You'll be AMAZED at the difference these 3 simple swaps will make this Christmas (and your family won't even notice!)
Howdy beauties! Hope you're all keeping warm and happy now we're officially in winter (although it took Southampton a while to get there with the very mild temperatures we were granted up until a few weeks ago!)
I've written a few articles about avoiding the winter weight gain and how Christmas doesn't have to cancel out all the hard work you've putt into your health and fitness this year. Many of my personal training clients and boot camp attendees are excited about what they believe will be their "healthiest Christmas EVER" mostly because they have learned so much and made so many positive lifestyle changes, compared to last Christmas!
One very VERY significant change is what will be in their fridges and cupboards. Although my annual Salvation Army Un-needed Christmas food Amnesty has certainly helped them rid their cupboards of excess stodge (read how it can help you with your fat-loss efforts too here) but today I wanted to share with you 3 more easy swaps you can make, to ensure this Christmas is far healthier and less stressful.
Other side effects (as reported by my personal trainer clients and bootcampers) include more energy, clothes staying loose and not tightening by January, brighter clearer skin, shinier hair and improved sleep quality. As well as family members not complaining (mainly because they won't even notice these swaps!)
Sugar to Organic Ceylon Cinnamon
To me, nothing smells more Christmassy than cinnamon! Since discovering Ceylon cinnamon, it’s basically Christmas every day! It’s much sweeter than traditional cinnamon, so not only will it help you reduce sugar/sweetener requirements in recipes but it also regulates blood sugar; helping with sugar cravings between meals.
Many of my clients who suffered with sluggish metabolisms, caused by insulin resistance have experienced great results from introducing it into their diets. My favourite brand is Organic Wise (available online.) I use it daily in breakfast recipes including shakes; and of course it features in my healthy mince pie recipe!
Cheese to Nutritional Yeast
If you think you'd really miss a cheeseboard this Christmas, have a think about how it's served you in previous years. The cumulative effect of little and often servings of cheese (plus the crackers it comes with...) can often be enough to end up cancelling out a lot of the hard work you've invested in your health and fitness throughout the year - mostly as it's so moorish!
Have a think about what you can enjoy instead. Perhaps you can make a really yummy dairy-free pudding instead (such as these melting chocolate molten lava puddings) and if it's the cheese flavour itself that you think you'll miss, that's where Nutritional Yeast can help.
“Doesn’t yeast cause candida…?” Not this kind! Nutritional yeast is heated and therefore inactive; an entirely different strain of yeast that bears no relationship to candida.
This nutritional powerhouse not only contains 71% protein (essential for muscle building) but is also rich in the full spectrum of B vitamins (including B12 and niacin) that work together to help maintain proper brain function and provide us with energy. It also contains over 14 key minerals, including chromium which can aid fat loss.
It’s a kitchen cupboard essential for me as I use it in any recipe that requires a cheese flavour (such as my five-minute hummus or semi-raw lasagna:)Many of my clients have also replaced parmesan with it, on dishes like chilli, in pesto and on top of spiralised courgette spaghetti. It is available online and in health shops (make sure you choose the one rich in B12!)
Milk/cream to Coconut milk and Yogurt
I’ve previously written about the benefits of reducing dairy, from both personal experience and my clients and bootcampers’. As so many Christmas recipes require milk and/or cream, it’s all too easy to end up suffering with excessive mucus (a lovely side-effect of dairy consumption) And who wants that at Christmas?!
Coconut milk contains twice as much potassium as bananas and is a great source of magnesium and calcium. Coconuts also contain lauric acid; an easily digestible medium chain triglyceride (MCT) which the body can use as a source of direct energy.
Coconut milk’s versatility makes it ideal in savoury and sweet recipes (such as a dairy-free slaw or a creamy smoothie as above.) It doesn’t actually have a ‘coconutty’ taste, so can be easily swapped without anyone noticing! My favourite brand of coconut yogurt is Coyo and there are so many coconut milks available in supermarkets now, make sure you choose organic where available.
For cream, all you need to do is leave a tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight, scoop out the creamy layer on top and get ready for some of the best desserts you’ve ever tasted! It also works a treat on pancakes for a special weekend brunch (notice the cinnamon also!!)
I wish you a very happy (and now) healthy Christmas!