Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Healthy bribery

Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season in the US and I feel like it's also getting started here, certainly in the food department. The shops are full of advent calendars and mince pies and I'm having my first Christmas lunch this Sunday.

Whilst it's somewhat cheering to start to feel festive this early, it's also important to stay vigilant on the diet front to keep you healthy through to the new year.

Waistlines aside, we're into cold and flu season and you don't want your festivities ruined by being laid low. This is why you need to make an extra effort to fit in your fruit and vegetables inbetween all the naughty stuff.

Unfortunately the more wintery veg tend to be the least popular - suede and cabbage are never going to be favourites. This is where a bit of flavour enhancing can play it's part.

Personally I find that pretty much any veg is palatable when served with some nice hot gravy. Now really is the weather for roast dinners so load your plate up with veg and gravy and tuck in. If you eat your veg first you'll also be less likely to binge on the roast potatoes. Avoid the oxo when possible and use either homemade or an MSG and maltodextrin free variety.

Curries are another nice warming winter meal and easy to sneak some more veg into. Add some okra, french beans, cubed sweet potato or mange tout in with your meat/fish, curry paste and coconut milk.

Mashed potato is a winter favourite for me, but it's easy to add some carrot or suede whilst you're cooking to make it a mult-veg mash. Alternatively fry some leek and onions or winter greens and add these at the mashing stage.

When it comes to pudding make sure you pick something fruity, think apple crumble or fruit cake rather than chocolate brownie and ice cream.

However bad you've been the night before try and keep breakfast as healthy as possible, even if you're feeling lazy grab a ready made smoothie or fruit salad on the way into work.

Even when it comes to treats you can choose those with a healthy ingredient, for example dark chocolate covered nuts or dried fruit are much better for you than quality streets.

If necessary resort to some healthy bribery - you can have a minced pie but only if you eat a clemintine first!

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