up brownies by adding a healthy dose of veggies with beetroot, sweet potato, or even black beans. Don’t be put off; you won’t taste it once it’s combined with the cocoa. They still taste as decadent as ever with the veggies.
Thought we were done throwing veggies at you? Here’s one last one for good measure. Did you know you can make a chocolate mousse out of avocado? We know, it sounds weird, but the rich fat from the avocado actually makes for a really rich and delicious dessert. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!
If you’re looking to make healthy changes to your diet this new year, it doesn’t have to be all about fad diets (#breaktherules).
By replacing recipe ingredients with nutritious and filling items like eggs and veggies, you can make eating healthy just as exciting as indulging in your regular comfort foods.