Ask Madeleine – November

Ask Madeleine – November

Welcome back to Ask Madeleine!

I am so excited to be answering a fresh set of amazing questions you guys have submitted over the past few weeks. I love this segment as I feel as though I am conversing directly with you all! I hope these answers help you glow even brighter this month.

I really struggle when going out to dinner with my friends…what would you choose as the best option when ordering at a restaurant?

Going out to dinner with your friends can often be challenging when trying to be healthy. The good news these days is there are so many fabulous restaurants about with amazing healthy options. Most places also post their menus online so you can always check out your options before heading out, to make sure there are some fresh options available. My top tips for restaurant dining would have to be:

  • Avoid dishes with the words caramelised, glazed, BBQ sauce, or sweet and sour. These dressing are full of hidden nasties and sugar!
  • Say no thank you to the breadbasket. Let’s face it – If it’s sitting on the table, you’ll be tempted to pick at it.
  • Substitute your order. Swap chips or potatoes for steamed veggies or a side salad
  • Dress your own salad. Ask for olive oil, sliced lemon, or balsamic vinegar on the side as most salad dressing contain sugar.
  • Think simple! Go for the fish of the day, a good roast, veggies or a fresh salad

The cooler weathers means I’m craving hot food…what is the healthiest way to make warm winter dishes from home?

I love the winter season! Warm comforting meals made from home and enjoyed with loved ones make me feel so happy and content. There is definitely a sneaky trap with comfort food – which often has us reaching for an unhealthy takeaway as the weekend rolls around. However! There are plenty of ways to enjoy comforting dishes in a healthy and happy way. The key here is to use the right oils, and to not overdo the dish. Methods of cooking to avoid include microwaving, over boiling, burning your food (this can cause a toxic build up!), and of course deep-frying. Instead, lightly boil and steam your veggies (to keep the crunch, and obtain as much nutrients as possible), and start grilling, roasting, baking and sautéing! I like to use coconut oil or butter as they have high smoking points and do not break down in heat. Only use olive oil when cooking on low temperature!

What are your thoughts on coconut sugar? At the end of the day isn’t all sugar, sugar?

With so many different labels about – refined, unrefined, natural, artificial – sugar has become a pretty confusing topic! A matter that seems to be hotly debated is where fruit falls into all this, and whether any kind of sugar is good for us at all. Interestingly – fruit actually falls into the carbohydrate category, and as a result some people believe it should be avoided. However! Fruits that are low in GI – such as berries, apples and citrus fruits can be enjoyed on a daily basis, whereas fruits such as grapes, bananas and melon, which are high in GI – should be enjoyed in moderate amounts. Coconut sugar is a natural sugar as it is derived from the sap of the coconut palm tree. While regular table sugar has zero nutrients and is therefore “empty calories”, coconut sugar retains some of the nutrients found in the coconut palm tree (such as iron, potassium, calcium and zinc) so is much better for you. Coconut sugar, however, is very high in calories (just like regular sugar) so should be enjoyed in moderation, especially if you’re watching your weight!

I hope you enjoyed this months ‘Ask Madeleine’!

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