Monday: Start the Week on a New Fruit (Or Vegetable)
Choose a fruit or vegetable that you don’t normally eat and try it this week. Pick something that’s in season, whether it’s squash (great in soups and an excellent source of beta-carotene) or an exotic fruit or veggie.
Tuesday: Swap a Coffee for a Tea
Do you drink coffee? If so, try substituting tea for one of your daily cups of coffee. Tea offers antioxidant benefits that coffee doesn’t and may even protect against heart disease and cancer. Green tea offers the most health benefits, but black tea is also healthy. Experiment with different varieties of tea, sold loose or in tea bags.
Wednesday: Fuel Up on Fibre
Have a fibre-rich, bean-based dinner tonight instead of meat. Go for grains, and try a fun, exotic dish like Quinoa with Chiles and Cilantro or open a cookbook for other great ideas. Rinse canned beans before using them—this will cut down on the gas factor and wash off some of the salt.
Thursday: Attack Your Snack Habit
Keep baby carrots in the fridge—a handful will meet your vitamin A needs for the day. Try low-fat vanilla or honey yogourt sprinkled with wheatgerm. Or enjoy toasted almonds. Place a handful of unsalted almonds on a sheet of baking paper and toast in a 180°C oven for 3–5 minutes. Remove and salt lightly (optional). For more smart snack ideas check out 100-Calorie Snacks.
Friday: Feast on Fish
Besides helping your heart, fish is a quick meal. Poached in a frying pan with a little wine or water, it’s ready in as little as 10 minutes. (Cook for about 8–10 minutes per 2.5 cm of thickness.) If your kids think they don’t like fish, change their minds with a tasty tuna casserole with pasta.
Saturday: Give Your Breakfast a Makeover
Opt for heart-healthy porridge or buy a new breakfast cereal. (Look for one that contains 3 g or more of fibre per serving and less than 3 g of fat.) Add fresh berries or sultanas for extra taste. Avoid toasted muesli unless you buy the low-fat variety. Or make your own: mix 2 cups rolled oats with 1 cup dried fruit and seeds and a little brown sugar. Toast for 35 minutes in a warm oven.
Sunday: Make a Super Supper
Make this Sunday dinner an excuse to gather with your family and friends. It doesn’t really matter what you serve (try a lasagna made with fresh, vegetables such as sweet potatoes). Just enjoy this time to relax and be together.