It can be hard to get your five veg and two fruit everyday when you’ve got work, a thriving social life, brunches, dinner catch-ups, and Netflix marathons already on your plate.
So when life has you barely surviving your 9-5, no one can blame you for ditching the healthy eating streak for a cheeky 4am kebab after a huge night on the town. After all, Professor Felice Jacka, who is Director of the Food and Mood Centre, says that we often turn to unhealthy foods when we are stressed.
Jacka also mentioned that subtle changes to the way we eat are super important.
“Make small changes that are easy to stick to. Start by swapping an unhealthy afternoon snack for a healthy one, like a piece of fruit,”she said.
“You don’t have to be perfect, and don’t be too hard on yourself. A burger or a chocolate bar are fine every now and then but it’s important to make sure your eating routine includes a variety of nutritious foods.”
With all this in mind, we’ve put together some sneaky ways to eat foods other than Deliveroo Thai every night, while still being super busy.
The key to any millennial lifestyle is meal prep. And whether you’re a modern MasterChef in the kitchen, or if you’re the type of person who wouldn’t even be allowed to audition for MKR, it’s important to make it a habit. Meal prep doesn’t have to be the hardest thing in the world either (link to other meal prep article), it just needs some planning.
Believe it or not, but simple meal prep like chicken/a protein and two veg can be dressed up with an easy sauce if you’re particular about taste. Heading into winter, you can make soup for days that can last you an eternity. Cooking with fresh ingredients is an easy step to eating healthy, and meal prepping saves time + can be smashed out while simultaneously watching George Calombaris scream THIRTTTYY SECONNNDS!
Bulk, Cook, Freeze, Repeat
With the above said, think long game here. Start by making specific foods in bulk, then cook them as required, freeze and repeat it every few days or weeks. We honestly underestimate the power that the freezer has to solidify food and just keep it edible for ages.
Take a pumpkin or chicken and corn soup for example, super easy to prep with some really basic ingredients for both recipes. You prep up a big pot full of it on Sunday, let it stew for a bit, have it for dinner that night, then chuck it into a few tupperware containers. You can keep some in the fridge for work the next day/week and freeze the rest for when you need it. Simple and delish? What life is this?!
Embrace The Crockpot / Slow Cooker
It’s amazing how much good stuff comes out of a long cooking period. But preparing and cooking a roast that needs heaps of time, or a pasta that has a tonne of elements to cook can be a bit of a burden. So it’s probably time to invest in the good old crockpot or slow cooker.
In a sure sign that your adulating is well underway, this little heaven sent kitchen must have will be a life changer. Just chuck a bunch of ingredients in the pot before you head to work in the morning, let it cook for eight or so hours and viola! Amazingly yum and healthy stews, roasts and soups await you. The best part is they’re super bloody cheap too, I’m talking $25 from Target cheap.
Take Advantage Of The Work Kitchen
I don’t know about you, but I’m a serial snacker. I don’t really see the day as three main meals, rather just a series of eating points (cause let’s be honest food is life). But the curse that comes with that gift is that many snacks aren’t exactly full of nutrients, especially when you’re buying pre-payday and there are $2 Grain Waves on special.
This is where the work kitchen can be your best friend. A staple office kitchen normally includes things like fresh fruit, spreads, trail mixes and other healthy options that are perfect 3pm munchies. It’s a great (and often free) way to start making your snacking a bit healthier, without maximum effort.
Are you keen to eat a bit healthier but so freaking busy that it’s barely an option? Don’t worry me too. Check out headspace’s nutrition fact sheet for a bunch of easy and cheeky ways to improve your eating habits. It’s not as hard as you might think, and dw you’ll thank us later.