BATD ON Jan 29, 2014 AT 4:26 pm

by Valirie Morgan

Healthy eating: green smoothies and quinoa

Healthy eating: green smoothies and quinoa

January is coming to an end, which means that many of us have fallen off our new year’s resolutions and are picking our old habits back up. Resolving to eat healthier, though, doesn’t have to be a chore — and it’s actually quite simple to maintain all year-round!

Don’t worry, this isn’t about crazy diets or eating food that tastes like cardboard. We’ve picked out some of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your diet and ensure your body is properly fueled with nutrients through swapping one food for a healthier alternative. With so many delicious and nutritious choices available now, there’s a definite possibility that you’ll end up liking the healthy option better!


Instead of ice cream, try: YOGHURT
Who doesn’t love ice cream? It’s a dessert staple. Sadly, though, just one bowl can fill you full to the brim your sugar allowance for the day. That’s where yoghurt comes to the rescue, offering the same cold texture and sweet taste of ice cream for a fraction of the calories. The past few years have seen a surge in the popularity of Greek yoghurt because it tastes great and has twice the protein and half the sodium and carbs of regular yoghurt. FAGE’s Fruyo Greek yoghurt is all-natural and definitely can satisfy a sweet tooth with flavours like vanilla, blueberry, strawberry, lemon, peach and pineapple (available at Sainsbury’s, Whole Foods and Waitrose for £1.09). Another great choice is Co Yo, a creamy and refreshing line of yoghurts made with natural ingredients and coconut milk (available at Waitrose for £2.10).

Instead of potato crisps, try: KALE CHIPS
A sandwich meal isn’t complete without the salty crunch of crisps on the side, but their fat content can be a killer! Trading a packet of crisps for some kale chips is an extremely healthy and still fun-to-eat way to keep your lunch healthy. Kale has been dubbed the new superfood because it’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and lutein, which helps keep your eyes and vision in top shape! Whole Foods offers Inspiral kale chips in their shops for around £3.79. Pret a Manger also offers them in their shops for £1.50. The good news is that they’re really easy to make: just grab some kale, remove the stems and tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces, drizzle on some olive oil and a dash of salt, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 180° C.

Instead of rice/couscous, try: QUINOA
Rice or couscous can be a great addition to a meal. However, they’re quite starchy and lack any real nutritional value. Quinoa isn’t just for hipsters — it’s a grain that provides a powerful source of protein and fiber, and it makes an excellent addition to salads and other delicious dishes. Quinoa is gluten-free, easy to digest and contains all eight of the essential amino acids, which is why it’s been classified as a super crop. The grain lends itself to a variety of flavors, so it’s never a boring meal! It’s widely available at any grocer and a popular dish at many restaurants.

Instead of olive oil, try: COCONUT OIL
Olive oil has always been a favorite ingredient of chefs everywhere, but it packs a hugely caloric punch. Coconut oil is a great substitute for olive oil while you’re cooking some of your favorite dishes. It’s available in a flavorless version, but the regular coconut oil adds delicious flavor to a meal, especially in Asian dishes or for frying fish. The types of acids in coconut oil are way healthier than other oils because they are heart-healthy and even promote your metabolism (and who doesn’t want that?). You can find coconut oil at grocers like Sainsbury’s, which offers Lucy Bee coconut oil for £6.

Instead of regular coffee, try: MATCHA LATTES
Getting a coffee from your local shop can cause you to drink the majority of your entire day’s calorie allotment, which is a terrifying realization. Our new favorite thing is Matcha, a tea from Japan that packs 137 times the antioxidants of green tea (and we all know how much Brits love our tea). Matcha also promotes weight loss and gives you the same energy boost as caffeinated coffee, just without the headaches and the inevitable crash later in the day! It’s also full of L-theanine, which gives a calming effect in the brain. Keep an eye out for drinks made with Matcha at shops around the city (we’ve spotted them being served at Eat for take away) because it’s quickly becoming popular with people around the world!

Instead of normal juices, try: COLD-PRESSED JUICES
There’s juice, which is often loaded with sugar, and then there’s cold-pressed juice, which is loaded with all the good stuff your body is craving! Store-bought juice rarely possesses many health benefits, and if you’ve been using a juicer in your home kitchen, you’re on the right track. However, cold-pressed juice is way healthier than both options because its method of squeezing fruits and veggies allows for maximum nutrients. Some health experts are claiming that green cold-pressed juice contains so much nutritional value that even eating mountains of leafy greens wouldn’t be able to provide! In London, juice bar Roots and Bulbs is the go-to destination for cold-pressed juices, and Starbucks has begun to offer its own brand, Evolution Fresh, for around £4 in its cafes.

Instead of cinema popcorn, try: LOW-CAL FLAVORED POPCORN
A trip to the cinema always calls for popcorn, but try resisting the buttery bucket from the concessions area and instead opt for bringing your own bag of low-calorie popcorn. Propercorn just introduced their new Sweet Coconut & Vanilla flavour, the perfect mix of sweet and salty at just 109 calories per bag. We’re suckers for anything delicious AND good for you, so we think this is the perfect anytime snack that will leave you without any guilt! You can pick up Propercorn at Waitrose for £1.59.

Instead of creamy soup, try: SKINNY SOUP
During the cold winter months, soup is one of the ultimate go-to meals. While they may be hearty and flavorful, creamy soups have massive amounts of sodium and fat. Thankfully, we’ve discovered the Skinny range of soups from New Covent Garden Soup, including savory flavors like Souper Green with Italian Basil Pesto, Tomato & Vegetables with Green Lentils, Quinoa & Turtle Bean with Chilli and Lime, and Goan Spiced Chicken & Lentils. They’re all certain to fill you up without sacrificing a slim figure, and all the Skinny soups have just 150 calories. The New Covent Garden Soup Skinny range can be found at Waitrose for £2.20.

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