Food and recipes – we all have our favourite’s. The ones we have maybe grown up with, that our families and friends love us to make and the ones we are best at and like to show off, or is that just me…..?
Anyway, when it comes to shifting our excess weight, the last thing we want to have to do is abandon all our tried and tested and much loved recipes and replace them with foods we hope to learn to love but don’t initially have the same appeal. Can you imagine your family asking for the “lovely raw veggies and low fat dressing”? or the response you would get to the “Mum, I’m starving, what’s for dinner?” and you reply chicken breast with salad……Not good I suspect.
So, what to do to keep all family members happy and you on your weight loss track? I have the answer. Food swaps. I do this all the time and no-one even notices and often if they do, they love them for a number of reasons, such as the food swap is less heavy so they feel less sluggish afterwards and certainly has less sugar so there is no sugar crash shortly after eating and the subsequent hunger, and sometimes they just love the change of taste or texture within the recipe.
The easiest examples I use are these.
- Out with the Spaghetti, in with the Courgetti and Butternut noodles mixed – you don’t have to go the whole hog and cut out the spaghetti altogether, just mix a smaller amount of the pasta with a larger amount of the veggie noodles – this also looks so lovely and colourful and tempting on a plate.
- Out with the Cheese sauces in lasagne, bakes etc, in with the half fat crème fraiche with a pinch of nutmeg and a grating of cheese. No butter, no flour, no milk and a much smaller amount of cheese.
- Out with the sheet pasta in with the wholemeal tortillas in all instances. My family love lasagne and cannelloni with wholemeal tortilla. Pizzas with whole meal tortilla are also a massive hit.
- Out with minced beef (5 to 15% fat and the 5% is much more expensive), in with minced Turkey (4 – 7% fat at a much lower price). Every single recipe that requires beef can be swapped with turkey. You don’t have to do this very time, but even if you alternate between beef and turkey you will save so many calories and a big reduction in fat.
- Out with tomato sauces in jars (a total sugar and additive fest!), in with homemade sauces. This is so, so easy. When I have very little time, I put a can of tinned tomatoes, garlic cloves, onion, chilli, basil – basically whatever I fancy in my blender, whiz up and tip on anything that needs a sauce. Voila!
- Out with the sour cream as dips, in with the 0% Greek yoghurt – not Greek Style Yoghurt – topped with herbs. Think of the calories saved in this one small change alone!
Look around you and be creative. Use herbs and spices – there is always recommendations as to which foods they work well with on the labels. Keep it simple and definitely keep it stress free. Eat your favourite family meals plus add in some new ones and you will achieve your weight loss goals painlessly and keep the family happy.