One of the best things for me about dieting was that I discovered a whole load of new (and delicious) foods that I’d not tried before. As a kid and teenager, I was a very picky eater – but when I decided to weight, I became more interested in nutrition, and in finding foods that maximised taste and “fillingness” for the number of calories!
Dieting doesn’t have to mean – and, indeed, shouldn’t mean – deprivation. Here are some of the foods that I first tried while dieting which are now among my favourites. They’re all delicious (in my opinion!) and healthy:
Ryvitas, marmite and cottage cheese
I know it sounds like a disgusting combination, but ryvitas, marmite and cottage cheese quickly became one of my favourite breakfasts. The textures and flavours combine brilliantly — give it a try! Much healthier than white toast with butter and marmite…
(For readers outside the UK, marmite is probably known as “vegemite” or “yeast extract” in your country. Marmite fans might want to check out the official Marmite Site. “Ryvitas” are a branded form of crispbreads.)
Given how much I love mushrooms now, I can’t believe that I always refused to eat them before I started dieting. If you were put off mushrooms as a kid, try them again. They have a strong, savoury flavour when cooked, and go brilliantly in bolognaise sauce, vegetable pasta sauces, pies … almost anything you like! They’re very low-cal and fairly high in protein, too.
Another food that I absolutely love now – and another one that I refused to eat as a child. (I’m starting to realise how long-suffering my poor parents were, it’s a wonder they managed to get me to eat anything other than chips and chocolate…) Prawns are amazingly low in calories in fat, high in protein, vitamins and minerals – like all seafoods – and utterly delicious.
The one drawback to prawns is that they tend to be quite pricy: look out for half-price deals, and go for frozen prawns instead of fresh (they taste just as good). Prawns are also a great addition to stir-fries, which brings me on to …
A brilliant, easy, and healthy way to reach that five-a-day target, vegetable stir-fries are one of my favourite dinners. Check out my recipe, if you want, but you can chuck pretty much any chopped veg into a wok and it’ll taste great with a bit of your favourite Chinese sauce!
With rice or noodles, a veggie stir fry is surprisingly filling at a cheap calorific cost. Add a handful of prawns, or cooked diced chicken breast, for protein.
If you were a picky eater before you started dieting, make it your dieting mission to try out a new healthy food every week. It might be an exotic fruit, a type of fish you’ve never eaten before, something you disliked as a child… Trust me, you’ll surprise yourself with the new tastes you develop!
Don’t miss a single post on The Office Diet – get free updates straight to your RSS reader (or enter your email address on the top right for email updates).