Five (easy) ways to kick-start your healthy eating


When winter drags and you crave comfort food, it’s many of us turn to convenience carbs. But healthier options are simple, says Karen Geary.

Sweet potato fries with sea salt in a metal bucket – shutterstock

Swap mash for root veggie mash

Mixing up winter vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and swede into a mash with a dash of olive oil can bring a wider variety of veg into your diet, more nutrients and will help you feel fuller and satisfied for longer. White potatoes when mashed release their sugars quickly which will make you hungry sooner.

Swap rice for cauliflower rice

Curry night? Swap white rice for cauliflower rice. Blitz raw cauliflower in the processor or chop finely into rice-sized pieces. Spread out on a baking tray and bake on 180 deg C until dry and slightly charred (about 30 mins). You need to stir it every now and then to make sure it dries and browns evenly.

Cauliflower is a cruciferous veg, very low in calories, high in fibre, vitamins and minerals and has one of my favourite nutrients, choline which supports our metabolism and also a healthy nervous system amongst many things. If you hate cauliflower, try quinoa instead, a fantastic source of protein.

Swap chips for celeriac or sweet potato chips

Chopping celeriac or sweet potatoes into chips, massaged with olive oil, salt and your favourite spices (I like hot paprika with a touch of cumin), bake in the oven fast – they take about 20 minutes on 190 deg C and are hassle-free.

Swap potato crisps for kale crisps

This sounds a bit new age California, but if you have some kale hanging around in the bottom of your fridge, strip the leaves away from the stalks, massage the leaves with olive oil, spread on a baking sheet and bake on a low heat, eg 120deg C for an hour or so until they are dry (they shrink a lot!).

Sprinkle with salt and enjoy. Another great way to get your cruciferous vegetables into your diet, high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals and none of the additives that you get from a bag of crisps.

Swap flavoured yogurt for Greek yogurt or kefir

A lot of the fruity yogurts are ultra-processed and aimed at dieters because they are low fat, but instead are loaded with sugars, preservatives or emulsifiers which can give people an upset stomach.

Switch from low fat yogurt to Greek yogurt – it is high in protein and fat and will keep you fuller for longer.
If you don’t like the consistency of Greek yogurt – give kefir a go. It is one of the best fermented foods for gut health around.
Add stewed apple and cinnamon and you have a lovely dessert or an indulgent breakfast. Your gut will thank you for it.

by Karen Geary, a Registered Nutritional Therapist DipION, mBANT, CNHC at Amplify


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