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Healthy alternatives to carb-rich delights

Published Jul 27, 2009

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By Dr Chrisna Botha

Yet again we are facing extreme cold. We are adding three layers of clothing and our hands reach out almost naturally for something hot and steaming. Yep we are reaching for hot chocolate, Milo, Horlicks and cappuccino: anything that is hot and steaming and sweet.

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Now, we find our six-pack in the kitchen. Eighty percent of your success lies in nutrition. Watch what you are putting in your mouth, a moment on the lips means a life-time on the hips!

I suppose some days you feel like you just want to throw the whole diet thing overboard and indulge. Research has shown that if you eat healthy on most days with a little cheat here and there it is not the end of the world.

But I always feel that knowledge is power. So this week I simply am going to give you options to better choices. Even though they might not be the best ones to make, on the days that you are blue at least you won't be throwing all your hard work and perseverance out of the window.

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There's nothing like freshly baked goods, hot pies and hearty soups to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside on a cold winter's day. Here are some ways to get your fix:

- Instead of butter croissant, choose multigrain bagel - less fat, more fibre and lower in GI.

- Instead of blueberry, poppy seed, choc-chip muffins etc, choose bran muffin - more fibre and lower GI.

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- Instead of a Chelsea bun, have a hot cross bun or cinnamon bun - less fat and cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar.

- Instead of sausage roll have quiche - lower in fat, less kilojoules, added vegetables and lower GI.

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- Instead of hot chocolate, have skinny caffe mocha - less fat and a whole lot less sugar.

- Instead of normal cappucino have rooibos tea Latte - less fat and no caffeine!

- Instead of creamy mushroom soup have barley and vegetable soup - less fat, more fibre, more vitamins!

So enjoy this last bit of cold and indulgence. Try and choose smarter because from next week on we are starting to get into shape again, because I'm not so sure how many of you realise it but spring is knocking on our doors!

- Dr Chrisna Botha has a BSc in Human Movement Science from Northwest University, and did her honours in Biokinetics. She has a Masters degree and doctorate in human movement science. She is in private practice in Gauteng.

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