Everyone knows they need to eat cleaner, healthier and more nutritious however for many of us its easier said than done. Who else feels like they just dont have time and are constantly running out of hours in the day! This blog brings to you 8 tips to create heathy food for the time poor by a Sydney-based Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Coach and Yoga Instructor - Sami Bloom. Having completed a degree in Law and Communications, Sami worked in law firms and advertising agencies in Sydney and New York before taking a leap of faith and following her true passion - nutrition!
Tip 1: Food Prep
Always dedicate some time on the weekend or any other allocated day of the week that suits to food prep. This will save you time when you need it most. It doesn’t have to be as fancy as completely cooking large batch meals or separating your meals into perfectly pre-portioned lunch-boxes. It can be as simple as boiling a batch of brown rice, roasting a tray of veggies and making a salad dressing in advance to throw together nourish bowl style lunches. My go-to food prep guide can be found on my blog when you sign up to the newsletter!
Tip 2: Plan
Plan your week of dinners - work out how many nights each week you will be home and what you intend to cook. Sometimes, working out what to have to eat can be half the process! This will undoubtedly also help you write your shopping list, which can cater to the ingredients you need. If you set time aside to think of this and have all the ingredients to cater for it, you are more likely to make the healthy choice!Plan your week of dinners - work out how many nights each week you will be home and what you intend to cook. Sometimes, working out what to have to eat can be half the process! This will undoubtedly also help you write your shopping list, which can cater to the ingredients you need. If you set time aside to think of this and have all the ingredients to cater for it, you are more likely to make the healthy choice!
Tip 3: The Fallback 5
It may help to keep a short list of 5 go-to meals you master. Whilst this might seem boring to some, you should remember that the same dish with different vegetables, legumes, grains, herbs and spices, can taste very different. For example, if Dahl is one of them, you can always switch which legume you choose as the base. If a stir-fry is your pick, rotate the vegetables you choose, swap brown rice for soba noodles, or alter the spices and herbs. Curries, Soups, Nourish Bowls, and Stuffed veggies are all great ideas you can switch up. This tip is not only for your tastes but also your health. Rotating the produce you choose in your shopping cart regularly helps you to capture a broader range of nutrients for your cells to enjoy!
Tip 4: Cook For More
Get used to cooking more than you need so that leftovers are always an option. This can help immensely with packed lunches. Using the example above, a bigger batch of Dahl means in one quick scoop you have lunch for the next day. Again, if the same meal two days in a row sounds awful to you, vary it with spices, an added vegetable or condiment on the side. Of course, you can always skip the next day in favour for the one after, your food should last in the fridge.
Tip 5: Fast Food Snacks
When we hear the words “fast food”, all kinds of nasty thoughts enter our minds, right?! FBasically things that are cheap and convenient. However, grab-and-go foods don’t have to be so nutritionally deficient. My favourites include: Avocado and cucumber rolled in seaweed sheets, carrot sticks with tahini, raw or roast chickpeas, mung bean sprouts, a piece of fruit, 2 dried figs or medjool dates stuffed with raw nuts or nut butter, flaxseed or rice crackers/kale chips or simply raw nuts.
Tip 6: Pantry Staples
Similar to the above, keep these items on hand to make throwing together a quick meal simple: Canned organic, sodium/preservative free beans/chickpeas/lentils, brown rice, quinoa, oats, rice noodles, soba noodles, Quinoa or bean-based pastas, coconut milk, canned or bottled tomatoes and/or passata sauce, Tamari sauce, miso paste, shiitake mushrooms, nutritional yeast, dulse flakes, raw nuts and seeds, maple syrup and a full spice rack which always includes herbamare (flavours any meal!).
Tip 7: Smoothies
Smoothies are always an option - smoothies are the perfect package. You can include fibre and antioxidants with raw greens and fruit, some healthy sources of plant-based protein such as plant-milks or pea/hemp/rice protein powder, omega-3 fats with ground flaxseeds or chia, blood sugar stabilisers like cinnamon, and energy enhancers like maca powder and bee pollen. Great for a fast breakfast, but can also be used at any meal when you’re short on time.
Tip 8: Familiar With The Freezer
Large batches can often be frozen if you feel you won’t consume it that week. Food-prepping healthy loaves of bread, muffins, cookies or muesli bars can all be stored here. What’s more, keeping a few frozen fruit/veggies on hand can power up your meals when you are in a pinch and haven’t made it to the store in a while e.g. frozen kale/spinach, berries and bananas are great for smoothies and actually make them thicker and creamier. Frozen peas, edamame, broccoli and green beans can be your emergency stir-fry or soup stash. What’s more, this acts as a great way to purchase in bulk when produce is in season. I love to buy large quantities of brown bananas that other people aren’t interested in, peel and freeze them to last me. These spotty bananas are the more alkaline and easiest to digest anyway! Win!