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    These Banana Protein Pancakes Will Keep You Going All Day

    Need an energy boost? Here’s how to whip up some delicious banana protein pancakes (flapjacks) in a jiffy…

    Not only are these pancakes a tasty way to start your day, but they also provide a hefty dose of protein to keep you feeling satisfied and ready to tackle whatever comes your way. Plus, the natural sweetness of the bananas means you can skip the syrup (though a drizzle of syrup never hurts). Top with some fresh fruit and voilà breakfast is served!

    Banana Protein Flapjacks

    Serves 3: Per serving: 2076kJ, 8.3g fat, 2.4g sat fat, 79g carbohydrates, 19g sugar, 6.5g fibre, 27g protein, 107mg sodium

    Course Breakfast

    Servings 3 servingsCalories 496 kcal

    ⅓ cup vanilla Whey protein powder⅓ cup all-purpose flour¼ cup quick-cooking oats1 tbsp stevia or other sugar alternative1 tsp baking powder1 banana, mashed1 large egg1 tbsp fat-free plain yoghurt
    In a large bowl, combine the protein powder, flour, oats, stevia and baking powder. Mix well. Add the banana, egg, and yoghurt. Mix.Coat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray, then wipe away the excess with a paper towel and set aside the towel. Use this towel to wipe the skillet between pancakes, re-coating the skillet with the oil and cleaning away any pancake batter crumbs. Heat the skillet over medium-low heat.Spoon about half a cup of the batter into the skillet. Cook for one to two minutes, or until firm and golden brown. Flip the pancake and cook for 30 seconds to one minute longer, or until golden brown. Remove the pancake to a plate. Wipe the skillet with the paper towel.Repeat STEP 3 with the remaining batter to make a total of three pancakes.

    Keyword flapjacks, Pancakes

    Serves 3: Per serving: 2076kJ, 8.3g fat, 2.4g sat fat, 79g carbohydrates, 19g sugar, 6.5g fibre, 27g protein, 107mg sodium

    More Breakfast Recipes: More

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    Transformation Journey: Exercise Renewed My Self-Esteem And I’m Stronger Than Ever!

    If you’re on a transformation journey, take heart from the stories of others who’ve been there. Here, Louné Maree details how she went from skinny – and unhealthy – to strong and happier than ever.

    The Starting Point

    On the 28th of March 2023, I underwent my fourth and final surgery with the skilled Dr Nerina Wilkinson, marking a pivotal moment in my transformation journey. The decision to undergo a double mastectomy in 2019, following a positive BRCA2 gene test and the heartbreaking loss of my mother to cancer in 2008, laid the foundation for my path to self-discovery.

    Before the surgery, my passion for fitness and self-care defined my active lifestyle. However, post-surgery, I faced the challenge of re-entering the gym amid a toxic relationship that left me feeling unworthy. Throughout this period, lacking the necessary support at home and facing delayed re-entry into exercise, I made the crucial decision to remove toxic individuals from my life and relocate. By the end of June, I made a bold decision to relocate to Hout Bay in Cape Town, embarking on a journey to rediscover myself.

    By then, my muscles had atrophied, leaving me merely skin and bone. My once-perky butt and solid physique were replaced by a reflection in the mirror that revealed protruding hip bones and a stark change in the texture of my thighs. I weighed just 55kg.

    READ MORE: How To *Actually* Lose Belly Fat With Diet And Exercise

    Trying something new

    Before embarking on this transformation journey, I practised intermittent fasting, restricting my eating window to after 9 at night for a year. However, a pitfall was overindulging during those moments, leading to unhealthy habits of going to bed and feeling bloated. My objective shifted towards a healthier approach, aiming to eat more frequently with smaller portions. It wasn’t until the end of November that I realized being skinny isn’t synonymous with being healthy. With the goal of achieving my best shape before turning 33, this journey is still ongoing. Every week brings progress, and I can feel myself growing stronger.

    By the end of November, I transitioned to heavier weight training, eliminating cardio to focus on muscle building rather than further weight loss. I incorporated whey protein and creatine into my diet, prioritizing protein, vegetables, and fruits.

    READ MORE: How One Personal Trainer Lost 30kg – And Kept It Off


    Embarking on this transformation journey has been a solo endeavour, with the unwavering support of my sister, work colleagues, and friends. While I’ve always had a passion for exercise and fitness, this time around, it became a mental challenge. Some mornings, training before work meant conquering the temptation to hit the snooze button. Initially, even donning my gym clothes posed a challenge, but I recognized that once I started my workout, I was on a mission with unstoppable momentum. Surprisingly, cutting out sugar, alcohol and fast foods turned out to be the easiest part of this journey.

