The key to ensuring you’re eating as well as you can and avoiding excess salt, fat and sugar is to prepare your own meals from scratch whenever possible. By becoming the master of your meals you can select the freshest, most natural produce available.
Time saving tricks
Cooking daily can be quite time consuming, especially if you’re on a hectic schedule. It really is worth making time for yourself and for cooking, but sometimes it just isn’t feasible every day.
- Try cooking a large quantity of a meal that will keep for several days, such as stew. You can make a base dish and spice it up with different additions each day. Dhal is a good choice for this, with the base made in advance and different meats or fresh vegetable additions added to change it up a bit.
- Look at quick recipes and one pot meals.
- Preparation often takes the most time when cooking, so perhaps prepare a large quantity of veg and freeze it for later use.
- Smoothies make a quick and easy breakfast for those on the go and can be made the night before.
Select fresh produce
Rather than sticking to super markets, venture to your local farmer’s market or green grocers. While the prices can sometimes be a bit higher, the quality is generally higher and you can enquire as to the exact growing conditions of your greens. Avoid pre prepared and overly packaged vegetables and fruits. With fish and meat, try to buy fresh when possible – for fish check the eyes, if they’re not clear the fish has been out for a while. Again opt for more natural, less processed meat and fish products.
What to avoid
Avoid processed foods, ready meals and fast food. Generally look to cut down on sugar, salt and fat, but don’t try to cut it out completely at first, this will only lead to frustration. Similarly, alcohol in moderation is okay and can even be good for you. Red wine and craft beer can both be beneficial to your health. Avoid drinking excessive amounts frequently.