Do you struggle to find the time or the desire to cook every night? I know I do. Eating out or ordering take away is becoming more and more common and I can see why. With the many and increasing demands on our time it is so much easier to ‘out source’ this extra ‘thing’ to do. Don’t get me wrong, eating out is great and is a favourite past time of mine and takeaway has its place too but do this every day/night and you may be getting less of the nutrients you need and more of the ones you don’t.
At the start of the year, with a new job that took up more of my time, I got into a habit of ordering home delivery, buying takeaway or eating out. This went against my knowledge and belief in eating whole and nutritious food but I was just so time poor that I wanted something quick and easy that tasted good. Exhausted from work I didn’t want to spend my time cooking, let alone cleaning!
After a few months of this I noticed I often felt bloated, woke up at night extremly thirsty and my apetite seemed to be controled more by the highs and lows from sugar and ceffeine and addiction to salt than actual hunger. Realising how my diet had changed I decided I needed to get back to what I knew was right for my body. So how to do this? Of course I had to cut out the takeaway and reduce the dining out but I also needed to add more of the good stuff! I was still time poor so I needed a plan to ensure I ate as much whole and nutritious food as possible.
This is what I did:
1. Quick dinner options in the freezer: fish, soups, stews, frozen vegetables, wheet free bread.
– I will cook up a large portion of soup or stew on a day off and freeeze it.
2. Easy protein in fridge or freezer: Tinned tuna, silken tofu, tempe, smoked salmon, cheese, yoghurt, nuts.
3. Bring salad ingredients and protein options to work
4. Save leftovers from dinner for lunch or breakfast on the weekend
5. Excerise 4-6 times per week (and plan for this so it happens)
6. Buy my lunch only once a week. This may be a salad and chicken roll, tabouli and tuna or a home made lentil soup form the my local IGA.
7. I also cut out dessert as I found this bloated me
Soups and sandwiches are a quick and convenient way to get a variety of foods in one meal. I make stock on the weekends and freeze, so I always have some at hand.
SALMON AND AVOCADO SANDWICH
This is simple as you can get. Make it with your kids too and you have an activity for the weekend.
small handful of italian salad mix
1/2 avocado sliced
1/2 smoked fillet of salmon flaked
2 slices of your choice of wheet free bread (I like chia bread or wheet free quinoa bread)
Spread both slices of bread with mustard.
Place avocado on one side and mash down with a fork.
Top with more mustard if desired (I like mine strong).
Place salmon on top, a squeeze of lemon and top with salad leaves.
Top with last piece of bread, cut in half and enjoy.
CHEAP AND EASY LENTIL SOUP
A staple in my freezer this is great for a weeknight meal.
2 celery sticks, trimmed and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 Swede, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ cup red lentils
2 x 400g can diced tomatoes
6-8 Cups of vegetable stock
4 tbsp ground cumin
100g goat’s cheese or plain yoghurt
¼ chopped fresh chives
Place all soup ingredients into a large pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender, adding more stock if it becomes to thick.
Serve sprinkled with chives and goat’s cheese, a dollop of yoghurt or lemon juice and parsley.