by Caitlin de Kok
The festive season is the year’s most anticipated time for sun, fun, family, and of course – food! Many people are really strict during the year and follow a low carb eating plan with lots of exercise, but in December many of these resolutions tend to fly out the window. So we spoke to Vivienne Cameron, Director of Met-S Care, for the best low-carb tips and recipe ideas.
Diet survival guide
Vivienne Cameron says that the festive season need not be a worry if you follow this simple five-point Festive Season Feast Survival Guide.
*Watch your choice of food groups:
Always remember to keep carbs to a minimum, moderate protein consumption and remember that good fats are your best friend.
*Do the research:
There are thousands of low-carb recipes available on the internet – from salads, breads, ice-creams to desserts. Furthermore, with the help of so many retailers catching the ‘LCHF’ train there are low-carb alternatives for almost anything you could want! Remember you are allowed sugar-free chocolate / sweets and low-carb substitutes. If you are looking for ideas take a look at our low carb recipes section.
*The cup is half full:
Stop thinking about all of the things you can’t have and start thinking about all of the things you can! Less than a decade ago we were worrying about fat on a lamb chop, which we can now enjoy. What we have to watch out for now are carbs, but luckily for us there are lots of alternatives. Find your ‘substitute’ and you won’t need to deprive yourself. These days many suppliers have low-carb alcohol options as well. Instead of eating chips maybe consider biltong, nuts, aubergine chips, etc.
Don’t just eat. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before but we are going to say it again – overeating is often a case of either boredom, stress or just plain indulgence. Be aware of what you are eating – if you have the choice of a healthier alternative, take it! If you aren’t hungry, don’t eat. But most importantly, conscious eating is what will keep you on track from meal to meal. And it’s just that – one meal at a time and one choice at a time. Have dessert but choose the low-carb dessert.
*You are human:
Another cliché – ‘deprivation leads to binging’. Nothing is truer. If you can manage to make the right food choices 99% of the time – you deserve to own your 1%. Deprivation is not the goal, control is. If you usually have a piece of chocolate on Christmas Eve – have it, but make the decision to have two pieces instead of 10.
“Follow these simple guidelines and great recipe ideas and you won’t need to start from the beginning in January again,” concludes Cameron.
Low carb recipe ideas
Using cheeses, olives, cherry tomatoes, basil and pesto, create your own Cheesy Christmas tree on a platter.
Can be complemented with Life Bake Grain-Free Crackers.
Cherries dipped in melted Met-S Choc-Oh-Bloc
Break up the Choc-Oh-Bloc bar and place the pieces in a heatproof bowl.
In a pot, bring some water to the boil.
Place the heatproof bowl in the boiling water and stir until the chocolate is melted.
Dip cherries into the melted mixture and set aside to cool.
Fresh Fruit Christmas Tree (berries and kiwi are some of the lower-carb fruits)
Cut off the top of an apple and remove the core using an apple corer – place on a tray (this is your base).
Stick a carrot through the centre of the apple, vertically.
Stick toothpicks through the carrot (the base of the branches).
Using kiwis and berries, dress the branches using the toothpicks to hold them up.
Met-S Style Eggnog
Combine 300ml coconut milk, cloves, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and cinnamon in a pot, and let simmer on a low heat for five minutes, slowly bringing to the boil.
In a bowl, mix together egg yolks and Met-S Sweetener. Whisk together until fluffy.
Add the hot coconut milk mixture slowly to the eggs. Pour back into the pot and let simmer over a medium heat for three minutes, constantly stirring (do not bring to boiling point).
When thickened, strain the mixture to remove cloves and let cool for about an hour.
Stir in cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla essence and nutmeg.
Refrigerate for 12 hours.
For more about Met-S Care and their specialised programmes for Metabolic Syndrome, visit www.metscare.com