Thursday, January 29, 2015

Chloe Likes To Eat: 3 Ways to Lighten Up

I like to eat, as the name of this feature has always suggested. I grew up surrounded by food and it's still a very important part of my family and my life- we like to eat tasty things. However much my diet has changed over the years, I've always found a way to enjoy food in the end, and currently I'm in a transitional phase.

Back in October I fell suddenly quite ill. One day I was laughing and joking over dinner with an old childhood friend who had connected with me whilst in London for business, the following day I was shivering, throwing up and unable to keep fluids down. The cause is likely to have been an infection of my gall bladder, although various tests and scans during a short hospital stay didn't really give anyone any of the information they were expecting. The up side of not being able to eat for 5 days straight is that I dropped about a stone in weight- I say upside because I'd not been exercising for most of September and I'd gained more weight than I was comfortable with. The down side, is that all of a sudden anything more than a child size portion became unmanageable- Cue a mission to lighten up some of my favourite foods for personal enjoyment without the nausea and everyday food comas...

1. Little & Often
Whilst a little weight loss was acceptable, I don't want to be unhealthy or unable to do things I love like cycling. Being underweight is just as problematic as being overweight. To ensure I'm still eating a healthy amount for my moderately active life, size and gender, I've taken to reducing the size of meals and snacks but eating them more frequently. This takes some planning but as with most things once you've gotten a routine down, it's not difficult to do.

Untitled
Breakfast part one

2. Weights & Measures
To keep help keep waste in check, because food waste REALLY bothers me I've taken to measuring or weighing things. Because we don't have digital scales (I keep meaning to buy a set) I've become steadily more reliant on my set of cup measure. You get to know quite quickly what 100g of this or 20g of that looks like in a cup measure and I find it really helpful so as to avoid a portion of soup I can't finish or going over the top throwing pasta into the pan.

Happy Monday.
It looked huge to me, but this portion of risotto was all weigh out and just right

3. Investigate Substitutes
The old adage- If do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten, is quite true. Investigating ways to lighten up your favourite meals and foods can be a simple change whether you're trying to slim down or like me, you just need to eat a bit less. Some of my favourites are:

Quorn mince- an easy way to make bolognese just as tasty but Quorn mince is lower in fat and will cater for any vegetarians in your life too.

Rice/Glass noodles- These super fine noodles are a staple of asian cooking, but are much lighter than traditional egg noodles. I like them for stir fry or ramen and a golf ball sized portion (when dry) is just about right for me. They're also great for those who don't or can't eat wheat/gluten

Milk- If you're partial to a morning cappuccino and I used to be when I worked next to a Costa Coffee, then you may not realise quite how calorific it is- a bit like wine, it can be easy to ignore because it's a drink but switching from a standard to a skinny is a simple change that doesn't affect the flavour but lightens the load considerably- a large take out full fat  cappuccino is approximately 216 calories where as the skinny sister is approximately 124 and is considerably less filling for those of us struggling on quantity. You could of course opt for a smaller portion, but personally, I need all the caffeinated help I can get of a morning.

Obligatory airport coffee. Pretty though, thanks cafe rouge!
Not enough coffee in the world




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