Is it just me or is everyone on a health kick at the moment? I’m not sure if there’s something in the air, but it feels like everyone’s getting stuck into health and fitness right now. Even the girls in the office here are putting many of us to shame – there’s Joh who’s on a pre-Euro-trip boot camp, Jill who goes to boxing several times a week and Laura who’s shredding for her wedding. Not to mention Lauren and Tanya who run around Albert Park Lake on their lunch break! Maybe it’s something to do with winter appearing out of nowhere and us all feeling like we’ve started having too many hot chocolates and hearty stews, and it’s time get back on track and fight those winter cravings. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t agree more with people getting on board and taking some positive steps (literally) to keep their health and fitness in a good place during the hardest part of the year. So, if you’re on a health kick right now, or even if you’re not – here are my top 10 tips to stay fuller for longer this winter.
1. Add sauerkraut – Sauerkraut is packed full of nutritional goodness and I cannot recommend this delicious condiment enough. Rich in probiotics for a healthy gut, sauerkraut is also high in fibre (being fermented cabbage, of course) and will help keep you fuller for longer. Fibre-rich foods take longer to digest and absorb, and this little jar of goodness is mighty high in fibre! I like to add sauerkraut to my toasted sandwiches at lunch or as an addition to my salad or veggies at dinner. Sauerkraut is very low in kilojoules so it’s the perfect high-fibre agent that you can enjoy to your heart’s content!
2. Dress your salad – Dress your salad with a healthy oil or add some crushed nuts for a delicious crunch (if you’re on the Jenny Craig program, take these from your fat serves). An easy way to lower the Glycaemic Index (GI) of your meals is to drizzle it with a little oil. I love Australian extra virgin olive oil and I’m also loving sesame oil at the moment. You don’t need much to add loads of flavour and a delicious mouthfeel and this will help you keep your blood sugar levels steady by slowing digestion and absorption.
3. Add a squeeze of lemon – Another wicked way of lowering the GI is to add lemon juice or vinegar to your veggies/salad. A fresh squeeze of lemon will not only add a burst of flavour and vitamin C, but it will also keep you fuller for longer. Lemon juice is very low in kilojoules so use this freely to enhance the flavour of your greens.
4. Sprinkle some seaweed – Sprinkle your meals with seaweed. Adding seaweed to your meals adds so many vitamins and minerals, not to mention dietary fibre. You can find seaweed flakes at your local health food shop, or if you’re at your local supermarket, grab some nori sheets and roughly tear up a sheet and sprinkle over your meal.
5. Fill up with konjac – Have you tried konjac noodles before? These bad boys are rich in soluble fibre, and in fact one serve of these contains over 6g fibre. Made from a root vegetable, these noodles are very low in kilojoules but will help fill you up when you just need a little extra. I will often make a hearty miso soup with miso paste and konjac noodles and have this as winter warmer when I get home from work, before preparing dinner.
6. Park the potato peeler – Did you know? The skin on vegetables contains an amazing source of insoluble fibre which will help keep you fuller for longer, not to mention under the skin is where a lot of the antioxidants are found. So, ditch that peeler and give your veggies a quick rinse instead!
7. Get roasting! – My favourite roast veggies are the Mediterranean ones like capsicum, eggplant and zucchini. These go beautifully with a Mediterranean spice mix like harissa. I also love roasted carrots and beetroot. Try dusting freshly sliced beetroot with cinnamon and roasting in the oven – they become deliciously sweet as the natural sugars caramelise, and the cinnamon brings out the sweetness even more!
8. Go Greek for Yoghurt – Reduced fat Greek yoghurts will keep you fuller for longer as they’re rich in protein and low GI carbs. Go for plain yoghurt wherever possible and top with your own fresh fruit. If you need a chocolate fix, why not stir through a little cacao powder to give it a delicious chocolatey taste?
9. Berry it up – Berries, both fresh or frozen, provide an incredible profile of antioxidants, dietary fibre and vitamin C. An after-dinner dessert I love to have is a small bowl of berries with Greek yoghurt and a sprinkle of some cacao nibs (for that crunch factor, of course!)
10. Warm up with custard – Berries won’t cut it for dessert? How about a warm bowl of custard. Custard is so easy to make when you have custard powder ready to go in the pantry and some skim milk on hand. Mum used to make custard for us as kids and I still remember it as being the best thing ever on a cold winter’s night. Sprinkle some nutmeg on your custard or add some sliced banana for a natural sweet hit.