The Zesty Life Podcast, notes from the show.
So you want to be healthy but you have minimal time, no problem, I've come up with some tips and tricks that I think will really help you out! Now this blog really comes off the back of my podcast episode #3 Healthy Hustlers; The Food Edition, so if you are looking for more clarification on any of these point please refer to that podcast episode. Now without further ado...here are my top food tricks for those hustlers looking to improve their health starting in the kitchen.
Do your research , work out what you want to cook and what you will actually eat. This is time to have a think about what you want to eat through the week and how you will be eating it. Will it be reheated? Is is for your work lunch? How are you transporting it? How much time do you have? Can you assemble it? Do you have a fridge handy? How many meals do you want?
These are all important questions to first ask yourself because it will really determine if you will actually eat the food you are going to cook. So for me, I don't like eating reheated steak, so I don't meal prep steak. If I am at uni or school I know I don't have access to a fridge or microwave so I will organise to take in a salad or snacks like nuts, types of foods that I will enjoy as I wont be able to reheat or keep cool.
This is an important step as you want to make sure you will actually eat and enjoy the food you meal prep. Do your research, find some fun, easy, yummy recipes you actually like and make sure you keep these in your repertoire.
For me, my go to's are; easy mince beef stroganoff, veggie packed fried rice, various curries, salads, pasta, burrito bowls and snacks like humus.
Smart Grocery Shopping
Write out a list so you don't forget anything but also so you aren't as tempted to get things that aren't on the list. The most ultimate way of doing this is by online shopping however if you do enjoy grocery shopping/don't want t pay the delivery fee then download your supermarket app. For both Coles and Woolworths there is an app that you can create a shopping list and and the app will actually tell you what aisle to the food is in too! Brilliant!
Woolworths app - https://www.woolworths.com.au/shop/discover/about-us/woolworths-app
It is now time to meal prep and there are a few things you will want to think about; convenience, double cooking and fun. Meal prepping is all about making healthy food convenient. Do a big cook up, freeze anything you want to keep for longer than a few days and grab out food as you need to reheat or assemble. The convenience really is where sticking to a health way of eating occurs.
Don't double cook! This means that while you are doing your meal prep you don't need to cook through some of your fruit and vegetables, especially if you are going to reheat your meals. When you reheat your meal in the microwave it will recook some of your food as well as heating. Just add a dash of water to your container to help steam your veggies through and viola, you have a quick and easy meal which is fresher and took less time to prepare than before.
Finally make meal prep fun. Use this time to engage with your food, to catch up on a Netflix series, a podcast or even YouTube. You might even just want to put on your favourite playlist and have a boogie!
Add Bulk Nutrients
Put baby spinach in EVERYTHING! Seriously though, it packs a serious nutritional punch and is basically invisible to the taste buds. From being the base of your salad, to blended in a smoothie or cooked into any stir fry, curry or pasta, try and use baby spinach everywhere.
Increase your antioxidants by eating more berries. Apples are meant to contain approximately 60 ORAC units (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (the measure of antioxidants)) however a cup of berries contains over 10x that amount with a whopping 650ish ORAC units!
Use more herbs. Herbs in dishes are a great way to not only amplify the flavour of a dish but also sneaks in some extra nutrients and depending on the herb awesome amounts of vitamins and minerals. Now I for one am someone who loves to cook with fresh herbs, I just hate how quickly they die once I get them home. Introducing herb cubes, honestly they are as simple as they look, just chop, add water and freeze. This way you can add in herbs to dishes weeks after you bought them. I do not recommended defrosting a cube and trying to use the herb 'thawed fresh'.
Spice up your life. Yep, listen to the words of the late and great spice girls and make sure you add different spices to your meals. not only does it expand the flavours of your cooking but you will be delighted to hear they are also packed full of extra nutrients.
Well, that is it from me, please let me know if you found any of these tips helpful or if you are going to try any of this.
Stay zesty my friends!