Lighten Up!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Posted by Abby

As the days grow lighter and longer, and spring arrives, my mind is turning towards lightening up the food I am eating, not least as I know that skimpy summer dresses require a more svelte figure than my winter layers of warmth!

It’s also a time of year for ditching bad habits and embracing good ones – somehow I find it much easier to do this when there is a warm sun in the sky and spring-like food on my plate.

Things which I will be focusing on in the coming weeks include the following:

Boosting my intake of oily fish – two portions a week is what we should be aiming for and I have to confess that my fish-eating habit has been very lackadaisical recently. Fish which are rich in the all-important omega 3 oils include salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and tuna. Serving ideas include tuna teriyaki, pesto-marinated salmon kebabs, smoked mackerel or trout pate and grilled sardines.

Watching my salt intake – I’m a real fan of salt for bringing the flavours of a dish together but am also aware that i can easily overindulge. Although we don’t eat any processed foods, which are usually among the worst culprits for a high salt content, I am still thinking about this. And instead of using salt I’ll be thinking about how to add flavour with herbs, garlic, chilli, lemon, flavoured vinegars, spices, onions and wine.

Reducing my fat intake – homemade salad dressings will have their oil content reduced by a quarter with the alternative use of wine, tomato juice or hot water (this is a great tip that I recently picked up); dishes that use milk or other dairy products will see me use a low fat version and cream will be replaced with yoghurt. The low fat approach also works well for dishes which are flavoured with coconut milk. A low fat pesto, which substitutes water for most of the oil you would normally use, is worth a try. I’m also planning to try the Californian trick of using avocado mashed with lemon juice in place of butter on my sandwiches; and will be eating smaller amounts of strongly flavoured cheeses when I need a dairy hit. Finally, I’ll be choosing lean cuts of meat but using low fat yoghurt marinades to add flavour and ensure they don’t dry out.

Boosting my pulse and wholegrain intake – pulses and wholegrains are so good for us, being packed with soluble fibre which can help control blood sugar levels and manage cholesterol. They also contain lots of essential vitamins and minerals and are lower in fat than their meaty equivalents. I’ve also got a cupboard full of them which need using up in salads which will be lightened with herby lemony dressings and spring vegetables.

Eating more vegetarian meals – this is especially true for those meals which don’t use much dairy produce, such as healthy stir fries and salad.

What are you planning to do to lighten your cooking?

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by abby from eat the right stuff.


As the warmer weather approaches, I'm excited to have my fresh fruit and yogurt smoothies every morning. So satisfying and seems to carry me right through the morning.

giz said...
May 3, 2008 at 6:54:00 AM GMT+2  

Wow! Great blog and very colorful!I would visit often for yummy recipes:)

Anonymous said...
May 5, 2008 at 9:27:00 AM GMT+2  

A big bowl of fruits everyday before lunch. I eat lot less carbs if I fill my stomach with fruits first. Added bonus, it cuts sugar cravings too :)

Suganya said...
May 6, 2008 at 9:05:00 PM GMT+2  

It's funny - it's as if the body has an inner clock or weather station. I say that because we have automatically been craving lighter foods and lots of fresh fruit. I am currently enjoying big handfuls of berries in my cereal or yogurt every morning!

Meeta K. Wolff said...
May 14, 2008 at 9:06:00 PM GMT+2  

Post a Comment