    I now maintain a robust and healthy weight of 60kg. Achieving this transformation spanned a dedicated five-month period.

    I experience increased energy, find daily tasks more manageable, and feel a new-found confidence in my physique. Building muscle has instilled in me a sense of strong willpower and improved mental well-being.

    READ MORE: How To Lose 1kg A Week: Safe & Healthy Exercise & Nutrition Tips

    Louné’s tips

    Get support

    “Begin by surrounding yourself with a supportive circle—I have a group of female friends I fondly call my cheerleaders. They uplift me during lows and celebrate my achievements.”

    Get an eating plan

    “Establish a well-balanced eating plan. As this gains momentum, consider joining a gym where like-minded individuals share your goals and energy. While setting personal fitness goals, always keep in mind that fitness is more than a goal; it’s a lifestyle.”

    Uplift yourself

    “I appreciate the concept of women empowerment. Recognizing our emotions, let’s uplift one another through genuine compliments on success and appearance, fostering self-confidence.” More

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    6 Healthy Homemade Pizza Recipes To Take Your Slice To The Next Level

    If you auto-dial your local pizza place once a week, you’re not alone: according to a Euromonitor International Consumer Foodservice report a few years back, pizza is South Africa’s best-loved takeaway/home delivery fast food, with double the sales figures of any other takeaway. The problem: our fave fast food is loaded with fat and sodium.

    But don’t forgo this tasty and convenient meal option altogether. “The right toppings can transform this fattening grease bomb into a healthy meal,” says dietician Keri Gans, author of The Small Change Diet.

    “When making a pizza, use plenty of tomato-based sauce (you can add chilli, basil or chives for more flavour) and veggies,” suggests WH weight-loss advisor Elienne Horwitz. “Then lightly sprinkle mozzarella or feta over it.” Top a shop-bought wholewheat crust or cheeseless build-your-own takeaway with one of these waist-cinching combos

    Parma ham and goat’s cheese pizza

    Hold the sausage. “Parma ham is much leaner and provides the same meaty satisfaction without all the kilojoules or grease,” says Gans. Trade mozzarella for goat’s cheese or feta and you’ll get a mouthful of creamy goodness and 11 percent fewer kilojoules.

    Make It

    Layer one slice ready-made pizza base with half a cup diced tomato and half a cup chopped rocket. Top with 14g thinly sliced Parma ham. Sprinkle with one tablespoon crumbled goat’s cheese or feta and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with one teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and bake in a 190°C oven for five to seven minutes, or until cheese melts.

    Per slice: 1 254kJ, 26g fat (5g sat), 700mg sodium, 30g carbs, 15g fibre, 13g protein

    Ricotta-pear pizza

    If you like your slice on the sweet side, there’s another option besides Hawaiian-style (that’s pineapple and ham for the uninitiated). Try some non-fat ricotta sweetened with orange marmalade, a touch of honey and slices of fibre-filled pear for a healthy meal that tastes like it could be dessert.

    Make It

    Spread two teaspoons orange marmalade over one slice ready-made pizza base. Top with a quarter cup non-fat ricotta and spread well to cover. Top with a third of a thinly sliced Bosc pear. Drizzle with one teaspoon honey and bake in a 190°C oven for five to seven minutes, or until warmed through.

    Per slice: 1 254kJ, 5g fat (1g sat), 310mg sodium, 54g carbs, 6g fibre, 10g protein

    READ MORE: Umm, These Vegan Pizzas Might Even Taste Better Than The Real Thing

    Greek pizza

    “Feta on pizza is a really smart choice,” says Gans. “You only need a little to get a lot of flavour, which results in a huge kilojoule saving.” Then there’s a generous serving of veggies, including roasted red peppers and rosa tomatoes, which dish up more than 40 percent of your daily vitamin C.

    Make It

    Top one slice ready-made pizza base with two tablespoons drained roasted red peppers, five halved rosa tomatoes, five halved pitted kalamata olives and one teaspoon feta-cheese crumbles. Bake in a 190°C oven for five to seven minutes, or until cheese melts.

    Per slice: 1 090kJ, 12g fat (3g sat), 710mg sodium, 32g carbs, 6g fibre, 8g protein

    Image by Freepik

    Barbecue chicken pizza

    You don’t have to weigh down your slice with chorizo or extra cheese to score a hearty serving of satiating protein. A reduced-fat hard cheese such as Slimmer’s Choice Cheddar, Gouda or mozzarella (around 13 percent less fat than regular cheese) and skinless white meat chicken with a coating of tangy barbecue sauce keeps you satisfied – so you won’t be tempted to polish off the rest of the pizza by yourself.

