Healthier Eating - Keeping it Simple
Updated: Mar 19
As we return to a more normal routine how can we build in healthier eating habits for the whole family without making things complicated?
If you have a busy schedule, a little planning really is the key to managing your time and keeping your stress levels in check! Here are a few of my top tips:
Planning your meals in advance will ensure that you pick up the right foods when getting the groceries in. In fact, once you have decided your meals, you’ll also have a shopping list which means that you can send someone else for the shopping, or even get it delivered! How’s that for some precious time saving?!
Schedule some prep time and arrange for the shopping to be delivered on a day that you can organise and do a little food preparation (same or next day works best). Simple tasks like splitting fruit and nuts into snack size portions, chopping veggies for snacks or stir-fries, boiling eggs, portioning and freezing produce can save you so much time during the week.
Frozen fruit and vegetables are a great alternative if you don’t have time for prep. Super convenient, they are also a great way to increase your overall variety of whole plant foods and a clever way to reduce waste.
Batch cooking can be a real gamechanger …. and it doesn’t have to be done on a weekend! Pick the day that you have the most time and, if you can, make it a weekly routine. By cooking stews, curries, soups and chilli in advance, you can have tasty, nutritious meals that just need a re-heat for those days when you are pressed for time. Check here for my super-tasty black bean and sweet potato burritos that you can reheat straight from the freezer!
Cook once, eat twice. If the idea of batch cooking leaves you cold, then scale it down a little. Save some time by cooking double the amount when you next make dinner. You can then use the leftovers for lunch the next day, a dinner later in the week, or put it in the freezer for another time altogether!
Snack healthy by having the right choices to hand. Keep veggie sticks and hummus in the fridge, a bowl of brightly coloured fruit within reach, and jars of nuts – think almonds, walnuts and brazil nuts, on your kitchen shelves or worktop. Consider other wholefoods like eggs, tuna, yogurt and wholegrain crackers, and think of your snacks as mini-meals that will not only nourish your body but provide a fantastic opportunity to increase your micronutrient intake. Mixing fruit with nuts or nut butter can provide a healthy mix of carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fats plus a range of those vitamins and minerals.
Include a protein source at every meal and snack – and that includes breakfast! Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass and , the good news is that it’s also really filling so helps to keep your appetite in check. Think about including healthy proteins like lean meat, fish, beans, yogurt, and nuts or seeds in your meals.
Keep well hydrated by drinking plenty of calorie-free beverages. Thirst can often be confused with hunger and often presents as poor energy levels and keeping a glass nearby can be a useful reminder to keep sipping. Try keeping a jug of water in the fridge and, if plain water doesn’t appeal, try flavouring it with lemon or berries. Switching up to sparking water or herbal teas is also a great solution.