Stress-free ways to make healthy eating quick and easy
From easy meal prep to smarter shopping, here’s how to keep your healthy eating goals on track all week long.
We all start off the week with the best intentions. But if by Wednesday night you’re inhaling a packet of chips and a family block of chocolate for dinner, you might need our lazy person’s guide to eating well.
Follow these tips for a stress-free week of eating:
Organise your weekly menu
If you have enough time to do multiple Instagram scrolls in a day, you have time to organise a healthy eating plan for the week – and it’s an important step for staying on track.
“If you are coming home to an empty fridge and no idea of what you’re going to have to eat, it’s much harder to stay motivated and a lot more time consuming, making it seem like a real chore,” says nutritionist Holly Arnold.
Dietitian Melissa Meier recommends writing a weekly meal plan and shopping accordingly.
“So your house is stocked full of the good stuff – and you know exactly what, how and when you’re going to use it,” dietitian Melissa Meier says.
Melissa advises planning dinners first, followed by lunches and breakfast foods and snacks.
“As a rule of thumb, a healthy diet is based on plants – so the majority of your shopping trolley should be fruit, vegetables, legumes and wholegrains,” she says.
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Stock your pantry with staples
Holly says having a few strategic items in your pantry is the best shortcut to a healthy meal.
“The staples I always have in the pantry to fall back on when I need a quick meal are frozen vegetables and fruit, tins of beans and chopped tomatoes, rolled oats, eggs, microwave packets of rice and grains and tins of fish, such as tuna, sardines or salmon,” she says.
Melissa is also a fan of tinned legumes and suggests having wholegrains such as wholemeal pasta, long grain brown rice, rolled oats, wholegrain bread and quinoa on hand, as they can form the basis for many a healthy meal.
And to make healthy meals that little bit tastier?
“Herbs and spices can transform meals from zero to hero in the blink of an eye without the salt shaker,” Melissa says.
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Prep ahead, at least a little
You could make an entire week’s worth of meals if you are motivated enough, but if that seems like too much effort you could always do some partial prepping on the weekend.
This gives you permission to be a little lazier throughout the week and involves getting under way some of the key components of meals.
You could cook up a big batch of rice or chop the vegetables you’ll be using in various dishes.
“I think it’s much more exciting (and far easier) to prep individual ingredients (think roasted vegetables, fruit salad, cooked quinoa, meatballs) that can be used in a variety of different dishes,” says Melissa. “That way, it’s not as hard or boring.”
Holly suggests roasting a chicken to shred or boiling some eggs for easy protein options, or putting smoothie bags together for a quick on-the-go breakfast.
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Keep it simple
And for the ultimate in lazy (yet healthy) meals, Melissa and Holly each lean on jazzed up versions of good old eggs and toast.
Melissa is a huge fan of baked beans or a cherry tomato omelette served with wholegrain toast, while Holly says you can’t go wrong with avocado and eggs on wholemeal toast with some tomatoes or spinach.
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Written by Tania Gomez