    Make It

    Toss a third of a cup cubed grilled chicken breasts and two tablespoons diced red onion with one tablespoon barbecue sauce. Spread evenly over one slice ready-made pizza base. Sprinkle with one teaspoon grated reduced-fat cheese. Bake in a 190°C oven for five to seven minutes, or until cheese melts.

    Per slice: 1 212kJ, 9g fat (2g sat), 500mg sodium, 32g carbs, 4g fibre, 22g protein

    READ MORE: Exactly How To Make The Perfect Pizza On The Braai

    Cheesy fennel and courgette pizza

    Fennel is one of the ingredients that give Italian sausage its distinctive taste. Sprinkle it, fresh or dried, onto your pizza and you’ll get the flavour you crave minus all that unwanted fat and bloat-inducing sodium.

    Make It

    Sauté half a cup diced fennel, three-quarters of a cup grated courgette and a pinch of chilli flakes with one teaspoon olive oil in a small pot over medium heat for five minutes, or until fennel softens. Spread over one slice ready-made pizza base. Sprinkle with two tablespoons reduced-fat grated mozzarella cheese melts. Bake in a 190°C oven for five to seven minutes, or until cheese melts.

    Per slice: 1 090kJ, 12g fat (3g sat), 370mg sodium, 32g carbs, 6g fibre, 11g protein

    Spinach salad pizza

    You could order a side salad with your pizza – or you can just pile your greens on top instead. This combo features crumbled goat’s cheese, which adds a big kick of robust flavour for a fraction of the fat you’d get from a standard mozzarella-loaded piece. And best of all, there’s zero cooking required.

    Make It

    Toss one cup baby spinach with half a cup sliced red grapes, one teaspoon pine nuts, one tablespoon crumbled goat’s cheese and one tablespoon light balsamic vinaigrette. Top one slice ready-made pizza base with the salad.

    Per slice: 1 200kJ, 10g fat (3g sat), 590g sodium, 45g carbs, 6g fibre, 8g protein

    Pro Tips

    Next time you eat out, try one of these kilojoule-shaving tricks, courtesy of WH weight-loss expert Elienne Horwitz

    Ask for your pizza to be made with half the usual amount of cheese – or even better, order a cheeseless pizza and top with a cheese that contains less fat, like feta.

    Opt for a thin crust over the regular kind – this simple trick can reduce your carbs from two servings per slice to one.

    Order a cheeseless pizza and sprinkle your slice with one tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese.

    Shrink your portion by sharing a pizza with a friend and ordering a side salad to bulk up the meal – eat the salad first so it fills you before you tuck into the pizza.

    Bulk up your toppings with veggies like broccoli, asparagus, artichoke, cauliflower, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, aubergine, mushrooms and onions as they contain micronutrients and will fill you up. More

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    11 Avo Toast Recipes That’ll Fill You Up For Less Than 350 Calories

    Is there anything more satisfying than avocado toast? These 11 variations—crafted by the Rodale Test Kitchen—will tantalise your tastebuds while packing in plenty of nutrients (avocados are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats). Whether you’re craving something salty or sweet, there’s an option that’ll please every palate.

    1. Cucumber-Dill

    Top a slice of multigrain grain toast with 1/4 of an avocado, sliced, 1/4 cup cucumber slices and 1 Tbsp fresh chopped dill. Serves 1.

    Nutrition information (per serving): 257 calories, 5g protein, 21g carbs, 7g fibre, 4g sugar, 12g fat, 1.5g sat fat, 156mg sodium

    2. Elvis

    Spread 1/4 of an avocado on top of a slice of multigrain toast, top with 1/4 cup sliced banana and 1 Tbsp crushed peanuts. Serves 1.

    Nutrition Information (per serving): 257 calories, 8g protein, 30g carbs, 8g fibre, 7g sugar, 14g fat, 2g sat fat, 154mg sodium

    3. Strawberry-Mint

    Spread 1/4 of an avocado on top of a slice of multigrain toast, then top with 2 sliced strawberries and a few thinly sliced mint leaves. Serves 1.

    Nutrition Information (per serving): 170 calories, 5g protein, 21g carbs, 7g fibre, 3g sugar, 9g fat, 1g sat fat, 154mg sodium

    READ MORE: You Can Whip Up These High-Protein Bagels For Half The Calories Fast

    4. Everything Bagel

    Slather a piece of multigrain toast with 2 Tbsp cream cheese, then top with 1/4 cup cubed avocado and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp each poppy seeds and toasted sesame seeds. Serves 1.

