Tips for eat­ing well when pressed for time

The Horowhenua Mail - - WHAT’S ON -

Q: Do you have any tips for eat­ing well through­out the work week? My­work sched­ule makes it dif­fi­cult to have the time to pre­pare healthy meals. – James

It is un­de­ni­able that we have more on our plates than ever be­fore and while I ap­pre­ci­ate that many of us are jug­gling nu­mer­ous tasks and roles daily, there is noth­ing on this Earth that can re­place a highly nu­tri­tious way of eat­ing. It’s so im­por­tant that we take re­spon­si­bil­ity for our nour­ish­ment and pri­ori­tise our own health and well­be­ing – it af­fects how we show up each and ev­ery day. With that said, I com­pletely un­der­stand that most peo­ple these days sim­ply don’t have the time or the en­ergy to spend hours in the kitchen ev­ery day. Nu­tri­tious food doesn’t have to be com­pli­cated, but a lit­tle plan­ning can go a long way in help­ing to make nour­ish­ing choices eas­ier through­out the week. Here are some tips:

A: LEFTOVERS

Rather than cook­ing just enough for one meal, cook a larger amount so that you’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day. If you’re freez­ing it, pack each serve/meal into a separate con­tainer so that you can eas­ily de­frost one meal at a time.

FROZEN VEG­ETA­BLES

For some peo­ple, the time they per­ceive it takes to chop up veg­eta­bles is a bar­rier for them to in­clude enough each day. If this is you, per­haps keep a cou­ple of bags of frozen veg­eta­bles in your freezer for days when you would like to save on prep time. Snap freez­ing re­tains nu­tri­ents well so frozen veg­eta­bles are still a great choice nu­tri­tion­ally, and they come al­ready chopped for you. Or chop fresh veges and see how lit­tle time that ac­tu­ally takes!

MEAL PREP

Some peo­ple like to do a ‘‘meal prep Sun­day’’, where they al­lo­cate a cou­ple of hours to cook in bulk meals or cer­tain com­po­nents of meals to be used through­out the com­ing week. You might like to roast a big batch of veg­eta­bles that you can add as a side to lunches and din­ners over the next few days. Or a big batch of quinoa that you can add to a few meals.

If you strug­gle to make time to pre­pare a nu­tri­tious break­fast, you could por­tion out the in­gre­di­ents for a green smoothie (such as some ba­nana, spinach etc) and freeze into daily por­tions so that in the morn­ing, all you need to do is throw one lot in the blender with some wa­ter, al­mond milk or co­conut wa­ter and blend. Or you could make a chia pud­ding or overnight oats in the evenings and place them in the fridge so they’re ready to eat the next morn­ing.

SLOW COOKER MEALS

Us­ing a slow cooker can be a great

Ask Dr Libby

Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz. Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered.

way to pre­pare a nu­tri­tious meal – it just takes a lit­tle prepa­ra­tion work in the morn­ing or the night be­fore, and you have a meal wait­ing for you af­ter a long day at work. You can freeze leftovers, too.

Pre­par­ing nu­tri­tious real food may take more time, but it is time we have to al­low for in our day.

Dr Libby is a nu­tri­tional bio­chemist, best-sell­ing au­thor and speaker. The ad­vice con­tained in this col­umn is not in­tended to be a sub­sti­tute for di­rect, per­son­alised ad­vice from a health pro­fes­sional. Dr Libby is tour­ing 17 towns and cities with her Food Frus­tra­tions event, talk­ing about the con­fu­sion around food and what you’re sup­posed to eat. See dr­libby.com/events for full de­tails.

MARION VAN DIJK/STUFF

A slow cooker can be a great way to pre­pare a nu­tri­tious meal.

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