Healthy eating is a way of life that encourages us to eat a variety of well-balanced and nutritious meals to promote overall good health.
But if you think that healthy eating is boring and bland, you're in for a surprise!
Healthy eating gives you the opportunity to enjoy an array of different foods cooked smartly and deliciously for you and your family to savour! Healthy cooking for healthy living is easier than you think. All you need to do is plan in advance and be organized. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Smart Planning
Plan your weekly menu in advance to include a variety of dishes made with different food ingredients such as vegetables, meat, chicken, fish, milk, beans, making sure these ingredients are available and fresh!
Step 2: Smart Buying
When buying meat:
- Always make sure that you buy the raw meat, fish, chicken items and all the other refrigerated items last; that way, they won’t be sitting in your trolley while you do the rest of the food shopping.
- When choosing your meat, chicken or fish, ask the butcher to prepare it the way you want. Have all the visible fat removed, and then have the meat cut into slices or cubes that suit your preparation method. In addition, you can ask him to divide it into equal portions of say, 200 g each. This makes placing them in the freezer much easier; you only defrost the amount you want to use.
When buying fruits and vegetables:
- Go for seasonal vegetables and fruits. All vegetables and fruits with bright colours are an excellent source of fibre and essential vitamins.
- Keep in mind that frozen vegetables and raw vegetables have the same nutritional content. When they're frozen, veggies undergo a process which ensures maintaining their nutritional content
Step 3: Smart Cooking
- When cooking, make your favourite recipes healthier by avoiding deep frying. Try baking, roasting sautéing and grilling instead. These methods reduce the amount of fat in your meals.
- To boost the flavour of your dishes, add spices, herbs and aromatic vegetables. You can also marinate the meat, chicken and fish ahead of time with tomato juice, lemon or vinegar for extra flavour.
- When it comes to side dishes such as rice, pasta, or potato, these dishes can be prepared without additional fats. For example to prepare rice, you can stir-fry the vermicelli with only a tablespoon of oil then cook the rice in water with a dash of salt.
Step 4: Smart Alternatives
It's always recommended to choose healthier options of food. For example choose whole wheat flour instead of refined white flour; brown rice and pasta instead of their white counterparts. Why? Because of their fibre content and more vitamins and minerals contained in the outer layer of grains. Remember that fibre is important for a healthy stomach and helps reduce the risk of some diseases.
Step 5: Smart Meals
Last but not least, a well-balanced meal consists of a variety of ingredients that are appealing to both the eye and the taste buds. Start off with a healthy salad, followed by a main dish consisting of a lean protein, a carbohydrate (rice/pasta/ potato/ bread) and unlimited vegetables. Always remember to cook using healthy methods.When you put your mind to it, preparing tasty and healthy meals for your family can be made easy. Plan ahead, prepare your list, go shopping, choose healthy ingredients then add your personal touch to your healthy dish and you’ll have the meals that your family will love.