1. Batch cooking and meal prepping

One of the most effective strategies for busy individuals is batch cooking and meal prepping. Use a few hours on the weekend to prepare meals for the upcoming week. Cook large batches of grains, proteins, and vegetables that can be easily portioned out for quick and healthy meals during the week. This might seem like a daunting task, but break it down into simple concepts like making 2 roast chickens over the weekend instead of one. Debone the one you are not eating that night and freeze the meat in 2 containers. This will be for 1 night’s chicken salad and another’s broccoli chicken bake with brown rice. Make 2 lasagnes, freeze one. Meal prepping does not mean that you have to cook 5 extra meals over the weekend for the week. It means that when you are going through the trouble of cooking anyway, make enough for 2 dinners to help for when you have limited time.

2. Quick and healthy recipe ideas

Stock your pantry with staple ingredients like whole grains, canned beans, lean proteins, and frozen vegetables. Look for simple recipes that can be prepared in under 30 minutes, such as stir-fries, sheet pan meals, or salads. Having a few go-to recipes can make meal planning less daunting. A practical tip: cook with what you have. Don’t ever ask your family members what they want for dinner at 18:00. They will answer you with something you do not have in the fridge… Instead, take some key ingredients and type them into Pinterest, scan through the photos, and find something that you will be able to whip up without a recipe. Cooking should be an experimental journey, not a calculated exam on accomplishing a Michelin star recipe. 

3. Smart Grocery Shopping Tips

This sounds silly, but have you ever been on holiday and as soon as you open your luggage you realise you have plenty of clothes but nothing to wear? Shopping for meals is very similar. Buy the right produce to make balanced meals (like packing matching outfits).  Choose whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Pick from each category to mix and match at home. Create a weekly meal plan and shopping list to streamline your grocery shopping. Stick to the list to avoid impulse purchases of less nutritious foods. Buy what only what you will need to make a meal.

4. Balancing macronutrients

A variety of foods in the fridge and pantry will make compiling dishes a lot easier. Aim to include a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in your meals to ensure you’re getting a variety of nutrients and staying satisfied throughout the day. Include sources of lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables in your meals. This does not mean you have to stock up on huge quantities of food, just multiple options to choose from.

5. Mindful eating practices

Think about what you want to achieve with food and aim for that goal. Here is a tip for what that goal should be: nourishing your body optimally through proper nutrients obtained from fresh produce. Preparing and planning meals with the end goal in mind will give the process purpose.