    Nutrition Information (per serving): 287 calories, 7g protein, 21g carbs, 7g fibre, 3g sugar, 21g fat, 7g sat fat, 247mg sodium

    5. Lox & Eggs

    Spread 1/4 avocado, mashed, over 1 slice multigrain toast. Top with 1 sliced hard-boiled egg and 28g flaked smoked salmon. Serves 1.

    Nutrition Information (per serving): 334 calories kilojoules, 29g protein, 19g carbs, 5g fibre, 3g sugar, 17g fat, 3.5g sat fat, 239mg sodium

    6. Nicoise Salad

    Spread 1/4 avocado, mashed, over 1 slice multigrain toast. Top with 1/2 a can of drained tuna in water, flaked. Sprinkle with 1 tsp drained capers and the juice from 1/4 lemon. Serves 1.

    Nutrition Information (per serving): 223 calories, 18g protein, 19g carbs, 5g fibre, 2g sugar,9 g fat, 1g sat fat, 446mg sodium

    READ MORE: These Flax Energy Bites Will Keep You Fuelled Until Your Next Meal

    7. Bruschetta

    Top 1 slice multigrain toast with 1/4 cup diced tomato, 1 Tbsp diced red onion and 1/4 avocado, diced. Drizzle with 2 tsp balsamic vinegar. Serves 1.

    Nutrition Information (per serving): 168 calories, 5g protein, 22g carbs, 6g fibre, 5g sugar, 7g fat, 0.5g sat fat, 158mg sodium

    8. Pomegranate-Almond

    Spread 1/4 avocado, mashed, over 1 slice multigrain toast. Top with 1 Tbsp sliced toasted almonds and 1 Tbsp pomegranate seeds. Serves 1.

    Nutrition Information (per serving): 189 calories, 6g protein, 21g carbs, 6g fibre, 4g sugar, 10g fat, 1g sat fat, 153mg sodium

    9. Goat Cheese-Pecan

    Spread 1/4 avocado, mashed, over 1 slice multigrain toast. Top with 14g crumbled goat cheese and 1 Tbsp chopped toasted pecans. Serves 1.

    Nutrition Information (per serving): 231 calories, 8g protein, 19g carbs, 6g fibre, 3g sugar, 15g fat, 3g sat fat, 205mg sodium

    READ MORE: You Won’t Even Miss The Chicken In This Chickpea Salad Sandwich

    10. Apple Crisp

    Shingle slices from 1/4 red apple and 1/4 avocado over 1 slice multigrain toast. Drizzle with 2 tsp honey and sprinkle with pinch of cinnamon. Serves 1.

    Nutrition Information (per serving): 213 calories, 5g protein, 36g carbs, 6g fibre, 18g sugar, 7g fat, 0.5g sat fat, 154mg sodium

    11. Breakfast “Sandwich”

    Top a slice of multigrain toast with 1/4 of an avocado, sliced. Add a slice of bacon and a fried egg. Drizzle with 1 tsp of sriracha (or more to taste). Serves 1.

    Nutrition Information (per serving): 292 calories, 17g protein, 21g carbs, 6g fibre, 4g sugar, 16g fat, 3.5g sat fat, 582mg sodium

    READ MORE: Avocado Is One Of The Most Versatile Fruits You Can Cook With

    This article was originally published on More

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    You Can Whip Up These High-Protein Bagels For Half The Calories Fast

    Picture this: it’s Wednesday, you’re in the throes of a work deadline and the clock hits 13:45. You haven’t eaten and your stomach hates you. You need to grab something nourishing, fast. Enter: these high-protein bagels, saviour of the stomach; goodness in a bite.

    These high-protein bagels pack a punch

    These high-protein bagels come from the mind of none other than WH Cover Star Angelique Daubermann. “You know I had to make my favourite food (bagels) with my other favourite food (cottage cheese),” Daubermann explains. “I love these for many reasons, but especially because most bagels you’ll find on the shelf are pushing 300 calories for those big bad boys! Now you can have a cute (lower cal) and higher protein bun with a hole in it for only 160 calories AND 11g of protein! This means more calories for your fave fillings!”

    For even more protein, this muscle-building sandwich features cottage cheese and an egg. Micronutrients are always key, so load up on the veg when compiling this high-protein bagel and you’ve got yourself a star meal.

    READ MORE: These Flax Energy Bites Will Keep You Fuelled Until Your Next Meal

    The Lean Girl’s High-Protein Bagels

    Whip these up in a flash and snack on something wholesome and protein-rich.

