#HLWDK Daily Health Tips: Onwa December!

It is officially ‘Onwa December’ (the month of December). That month where we rejoice and make merry. That month when we also forget all those resolutions we made at the beginning of the year and focus on breaking them all 😀
Well, to help you keep the ‘health’ and ‘eating right’ part of those resolutions, I reproduce this post that I typically put out at this time of the year. Enjoy!

Q: I want to stop sugar because I’m addicted. What can I do doctor?
A: Thanks for writing in. Don’t we all struggle with this???I’ll reproduce here a post I had made on healthier alternatives/substitutes to foods we generally love which may not be so healthy. This includes sugary foods and those loaded with bad fats. Enjoy…
First, commit to reading labels in supermarkets. For all the foods that you will buy from shops, read the labels and be sure that they contain wholesome nutrients. Look out especially for trans fats, sugars, salt and lack of fiber. Avoid foods that have them…as much as you can!
Try these substitutions:Substitute white rice with local rice like Ofada, Abakaliki rice or brown rice etc
While shopping for pasta (eg spaghetti, macaroni or the like), look out for whole grain pasta. It will be written on the pack.
Instead of buying white bread, go for whole wheat bread.,,noting that even wheat bread has a significant amount of salt. So, if you can lay off bread once in a while, please do 😀
Remember that just because it’s brown, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s whole wheat. Ask the grocer/baker/whoever you’re buying from.
If you need a sugar fix, don’t get it from a pack of sugar-filled fruit juice, juice your own fruits or opt for fruit slices
You know those sugar filled cereals that tell you that it’s just honey and whatever else, read the pack, you’ll see how much sugar is in them…plus of course, the honey. Substitute with oatmeal or other whole grain cereals. If you hate oats, try this recipe for overnight oats I learnt while shooting my half hour show.
Overnight oatsPut some oats in a bowl, add some milk and unsweetened yoghurt. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight. In the morning, add some fruit slices (I like apple and banana slices), add a sprinkle of cinnamon and if you want a little bit more ‘sugar’, add a couple of raisins/currants/dried fruit. Mix it all up…tastes fabulous! 😀 Or you could just make your oats the way you make other cereals. Just pour on the milk (warm or cold, as you like it) in your bowl of oats and enjoy.
Stay off soft drinks/soda as much as you can. Substitute with water 😀 or sparkling water which has some drops of lemon in it or you can do same with still (regular) water.
Instead of red meat, go for chicken and fish.
Substitute butter for cooking with healthier oils like Olive oil.
Substitute butter on bread slices with healthier spreads like peanut butter or even mashed avocado pear.
Try shopping for reduced fat mayonnaise and salad dressings to take the place of the regular goods. You could also try balsamic vinegar as a dressing for salad.
In recipes that need sugar, you can significantly reduce sugar to be used by using some cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla.
Blend up some fruits and add them to low fat, sugar-free yoghurt…and dare I say, use that as a substitute for ice cream??? 😀
Reduce salt intake by using other herbs and spices like ginger, garlic etc
Replace pounded yam with oatmeal and serve up different varieties of vegetable soups.
Remember that while making your stew, the oil should not be visible on top of the stew when you’re done cooking. If we can see it, it’s too much!
I hope this helps!

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