lose_baby_weightIt’s great to decide to follow a healthy eating meal plan like those on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge but what if there are certain foods you can’t eat due to food allergies or intolerances? Or some foods that you just won’t eat as you dislike them? How will you be able to prepare the recipes and will you still get the benefits if you can’t eat everything?
It’s easy to incorporate your food intolerances or dislikes on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge as it’s been developed so you can design meal plans to suit your lifestyle. You get to choose the recipes you want and there are a wide range to choose from to suit all tastes and needs.
Here are some tips on making food swaps if you need them throughout the Challenge:

  • Whether it’s because you don’t like some meats, are vegetarian or are on a strict budget, it’s really easy to swap meats in the Challenge recipes. Choose a similar style of meat depending on the recipe. For example if replacing beef in a stew with chicken, choose lean chicken thigh instead of breast, as this cooks better in slow cooked recipes. If replacing a fillet of lamb with pork, then choose a lean pork fillet.
  • Seafood can often be replaced with chicken breast or pork fillet in many stir fries, salads and oven cooked dishes. If you don’t like the sound of “Fish In Parcels” then make it “Chicken in Parcels”.
  • Or if there’s a mix of seafood in a recipe like in a Spaghetti Marinara, you could replace the fish component with chicken breast and then add a selection of tasty veggies instead of the prawns, mussels, calamari etc.
  • Tinned salmon can be used instead of fresh or try tinned tuna if you don’t like salmon at all.
  • Fresh herbs can easily be replaced with dried herbs if you’re on a budget or use frozen veggies instead of fresh when you need.
  • If you’re dairy intolerant then you’ve probably already got a long list of replacements you can choose from instead of cow’s milk and cheeses. Try soy, rice, almond or coconut milk for Smoothies and breakfast recipes. Try dairy free yoghurt, ricotta, cottage cheese or hard cheeses if needed. Many of these types of products can be found in the vegetarian section of the supermarket fridge.
  • When it comes to grains and gluten, there are now a number of swaps you can choose from. If you need to be gluten free then choose gluten free pastas, breads, crackers etc and be sure that any sauces or marinades in the recipes are gluten free too e.g. use tamari instead of soy sauce.
  • When it comes to fruit and vegetables, swaps are really easy. If you don’t like potatoes use sweet potatoes. If you don’t like beans use snow peas. If nectarines aren’t in season use apples or pears. Changing the fruits and vegetables in recipes won’t ruin them it will just create different flavours and textures.
  • In baking or dessert recipes for slices, cakes, fritters, muffins, biscuits, mousses etc, try and stick to the ingredients listed in the recipe as these are often listed for a reason to ensure the recipes work out. If you need to replace something to be gluten free or dairy free, that should be fine. Same with fruits or vegetables – swapping blueberries for strawberries in a muffin will be ok, swapping grated zucchini for tinned corn in a fritter recipe will be ok too.
  • Get daring and try things you might think you don’t enjoy as you may surprise yourself and  actually really love them.
  • Food swaps are also a good way to stick to your grocery budget each week as you can use up ingredients already in the fridge rather than buying brand new items or choose less expensive produce if it’s on special at the supermarket.

When choosing your recipes for each weekly Meal Plan on the Challenge don’t just choose things that you normally eat or have tried before. Add some new recipes into the mix even if they contain ingredients you can’t eat and make some swaps so you can still enjoy a different selection of meals.
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