Continuing on our journey into a change of diet. Snacks are a favourite worldwide and a big seller in North America and “dessert” conjures up mouth-watering delights especially for those of us with food addictions – like ice cream. And there is nothing like starting out with a big challenge and that is to Stop the Pop or at least decrease consumption. It’s what I call a “non food “~ adds nothing much to life – except that it may taste good at the time but its full of sugar (or sugar substitute) and as you will see there are many healthier choices to make.
The first Challenge is Stop the Pop
Reduce The Amount of Pop in your Diet
To help reduce consumption of pop, soft drinks, high caffeine sports drinks, substitute :
- Water! Believe it or not most tap water is good for you. Add a slice of fresh lemon. Take a re-usable bottle of water with you everywhere.
- Mix 100% juice and carbonated water – 50 / 50 and start a trend! Note: juice should be 100% and not from concentrate. This drink combination is lower calorie with no fat, a caffeine free drink with natural sugars, minimal salt … and it is healthier for you than “pop” by a country mile
- Hot or cold herbal teas such as green tea, with a small amount of honey, fresh lemon or stevia. If you drink caffeinated tea or coffee for breakfast suggest decaffeinated cold teas during the rest of your day.
Snack Ideas throughout the day
- Make up small (handful size) packets of nuts and dried fruit for a quick pick me up, any time of day
- A piece of fruit is always a good stop-gap with a square of cheese. Note: if apple is your choice of fruit – certified organic is best (B.C. or U.S.A.)
- Try and always have carrot, celery sticks or sliced fresh vegetables in a container at home (in the fridge) and at work or school
- Plain yoghurt (or made into preservative free sour cream ) which makes a great vegetable dip. If desired add a teaspoon of curry or garlic powder (not garlic salt) to spice up dip
- Veggie Platter (with dip) with cut up cucumbers, carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, or other vegetables in season
- Takes a little longer to prepare but hummus is a very healthy, filling snack and great for a dinner “side”. Use organic Tahini which is made from sesame seed oil. You will want to make this again and again and again
- Other snacks in the previous link are devilled eggs – my way
- Chop fresh fruit and (again) plain yoghurt dip with a few drops of vanilla to sweeten and flavour
- Pickled eggs – prepare ahead recipe (eggs need refrigeration)
- Yoghurt ! Plain, Greek or Balkan (4 ingredients with no additives) with diced fresh fruit (or canned) and a little cinnamon or shaved chocolate (use cheese slicer for this)
- Frozen yoghurt! Great once in a while with fresh fruit like strawberry yummmmm!
- Freeze your own homemade smoothies in pop moulds. Make from fresh fruit or vegetables and add quinoa and oat beverage (with no sugar, lactose free and soy free, low-calorie, low-fat and low sodium)
That’s it. Some simple, quick and healthy snack and dessert ideas to begin a change of diet. Select a few snacks which appeal to you and start your shopping list, which should be on a kitchen counter so all family members can add to it. Next Article #3 – its Breakfast suggestions.
Good luck as you start to make changes.
Notes & Suggestions
- Always buy small to medium size fruit – there should be 2 to 4 pieces of fruit per pound
- To go with your sour cream dip and salsa, perhaps some whole grain wheat crackers (3 ingredients)
- For dessert eat plain, Balkan or greek yoghurt to cut down on sugars and calories. Add fresh fruit!
- In defence of carbonated water (or soda water) – It has no calories, no carbs and is a good “mixer”
- What is the Dirty Dozen List. A list of fruit and vegetables which are recommended to buy organically grown because of residual pesticides. If you can afford to buy organic – why not – it really does taste different
- Apples are one fruit that’s always on the ewg’s Dirty Dozen list. Here’s the current list of highest pesticide residual: Celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, spinach, greens, cherries, potatoes, imported grapes and lettuce. Buy certified organic when possible
- Then there is the ewg Clean Fifteen list of least residual pesticides: Onions, avocados, corn, pineapple, mango, peas, asparagus, kiwi, cabbage, eggplant, cantaloupe, watermelon, grapefruit, sweet potatoes, sweet onions.
Links & References
- Why stop the pop – Most pop is : high calorie and sugars (carbohydrates) with no vitamins and minerals and over consumption may lead to overweight which eventually may lead to Diabetes II. More on pop, sugar and diabetes from Harvard Health
- Reading food labels for diabetics from Mayo Clinic
- Diabetes II is preventable and can be controlled by diet – “weight loss is recommended for all such people who have or are at risk for diabetes” American Diabetes Association
- Snack idea – sour cream from yoghurt – takes planning not time
- Here’s a link for the adventurous cook with a little more time. A super simple “cake” recipe – which is good to freeze and great for lunches…. Fruit Platz
- Kids diets, diabetes exercise, sugar and pop – a Caramel and Parsley article
- US food intake daily statistics
Canadian Intake Daily nutrition facts from Health Canada Food guide. Daily Values used in nutrition labelling are identical to the USA for a 2000 calorie per day
Fast Food Outlets (FFO)
Just popping into your favourite coffee FFO for a quick “pick me up” snack in the morning or afternoon? This little trip might cost you almost half the daily calories, 75% of the fat and 30% of the cholesterol of Total Daily Recommended if you select a latte and a little item from the Bakery to go with it. Please check this out at Starbucks Bakery and espresso Beverage.