Here are my tips that work for me to sustain a healthy lifestyle… hope they are of some use to all the mumma’s out there…
Thinking ahead and planning meals and snacks for yourself and your family is the key to healthy eating and also the best way to lose weight. Planning helps manage the budget, makes shopping easier and ensures you eat healthy. This would have to be my number one tip for healthy eating. I plan my meals weekly and create a weekly shopping list. I set aside some time each week to plan my meals and shopping list on a weekly basis.
Set aside some time each week to do your grocery shopping. This will save you time in the long run rather than having to go to the shops daily or every two days, it will save you money and time that you could be using to prepare meals rather than having to go to the shops. If you put the effort in to planning your weekly meals, your shopping experience will be much easier too!
Choose Recipes Wisely
When I say choose recipes wisely I mean look ahead at what you have on for the week and choose recipes for the week that will fit in with the amount of time you have. Choose meals that are quick and easy for work nights or nights you know you don’t have as much time and choose meals that may be easy but take longer for those nights you know you will have a bit more time i.e. weekends. For example if you have my Healthy eBook, Salmon Parcels are a delicious quick and easy meal whereas Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder with Tabbouleh, Tzatiki and Hummus which is also easy takes a longer time to cook.
When planning meals think about the ingredients in the meals that you have chosen. Choose recipes that have some of the same ingredients. For example if a recipe calls for Spring Onions you generally have to buy these in a bunch but may only use 2-3 in the recipe. Try choosing another recipe that also calls for Spring Onions so you are not wasting them.
When planning your meals for the week, ensure you have the meals at the start of the week that require you to use the produce that may go bad quicker. For example I always have fresh fish at the start of the week as I prefer to eat fish fresh rather than freeze it whereas I don’t mind freezing beef, lamb or chicken. I do however prefer to eat steaks fresh rather than freeze them so will eat these earlier in the week too. Look at the best before dates on your choices of meat, poultry and fish to work out which meals you will have earlier in the week to later in the week.
At the start of each week make something sweet to stop you from eating chocolate, lollies, cakes and any other non healthy sweet indulgences. I generally make the family a batch of my granola or healthy treat balls to assist with those sweet cravings. Although I must say these do not last long in our household as they are so delicious.
Those that have been following me on Instagram will know that I LOVE left overs! Especially for a quick and easy lunch or even for those nights you don’t have much time. I will always make MORE most nights to enjoy as left overs. Left overs are a great way to stop you from eating unhealthy food that is seen to be quick and easy to buy and consume.
Don’t Buy It
The easiest way to eat healthy is to simply not buy it! Just don’t buy all the unhealthy foods and stick to your weekly shopping list. My theory is if it is in the pantry or the refrigerator you will eat it. Eliminate the temptation by not buying anything unhealthy and you will thank yourself in the long run. You may not thank yourself (or your hubby won’t thank you when he is searching the pantry for a bit of chocolate) when you have a craving at the time but if it isn’t there you can’t eat it.
Make substitutions for all the unhealthy things you love! For example ice cream, make my healthy version of ice cream that tastes the same but healthy, recipe in my Healthy eBook or make the healthy version of chocolate, a recipe my loyal subscribers received last week in my newsletter.
Visit a previous blog of mine that lists a number of healthy snack ideas. Substitute these ideas for the unhealthy foods you may have enjoyed. I have found that I actually enjoy the healthier options better to the unhealthy foods high in sugar and bad fats. I also no longer crave or even want any of the unhealthy foods I used to consume in my diet as I enjoy the healthier options so much more.
When shopping buy extra produce that you can freeze. For example buy extra bananas that you can freeze when they turn really ripe for smoothies and other recipes. Berries are another item you can buy a lot of when cheaper in season and freeze for smoothies, sweet treats, healthy ice cream and other recipes. Lots of herbs can also be frozen and used, yes they are better fresher in salads etc. but they can be used in recipes that require cooking i.e. parsley in lamb skewers with tzatziki sauce.
When cooking something for a recipe, think about making extra that you can use for the week. For example I always cook up a cup of uncooked quinoa at the start of the week that I use for my breakfasts, lunches and even dinners. Cooking up extra and storing it in the refrigerator means you save time when a recipe calls for it.
Prepare yourself for the week. Set aside some time at the start of the week that you can prepare healthy sauces and pastes, spice mixes, nut mixes and healthy treats that will add loads of flavour to your meals and save you time when it comes to preparing meals for you and your family. Lots of recipes can be found in my Healthy eBook or if you simply don’t have time you can purchase from the Healthy Store.
I’m at the stage of motherhood where I have a 4 year old that is very good at amusing herself and an 18 month old that still has one daytime sleep. I use this nap time to organise myself to prepare as much as I can for the evening meal so I am not stuck in the kitchen after the children have gone to bed cooking and cleaning. Think about your own schedule and work out timings of when you can prepare these items.
Hopefully I have given other mums some tips for healthy eating. Again I would love to hear about your tips for healthy eating. Simply reply in the comments box.