Proper Prep is the Key to Success!

Healthy eating starts way before the food is on your fork. Preparation plays a major role in helping us to eat healthier. Below are a few Dietitian approved ways to organise and plan your preparation to ensure better weight loss success and healthy eating habits:

  • Plan ahead and make a grocery list of foods you should buy. A list will help you avoid regular trips to the shops, unnecessary spending, impulse buying and food wastage.
  • Set a routine to do grocery shopping when you have more time i.e. on the weekends. This decreases your chances of leaving it to the last minute or having to eat takeaways because there is no food in the fridge. It can also make for a quieter and quicker shop if you can leave the kids at home with someone to look after them.
  • Make a grocery list according to some meals or recipes you want to make. That way you are able to buy exactly what you need and plan meals that suit that week’s schedule.
  • Buy the right type of food. Keep your kitchen stocked with these easy options to ensure you have healthy foods available. They are all non-perishable and can stay in your cupboard for a lengthy period:
    • Tinned foods – tuna, corn, tomato, chickpeas, beans and lentils
    • Pickled foods – beetroot, gherkins
    • Starches – brown rice, barley, quinoa, high-fibre crackers, bran cereals, oats, high-fibre pasta etc.
    • Dried fruit and raw nuts
  • Cook food in bulk and freeze the leftovers in Ziplock bags, Tupperware or foil containers with a cardboard lid. The cardboard lids are easy to write the date and contents on for future reference. Freezing the meals prevents food wastage and provides a quick and easy meal option for another day when you have minimal time to cook. Most foods freeze well. Try freezing mince, stew, soup, cottage pie, fish bake etc.
  • You can use a frozen food in several ways to maximise meal preparation session. For example, frozen mince can be used in nachos, cottage pie, pasta, or gem squash boats.
  • Keep a selection of frozen vegetables in your freezer to add colour and nutrients to your meal when all the fresh food is finished. Frozen vegetables such as carrots, peas, corn, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and country mixes can be used as an easier option to fresh vegetables.
  • Prepare lunches the day before. Spend time packing lunch after dinner, when the kids are in bed or before you start relaxing. This is often easier than in the morning rush. Pack snacks, make a salad, sandwich or leftovers into containers as food for the day. Healthy snack ideas are small low-fat plain yoghurt, lean biltong, fruit, boiled egg, turkey/chicken cold meat, grilled chicken strips, low-fat cottage cheese, homemade popcorn, low-fat hummus with vegetable sticks etc.

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