Spring Clean Your Kitchen.
Sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than having a good clear out to give you that extra bit of motivation for the day ahead, and so this week we’re challenging you to have a clear out of your fridge and cupboard. To give you a helping hand we've written a list of what you need to get rid of, for good, and healthier alternatives you can opt for.
While you might be under the impression that glugging a whole carton of orange juice will have you glowing with health from all the Vitamin C, the truth is that the sugar and calories in juice are comparable to any other type of soft drink, and can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels. The other problem with shop bought juice is that the longer you leave a juice, the less its nutritional impact will be, because water-soluble vitamins soon start to become depleted (this applies to pressed juices you buy on the go, too).
Instead go for: Stick to one glass of juice or smoothie a day, thinking of them as a nutrient booster rather than a meal replacement. Always drink juice as soon as it has been pressed to ensure that you benefit from the nutrients, by keeping your fridge stocked with plenty of fruit and veg to whizz up in the morning. We like to juice our fruit and veg then add a handful of spinach or kale and blitz.
The key to any delicious dish is good seasoning, and when it comes to salt, buy the best quality you can afford. Ordinary table salt contains an anti-caking agent and may be iodised, whilst cheap sea salts may have been chemically cleaned, which can make your dish taste of chemicals.
Instead go for: We use Maldon sea salt in cooking because of its light, clean flavour and soft, flaky texture.
Jarred sauces, dips and ready meals are full of additives, preservatives and refined sugars, which do us no good whatsoever. Refined sugar has no nutritional value other than calories, and the way the carbohydrates are processed in the body has been strongly associated with weight gain, obesity and other chronic health problems. Excess sugar also plays havoc with blood sugar levels, which can indirectly affect our hormones, stress levels and mood.
Instead go for: Cooking from scratch and avoiding processed foods is the best way to have more control over your diet. Homemade sauces will not only be better for you but will also taste better too! It takes no time at all to whip up a fresh tomato sauce or blitz chickpeas with tahini and lemon juice for a moreish hummus.
Supermarket cereals are often marketed as a healthy option, however in most cases the cereal is packed with added sugar. Looking at one of the UK's most loved cereal brand's latest granola product, advertised as being straight from the farm and a healthy breakfast option, per 100g the cereal contains 28g of sugar.
Instead go for: Try making your own breakfast cereal, using sweet spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg for flavour. We like to pair our granola with rice milk, which is naturally sweet, and compliments the granola perfectly.
As trainers we completely avoid processed meats (think sausages, processed burgers and sandwich meats). This is because more often than not, poor quality meat is used, and added sugar and salt are mixed in.
Instead go for: Opt for lean white meats (chicken and turkey) and fish. Most of our meat recipes use chicken or turkey breast, not only is breast meat robust enough to take on big, bold flavours, but it offers great versatility in cooking – from grilling to roasting, to pan-frying or stewing. It’s also important to be mindful of the animals you are eating, it is proven that the healthier the animal the healthier the meat.
While this might sound restricting, we promise you it really isn't. Now is your chance to fill your shelves with delicious, vibrant and seasonal fruit and veg, whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean protein (fish, white meat), as well as herbs and spices. Try and have some fun with it, cook dinner this week using an ingredient you wouldn’t usually go for and really experiment with flavours, using your nose as a guide. Stripping out the nasties that are hidden in so much of our food, and replacing them with whole, natural ingredients that work with our bodies, not against them. Why not let our team of experts create and deliver a nutrient suggestion meal plan, delicious, well-balanced diet to you.
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Would you like to lose fat and improve your body composition? check our previous posts of which details the exact methods we use with our clients here at Trang Fitness.