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The clocks have gone back and we’re bracing ourselves for months of rain, snow and freezing commutes to and from work in the dark, and if there’s one thing that makes us want to dive head-first into a bowl of cheesy pasta, it’s miserable cold, grey weather. However, if you stuck to a healthy eating plan all through summer or if you’re just starting out on your weight loss journey, it is possible to find healthy alternatives to your favorite comfort foods. Here we give you six great ideas for warming dishes that won’t ruin your good intentions.
If there’s one spice that is synonymous with this time of year, it’s cinnamon, so what better way to add flavor to your dishes?! And, not only is cinnamon delicious, it’s also full of health benefits. It’s naturally sweet but also contains a compound that helps to stabilize blood sugar levels to keep your mood and energy in check. Sprinkle it on porridge, yogurt, cereal, fruit…anything that you’d normally sweeten.
Lasagna is the epitome of comfort food but it can really pack in the calories with its combination of pasta, creamy sauce, cheese and meat. However, you can start saving calories by making the ragu sauce with more veggies and less meat; mash fresh plum tomatoes, red peppers and any other veggies you like, and mix in minced turkey in place of beef. Skip the lasagne sheets altogether and use slices of eggplant to build the layers instead. Lastly, low fat ricotta cheese is perfect for the white sauce mixture and low fat mozzarella is great as the topping. Super comforting, tasty, and a great way to eat more vegetables!
Potatoes get a bad reputation but they’re one of the 'bad' foods you should be eating. They pack in loads of vitamin C, which is crucial for weight loss but is often lacking from our modern diets. They are also high in dietary fiber and protein, and contain a compound known as alpha-lipoic acid, which helps the body to convert glucose into energy, meaning they help you to feel full for longer and give you a boost of energy. Remember to eat the skins for the extra fiber and don’t ruin it by smothering it with butter. Instead, top your baked potato with a spicy three bean chili for even more fiber, or add mix of roasted veggies in a tomato sauce for a healthy filling dinner that's also very affordable!
A hot cup of cocoa is so comforting, but dairy's not good for a sore throat, which you’re bound to have at some point this winter. Try oat milk for a smooth taste, or hazelnut milk for a nuttier treat. You can always use a high cocoa percentage mix, or just raw cacao if you want it to be low sugar too, and then sweeten with your handy cinnamon!
It’s a fact that chicken soup heals all, but forget the salt-packed tinned varieties. Making it yourself also means that you can make it to your own taste, so, if you’ve got a cold coming on, whip up some chicken soup with lots of ginger, lemongrass, chilli, and loads of veggies and you’ll feel better in no time!
So we’ve had eggplant as a pasta substitute, and now cauliflower as a pizza base? Yep, that’s right! Grate cauliflower and bind with an egg to form the base and then add fresh tomato sauce and your choice of veggies plus a sprinkling of low fat mozzarella for a super-comforting and tasty dinner which typically contains just 300 calories for half of the pizza.
Eating healthy, balanced food always makes you feel better, and gives you more energy so that the cold days of winter don’t seem so trying, and with these healthy food swaps you can make your favorite comfort dishes seem a little more saintly. However, if you feel you could do with a boost of energy and some appetite suppression to help you on your weight loss journey to success then our weight loss supplement Phen Caps is just what you need to get you through the winter months.