Healthy Food Swaps
by Genevieve Morton
Skipping the gym, staying up late and making unhealthy food choices? As the festive season approaches we often let our healthy routines slide, thinking we’ll get back on track in the New Year. But these five simple food and drink swaps will help you to stay well over the Christmas break – and into next year. Where to start? With breakfast.
FESTIVE FIX SMOOTHIE
So you’ve indulged, or you’re planning to! This simple green smoothie is bursting with antioxidants thanks to matcha (green tea powder) and will aid digestion and reduce inflammation thanks to the burst of fresh ginger.
Ingredients: (2 serves)
- A good handful fresh spinach
- 1 apple, cored and chopped
- 1 small cucumber
- 1cm piece fresh ginger
- 1tsp matcha powder
- 1 cup ice
- 1 cup coconut water
- Toasted coconut
- Goji berries
Blend the spinach, apple, cucumber, ginger, matcha, ice and coconut water. Pour into two large glasses and top with toasted coconut and goji berries. Enjoy!
Swap sugary cereals for a simple green smoothie.
If you’re not a salad eater, consider drinking your leafy greens. Spinach and kale contain a variety of carotenoids, flavonoids and other powerful antioxidants. Instead of milk, use coconut water in green smoothies to help rehydrate and replenish electrolytes after exercising.
Swap coffee for a matcha latte.
Unlike coffee matcha (green tea powder) contains fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and chlorophyll. It will give you a caffeine hit but drinkers describe it as ‘calm alertness’ because gives you a less jittery, more sustained energy boost than coffee. Matcha is also one of the best sources of antioxidants you can find – half a teaspoon used in a matcha latte is equivalent to five cups of green tea.
Swap pasta for zoodles.
Zoodles are strands of zucchini made into the shape of noodles. They’re low in calories and gluten-free. Zoodles are packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fibre and potassium. They’re also low-carb as one cup of zoodles contains just 3.5g of carbs compared to about 40g for a cup of cooked pasta.
Swap soft drink for kombucha.
Kombucha is a fermented tea rich in probiotics originally consumed in China more than 2,200 years ago for its detoxifying and energising properties. Studies have found that drinking kombucha regularly reduces liver toxicity, in some cases up to 70%. The probiotics in kombucha provide your gut with healthy bacteria, helping to improve digestion and reduce inflammation.
Swap meat for veggies – one day a week.
‘Meat-less Monday’ is a global health movement where, by swapping meat for vegetables, legumes, beans, nuts and seeds one day a week, you’ll help reduce your risk of heart disease and boost your intake of nutrients, minerals and fibre. Eating a plant-based diet has been linked to a lower risk of diabetes and cancer.