One of the biggest obstacles people have to overcome when trying to lose weight, is finding a program that is easy to fit into their lifestyle for the long haul. There are a few factors that play a big role in whether people fail or succeed at attempting to change their lifestyle and eating habits. Most people fail simply because they do not prepare themselves mentally and emotionally before taking the first steps towards making lifestyle changes for the better.
Preparing yourself for a successful and effective lifestyle change, also involves learning how to prepare meals that are not just good for weight loss, but also tasty and satisfying. Most people get stuck in a right when it comes to cooking, often falling back on tried-and-true old favourites and family recipes. Unfortunately, most of the time these tried-and-true old favourites happen to be high in carbohydrates, salt and or sugar and all the wrong kinds of fat. And this is the one fingertips people up the most, almost guaranteeing an awesome flop.
One of the easiest way to prepare yourself, your family and your home for a healthier lifestyle, is getting rid of all the things in your kitchen cupboard and fridge that are preventing you from losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle. Initially, this can be quite daunting and terrifying considering the cost of food and the amount of it you need to either throw away, give to family members and friends or donate to a charity or shelter. The easiest way to go about this, is to do this slowly. Start off by getting rid of margarine, salad dressings, mayonnaise and other condiments in your fridge that contain sugar or carbohydrates. It easy: just read the label.
Replace your margarine with real butter, mayonnaise with a home-made variation (recipe is below) and switching out your salad dressings for a good balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. If you’re not using all gold tomato sauce, now is the time to start because it does not contain sugar, or carbohydrates.
By making these somewhat scary changes, you’ll find it easier to get into the habit of buying healthier foods and ingredients. If you can, try switching out your regular cake flour, bread flour, self-rising flour and Maizena (corn starch) for almond flour, coconut flour, macadamia nut flour and psyllium husks instead. Start off by using almond flour, coconut flour and psyllium husk to begin with. It makes it a little simpler and less overwhelming.
If you and your family still use sugar, now is time to switch it out. To be perfectly honest, this is probably one of the most expensive part of trying to live and eat healthily. There are many alternative to sugar on the supermarket shelves, but choosing one that is as close to natural as possible as well as healthy, can also be a bit overwhelming. Here are a few sweeteners worth looking into:
- Xylitol. It looks exactly like sugar, but has a cooling effect on the tongue. It’s not as sweet as sugar, but does not spike blood sugar. It is a little on the pricey side but perfectly safe for diabetics, therefore making it safe for everyone.
- Stevia. You can find this in a liquid form or powder. Liquid is better as it is easier to control. This stuff is insanely sweet and too much can leave a slight bitter aftertaste in your mouth. So go easy on it.
- Erythritol. It is a sugar alcohol found naturally in some fruits that does not spike blood sugar or insulin levels either.
- Palm or coconut sugar. This is considered safe for diabetics, and therefore safe for everyone. This one is also on the pricey side. Also noted that Palm sugar has a brown colour and will tend everything you use it in a darker colour.
Most of these things are easily found at your local Pick ‘n Pay supermarket or online. Initially purchasing these ingredients can be a little pricey, but they are 100% organic and easily digestible in the human body and brilliant for cooking and baking. They have no carbohydrates and no added cane or corn sugars/syrup and are not processed.
All this seems rather daunting at first glance, but with a few helpful recipes to give you a little bit of guidance, you’ll find it’s far easier to live a healthy lifestyle and eating real food that is not only nutritious, but has fabulous health benefits as well. Once you have actually stopped your cupboards and fridge with the healthier versions of your usual grocery shopping buys, you’ll find the costs are not so different from regular shopping.
Stock up with things like bacon (streaky bacon is really good), pork sausages butter, full fat cream cheese, cream, crème fraîche, Cheddar cheese and lots of eggs to make delicious and nutritious meals. If you absolutely have to have bread in the house, there is a way around that to. Below is a great recipe for making gluten-free, zero carbohydrate bread, as well as a couple other recipes to get you started.
Seed and Nut Bread Recipe
1 cup flax seed (freshly ground, pre-ground store bought will not work)
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup xylitol
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/3 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 cup of eggs
2/3 cup of full cream milk or buttermilk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 180°C and coat a loaf tin with spray and Cook or butter. Combine all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix with a whisk to break up any lumps. Mix the eggs milk or buttermilk and olive oil well, then stir in a bill cider vinegar. Pour into the loaf tin and bake at 180°C for fifteen minutes. Lower the heat 260°C for a further fifty-five minutes to an hour. If the bread becomes dark, cover the bread with some tinfoil and continue baking.
Note: this bread can be flavoured with anything you like from variety of cheeses to pay so and sun-dried tomatoes. It’s a versatile recipe that can be adapted to whatever flavours you enjoy the most.
Banting Mayo Recipe
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 a cup coconut oil
1/2 a cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
salt and pepper to taste
Combine eggs, mustard and lemon juice in a food processor. In a small pan melt the coconut oil just enough to let liquefies. Slowly pour the coconut and olive oil into the food processor while slowly increasing the food processors speed. Once the mixture has emulsified, add the Greek yoghurt salt and pepper and lemon juice. Pour your mayonnaise into a jar and keep refrigerated.
Note: the mayonnaise should be used within one week because it won’t last for much longer than that. This recipe makes about 400 mL of mayonnaise that you can stretch it out with more coconut oil or yoghurt.
Chicken Curry Recipe
2 chicken breasts skin on, bone in
fresh green beans, cleaned and chopped
one medium onion chopped
curry spice and masala
smoked paprika and turmeric
Parboiled chicken breasts in just enough water to cover. Remove chicken from the water and set aside to cool, then shred or cube the meat and skin (discard bones). Reserve and freeze the chicken stock for later use. In a pan use a generous amount of coconut oil (2 tablespoons or so) and fry or off the onions and the spices on a low heat for about two minutes. Add the chicken and cook for a further two minutes. Pour in one can of coconut cream and green beans and simmer until reduced by one third.
Note: because of the high fat content, the dish is fairly rich and satisfying. However, it can be served with a side dish of salad or sambles (finely chopped onion, fresh tomato with parsley or coriander, lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and a little bit of white vinegar). Can be made as spicy or as mild as you like.
Other great meal ideas is fried pork chops (fat on), steak with mushrooms, pepper and cream sauce, mince curry, pumpkin soup with Banting bread (recipe above). They are so many ideas online for high-fat low carb recipes that are super nutritious and awesomely satisfying, you can’t and won’t get bored. By following a diet like this, not only will you be eating real food, but it’s an awesome way to eat healthily to maintain weight or lose weight.