There is an old saying that things can be quick, cheap or right – but you can only pick two of those. It is all too easy for this to apply to food. Quick ready meals may be cheap (but not necessarily) but they are often full of things that your body doesn’t need.
Good healthy food takes time, which most of us don’t have at the end of a long day. It is even trickier if you are sticking to a careful nutrition plan as part of your training regime.
There is a solution – forward planning. Try these ideas for good eating that also fits into a busy lifestyle.
Even if it is only an ice box in an under-counter fridge, your freezer can do a lot to help healthy eating. Frozen veg are just as healthy as fresh ones and won’t go to waste if forgotten for a week. Freezer space also allows batch cooking. If you are making stews, soups, vegetable lasagne or chilli, it is very little extra effort to make more. Freeze into a microwave friendly container and there is your tasty and nutritious ready meal.
Whether it is mid-day munchies or a late night snack-attack, have the right food around to stop that dash for the takeaway.
A slow cooker costs under £20, uses a tiny amount of electricity and can safely be left to its own devices while you are out. Spend a bit of time at the weekend chopping up meat and veg, chuck in to the cooker and come back much later. Decant and freeze – slow cooker recipes are even better when reheated.
To help you get started from that blank sheet, think of the ‘three’ for each meal. That’s something with protein, a complex carbohydrate and some vegetables. Add what’s missing from the store cupboard – grains, sauces, spices. Then make that all-important list and get shopping or clicking. Job done!
Yes to keeping snacks in. I always have fruit, nuts, seeds and Nak'd bars as my stand by. And hard boiled eggs are good too.
as the article says, you still need to do the work for the slow cooker - but it can be done when you feel like it and have time. Coming home to find a hot meal just ready to be eaten is like having an electric butler, fantastic invention.
I try and keep some long-lasting fruit about; easy peelers, apples and bananas last quite some time in the fruit bowl so don't go to waste.
Definitely have healthy foods for late night snacking. My tip is make a pot of trail mix to nibble on.
I make a lot of soup in the autumn and winter and cook huge batches so that I can freeze some too. It's great having some healthy homemade soups in the freezer that I can just pull out and defrost for lunch.
I second the idea of a slow cooker. It makes life so much easier when I am working and is perfect for winter meals.