For some of us, cooking is a dreaded chore – particularly if you’ve spent the entire day at the office or running errands. We often dismiss healthy meals to be far too difficult to create, which is why a lot of people admit defeat and order some takeaway instead. However healthy meals are not harder or more expensive to make. To help you on your way to becoming a smarter chef in the kitchen, we have compiled a list of our top tips.
Being Healthy for Less
Firstly, let’s dismiss the myth that healthy foods are more expensive. Even though a fast-food meal might seem like an extremely cheap way to feed your family, you are usually able to spend the same amount when preparing a healthy meal at home. The first way you can cut the cost of your grocery bill is by planning your meals at the beginning of the week.
When cooking for your family, don’t be afraid to make the adjustments to some healthy recipes that you have, particularly those that include a lot of vegetables. For a lot of recipes, you can easily substitute ingredients for what vegetables you already have in your fridge (ie. Carrots, frozen peas, capsicum etc). This will help you to reduce the cost of your meals and your waste.
Finally, buy local produce that is in season. This will always be the cheapest option, as there is a large supply of the produce, which drives the price down. This locally grown, fresh food also has a shorter distance to travel, so you’ll find it is more vibrant and delicious – you couldn’t ask for more!
As well as being cheaper, cooking healthily doesn’t mean you have to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen. The first thing you can do is to get some extra helpers, and have the entire family involved in the preparation and cooking process. Designating everyone with their own role and having more hands help out, means that there is less work for you in the kitchen. This will also help to teach your children some basic culinary skills so that they can start gaining an appreciation for healthy cooking at a younger age.
Another great idea is to always cook excess food so that you can refrigerate or froze these leftovers for a later date. Many of our LifeShape clients find this little trick to be very useful, particularly when they don’t have the time to cook, as it removes the temptation of ordering takeaway. This way you have your very own set of healthy, ready-made frozen meals.
We often think that cooking a healthy meal can be extremely costly and time-consuming, however, this is a complete myth! With a little bit of clever shopping and preparation, there is no stopping you from being a wonderful chef in the kitchen. If you’re stuck with how to make your meals healthier, consult a Dietitian for ideas and advice.
About the LifeShape Clinic
Over 15 years, the LifeShape Clinic (formerly Wesley LifeShape Clinic) has helped more than 10,000 Australians achieve healthier, happier lives through their award winning weight management programs. The LifeShape program enables the lifestyle and health benefits gained from losing weight, improving your health and gaining a positive mindset.
The clinic’s team of specialist medical professionals support each client by creating a personalised weight loss plan to reach a healthy weight, improve nutrition, exercise and mindset – helping to find balance and break the dieting cycle.
Find out how the clinic can help you achieve your health and wellness goals.