Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day is a day when people traditionally prepare themselves for Lent. Feelings of deprivation usually set in when faced with the thought of giving things up, especially when it comes to our favourite guilty pleasures. Even if you don't do it for religious reasons, you may come away with new insights during this period, recognising it as a way to make positive changes and eventually enjoy integrating healthier habits into your life. By sharing our top 3 “Rs” of what you should avoid, coupled with suggestions of healthy alternatives you can use as a substitute, we hope this inspires you to stay on track this Lent.
1. Refined Sugar
This falls high on our list for things worth sacrificing over Lent. Sugary foods set us up for a rollercoaster of blood sugar highs and lows, energy surges and crashes, leading to uncontrollable cravings. Always check labels for added sugars; in addition to the obvious ingredients like sugar and brown sugar, and also steer clear of sweeteners, all of which are still just added sugar.
Naturally occurring sugars in fruit will quell your sweet cravings without all the refined sugar in unhealthy baked goods and confectionery. With such a variety of fruit for you to choose from, smoothies are an effective way to fill your body with added nutrients. Try rotating ingredients to find your favourite combination, - it’ll stop you from getting bored. To get you started, our green smoothie recipe is a healthy, tasty sweet fix. http://detoxkitchen.co.uk/recipes/drink-your-greens-and-feel-more-energised
2. Red Meat
Cutting out red meat for lent is a great way to discover lean sources of protein as well as trial meat free recipes. We are big supporters of oily fish (mackerel and salmon) and white meat (chicken and turkey) as being rich, high-energy sources of protein, essential to a healthy diet. For the more adventurous, adopting rituals such as Meat Free Mondays is way to experiment with plant-based foods. The variety and flavour within plant-based foods shouldn't be overlooked, with legumes, pulses and wholegrains such as lentils and quinoa being an effective nutrient dense alternative packed full of protein. For starters, try out our quinoa super salad recipe: https://detoxkitchen.co.uk/recipes/quinoa-super-salad
3. Refined Carboyhydrates
White refined carbohydrates like breads, cereals and snack bars are heavily processed, affecting our bodies in a similar way to sugar, resulting in sugar blood level highs and lows.
Trade out white carbohydrates for whole grain alternatives, such as brown rice, quinoa and barley. These are slow-releasing energy foods which helps to prevent the spikes in energy levels. Providing a wide variety of health benefits and comprised of antioxidants, fiber and nutrients, we have always seen whole grains as an integral part of a balanced diet. Do keep in mind that while these whole grain versions are more nutrient dense, it is still vital to keep an eye on the portion of this food group to ensure you are sticking to a healthy serving. Start each day on a good note with our energy fuelled quinoa porridge: https://detoxkitchen.co.uk/recipes/quinoa-apple-and-goji-berry-porridge