This is Jo’s NEW! easy to manage ideas and guidance on how to fit good eating into daily life!
So I had this idea that sometimes with the best will in the world, life takes us on a path that hinders us eating healthily. With this in mind I have written some easy to follow healthy options that are designed for you to fit into your daily eating habits without complicating things. When you have families to feed and are often short of time after work, it can be off putting to have to think about lots of new store cupboard ingredients or to spend a long time preparing and cooking. I have heard people talk of the hassle of cooking different meals for kids, partner and then themselves, the less stress the better, especially if you are trying to shift a few pounds, so how is this kind of thing going to help?
Answer is it’s not!
So in the following few pages you will find some simple bits of information and lots of meal ideas, including snacks, deserts and even home baking, again really useful if you have families. This is all aimed at helping you take control of your diet easily without giving you guilt trips. Life is for living and enjoying and food is a very social part of that and there will be times when you fancy something or can’t avoid it, say at a business meeting or social gathering. I hope this will aid you in choosing wisely and enjoying your food whilst in the knowledge that it is a good choice.
A few points to get you started
• Fat is not an enemy that is to be avoided, just choose the right ones!
Switching a couple of things can make all the difference. Try using coconut oil for cooking, don’t be afraid of this, it won’t make your food taste like suntan lotion!!!! Also ditch the low fat spread, instead use a good quality real butter such as KerryGold, it’s not only better for you but it tastes nicer too, win win. Finally Olive Oil is great but try not to cook with it, instead add this after cooking, maybe drizzle over meat or salads and try experimenting with flavoured varieties, Lemon infused is great with fish and chicken dishes.
• Carbs, again instead of thinking you have to be extreme and cut them out, why not trying to just skip wheat, so mostly no bread and rice but you can still have some egg pasta/noodles, sweet potatoes and new potatoes. Just make sure you do try and ditch the crisps, biscuits and cakes
• Sugar. We all know that there is little nutritional gain to lots of sugary treats but we also find ourselves craving a little treat from time to time. Try using stevia which is natural in your home baking. Keep things fresh and simple, home baking cuts out all the preservatives, colours etc.
• Think ahead. Ok so if you’re a Mum you know it’s far better to plan your meals and just have a couple of things up your sleeve for emergencies, but seriously try and plan your meals in advance. This will stop you coming in and making the wrong quick and not so healthy choices just to get something on the table quickly. Also you will see that some of the recipes I’ve included are designed to be made in quantity and then you can use leftovers for lunches. So by thinking ahead you save yourself time, money and the chance of slipping up and grabbing a calorie loaded un-satisfying snack.
• Breakfast. Couple of points to consider when choosing your breakfast. Keep away from cereal bars, for the size they are just loaded with sugar and salt, you won’t feel satisfied and you will no doubt be wanting something else within an hour or two. Cereals may seem quick but again these can often have many hidden sugars and high salt content, if the brand is using the traffic light system (e.g. red sugar content meaning high ,whilst green fat means low) Also make the switch from white to wholemeal bread if you really enjoy toast in the morning. Smoothies are not for everyone, but if you do enjoy them try to keep with veggie ones, if you blend fruit it reduces the fibre and releases more sugar, so not always the healthier option.
• Lunches. Try and come away from the idea of always having to have a sandwich, there are some great prepacked salads out there with lots of variety in the salad leaves and to make them more exciting add natural cashew nuts or toasted almonds and use the flavoured olive oils too. Again, thinking ahead, make up a big batch of soup, freeze left over portions for another day. Same with making a chilli, curry or casserole. Make an extra large amount and simply heat up for a protein rich lunch.
• Dinners. Ok so now I sound boring but think ahead!!!! Lack of time that makes us reach into the freezer for ready meals and those things that we throw onto a baking tray and ignore in the oven for 20 mins!!! Marks and Spencer often has a 3 for £10 offer, you can mix and match picking up beef mince (Chilli or Bolognese) Fish and even a small Chicken for roasting at the weekend.
• Snacks and Treats. Natural nuts are great, Almonds, Cashews, Brazils etc. Just avoid peanuts. When it comes to fruit its always best eaten as is and berries are the best option of all, being packed with good nutrients. If you really like your biscuits, try Nairs Oatcakes (actually thin round biscuits, not a cake at all!) I have found a couple of sweet varieties, Ginger, Chocolate and Mixed Berry. These are all wheat free and may just help you with the biscuit or sweet craving. Better still they are wrapped in packs of 4/5 so you can’t sit and eat a whole pack so easily.
• Adapt. Now this is where the willpower has to come into play. Lots of the recipes that I have included, and no doubt you will think of many more favourites that you cook now, can be adapted for the family. For instance if you have a big bowl of beef chilli leave off the rice yourself but still cook it for the rest of the family, same goes with Bolognese, give them the spaghetti, cook up a big casserole with loads of veg and lean chunks of meat, by all means add the dumplings and potatoes for them but not you. That will be the hardest part, but the cooking is no more complicated just because you are choosing to make some changes.
So I said simple at the beginning and maybe this looks like a lot of changes but if you really want to get yourself under control with healthy eating then I hope you will pull from this some small gems of information that will make it seem a little less hassle than any fully blown eating plan that your kids are not going to thank you for.
Over the next few pages you will find some recipes for Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks and even Cakes and Puddings!
Enjoy and please contact myself or Lisa at Fit for Moore if you would like advice on specifics foods.