favourites but also test a few new recipes to ensure you ’ re getting variety in your diet and continually expanding your repertoire .
Breakfast is not for everyone , but , if you ’ re like me and really struggle to get through the morning without it , then it ’ s important to have breakfast ingredients at hand .
Breakfast staples :
} Oats – great for porridge , overnight oats or even as a topper to fruit and yoghurt .
} Yoghurt – I like to mix it up . Natural , Greek and sometimes fruit-based .
} Fresh fruit – think awesome spring fruits like apples , kiwis , mandarins and melons . } Nuts and seeds to sprinkle on cereals or porridge . } Eggs – scrambled , poached or even fried , depending on what else is in the fridge . } Avocado , baked beans , cheese or tomatoes . } Multigrain bread to have with any of the above .
It ’ s very easy to get distracted with work or other activities and suddenly find it ’ s 3pm . However , skipping lunch can mean reaching for the biscuit tin or devouring a packet of chips and then feeling suitably regretful . It may sound crazy , but set your alarm as a reminder to have lunch rather than leaving it too late and ruining dinner . Have easy lunch ideas at hand , so you can take them to work or eat at home . Lunchtime is a great opportunity to obtain some really important nutrients !
Lunchtime staples :
} Fresh seasonal veggies to whip up a quick salad or sandwich – asparagus , beans , broccoli , capsicum , carrots , cauliflower , cucumber , lettuce , spinach and tomatoes .
} Fresh herbs – try to keep a bunch or two of fresh seasonal herbs in your fridge to add to salads , roast veggies or even in your sandwich . They bring wonderful flavours and nutrition to any meal .
} Mix up your salads and sandwiches by adding a different protein such as bean mix , cheese , eggs , lean chicken , tinned fish or tofu .
} You can prep your salads in advance in separate containers , to add variety mix up the the nuts , seeds , salad dressing and protein source . It is often the salad dressing , which makes a salad exciting so make in advance and have it to ready to go .
} Soup – use the weekend to make up a batch of soup for a healthy lunch or dinner – cauliflower soup with homemade garlic bread is a favourite in our household at the moment . It ’ s quick , easy and affordable when cauliflowers are in season .
} Multigrain bread and crackers – if working from home , take an extra few minutes and enjoy a toasted sandwich .
With a little extra planning you can save time during busy weeknights and keep your budget in check . Here are some dinner tips to keep you eating well during the week and avoiding unhealthy and expensive take-aways :
} Cooking staples on the weekend can really pay off in the week . Think bolognese , chilli con carne , curry , quiche , quinoa patties , soup , stew , or even a tomato base for an easy pasta sauce . Make sure you have noodles , pasta or rice in your pantry to go with these meals .
} Fish – if it ’ s hard to get fresh fish , keep some small frozen portions of salmon or white fish in the freezer as a way to get fish into your diet on a regular basis .
} Roast a chicken with a variety of veggies . Save some chicken and veggies for your salad or sandwich the following day .
} Stir-fries can be a great way to get lots of veggies into your diet and flavours can vary from week to week . Fresh herbs and spices will make all the difference .
} Take a fresh look at frozen and canned food . Both are great kitchen staples and can be equally nutritious , super convenient and cost-effective . Frozen fruit and vegetables enable you to enjoy out of season produce all year round – increasing the variety of nutrients in your diet .
} Homemade or purchased online , frozen ready meals can be a healthy back up . Frozen food does not need additives and preservatives to prolong shelf life as they rely on the natural technique of freezing to preserve food . Although not all ready meals are created equal , they can be a great healthy back up and often more nutritious and affordable than take-away . Choose wisely and read the nutrition label and ingredients list .
FEATURE ARTICLE SPRING 2020
YMCA HEALTHY LIVING MAGAZINE 9