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It's all too easy to over-indulge during the festive season, but the New Year is a chance for a fresh start – so we asked Food Envy's Holly Sugars for her best tips and tricks for healthy eating in 2017. Armed with nothing more than a potato peeler, a grater and a few fresh vegetables, chef and nutritional therapist Holly shows us how we can begin to feel better in no time at all.

With an 18-month-old daughter to run around after, Holly knows how challenging it can be to maintain a healthy lifestyle in our busy modern lives. Six months ago she set up her catering and nutritional therapy business, Food Envy, using her years of experience as a chef to help people make healthier choices. Now she spends her days cooking up tasty, wholesome and nutritious dishes for her clients, and helping people find new and exciting ways to make healthy eating part of their routine.

Food_envy_pumpkin.jpgHolly's background as a personal chef has taken her from yachts to ski chalets to private houses, so it's no surprise that her cooking talents are in high demand. "My meal delivery package is my most popular service," she explains from her kitchen, where she is preparing the current week's meals. A weekly-changing menu, prepared, pre-cooked where necessary and ready to simply pop in the oven, and all carefully balanced: a real boon for her health conscious but time-poor clients. Right now, Holly says she's working with lots of lovely seasonal produce like butternut squash, sweet potato and cavolo nero, all of which are easy to find in your local greengrocer or farm shop. The menus are like a world tour of food: European, South American, Asian and African-inspired dishes have all featured on the menus recently.

Holly wants to make it easy for everyone to bring healthy habits into their day-to-day lives, so her meal deliveries are just one of her services. She also offers private catering, consultation and classes to help with everything from weekly menu planning to fussy toddler eating habits. Visit her page to find out more about Food Envy, or try out Holly's Raw Vegetable Pad Thai recipe for a vibrant lunch or supper.

Holly’s top tips for a healthy start to 2017:

  • food_envy_muffins.jpgUse lots of veggies – I aim for 50 percent veg, 25 percent protein and 25 percent carbs for each meal. By increasing your vegetable intake you benefit from extra fibre, which helps your metabolism speed and helps things move out. If you’re on a detox, you want to get rid of everything in your body, clear it out and start again. By eating lots of fibre you’ll do just that.
  • Reduce your meat and carbs intake by adding grated veg (carrots, courgettes and parsnips are ideal) to bolognese, meatballs, fishcakes and burgers. They won’t affect the flavour but will make it less dense and of course a lot less meat, which is better for your body.
  • Fall back in love with your potato peeler and make ribbons of courgette, carrot or even potato to use that instead of pasta or noodles. The only veg that really needs cooking is potato, the rest are much better for you raw. Noodles don’t really taste of anything anyway, it’s the consistency that you want. Use a spiraliser if you have one, but a peeler works just as well.
  • A great substitute for rice is to grate or food process cauliflower or parsnips which you can either cook in stock with some onion and garlic or eat raw dressed in sesame oil, lemon juice seasoned with cumin powder, salt and pepper.
  • Combine all this with drinking as much water as possible, because your body functions at its best when it is fully hydrated. A dehydrated intestine shortens like a Slinky toy that's pushed together. Stuff gets stuck in there and it cannot get out! So be sure to stay hydrated and keep everything moving.

Food_Envy_raw_pad_thai_750px.jpgFancy putting Holly's tips to the test?

Try Holly's deliciously fresh Raw Pad Thai recipe using seasonal vegetables and a simple-to-prepare spicy dressing. Or try swapping out pumpkin for winter squash to make the Roasted Pumpkin and Peach Salad or Pumpkin, Basil, Goat's Cheese and Fig Tart. All these recipes are created with a healthy, balanced diet in mind. Click here to find out more about Food Envy and how Holly could help you with menu planning, meal deliveries and much more.

Tags: Veg healthy New Year Food Envy