It's really discouraging to pick up a healthy recipe book and find that all the dishes you want to make call for flours you've never heard of and ingredients that are impossible to source. But here's the lesson I learned...
By targeting a few key items in my pantry, I have:
- eliminated refined sugar from our household & dropped a few pounds;
- increased the good, heart-healthy fats and saw my good cholesterol levels rise;
- cleared up my daughter's eczema;
- strengthened our family's immunity to the point that my eldest daughter didn't miss a day of school last year; AND I am off my allergy meds.
These are the main substitutions I made. (Click on the links to see brands and where to buy):
|Sugar||Coconut sugar Dates are also a good sweetener for puddings||Coconut sugar doesn't cause massive blood sugar spikes, which eventually lead to weight gain, hypoglycaemia and type 2 diabetes|
|Milk||Unsweetened almond milk (or nut milk of your choice). If you have a nut allergy, then try rice or soya milk.
I like the RUDE HEALTH brand because it only has 3 ingredients. Available in HK at Marketplace & Olivers.
|Dairy causes mucous build-up and is inflammatory, especially for people with respiratory illnesses. Almond milk is creamy and rich in healthy fats & vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant.|
|Flour||Coconut flour / rice flour / almond flour||Gluten free; fibre rich, increased nutrients. Rice flour needs to be soaked if using for baking. And I find it cheaper to make my own almond flour with my Vitamix.|
|Juice||Water & a piece of whole fruit||More fibre; better impact on blood sugar.|
|Tea||Tulsi or roiboos tea||More antioxidants & so delicious. Tulsi tea also helps with sugar cravings.|
|Coffee||Maca / raw cacao powder||More nutritious, better for blood sugar, thyroid; no anxiety.|
|Salt||Sea salt / pink himalayan salt||Rich in iodine (thyroid boosting mineral).|
|Vegetable oil||Coconut oil / Extra virgin olive oil / butter||Better for heart health.|
A few simple substitutions could mean that all your usual favourite dishes are providing you with an extra dose of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.
And if I see an awesome, healthy recipe that calls for ingredients I don't have & will never find in Hong Kong: I don't make it and I don't care. Because the comfort of building my own pantry of nutrient-rich ingredients gives me the freedom & power to FEEL HAPPY about whatever I do make for my family & me.
Trade up and make your kitchen your "happy place".
Thrive Nutrition Practice launches in Spring 2016.