Here’s to a healthy new year

TV’s ‘Good Chef’ Zoe Bingley-Pullen offers some healthy eating tips to think about once the festive feasts have finished

Zoe Bingley

Let's face it — it's a little difficult to think about healthy eating when we're right in the middle of the festive season.

In just a few weeks, though, the parties and celebratory meals will be behind us and, with the new year fast approaching, we can start to think about ways to improve our health now. Why wait to make a New Year's resolution to get healthy?

Good Chef, Bad Chef's Zoe Bingley-Pullen says most diets have a 95% failure rate so a healthy lifestyle is the most successful approach.

Here are her top tips for a sustainable and healthy approach to food:

? If you use olive oil in your cooking, don't heat it beyond 180°C—if you do you will burn the oil and change its nutritional properties. Baste your protein (fish, chicken, beef, tofu, pork) with a little olive oil, sear on both sides and turn the pan to a low temperature. This will keep the oil stable and the food moist.

? Make a shopping list and buy the food you will require for your lunches and snacks for the week. Buying healthy, high-protein snacks in advance will stop you from grabbing an unhealthy snack for the vending machine when the 'hungries' hit. Try a probiotic yoghurt, nuts, hummus, cottage cheese, tinned fish or boiled eggs.

? Drink one to two litres of liquid per day—a combination of water, herbal teas or freshly squeezed juice. Buy a 1.5 litre bottle of water and keep it at your desk to remind you to drink.

? Aim to eat small healthy meals regularly; this will help maintain stable blood glucose levels, decrease your hunger and not overwhelm your digestive system.

? Include a good source of animal or vegetarian protein with each meal, aiming for 1g of meat protein per kg of body weight e.g. 75kg = 75g of protein. Foods that contain protein include all animal products, diary such as a probiotic yoghurt, legumes, tofu, nuts and seeds.

? Eat a diet high in low GI carbohydrates (such as whole grains, most fruit, most vegetables) and low in high GI carbohydrates (such as white bread, jasmine rice, sugar).

? Exercising at any time of the day will help kick start your metabolic rate, therefore burning more calories throughout the day.

? Limit your caffeine intake as too much can over-stimulate the adrenal glands and dehydrate you.

? Finally, take the time to stop and enjoy the food you are eating as this will assist digestion and enjoyment.

Article courtesy of WarCry magazine

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