Healthy eating is often seen as boring, restrictive and time-consuming, especially when prepackaged food or a takeaway is ready within minutes. It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to changing your diet and how to make healthier choices. Here are some of my tips to help make healthy eating easy and delicious.
1) What can you add?
Start to write down what you typically eat in a day and see where you can start to add healthier foods into your daily routine of food. For example, if you usually have toast for breakfast, try adding avocado to it. If you have cereal for breakfast, add some berries and nuts or seeds to it, or even swap to granola.
What’s your go-to lunch? Can you add more salad into your sandwich? Or add fruit with nut butter as a snack? Instead of removing everything that you see as unhealthy, start slowly adding in more plant-based foods and then start to remove the unhealthy food. The World Health Organisation recommends that we eat ten portions of vegetables a day for wellness. The gradual change of diet helps prevent you from feeling restricted from all the foods you eat, and this will help you to develop healthier habits.
2) Meal planning
Having a food plan for meals to cook for the week allows you to buy all the ingredients you need. This saves having to think of what you are cooking when you get home from work. It also saves on the food waste because you will use all the ingredients when following the recipe.
When you plan your meals for the week, you can take into account your work schedule. For example, if you work late on Thursdays, or know that it is a hard day at work, plan to cook something that is easy and won’t take you very long.
When it comes to meal prepping, cooking an extra portion at dinner time can save the hassle of having to cook another meal in the evening for your lunch the next day. Make sure you put the extra portion to the side straight away, so you don’t end up overeating!
3) Kitchen appliances
My top three things that make life so much easier when cooking are a soup maker, food processor and a slow cooker.
A soup maker allows you to have freshly made soup within around twenty minutes, all you have to do is put the raw ingredients in, and it will cook and blend it for you. This is extremely helpful if you don’t feel like cooking or need something pretty quickly.
A food processor is a lifesaver if you hate cutting up vegetables, especially if you are sensitive to onions. Throwing your veg in the food processor will save you so much time when it comes to prepping the meal, all you need to do now is cook it.
And finally, the slow cooker. There are so many slow cooker recipes on the internet, find one and put everything in before you go to work, let it do its thing, then you have a cooked meal for when you’ve finished work. An Instant Pot is another alternative to a slow cooker, but this has more settings on: it can sauté, steam and even make yoghurt. All these also help to save on the washing up so it’s a win-win.
4) Have snacks at the ready
If you have gone a while without food or had a stressful day at work, it’s easy to end up craving and binging on something you know wasn’t the healthiest choice. By having healthier snacks at the ready, it can be enough to get you through your journey home without stopping off to pick up some fast-food. When you are going to snack on something, make sure it has good quality protein, as this will save any blood sugar crashes which might make you feel more hangry, irritated, shaky, or just craving something else. Good options are: fruit with nut butter or vegetable sticks with hummus. If you have snack bars or protein bars you need to read the ingredients as they can be very high in sugar and additives.
5) Your food doesn’t have to be boring
We often think that healthy eating has to be boring and plain; this is not true. Start experimenting with different herbs and spices. As well as giving your food more flavour, they offer many health benefits. Buy some recipe books, or download a few from online. If you are new to cooking, start with a low amount of ingredients. Adding vegetables to a stir-fry, tacos, curries, or making your own plant-based burgers are all great ways to get your veg intake up while making sure your food is tasty.
If you would like more advice and a personalised diet plan tailored to your health goals, feel free to book a consultation.