    Prep Time 15 minutes minsCook Time 20 minutes mins

    Course Breakfast, LunchCuisine American

    Calories 161 kcal

    120 g Flour (cake or oat)250 g Fat-free smooth cottage cheese1 tsp Salt1 tsp Baking powder1 tsp Garlic & herb spice1 Egg, for egg washEverything Bagel seasoning to garnish
    Combine your dry ingredients.Add the cottage cheese and spoon the mixture together to form a dough.Once dough is formed, divide into four sections.Roll out the four sections into circles, making a hole in each one to create the bagel.Bake the bagels in the oven for 15 minutes.Fry up an egg and add it to the bagel with avocado, cottage cheese and baby spinach.

    Keyword air fryer, bagels, egg muffin, high-protein

    READ MORE: This Beetroot Chocolate Cake Is So Moist It Doesn’t Even Need Icing More

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    You Won’t Believe These 6 Health Benefits Of Homemade Chocolate Cake

    When are peanut butter cookies and chocolate cake healthy? When you’re making them. Bust out a Bundt pan and cook up some perks…

    1. Less Stress

    Measuring out ingredients or kneading dough forces you to concentrate. These mindful moments calm the brain’s emotional centre – and direct blood flow to its impulse control hub. Which means you’ll feel more chilled overall.

    TRY RECIPE: This Beetroot Chocolate Cake Is So Moist It Doesn’t Even Need Icing

    2. Boosted Immunity

    Eeek, you’ve burnt the base! When it happens, focus on the upside: now you, too, can join the #PinterestFail sisterhood! Regularly flipping judge-y thoughts to more positive ones can lower stress hormone levels, which improves cell health and your body’s overall ability to fight off illness.

    3. Enhanced Cognition

    Any way you bake it, mixing up Grandma’s muesli rusks provides great brain benefits. Stringently following a recipe strengthens your procedural memory (a form of long-term recall that allows you to do something you haven’t done in years – you know, the “it’s like riding a bike” cliché). But going rogue – and say, holding the raisins and adding dried cranberries – flexes your smarts and gives your strategic reasoning skills a workout.

    READ MORE: 15 Wellness Journals To Kickstart Your Year

    4. A Healthier Heart

    Moving from counter to fridge and back does not = cardio for the day! But it does engage your muscles, which improves the way your body metabolises sugars and fats. Keep at it for two hours and you’ll net better blood-sugar levels – and, over time, significantly lower “bad” cholesterol. This, in turn, strengthens your ticker.

    5. A Longer Life

    Friends don’t let friends bake alone – at least not if they want to spend their golden years together. Batter-ing up with a loved one can build strong bonds that tack years onto your life. Sharing the fruit(cake)s of your labour is even better: generous acts lower inflammation levels, curbing your risk for chronic diseases like diabetes.

    READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About Type 1 Diabetes

    6. A Slimmer Bod

    Isn’t it ironic? Indulging in homemade treats once a week buoys self-control, maintains a healthy-eating motivation (finally, a break from kale!) and prevents the “oh, what the hell” effect that leads to inhaling the whole tray. The key is planning the indulgence. Have one or two brownies warm out of the oven, then feed the rest to friends.

    Sources: Dr Nicole M. Avena, author of Why Diets Fail; Dr Elisha Goldstein, author of Uncovering Happiness; Dr Timothy De Waal Malefyt, Fordham University; Dr Emma Seppälä, Stanford University School Of Medicine. More

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    Chew Slowly, Don’t Skip Breakfast And Eat 30 Plants A Week: 15 Easy Food Changes For 2024

    It’s a new year, and before you rush to set your resolutions and decide 2024 will finally be the year you completely overhaul your diet and fitness (for good, this time), we’re here to remind you that making small, sustainable changes over time is often more effective than attempting drastic alterations (which, often, can’t be sustained).

    With stats showing that 92 percent of people fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions and 80 percent of us will have already failed by the second week of February, we’ve come up with a series of easy food changes – or micro changes, if you will – to help you make 2024 your healthiest yet. Because, if you can figure out how to make your goals easier, you’re more likely to succeed.

    These tiny tweaks are brought to you by a whole host of nutrition experts and doctors, who show that while there’s nothing wrong with aiming big, we can help ourselves by starting small.

    Easy food changes for 2024

    1. Build your meals with plants first

    At the risk of preaching to the choir (aka, WH readers), you don’t need us to tell you that to optimise your diet, you need to hit your five fruit and veg a day target. But how many of us actually do? According to the UK’s NHS, only 55.4% of adults aged 16 and over eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables on the regular.

    An easy food change for 2024? Make sure you’re eating at least one plant with every meal.

    “Plants include whole grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices,” says Dr Federica Amati, nutrition topic lead at Imperial College School of Medicine.

