I totally understand “the less processed the better” philosophy is fabulous. However, in practical terms, monetary restraints & let’s face it the time factor, can make it a hard philosophy to embrace.
Here are some ideas, to try and make it more achievable. The goal is cutting out ultra processed stuff, aiming for whole foods or a minimal level of processing – to help you eat better.
Don’t be obligated to fresh
Don’t get me wrong fresh fruit & vege are great, but it is more important you are actually eating fruit & vege. Fresh, frozen or canned are all good options. Frozen is usually snap frozen at peak freshness . Canned; read the labels to check what else is in there preserving the fruit or vege. Sometimes cost &/or shelf life make frozen or canned the best better option.
Batch prep or cook.
I do love batch prepping to save time & money. Those mid-week veggie sticks are easy for snacking; that stir fry is half done; even pre chopping for a Wednesday night tray bake makes life that little bit easier. Batch cooking can be just as good, make up a double serve & freeze one for later in the week. Whether you are doing a soup, or a bolognaise sauce loaded with vege, they are super easy to double up.
One dish wonders.
Nobody loves washing up & a dishwasher only does so much. If I can make something in one pan, or one pot – count me in. A pot of soup, a slow cooker curry or a tray bake, all are fabulous ways to save time & money; plus, you can load them up with lots of vege. Often you can double up amounts for other meals, or lunches, winning!
Leftovers (or LOs as we call them).
Some dishes just taste even better the second time, & you just need to re heat them to plate up. Alternatively, a bit of imagination & they can get a revamp for a different meal. Left over roast vege from Sunday’s dinner – make a frittata, left over bolognaise sauce – add some beans & top with mashed potato for a cheat’s shepherd’s pie, or too much rice – try fried rice. Even a leftover tomato salad works well on toast similar to a bruschetta for a great little snack.
Honestly if you take some small steps you will introduce some changes. As those become ‘normal’ you can introduce more. Food processing is here to stay, it’s just deciding what level of processing you are willing to accept in your diet. You might decide to make your own muesli rather than buy a box of cereal, possibly make your own salad dressing rather than buy a bottle. If you are a keen baker perhaps swap in wholemeal flour rather than all-purpose white, or maybe try stewed apples rather than a bowl of ice cream.
I find if I have freezer options or prepped options I’m less likely to make poor choices. Fill your pantry with foods you like & you are less likely to reach for other processed options. If I want a sweet little something I’ve usually got some stewed apples on hand (BTW also great for your gut microbiome). If I want crunch – its apples with almond butter, or a handful of mixed nuts & seeds. My point, if they are handy you are more likely to eat them.
Some ideas on how to get more fruit & vege in, without breaking the bank or spending loads of time in the kitchen. It is a compromise, but it is getting more of the good stuff in.
#FreshFrozenCanned #MealPrep #BatchCooking #OneTrayWonder #FreezerFavs #LOLove #HappyHealthyLife #ConsciouslyNutritious