Have you ever heard of guilt-free spaghetti or cauliflower rice? These are the latest food trends doing the rounds for 2017 in BBC 1’s Dr Michael Mosely’s bestselling book: ‘the 8-week blood sugar diet’. Along with his wife, Dr Clare Bailey they have teamed up with a nutritional expert Dr Sarah Schenker to create a fabulous collection of recipes that are not only easy to make but extremely beneficial to your health.
They talk about how a low-carb Mediterranean-style way of eating could help you lose weight and even reverse or prevent type 2 diabetes. The Daily Mail have described it as a ‘A life changing diet’, The Times ‘The diet that could save your life’. You can follow the 8 week plan or simply enjoy the family recipes and change the way you eat forever. For their latest recipes see: ‘the 8-week blood sugar diet recipe book.’
The doctors talk about a simple shift in our diet away from the white starchy carbohydrates that we all seem to love so much. White bread, white rice and pasta are the main culprits. A diet focused on consuming a more diverse choice of vegetables, more protein, a diet rich in olive oil, fish and nuts is the path to success. When you live in Valencia, no matter what month it is, there is always an availibility of fresh vegetables and fruits, not to mention the abundance of olive oil!
In summer Valencia is world famous for its heart shaped Valencian tomatoes and in the winter there are plenty of pumpkins and butternut squashes, perfect for making soups. We should be taking full advantage of living in the farming communities of Valencia as we can get our hands on these fresh veggies so easily and cheaply.
So, with this in mind, below is a list of key principles that you need to follow for your new lower-carb way of life:
Minimise or completely avoid white carbohydrates. There are always alternatives like cauliflower rice or quinoa (which you can actually buy from Mercadona now), wholegrains, beans and lentils that all keep you full but without the starch.
Invest in a spiralaliser (looks like a giant pencil sharpener for making ‘veggeti’ the alternative to pasta). You can shred courgettes to make a veggie spaghetti. If that seems like too much hard work then Mercadona have started selling it already done for you in a sealed packet…seriously there really are no exscuses.
Cut down on sugar! It is that simple. Don’t forget about the hidden sugars in drinks. It is very easy to think that you’re being super healthy when sipping on a fruit juice but it all adds up to your daily sugar intake.
Eat more vegetables. Be adventurous and try as many different veggies as you can. Every colour in every vegetable has different health advantages for your body, so don’t be boring, try new things and be more colourful!
Eat more protein. Your body doesn’t store protein like it does carbohydrates and protein also helps to keep your hunger pangs at bay. Make sure the protein is qood quality and include fish like salmon and any type of seafood is definately on the menu.
Eat dairy products and healthy fats & oils. Eating dairy products can keep you full for longer without damaging your health or your heart as previously believed. Good fats are found in olive oil, yoghurt , cheese, nuts, prawns, avocados and coconut milk. These good fats will enhance the foods that you eat, giving them more flavour.
Consume more vinegar. Add it to your salads on a regular basis, it’s good for your gut according to the doctors.
It’s never too late to change your habits. If you make changes little by little, you may be surprised at the results. Eat the Mediterranean diet in Valencia and reep the rewards of living in such a beautiful, agricultural landscape. It could be the best move you ever made.