    “It’s important that we get a variety of these in our diet to maximise our intake of nutrients, plant protein, polyphenols, and fibre, which support our gut microbiome and overall health and wellbeing.”

    READ MORE: 10 Health Benefits Of Pomegranate Seeds And Juice, According To Dietitians

    2. Aim to eat 30 different plants a week

    In fact, if your New Year’s resolution is to eat more veg, why stop at five-a-day, when many experts now believe that adding a variety of fruits and vegetables to our diet is just as important?

    Orla Stone, nutritionist and gut health specialist, says the best way to fight the January blues is by eating various plant fibre.

    “We now know that your gut bacteria need a variety of fibre to thrive so you can’t just rely on the same foods day in and day out,” she says.

    “Given how important healthy gut bacteria are for supporting your mood and mental wellbeing, try to eat 30 different plants per week. Easy ways to support this include adding frozen mixed vegetables or a can of mixed pulses to your regular dinner.”

    3. Try to eat more fermented foods

    With recent studies looking at how fermented foods can affect everything from our gut health and immune system to our cholesterol levels and risk of type 2 diabetes, fermented foods are back in vogue. And making this easy food change is so simple.

    “Eating three to five portions of fermented foods regularly is linked to improved health outcomes,” says Professor Tim Spector, co-founder of ZOE, the personalised nutrition company and author of Sunday Times best-selling Food for Life and Spoon Fed.

    “Different fermented foods contain different types and strains of beneficial bacteria, which contribute to a more diverse and healthy microbiome. Some examples include live yoghurt (unsweetened), kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha.”

    4. Don’t skip breakfast

    Breakfast is often cited as ‘the most important meal of the day’, and for good reason. Added to the list of easy food changes? Eat your breakfast.

    “Most people know that a good, hearty breakfast is important for managing your glucose levels and providing essential nutrients to set you up for an energised day. However, what is often overlooked are the psychological benefits of a healthy breakfast,” says Pilates teacher Sarah Emblow.

    “Breakfast seems to influence our metabolism more so than lunch or dinner, and so by starting your day with a nutritionally balanced breakfast, you are more likely to make healthy choices for the rest of the day, encouraging strong, and improved habits.

    “When that 3pm crash happens, your body is programmed to crave the type of food you ate first in the day, so if you had eggs and avocado for breakfast, you are going to crave something savoury later in the day when your body needs to refuel.”

    READ MORE: 12 Of The Best Vegan Protein Powders You Can Buy Right Now

    5. Add seeds to your breakfast

    One of the easiest food changes you can make for your gut is to add fibre-rich seeds to your breakfast each morning.

    Jessica Sepel, clinical nutritionist and founder of JSHealth Vitamins says her favourite way to do this is by prepping a batch of her mum’s famous seed mix.

    “Simply combine 1 cup of each of the following: chia seeds, sunflower seeds, ground flaxseed or LSA mix, pumpkin seeds, plus 2 tbsp cinnamon, which is then ready to go for the week,” she says. “I enjoy it most mornings with berries and Greek yoghurt. Delicious and satisfying. I also take it with me when I am travelling.”

    6. Focus on the quality and timing of your snacking

    Ever found yourself *accidentally* devouring an entire ‘family sized’ bag of chocolates or ‘to share’ bag of crisps simply because? That would be, er, all of us, then.

    Dr Sarah Berry, a reader in Nutritional Sciences at King’s College London and chief scientist at ZOE, says if there’s one thing you can focus on in 2024, it’s the quality – and timing – of your snacks.

    “The type of snacks you eat are really important for maintaining your energy levels, avoiding blood sugar dips and improving your health,” she says.

    “Try to eat good-quality snacks based on whole foods, such as nuts, whole fruit, and vegetable sticks with hummus. Avoid snacking late into the evening after 9pm, as our ZOE research has shown that this is linked with poorer cardiometabolic health.”

    7. Snack on nuts once per day

    And, actually, if you fancy a snack, Dr Sophie Medlin, consultant colorectal dietician, recommends reaching for nuts above all else.

    “Nuts contain micronutrients such as selenium, zinc and magnesium which are harder to find elsewhere in the diet,” she says.

    “They are also full of fibre and protein so are great for keeping you full between meals. I recommend to my patients to set an alarm for a 3-4pm snack, so they have something before they get too hungry and can’t resist the biscuits in the office.

    “Having an afternoon snack also helps you to make better decisions at your evening meal. So you’re more likely to prepare a balanced evening meal rather than reaching for food delivery apps,” she adds.

