I don’t know about you, but with the shorter days and cooler temperatures we naturally seem to want to eat more. Maybe nature wants us to store fat for winter, like bears do, but unlike bears we don’t stop eating for a few months over winter! If only.......
Fill up on low calorie vegetable sides, like cauliflower mash, cauliflower rice, mashed carrot and swede, big veggie stir fry’s, etc. Remember, half your plate should be filled with fibrous veggies or salad at lunch and dinner. Make a big pot of veggie soup using low calorie veggies like onion, garlic, celery, carrots, canned tomatoes, etc. Add stock and seasoning (smoked paprika is good), cook until tender and then blend. Have a big mug of this before your lunch or dinner to help fill you up and warm you up.
Eat more fat. Fat is slower to be digested and to leave the stomach than carbohydrates, so eating fat can help keep you full. Eggs for breakfast will generallykeep you full longer than cereal will. Try natural nut butters on your crackers rather than hummus. Use a small amount of cold pressed oil on your salad instead of salad dressing. Have a small handful of raw nuts for a snack if you are peckish. Good fat is good for us, but it is very calorie dense so pay attention to portion size.
It’s all too easy at this time of year to slip back into bad eating habits. Portion sizes increase, we are on the hunt for treats after dinner and an attitude of “I’ll sort it out in spring” creeps in. It’s a long time until spring. You have to ask yourself ‘why do I want to lose weight, how will I feel if I regain what I’ve lost so far and what is my priority here?”
Losing weight and keeping it off, all year around, does take effort. You do have to give up some things you’d rather not. You do have to make it a lifestyle rather than a flash in the pan. You will have to be uncomfortable at times and get out from under the covers and do some exercise, rather than hibernating. If you don’t want to be bored with your food you will have to make the effort to seek out suitable recipes and put the effort into preparing food.
It does take time and effort, but doesn’t anything in life worth having?
What's to eat in my fridge or pantry?
We all have days when we are short of time and/or energy and it’s a good idea to always have some quick options on hand at home. If you keep a stock of the basics you can always throw a quick meal together without having to resort to takeaways.
Here are some things that are always in my fridge and pantry.
- Cooked chicken. I buy a couple of cooked chickens a week, take the skin and flesh off and it will keep for four days in the fridge. Or you can freeze it in appropriate portions sizes. Cooked chicken is great to use for salad, added to vegetable soups, heated and mixed with sauce (like plum or teriyaki sauce) and stuffed into a jacket kumara. (To make microwave jacket potatoes or kumara simply wash, stab with a knife and cook for 2-3 minutes on high).
- Eggs. Eggs are such a good standby. Hard boiled with salad, made into an omelette, poached and set atop a salad or warm veggies, veggie scramble, frittatas, a veggie slice etc. It’s true, if there is an egg in the house, there is a meal in the house.
- Cottage cheese is a good low fat, high protein option which can be used in various ways. It is a good snack on crackers, topped with gherkin / tomato / cucumber or it is useful for a vegetarian meal, check out my Veggie bake or Cheesy Vegetable Slice.
- Tasty Pot chilled meals and soups are a handy, quick to grab meal occasionally too. Found in the chilled section of your supermarket, near the fresh soups.
- In the pantry I keep cans of salmon and tuna, tins of tomatoes, jars of passata or pasta sauce, various dried herbs and spices, cans of beetroot and cans of legumes. These can all be used to make non meat meals.
- My freezer always has nuts, seeds and a packet of grated parmesan in it. Parmesan is such a lovely strong cheese that you don’t need to use much to add flavour to omelettes, frittatas and pizzas. I have lots of recipe ideas here.
Two new vegetarian recipes this month...
Cauliflower mash topped hotpot and
Black bean and veggie patties.
At the moment I’m obsessed with Portobello mushrooms with just a small slither of blue cheese melted on them. They make a great side. I’m talking about a thumbnail size piece of blue cheese, it is all you need. Bake or BBQ them.
Remember to experiment with a few recipes to keep your meals interesting and don’t be a bear by overeating at the beginning of winter! It's far better to lose a couple of kilos between now and spring, than to slap a couple of kilos on.