By Zannat Reza @food4happiness
January has come and gone. How are those New Year’s resolutions going?
To kick off my inaugural nutrition column, here are 5 fab ways to healthier eating this year and beyond:
1) Embrace the 80-20 rule: If you eat well 80% of the time, then it’s ok to indulge in luxury calories 20% of the time.
2) Eat on a small plate: This is one of the most powerful things you can do to keep calories in check and enjoy your favourite foods.
You’ll still feel satisfied. Give it a try. Some estimates show that using a small plate will lead you to eat 22% fewer calories. While you’re at it, switch to small bowls and cups as well.
3) Get the right balance: Fill half your plate with vegetables at each meal. A quarter of your plate should be some type of protein (meat, poultry, fish, chickpeas, lentils, beans, tofu, eggs), which helps curb your hunger. The remaining quarter should be a whole grain (whole grain naan, chapatti, roti, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa).
I know for many people, it’s hard to give up white rice. So compromise and eat white rice, but choose whole grain breads instead.
4) Snack right. Eating every three to four hours apart will keep your energy levels up. But when reaching for a snack, skip the packaged 100-calorie “snacks” (read: treats) and go for a real snack. Pair up fruit and vegetables with yogurt, a small handful of nuts, roasted chickpeas or soy nuts.
5) Get 6-8 hours sleep a night: There’s been a fair bit of research showing that lack of sleep messes with your hunger and satiety hormones. People who are sleep deprived have higher levels of the hormone, ghrelin, which stimulated your appetite and can lead to overeating, and lower levels of leptin, which signals your brain that you’re feeling full.
I’ve experienced this and let me just say that when you’ve got cravings because of sleep deprivation, you’re not reaching for veggies and dip.
Awesome homemade snack: roasted chickpeas
Looking for a crunchy, savoury snack? Try roasted chickpeas. I love that you can use canned chickpeas for this recipe. I buy the no-salt added kind. But if you choose not to, then rinse the chickpeas under cold running water for two minutes. This can cut the salt (aka sodium) by almost a half.
Here’s my version of roasted chickpeas (adapted from Spilling Beans by Julie van Rosendaal):
- 1 can of chickpeas (19 oz/540 mL) – drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup canola or olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- Salt and pepper to taste
1) Preheat the oven to 400F.
2) In a bowl, mix all the ingredients.
3) Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
4) Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring once.
5) Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Looking for other flavour ideas combinations for your chickpeas? Check out this fantastic list: www.thekitchn.com/15-more-ways-to-flavor-roasted-106112
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