    READ MORE: How To Add More Vegetables To Your Diet, Even If You’re Busy

    8. Chew slowly

    “So many of us are fixated on which foods to include or exclude to support our health, and in return, we often overlook just how important the way we eat is for our health,” says Harley St. London-based nutritionist Clarissa Lenherr.

    “Digestion begins with our senses and in our mouth. When we miss this crucial stage of digestion – whether it is because we are shovelling in our food quickly between meetings, distracted by our phones, or eating whilst we work – we might be left with bloating and indigestion.”

    It takes 10-20 minutes for signals from our gut to tell our brain we are full and satiated, she adds. “So when we don’t focus on our food and eating habits, we can miss this signal and end up over-eating and feeling dissatisfied”.

    Brea Lofton, nutritionist and registered dietitian at Lumen, agrees. “Eating slowly and savouring your food instead of eating too quickly can help you recognize when you’re full and satisfied, and help prevent unintended overeating.”

    Some sources have suggested 32 bites per mouthful as a magic number, but this isn’t backed by science. So instead, Lenherr suggests simply putting your fork and knife down in between each bite. “This will help you slow down your eating,” she says. “Take a meeting with your food, dedicate 10 minutes to a meal to eat slowly.”

    9. Drink more water

    So we’re not exactly reinventing the wheel with this tip. But a survey from The State of Nutrition in South Africa 2021 suggests that 41 percent of South African people don’t drink enough water a day. The daily recommended amount? Six to eight glasses of H2O every day. So perhaps 2024 is the year you finally commit to drinking more water…

    “Try to limit sugary drinks and excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages, as these can contribute to dehydration,” says nutritionist Brea Lofton.

    And, remember, when your activity is higher, you are losing water through your sweat. “This means that on days your exercise sessions are more intense, it is a good idea to drink more water,” says Lofton.

    If you struggle to drink enough water, Meghan Foulsham, nutritionist, suggests adding a straw. “Switching to using a bottle with a built-in straw allows you to drink more water without thinking about it. We can take more liquid through a straw, as we don’t need to “gulp”, and it makes the drinking process more pleasant and smooth overall.”

    10. Choose wholemeal for a fibre boost

    The current recommended WHO guidelines say adults should eat 25g of fibre a day. Yet, according to one source, most women are only eating an average of about 16g a day.

    “Most people get 60% less fibre than they should,” says Dr Macarena Staudenmaier, chief medical officer at JERMS. “Fibre is crucial for a healthy diet. It prevents constipation but also diabetes, heart issues, and bowel cancer. Fibre is also a power food for the good bacteria in your gut.”

    Her top tip to up your fibre game? “Choose whole grain options like bulgur wheat, spelt bread, wholemeal pasta, or rye crackers over white versions.”

    READ MORE: Healthy Alternatives To Fried Chips

    11. Watch out for ultra-processed foods

    The terms ‘processed’ and ‘ultra-processed’ have been thrown around a lot over the past year. New research links diets high in ultra-processed foods to increased risks of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and depression.

    To identify ultra-processed foods, nutritionists say it’s best to check the label. “For 2024, try to cut back on foods and beverages high in added sugars,” says Brea Lofton. “You can make a plan to learn to read food labels to help you identify hidden sources of sugar and make positive changes to your nutrition.”

    12. Avoid large gaps in between meals

    When it comes to eating a healthy diet, it’s not just what and how much you eat that plays a role. When you eat can make a difference, too. Especially if you’re trying to balance your blood sugar levels.

    Jodie Relf, registered dietician says that when we don’t eat for hours on end we end up feeling ravenous. From there, we’re more inclined to reach for larger portions of foods to satisfy that hunger. “Or foods that are high in sugar and energy to quickly satisfy our hunger. This can cause large spikes in blood glucose levels”.

    “Blood sugar crashes can leave you feeling tired, irritable, hungry and anxious,” she adds. “Eating regularly, including protein and healthy fats with your meals/snacks, and prioritising sleep and reducing stress can all contribute to maintaining balanced blood sugar levels.”

    13. Cook double for easy meal prep

    We’ve all experienced that sinking feeling after a long day at work. You’ve come home to an empty fridge and then ended up ordering a takeaway instead of going to the shops and cooking something healthy from scratch. The answer? Double up on portion sizes when cooking your dinner.

    “Save the leftovers for an easy lunch or a quick and healthy dinner option for evenings you’re more on the go,” says nutritionist Meghan Foulsham. “It doesn’t require any extra work, but it saves you time and likely money further down the line, as you don’t have to opt for convenience foods.”

    An easy 2024 goal? Allocate a couple of hours at the weekend or on a quiet evening to fill your fridge with delicious, healthy meals. This will help eliminate the temptation of a takeaway.

