This blog post comes with a caveat. I'm not a nutritionist. I'm a food blogger who loves magnums but I did activate an almond back in 2014. Fool me once....
Lots of folks make new years resolutions, but that timing doesn't work for me. February - after school goes back and routine returns to the farm - is when I can focus on making changes. This year I'm consolidating on the success of my treatment and focussing on being stronger and helping my body be fit for purpose.
So if, like me, you're feeling worse off for your summer magnum consumption here's a few real-life-friendly substitutes to try this February.
5 easy swaps to make when you're trying to be healthy
If you follow me on instagram you'll know I swapped bread for sweet potato toast a while back. I've tried the orange sweet potato, the purple sweet potato with the white skin and the white sweet potato with the purple skin. (The white one with the purple skin is my favourite, but a bit harder to find).
I slice my sweet potato as thin as I can, then microwave it for thirty seconds before putting it in the toaster for the longest time I can. From there, the only limit to what you top it with is your imagination. I've seen peanut butter and banana, cream cheese and salmon and bacon, avocado but my favourite is a couple of poached eggs, sprinkled with dukkah. It really gets my day off to the right start.
Have you heard of konjac noodles? Sometimes they're called shirataki noodles. The noodles are made from the konjac or elephant yam, which is rich in iron, potassium and a bunch of other trace elements. You can buy them shaped into spaghetti or noodles, fettuccine and even rice.
Why do I swap konjac noodles for pasta? They have almost negligible nutritional content, so instead of going to bed with a belly full of carbohydrate that I'm not going to burn, I use these.
My family love their spaghetti bolognese, so swapping konjac noodles in is a great way for me to enjoy the same dinner as the rest of my crew, while still making a healthier choice. I've seen them marketed as Slender Slim and super low-cal wok noodles. They're gluten-free, high in fibre
Don't be put off by the horrible smell that comes from the packet when you first open it. Just rinse the noodles well in cold water before you use them and you're away!
All vegetables are good vegetables, but some pack more calories than others. An easy way to choose healthier options is to think about where the vegetables you eat functioned on the plant while they were alive.
Vegetables that served as the root of the plant are likely to have higher calorie count because that's where the plant stored it's energy reserves.
Consider swapping roots for vegetables that functioned above the ground, like leaves are where the plant transferred sunlight to energy. Leaves have lower calories and the additional benefit of iron from the mechanism the plant used to catch the sun's rays.
(I can't believe I made it through that whole paragraph without making that old wombat joke about eats roots, shoots and leaves! I must be growing up!)
Swap pre-chewed food for unchewed food. Whole grains has been the choice of dieters since Jane Fonda first donned a leotard, but making healthier choices can be as easy as choosing food that hasn't been 'pre-chewed'!
It's a simple but easy swap - make unchewed (unprocessed) choices. Look for whole rolled oats instead of quick oats, wholemeal flour in the place of plain white flour and other less-processed options. At the risk of oversimplifying things, unchewed food helps you stay fuller for longer.
The last swap to make is guilt for acceptance. Eaten something you didn't plan to? Make a mental note of how much you enjoyed it, then get over it.
Feeling guilty, then eating badly for the rest of the day is like driving your car off a cliff because it was scratched at the supermarket. If you slip up, savour the deliciousness then give yourself a break and get back on track.