BOOST YOUR BRAIN POWER WITH OMEGA-3: Research in neurology has shown that eating more omega-3 fatty acids means you’ll have a bigger brain when you’re older. This news isn’t just good news for doing your weekend crosswords – decreased brain volume has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Increasing your amount of omega-3 from sources including oily fish (i.e. salmon), and fish-oil supplements and flax seed oil delays the normal loss of brain cells by one to two years.
A HEALTHY BREAKFAST START: It’s true what your mother told you ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. Most people get it wrong though or skip it altogether. Here’s 3 fast, easy breakfasts to get you off to a great start:
1. TURKISH TOAST WITH TOMATO: Toast 60g split wholemeal Turkish bread. Spread with 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese. Top with sliced roma tomato. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of dukkah.
2. BANANA & KIWIFRUIT CEREAL: Have 45g all-bran cereal, 1 wheat breakfast biscuit, 160ml skim milk, 1/2 chopped banana and 2 chopped kiwifruit.
3. FRUIT MUFFIN BANANA: Toast 1 (65g) split fruit English muffin. Spread with 2 tablespoons low-fat ricotta cheese and top with a lightly mashed banana. Serve with sliced strawberries.
4. POACHED EGG & HAM: Spread 1/2 (35g) toasted wholemeal English muffin with 1 tablespoon tomato chutney. Top with 30g 97% fat-free sliced ham and 1 poached egg. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives.
LUNCH: You wouldn’t send your little one off to school with a healthy, pre-prepared lunch, right? Well, neither should you. When you make your own lunch, you have more time to think about portion sizes and ingredients which helps curb cravings for foods that are convenient and often sugar-laden. Here’s two super simple, healthy lunches you can make and take with you to work.
BEAN & SALSA WRAP: Microwave 1/4 cup (65g) tomato salsa and 130g can rinsed, drained red kidney beans for 1 minute. Microwave 1 (40g) wholegrain tortilla for 20 seconds. Spread bean mixture over tortilla. Top with 1/2 grated carrot, 1/2 cup shredded cos lettuce, 30g grated reduced-fat cheese. Roll up and enjoy.
TURKEY TORTILLA: Top 1 (25g) mini wheat tortilla with 50g shaved shaved turkey breast, 2 tablespoons coriander leaves, 20g baby spinach leaves, 2 sliced green shallots, 30g fat-reduced cheese and another tortilla. Cook in a sandwich press.
HEALTHY SNACKS & TREATS: When you get peckish at home or on the job, try one of our delicious snack ideas below. Having regular, healthy snacks throughout the day is important to keep you going between meals. Regular snacking also helps to keep energy and blood-sugar levels steady and prevents unhealthy binging.
FRUIT & NUTS: Have 1 apple cut into wedges with 2 tablespoons walnuts.
PEAR & NUTELLA SPREAD: Spread 1 (35g) slice toasted multi-grain bread with 1 teaspoon of nutella spread. Top with 1 thinly sliced small cored pear.
INDIAN CAULIFLOWER: Combine 1/2 cup (50g) reduced-fat cottage cheese with 1 tablespoon mango and ginger chutney. Have with 1 cup small cauliflower florets.
KEEP MEAL TIMES REGULAR: When you’re busy or distracted with work or kids you often forget to eat until you’re feeling ravenous. And that’s usually the time where healthy eating is pushed aside for a quick-fix. Instead, try and set regular meal times. This will keep your metabolism ticking over and will help you recognize if you’re eating because you’re feeling emotional or bored.
MAKE IT FUN! There’s nothing worse than bland, boring foods or cooking the same thing week in week-out with no variety. Spice things up a bit! You don’t have to arrange your veggies into a funny face to find food interesting and the spark back into your diet plan. Beat mealtime monotony by adding in some new ingredients or recipes. Try new exotic fruits, like quince or dragon-fruit, when they pop up at the supermarket. Or make it your mission to cook a new recipe once a week.
LIVE GUILT-FREE: Sticking to any kind of diet without splurging on your favorite foods occasionally is tough and often leads to giving up. Adults tend to over-think ‘treat’ foods and feel bad for not following their healthy eating plan. The fix? Think like a child – eat it, love it, then move on and get back on track. The take home message here is if you indulge, take the time to enjoy it!
EAT YOUR FILL & NO MORE! If you often find yourself eating quickly, or multitasking while eating, make a conscious effort to eat your meals away from distractions. Doing this will make you more aware of what you’re putting in your mouth and (hopefully) stop you from polishing off a huge serving. Remember, it can take 15 minutes for your brain to register fullness, so you can easily get through a large amount of food before you realize you’re full.