Doesn’t it feel like eating healthily can take hours of prep? Or cost the earth?
Those fast, last minute meals can’t be healthy (can they?!), but sometimes zero time is all you’ve got.
What you put in to your mouth is what fuels your body and mind. You’re worth the effort.
So here are my top 5 budget-friendly, against-the-clock tips for choosing good food for great health.
OK. I know I said ‘zero time’, but sometimes you just have to spend a little to get a lot.
Ten minutes on a Sunday morning (or whenever) planning what you’re going to eat for the week (lunches and dinners) will save you hours, dollars and inches.
It’ll save you hours in fretting away, deciding what to eat with only five minutes before you need to sit down for a meal. Instead, you’ll know what you’re eating so you’ll be able to get it all ready, cooked and served before anyone can ask/fret/nag "what’s for dinner?"
You’ll save dollars because you won’t need to buy from the expensive shop those ‘last minute’ meal ingredients you forgot when you did your weekly shop at the cheaper place.
You won’t need those take away dinners because you don’t have the energy to think, let alone prepare, what’s for dinner.
And that planning means you’re in control of what you eat and when you eat which means less stress and less inches on your waistline.
What? Yes! Beans and pulses– cans or dried (not green!). Beans are such a versatile, health-packed food that’s more than easy on your wallet.
Health-packed with fibre and favourite foods for your gut bacteria, adding beans to a meal is guaranteed to boost your health.
But add beans slowly and increase the amount you add over a number of weeks, as going full-tilt with beans may make you feel bloated and constipated! If you’ve got a problem with FODMAP foods, then use FODMAP-friendly lentils instead.
They're versatile as beans can make up a dish on their own, or be added to other dishes both hot and cold.
And easy on the wallet as beans are cheap, whether canned or dried. Dried beans need a bit of preparation, but can be made in bulk and frozen. Check out how to do it here.
And check out some great recipes once you’ve cooked them.
3.Don’t buy the chips
Guaranteed. If it’s in the house it’ll get eaten.
So for this my number one tip is – don’t buy it!
Not buying it for you? Negotiate, bribe or generally harass the person you’re buying it for so they don’t want it either.
This saves your health as the temptation has literally been removed, and saves your wallet as you’re no longer spending money on it.
4. Watch what you’re eating (not your computer)
No time spent on this one, for you time-poor things.
Don’t fool yourself that multitasking over a meal saves time and gets more done. You’ll just end up with indigestion, the feeling of hunger even when you’ve eaten your lunch, extra inches on your waist and food all over your computer.
When you eat, eat. When you work, work.
To be more productive you need a break.
So by taking time out to eat your meal you’re actually able to do more effective work, thus saving time (happy face).
5. Just chillax
No. Really. In the fridge, in the freezer.
Don’t forget the power of left-overs!
Make yourself some really nice healthy recipes (here’s a guaranteed sources of healthy recipes)
But double the quantity and freeze half for later. Or portion it out and keep it in the fridge until lunch or dinner tomorrow.
Save money (you can use the food on specials or near the expiry date), reduce wastage (and $$ down the drain) and make sure you have a healthy food choice waiting for you when you really do have zero time.
So there you go. My top 5 budget friendly ways to eat for great health – even if you’ve got zero time.
If you’ve got time, which I know you do cos I’ve just saved you a heap, head over to FB @kpdietitian and give me a ‘like’ so you can get more of my great tips,
or come join my email community and get extra resources, links and tricks delivered straight to your inbox (promise no spam!).
If you got this blog notification in my email community you'll already be checking out my favourite beans recipe, a hot link to a great meal planner pdf and some fantastic info about how long you can keep foods in the freezer!
Get food happy :)
Katrina Pace, Dietitian
Gut bugs fascinate me. Diet and gut bugs intrigue me. Cooking is essential. Add them all together and you get a fairly interesting opinion on life! In my humble opinion.