Foods

How To Indulge In Foods You Love With Self-Control

Feel guilty about indulging in premium, high-flavoured snacks and meals? A leading premium food expert shows how indulgent foods can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime if you set boundaries, plan ahead and remain in control.

Michael Carp, managing director of Kez’s Kitchen, says: “Some of the tastiest, premium foods that we enjoy the most shouldn’t be associated with feelings of guilt – as long as you set boundaries, and you may need to adopt a new mindset around indulgences to set those boundaries.”

Michael suggests these 6 tips to indulging in high-flavour foods with self-control:

Know thyself

Many of us have a weak point in our day where we’re most likely to snack to get over a slump in energy. Know your weak point and reserve an indulgent snack for this time of the day, if you can.

Stick to a ‘once a day’ rule

If you’re allowing yourself one treat a day, make it something to look forward to. “Make it a small, high-quality treat that’s memorable. You don’t need to go overboard with a meal-sized muffin. Our Taking Cafe Home range was created for this exact purpose – so you can enjoy a premium, café-quality treat such as a Melting Moment or Vienna Éclair, without actually going to a café,” he says.

Develop the right mindset

Think snacking leads to weight gain? “Often, spreading your food consumption through the day in 5-6 smaller meals can help keep your metabolism firing and working faster. If you get overly hungry between meals, you could easily be tempted to eat larger amounts at set meal times, so snacking can potentially help curb your appetite so you eat a normal-sized meal for dinner rather than binge eating,” he says.

Choose the right environment

“Enjoying an indulgent snack with a good coffee or tea for 15 minutes in a quiet area will help you maximise enjoyment from it. It’s about the whole experience, not just the treat itself,” Michael says.

Share with others

Make an indulgence even more satisfying by enjoying a treat with someone else. “Having a treat over coffee with a friend, for instance, can help stimulate good conversation, boost your mood and increase your overall psychological wellbeing,” he says.

Eat mindfully

Try to avoid mindlessly snacking while you’re watching TV or at your desk working. These situations make it very easy to overindulge simply because you’re not focussed on how much you’re consuming.

March 31, 2014

The Pregnancy Diet: What to Eat When You’re Expecting

Your eating habits will change a lot while that little baby is growing inside you; the idea that you will have to “eat for two” is more of a saying than an actual rule. Instead of eating more you should focus on eating healthily and getting enough vitamins and minerals both for you and the baby.

If you are starting from an already healthy weight then you won’t have to increase you calorie intake within the first trimester. In the second trimester, though, you should aim for about 300 extra calories per day and 450 extra calories in the third trimester.

What does a healthy pregnancy diet entail?

When it comes to pregnancy eating, try to eat a variety of foods in order to get all those nutrients; medical practitioners will recommend that you get 6 to 11 servings of breads and grains, 2 to 4 servings of fruit, four servings of dairy products, and three servings of protein, daily. Let’s expand a bit on this:

* Four servings of dairy products will give you the necessary 1000 to 1300 mg of calcium that your body needs
* Three servings of food that is rich in iron will get you that those 27 mg of iron that you need; these foods include lean beef, turkey, broccoli, sweet potato, berries, spinach, pumpkin
* 70 mg of Vitamin C is required daily; this is found in oranges, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, grapefruit
* A minimum of 0.4 mg of folic acid will deter against neural tube defects; this is found in veal, legumes (lima beans, black beans, chickpeas), leafy dark vegetables
* Daily intake of Vitamin A is also important; for this you can eat carrots, pumpkins, turnip greens, apricots, cantaloupes, sweet potato

You will also have to avoid certain things, such as:

* Alcohol – it is impossible to say what a “healthy” amount is to drink, so rather avoid the risk and stay away from it altogether
* Caffeine – you should have no more than 300 mg per day (a regular cup of coffee contains about 150 mg, and black tea contains about 80 mg)
* Seafood with high levels of mercury – shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish (AKA white snapper)
* Raw fish – especially shellfish (oysters and clams)
* Soft cheeses – brie, camembert, feta and blue-veined cheese are often unpasteurised and can therefore cause Listeria infection

Of course, pregnancy is synonymous with morning sickness and nausea, so if you are finding it hard to stomach anything at all, try some cereal or crackers just before you get out of bed in the mornings. Also avoid greasy fried foods, and try to have small but frequent meals or snacks throughout the day.

What was your favourite foods to eat when pregnant?

August 22, 2013

5 Foods You Should Make, Not Buy

We lead busy lives, and sometimes convenience rules the way we shop. We show you how to transform 5 everyday foods that are quicker, cheaper and healthier to make at home than buy.

Hummus

We know what it’s like: friends are coming over and it’s easy to pick up a few dips and chips. But it’s even quicker – and cheaper – to make your own fresh hummus.

1 minute hummus: Place a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 garlic clove, 1 tbsp tahini, the juice of 1 lemon and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl and blend in a food processor till smooth and fluffy. Sprinkle over a dash of smoked paprika and chopped coriander.
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Salad dressings

It’s January so a lot of us have salad on the brain. Commercial salad dressings might seem like an easy way to perk up that bowl of vegetables, but most are laden with fats, preservatives and other nasties.

Make it at home: For a classic, zingy dressing, whisk together the juice of 1 lemon with 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Making a potato salad? Whisk together a small tub of plain yogurt, 3 tbsp capers, 1 tsp sambal oelek or chilli sauce and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Or for a lighter Caesar salad dressing, pound 2 garlic cloves and 2 anchovy fillets in a pestle and mortar, then incorporate 1/2 a cup buttermilk and 2 tbsp whole egg mayonnaise. Loosen with the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Each dressing takes less than 2 minutes to make.

Popcorn

Have you noticed that microwave popcorn leaves a whole lot of popcorn – unpopped? What a waste! Not to mention the huge amount of artificial butter flavourings and salt! Buy popcorn kernels (much cheaper than microwave popcorn) and with only 1 tbsp of oil and 5 minutes on the stovetop you’ll have a bounty of super-crunchy popcorn that you can season to taste.

Seasoned popcorn ideas: Melt truffle butter while you cook the popcorn, then toss in a large bowl to combine. Grate parmesan cheese over hot popcorn with a handful of rosemary spears. Or sprinkle shimichi togarashi, an aromatic Japanese 7-spice seasoning, for the ultimate movie snack.

Fruit salad

When I switched from chocolate bars to shop-bought fruit salad as my afternoon snack, I felt like I deserved a huge pat on the back for eating healthier. And while hitting your local juice bar for a container of fruit salad is convenient, it’s not very smart for your wallet. Shop-bought fruit salad has a mark-up of around 500%, and making your own fruit salad takes less than 2 minutes.

Sexy fruit salad: Chop up your favourite fruits into bite-size pieces. Aim for different colours and textures – passionfruit pulp, halved cherries, tangerine segments – then add some finely sliced mint or a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Burger patties

In desperation for a quick meal, I’ve stocked my freezer with pre-shaped burger patties. But at around $6 for 4 thin patties, that’s at least double what making them from scratch are, and I love adding my own seasonings.

Tasty burger patties: Use any mince you like – turkey makes a healthy alternative to beef, or mix up lamb and pork for a really succulent burger. To 500g mince, add 1 egg, 1/2 grated onion, 1 tbsp chopped thyme, 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley and 1 cup panko breadcrumbs. Shape into patties, then push a cube of mozzarella or feta cheese into the centre, enclosing meat around the cheese. Refrigerate the patties for 30 minutes, then cook on the BBQ or pan-fry.

January 19, 2012