Tips on how to eat healthy in a not so healthy family.

Like most African families, my family likes to eat a lot of delicious food that’s loaded with carbs, saturated oils and sugar. They’ve always cooked a certain and certain foods that are part of black family lunch 101. Pap, white rice, deep fried chicken and potato salad are foundation foods at our family gatherings. Since venturing out and changing my diet, I found myself with little to no choice at these family gatherings and this was very frustrating at first.  I’ve since found ways to enjoy meals with my family but also not compromise my diet.

Tip 1: Pack your own food

If you know you’re going to family braai or family gathering on the weekend, come prepared with a packed healthy nutritious lunch. I make myself a nice Greek salad with some veggies to eat with the braai’d chicken. I stay away from red meat as it takes too long to leave my body. If you come prepared, you’re less likely to over indulge and go overboard.

Tip 2: Start with greens

When it’s time to dish out, start with the green leafy veggies (Greek salad, green peas, broccoli,spinach) and then move on to veggies with colour (pumpkin, carrots, beetroot etc) and then have a little bit of the white veggies like potatoes. Veggies should make up half of your plate.

Tip 3: Pick a carb!

Just because everything is there for you to have doesn’t mean you should have everything. When it comes to your starch, pick one babe. If you’re going to have rice or pap then stay away from potato salad, pasta salad, wedges or mash potato. If you want the mash potato then don’t have rice or pap. If the option of brown rice (I know I’m reaching) is there then go for it!

Tip 4: Stay away from the snack

There are always chips, marshmallows or sweets on a table just calling your name. DON’T DO IT! A few chips here and there with one or two marshmallows and some sweets can add up to a lot of extra unnecessary calories.  If you’re going to snack then go for nuts and fruits. If you’ve snacked all afternoon then stay away from dessert.

Tip 5: Enjoy yourself!

Life is too short to not to be happy! If you’ve been training hard and watched your diet during the week then it’s okay to let loose and indulge a bit. Just take these tips into consideration and remember everything in moderation!

With love, Nollie!

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