    14. Eat your kiwis

    When you think about boosting vitamin C, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Eating more oranges? Adding a supplement to your diet? What about kiwis?

    Kiwis are powerhouses when it comes to vitamin C – and new research, published in Foods, found that eating two kiwis a day for six weeks increased vitamin C intake by 150 mg per day.

    “Vitamin C is an essential vitamin to support proper immune function, and isn’t made or stored in our bodies,” explains Meleni Aldridge, nutrition consultant.

    “More importantly, it’s absorbed and used up 30-90 mins after ingestion. This means we need to replenish our levels regularly through the day with vitamin C-rich foods that don’t spike your blood sugar, supplements or functional drinks.”

    Other than kiwis, Aldridge suggests eating bioflavonoid-rich foods like peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and spinach. These enhance the absorption of your vitamin C. “Bioflavonoids pack a super antioxidant punch too and are often called ‘vitamin P’ for their multiple health benefits,” she adds.

    15. Cycle sync your diet

    According to 2024 wellness trend forecasts, there’s going to be (finally) an increased conversation around the female cycle – with hormone-balancing foods at the forefront.

    “Eating essential fats from foods like olive oil, avocado, nuts, and oily fish is key for female hormone production, as essentially our hormones are made from cholesterol,” explains Rachel Butcher, head of nutrition at Third Space.

    “Likewise, carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our bodies and therefore not getting an adequate amount of carbohydrates because of a low- or no-carbohydrate diet will likely lead to fatigue, changes in mood and changes in your female sex hormones, which can disrupt your menstrual cycle.”

    Her tip for 2024? “Focus on getting good-quality, complex carbohydrates into your diet from foods such as rice, oats and potato, as well as beans and lentils,” says Butcher.

    But remember, some research highlights that our nutrient needs change across the cycle. “Becoming aware of your cycle, and the physiology at that point, will enable you to understand how you might adjust your nutrition accordingly,” she adds.

    This story was first published by Alice Barraclough on More

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    The 2 Best Office Lunches You Can Prepare Ahead Of Time

    Working towards financial year-end deadlines and lacking lunch inspiration? Try these three delicious, nutritious, easy-to-pack meals.

    Bowl Them Over

    If you’d rather eat takeaways than brave the mystery splatters inside the shared office microwave, this hearty, best-served-cold bowl is your answer. Toss with dressing the night before and the flavours should achieve perfection just in time for your afternoon meal.

    Serves 1: Per serving: 1 504kJ, 7g fat (1g sat), 50g carbs, 490mg sodium, 3g fibre, 23g protein

    Asian-Style Salad Bowl

    Calories 359 kcal

    1 cup shredded Chinese cabbage1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil1 cup cooked rice noodles85g cooked chicken breast2 tsp low-sodium soy saucePinch chilli flakesToasted sesame seeds1 squeeze lime juice1 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
    Sauté cabbage in olive oil over medium heat for one minute and set aside.Top rice noodles with chicken. Add in the cabbage and the rest of the ingredients. Toss to combine and refrigerate overnight.

    Mepal Bento Lunch Box Large Nordic White

    Bento boxes are all the rage at the moment and what could be a cooler way to pack your new lunches than with this stylish choice from Mepal? Plus, if you’re snacking on a few extra fruits or eggs, just pop them into the separate containers.

    Glass container with bamboo lid & spoon

    These glass jars make for a fantastic storage fix for your Asian-inspired salad. Whether you’re in a hurry between meetings and opting for jar-eating convenience or taking a leisurely break, simply flip it into a bowl and indulge!

    Carb Free Lunch

    Collard greens, flat-leaf kale and chard all make for great carb-free tortillas. Remove their stiff backbones and they become pliable, while still holding up to travel (no tearing or sogginess). Add flavour by filling them with crumbly cheeses mixed with crisp vegetables and bright herbs.

    Serves 1: Per serving: 1 212kJ, 17g fat (6g sat), 14g carbs, 510mg sodium, 4g fibre, 21g protein

    Carb-Free Kale Wrap

    Servings 1Calories 289 kcal

    2 large kale leaves or collard green leaves4 tbsp hummus2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced2 tbsp grated carrots1 radish, finely sliced2 tbsp chopped roasted red peppers2 tsp finely chopped Italian parsley2 tsp crumbled feta
    With a paring knife, shave the thick spine from the two leaves, being careful not to cut into the leaves.Flip the leaves over and spread hummus on each “wrap”.Divide the rest of the ingredients among the two wraps, then fold them like burritos.

    Try these 3 high-protein breakfast recipes every active girl needs in her life. Plus: 20 of the best healthy snacks for weight loss. More